This is a list of sexually active popes, Catholicpriests who were not celibate before they became pope, and those who were legally married before becoming pope. Some candidates were sexually active before their election as pope, and others were accused of being sexually active during their papacies. A number of them had offspring.
For many years of the Church's history, celibacy was considered optional. Based on the customs of the times, it is assumed[by whom?] by many that most of the Twelve Apostles were married and had families. The New Testament (Mark 1:29–31; Matthew 8:14–15; Luke 4:38–39; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6) depicts at least Peter as being married, and bishops, priests and deacons of the Early Church were often married as well. In epigraphy, the testimony of the Church Fathers, synodal legislation, and papal decretals in the following centuries, a married clergy, in greater or lesser numbers, was a feature of the life of the Church. Celibacy was not required for those ordained and was accepted in the early Church, particularly by those in the monastic life.
Although various local Church councils had demanded celibacy of the clergy in a particular area, at the Second Lateran Council (1139), the whole of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church decided to accept men for ordination only after they had taken a promise of celibacy. This applies to the leadership of the Church.
Mother-in-law (Greek πενθερά, penthera) is mentioned in the Gospel verses Matthew 8:14–15, Luke 4:38, Mark 1:29–31, and who was healed by Jesus at her home in Capernaum. 1 Cor. 9:5 asks whether others have the right to be accompanied by Christian wives as does "Cephas" (Peter). Clement of Alexandria wrote: "When the blessed Peter saw his own wife led out to die, he rejoiced because of her summons and her return home, and called to her very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, and saying, 'Remember the Lord.' Such was the marriage of the blessed, and their perfect disposition toward those dearest to them."
Two children, both born before he formally entered the clergy. The first child, fathered while in Scotland, died in infancy. A second child fathered while in Strasbourg with a Breton woman named Elizabeth died 14 months later. He delayed becoming a cleric because of the requirement of chastity.
Three illegitimate daughters, one of whom was Felice della Rovere (born in 1483, twenty years before his election as pope, and twelve years after his enthronement as bishop of Lausanne). The schismatic Conciliabulum of Pisa, which sought to depose him in 1511, also accused him of being a sodomite.
Held off ordination in order to continue his lifestyle, fathering four illegitimate children (three sons and one daughter) by Silvia Ruffini after his appointment as cardinal-deacon of Santi Cosimo and Damiano. He broke his relations with her ca. 1513. He made his illegitimate son Pier Luigi Farnese the first duke of Parma.
Accused by opponents of being the illegitimate father of Pope John XI by Marozia. Such accusations lay in Liutprand of Cremona's Antapodosis and the Liber Pontificalis. The accusations have discrepancies with another early source, the annalist Flodoard (c. 894–966): John XI was the brother of Alberic II, the latter being the offspring of Marozia and her husband Alberic I, so John too may have been the son of Marozia and Alberic I. Fauvarque emphasizes that contemporary sources are dubious, Liutprand being "prone to exaggeration" while other mentions of this fatherhood appear in satires written by supporters of Pope Formosus.
Accused by adversaries of adultery and incest.Benedict of Soracte noted that he had "a collection of women". According to Liutprand of Cremona, "they testified about his adultery, which they did not see with their own eyes, but nonetheless knew with certainty: he had fornicated with the widow of Rainier, with Stephana his father's concubine, with the widow Anna, and with his own niece, and he made the sacred palace into a whorehouse". According to Chamberlin, John was "a Christian Caligula whose crimes were rendered particularly horrific by the office he held". Some sources report that he died eight days after being stricken by paralysis while in the act of adultery, others that he was killed by the jealous husband while in the act of committing adultery.
According to Stefano Infessura, Sixtus was a "lover of boys and sodomites" – awarding benefices and bishoprics in return for sexual favours, and nominating a number of young men as cardinals, some of whom were celebrated for their good looks. Infessura had partisan allegiances to the Colonna family and so is not considered to be always reliable or impartial.
^George L. Williams, Papal Genealogy: The Families And Descendants Of The Popes, page 74: "Clement now made Alessandro de Medici "his illegitimate son by a slave" into the first duke of Florence", McFarland & Company, 1998, ISBN0-7864-2071-5
^Liber Pontificalis (first ed., 500s; it has papal biographies up to Pius II, d. 1464)
^Reverend Horace K. Mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, Volumes 1–13 quote: "Was John XI the son of Pope Sergius by the abandoned Marozia? Liutprand says he was, and so does the author of the anonymous catalogue in the Liber Pontificalis in his one-line notice of John XI." (1928)
^Anura Gurugé, The Next Pope: After Pope Benedict XVI, page 37: "John XI (#126) would also appear to have been born out of wedlock. His mother, Marozia, from the then powerful Theophylacet family, was around sixteen years old at the time. Liber Pontificalis, among others, claim that Sergius III (#120), during his tenure as pope, was the father." (WOWNH LLC, 2010). ISBN978-0-615-35372-2
^Fauvarque, Bertrand (2003). "De la tutelle de l'aristocratie italienne à celle des empereurs germaniques". In Y.-M. Hilaire (Ed.), Histoire de la papauté, 2000 ans de missions et de tribulations. Paris:Tallandier. ISBN2-02-059006-9, p. 163.
^Joseph McCabe, Crises in The history of The Papacy: A Study of Twenty Famous Popes whose Careers and whose Influence were important in the Development of The Church and in The History of The World, page 130 (New York; London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1916)
^"Vita Pauli Secundi Pontificis Maximi", Michael Canensius, 1734 p. 175
^Leonie Frieda, The Deadly Sisterhood: A Story of Women, Power, and Intrigue in the Italian Renaissance, 1427–1527, chapter 3 (HarperCollins, 2013) ISBN978-0-06-156308-9
^Karlheinz Deschner, Storia criminale del cristianesimo (tomo VIII), Ariele, Milano, 2007, pag. 216. Nigel Cawthorne, Das Sexleben der Päpste. Die Skandalchronik des Vatikans, Benedikt Taschen Verlag, Köln, 1999, pag. 171.
^Claudio Rendina, I Papi, Storia e Segreti, Newton Compton, Roma, 1983, p. 589