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The Popecast

The Popecast

Author: Matthew Sewell

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The unvarnished, non-boring history of the popes of the Roman Catholic Church – told in a way to remind us that the world and the Church’s problems today have happened plenty of times before.
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83 Episodes
Our pope this week was in the Chair of Peter for barely a moment in the great lifespan of Catholic history, but his humble heart and joyful demeanor has influenced each of the three popes who followed him and put him firmly among the most memorable and beloved pontiffs of the last several centuries. PATREON: FB / Twitter / Instagram: @thepopecast EMAIL: NEWSLETTER:
Our pope this week was a pontiff in exile – the whole Roman Curia was in those days – who everyone thought would be near death, but he ended up sticking around for 10 years and set about cleaning up the clerical riff-raff, leaving us with one of the greatest hymns ever written, and hiring a bloodhound in a red hat to prowl around Italy and gain back what was rightfully Peter’s. PATREON: FB / Twitter / Instagram: @thepopecast EMAIL: NEWSLETTER:
Joining the show this week is special guest Eduard Habsburg, the Hungarian Ambassador to the Vatican and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, sharing the incredible story of Pope St. Gregory the Great, the "Pope Who Founded Western Civilization" PATREON: FB / Twitter / Instagram: @thepopecast EMAIL: NEWSLETTER: Find Eduard Habsburg on Twitter: Read Eduard's children's book, "Dubbie: The Double-Headed Eagle": Special Guest: Eduard Habsburg.
This pope was far more renowned for his life BEFORE the papacy than he was after. And that was a bummer, because he kinda gets a bad rap for it. But it certainly didn’t help that he avoided accepting his election like the plague. PATREON: FB / Twitter / Instagram: @thepopecast EMAIL: NEWSLETTER:
Our pope this week was startlingly good for a Renaissance pontiff – he didn’t use his power to elevate all of his greedy nephews, he began as a monk and never really forgot it, and he worked so hard and so much that he could have coined the phrase “I can sleep when I’m dead.” PATREON: FB / Twitter / Instagram: @thepopecast EMAIL: NEWSLETTER:
This guy was an able pontiff who brought much-needed respect back to the papacy at its lowest point in history. And on the family front, he was a real diamond in the rough. A lone bright spot amidst a group of relatives that would make the Kardashians blush. PATREON: FB / Twitter / Instagram: @thepopecast EMAIL: NEWSLETTER:
This pope wasn’t long for this world once he made it to the Chair of St. Peter and was a compromise pick from the beginning, to boot. Apparently it had something to do with being just another pretty face, but history is silent on whether or not he was a ...barbarian. PATREON: FB / Twitter / Instagram: @thepopecast EMAIL: NEWSLETTER:
Our pope this week hit a lot of firsts – first Latin-writing pope, first African pope, and the first papal hothead. Good thing he had the humility to match it. PATREON: FB / Twitter / Instagram: @thepopecast EMAIL: NEWSLETTER:
Our pope this week voted in literally one million papal elections before it was finally his turn. At least it probably seemed like that to him. He was a child of the nobility who served the Church from an early age, but there was just one small thing left to do after he got elected as the new Bishop of Rome... Support the Popecast at
He was one of the last solid pontiffs before perhaps the darkest time in the history of the papacy. He held off the Muslim Army as long as he could, spent way too long looking for new emperors, was a patron of one of the Church’s greatest evangelists, and sadly was the first Bishop of Rome in history to meet a certain kind of sordid end.
Our pope this week was only in office a short time, but still managed to leave a mark that’s resounded through the ages in battling one of early Christianity’s most monumental heresies. He’s also one of just three pontiffs in history to have a name that starts with the letter Z.
Our man this week was a mentor to one of the greatest popes to ever live, he spent far too much time trying to drum up an army from the emperor to protect Rome from destruction, and met his earthly end as a deadly disease swept brutally through late 6th-Century Rome.
This week is an extra special a CROSSOVER episode with the excellent podcast The Quizzical Papist – Your “extraordinary form” bar trivia with Fr. Brad and Grace. If you’ve ever been to bar trivia – or if you can even remember what that’s like after the long winter of 2020, that’s the exact structure of their show and, as a result, this crossover. Grace and Matt battled it out over two rounds – the first half you’ll find on The Quizzical Papist, so make sure you go over and start there. Our half of the show has the second round and final results of the great papist showdown. FIRST HALF IN THE LINK BELOW!
Our first episode of 2021 is a very special one indeed. This week we’re joined by JD Flynn & Ed Condon, co-founders of The Pillar, the brand new Catholic media project focused on smart, faithful, and serious journalism, from committed and informed Catholics who love the Church, which you can find and sign up for at Special Guests: Ed Condon and JD Flynn.
Our special guest this week is Fr. Harrison from Clerically Speaking – not only is Fr. Harrison a huge fan of Pope Benedict XVI, he's writing his doctoral thesis on the guy! But don't worry, this episode isn't super heady or academic as much as it is simply Matt & Fr. Harrison nerding out on their shared love for Pope Benedict XVI and why he's just as important to the average person in the pews as he is to the great Catholic intellectual tradition as a whole. Special Guest: Fr. Harrison Ayre.
An exclusive audio recording of Patris Corde, the new apostolic letter from Pope Francis on St. Joseph, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Joseph being named Patron of the Universal Church and announcing a "Year of St. Joseph" starting December 8, 2020.
This episode is a bit unique. It’s early December, so our Catholic listeners will know that there are two mega huge feast days celebrating Mary in the first half of this month – the Immaculate Conception on December 8 and Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12. So we thought it might be fitting to break from the usual format and talk about the Mother of God under one of those titles, and what two 20th-Century popes have to say about her.
Our pope this week had the fun job of wrangling a bunch of Alphas and convincing them to work as a team for the sake of Christendom, and in the meantime tried not to lose everything the papacy had accumulated up to that point in history. Oh, and his nephew would later end up being one of the most powerful popes in history.
Our pope this week you might not know, but odds are you know about something he did. I’m talking about the biggest and oldest unreinforced concrete dome IN THE WORLD. He converted it from a pagan temple into a church, which has been in constant use now for over 1400 years.
Our pope this week wasn’t around for long, but the time he did spend in office left its mark. He entered the Chair of Peter at a dicey time in Christian history and dealt with an arch nemesis from within the Church right after his election, to boot. He was eventually killed for his faith, and is now the patron saint of things like lovers and earaches.
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