How Many Catholic Popes Have Been Married?


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Julii Brainard answered
It's not tolerated nowadays, but there's plenty of evidence that Catholic Popes were married in the past, and had children or concubines (mistresses). No records of marriage after they became Pope, but most were old men by then (as now).

Even now, a man can validly enter the Catholic priesthood after a marriage has ended.

Some estimates are that up to 39 Popes have been married, but evidence is sketchy on many. The following are the more certain ones.

Popes who were married while Pope:

St. Siricius, the 38th Pope, abandoned his wife and children to become Pope, says Church tradition.
Hadrian II (Pope 867-872 AD). Resided with wife and daughter while Pope.
Boniface IX (1389-1404)
Felix V (1439-1449)

Widowers when they became Pope:
Felix III (ancestor of 2 other Popes)
Hormisdas (father of Pope Silverus)
Clement IV
St. Peter, the first Pope and "rock" on which the church was founded -- he was married. This is mentioned in Mark 1:29-31. A contemporary historian named Clement of Alexandra mentions children as well as a wife. We don't know wife's name, or where she lived when he was serving as Pope.

Pope Gregory IV is the pontiff who declared, in 1074, that priests must be celibate. And that the word of the Pope was infallible except before God.

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