Tag Archives: Benedict IX

CNN Series: “Pope” Episode 2 — Riddled With Errors; Part II, Popes Benedict IX & Celestine V.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE. Benedict IX is never far from my sight! This is a picture of the corner of my glass covered work desk. That yellow ‘slip’ was something I printed when I was writing my 1st Pope book in 2007. This was a crib list of important pontificates. 11-years later I still have not removed it from under the glass!

Click to ENLARGE and read. From my “Popes: 101 Facts & Trivia” book.

Click to ENLARGE and read. From my “Popes and the Tale of Their Names” book.

Errors & Omissions in CNN “Pope” Series.

    1. Fake News re. St. Peter being 1st pope — Click here for my post.
    2. Additional Errors and Omissions — Click here for my post.
    3. Episode 2 — Riddled with Errors; Part 1 — Click here for my post.

Popes Benedict IX and Celestine V were both depicted with factual errors, misrepresentations and with unwarranted and unnecessary sensationalism.

Pope Celestine V is so misrepresented that I devoted an entire chapter in my “Popes: 101 Facts & Trivia” book to him. IF only CNN had consulted that. He was NOT a bad pope as they made him out to be. He was pretty astute and knew what he was doing from the get go. This really was FAKE NEWS.

Benedict IX was a reprobate BUT not as much as CNN purported him to be. For a start he was not a teenager when he became pope. That is a rookie error made by folks who learn their popes from watching YouTube! He was in his mid-20s. Plus, he was a modicumly competent pope for 12-years before the shenanigans began and some of it was not really his fault. He was driven out of office the first time around. CNN fails to mention that. He only resigned after that traumatic event. Again, CNN’s coverage was full of alternate facts. Fake news.

IF only they had bothered to leaf through any one of my 10 Pope books or just called me. Pity. Shame.


Category ‘Religion.
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by Anura Guruge

The Youngest Popes Ever; John XII Probably Having Been A Teenager!

by Anura Guruge

Youngest Since 1400

ten youngest popes since 1400 Anura Guruge

The ten youngest popes since 1400 by Anura Guruge. Click to ENLARGE.

John Paul II (#265) was 58 years, 3 months & 4 weeks old when elected pope on October 16, 1978. He was the youngest pope to be elected during the twentieth century, Benedict XV (#259), elected in September 1914 having been 531 days older.

John Paul II was, however, the twentieth youngest pope to be elected as of 1400 [dates pertaining to the popes prior to 1400 are either unreliable or unavailable and as such are impractical for meaningful analysis].

Benedict XV was the 22nd oldest [again as of 1400].

In June 1846, Pius IX (#256) was elected at the age of 54. Two popes separated Pius IX from Benedict XV. Pius IX was the 12th youngest since 1400.

Average age at election of the 62 popes elected since 1400 is 62.4 years.

Per my research it would appear that the minimum theoretical age at which one could become pope, in the future, is 25 – that being the minimum age to be a Catholic priest or deacon.

Pope John XII — when older.

One of the youngest popes ever was probably John (‘Octavian’) XII (#131), the illegitimate son of Alberic II who ruled Rome from 932 to 954. Alberic, on his deathbed, coerced influential Romans to promise that they would make sure his son, Octavian, would succeed him as the ruler of Rome and also be appointed the next pope. Octavian became John XII [his step-uncle having been John XI (#126)] in December 955 when Agapetus II (#130) died.  John was supposed to have been around 18 years of age at that point.

The infamous Benedict IX (#146, #148 & 151), who served an unprecedented three terms as pope, was also quite young when  first elected in October 1032. He was the last layman to be elected pope. Though there are those that claim that he was but a teenager when elected in reality he was probably in his twenties.


Leo X (right) youngest pope since 1400, with his cousin, who one pope later would be the second youngest, as Clement VII. Painting by Raphael

The youngest pope elected since 1400 was Leo X (#218) at the age of 37, in 1513. He the second son of the famous Lorenzo ‘il Magnifico’ Medici of Florence was created a cardinal, albeit without it being publicized (though this was prior to the in pectore practice that came to be in 1536) when he was but thirteen. Leo X, a cardinal deacon when elected, also happens to be the last non-priest/monk to be elected pope. It is said that on being elected he told his retinue ‘God has given us the papacy. Now let us enjoy it.’ Alak, this was not to be the case. His papacy was majorly buffeted by the rise of Martin Luther’s Reformation. He would die of malaria close to his 46th birthday.

The second youngest, since 1400, happens to be Leo X’s cousin Clement VII (#220), one pope later, at the age of 45. [So there is a 8 year difference between the youngest and the second youngest.] Clement VII’s parents were not married making him the last known pope of illegitimate birth.

The ten youngest popes, since 1400, to be elected are:

Note that three of these popes, #207 to #209, were consecutive; i.e., three popes in succession elected prior to their fiftieth birthday.

It is interesting that the six popes who were elected before they turned 50 did not enjoy particularly long pontificates. Eugene IV, who died at 62, was to be the oldest from this group. During the last 150 years the cardinals have hesitated about electing young, i.e., those in their fifties, given the possibility of a pontificate that might last three decades.

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by Anura Guruge

My $5 Set Of 1960s Louis Marx U.S. Presidents, Now Wall Mounted On A 3-Tier Riser I Fabricated.



 ..by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
I Need Louis Marx 1960 President Grover Cleveland — May 19, 2013.
Meredith, NH Community Yard Sale … — May 18, 2013.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

These were the figures I bought, all jumbled up and thrown together, in a plastic bag, at the Meredith Community Yard Sale last month.

I wanted to display them, so I built this 3-tier riser. Yes, contrary to the widespread belief that all I can do is write, I can, if I put my mind to it, make most any kind of shelving — having 4 decades of hands on experience putting up probably a 1/4 mile worth of shelving.

It appears that I do have Grover!

Those of you who know your presidents, better than obviously does the 12-year old Devanee, probably have already worked it out.

Grover is unique and even President Obama, as I wrote about in 2009, slipped up on that one. Yes, like the notorious 3-term Benedict IX (#146, #148 & #151) Grover served 2 non-consecutive terms (#22 & #24). Though she should have spotted that, that is where Devanee slipped up. She didn’t find the 2nd Grover!

But, the 1st Grover is there, standing proud, in a nice gray long-coat suit. So, I am happy. Joys of yard sales.