• Today
    August 12

  • 05:41 AM

Two families of Catholic popes


Added 06 June 2018


TO THE MEMBERS of the Elective Synod of the Diocese of Barbados:

I am a history buff, interested in arcane nuggets of history. Recently, while reflecting on the ongoing matter for the election of a bishop which merited an iconic front page photograph in the DAILY NATION of May 15, I recalled that in the Catholic Church, two families, the Borgias and the Medici, produced a number of popes.

Subsequent research disclosed that there were three Borgia popes and four Medici, who reigned during the period known as the Renaissance.

The Borgias were of Spanish origin and that family’s first pope was Pope Callixtus 111 who served as the 209th pope from April 8, 1455, until his death on August 6, 1458. The second Borgia was Pope Alexander VI (born Rodrigo Lanzol Borgia) who served as the 214th pope from August 11, 1492, until his death on August 18, 1503; his maternal uncle was Pope Callixtus III.

According to Wikipedia, Rodrigo Borgia first studied law at Bologna and after the election of his uncle Pope Callixtus III, he was ordained deacon and created cardinal-deacon of San Nicola in Carcere at the age of 25 in 1456.

The following year he was appointed vice chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, nepotistic appointments which were characteristics of the age.

Within the Medici family, Pope Clement VII (1523-1534), the 219th pope, was a cousin of Leo X who was the 217th pope from March 9, 1513, until his death on December 1, 1521.

It is interesting that notwithstanding his earlier preferment, it was 34 years before Rodrigo Borgia achieved the papacy. The lesson to be taken away, as I sought to say in my last letter, is that what God wills, will come to pass in the fullness of time.

For your prayerful consideration.





Dos and Donts

Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus


Should Government provide back-to-school assistance for parents who lost their jobs because of COVID-19?