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I received a pseudonymously wriiten e-mail the other day asking me whether I was aware of this.
“Here’s one for you: During all of 1937 and 1938, eight current and future popes were living (Pius XI to Francis)“.
I was not aware per se, in that I had not bothered to count.
BUT, I do know that I have a magical Excel Spreadsheet with data on ALL the popes for whom we have a birthdate. That is basically all the popes since 1400. See below. So, it is easy enough for me to check — provided we are talking post 1400. Prior to that all bets are off.
7 “would be popes” alive is NOT even CLOSE to being a record. Without even trying, just taking a semi-intelligent guess, I found 11 … PLUS the living pope.
Over the next few days I will try to build upon this.