The Popecast

The Popecast

www.thepopecast.fm
The podcast about popes, for people who like a good story, but don’t have time for dry, dusty history books.


Two MORE Papal Difficulties (Interview on the Classical Theism Podcast)
May 27 • 33 min
We were featured once more as a guest on the Classical Theism Podcast (see Episode #37 for our first appearance), this time on two more papal objections – how an ecumenical council called by an emperor can still be legit, and why Pope John XXII wasn't a…
PART THREE - The Pope Who Destroyed Communism (Pope St. John Paul II)
May 19 • 23 min
The third and final installment of our series on one of the greatest popes in history. He was the first non-Italian pope in almost 500 years and the youngest in over a century, having been elected at the young papal age of 58. He also would have the…
BONUS: Letter of Pope Benedict XVI for the 100th Birthday of Pope St. John Paul II
May 16 • 12 min
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Pope St. John Paul II (May 18), Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote a letter to the Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. This bonus episode of The Popecast is a free audio reading of that letter. Become a…
PART TWO – The Pope Who Destroyed Communism (Pope St. John Paul II)
May 1 • 23 min
The series so many listeners to The Popecast have been asking about and waiting for is back for Part Two. Our pope this week, once again, is one of the finest men to ever grace the Chair of St. Peter. Ordained a priest in secret at the start of the…
PART ONE – The Pope Who Destroyed Communism (Pope St. John Paul II)
Feb 23 • 19 min
It’s finally here. The episode so many of you have all been waiting for. And this is just part one… Our pope this week is one of the finest men to ever grace the Chair of St. Peter. His life was one of unimaginable suffering, having been under the thumb…
The Pope Who Didn’t Back Down (St. Sixtus II)
Feb 6 • 14 min
Our pope this week is one of the greatest heroes of the ancient Church that you’ve never heard of. Well, at least, not until now. He was only pope for a short time, but his witness and heroic martyrdom left a mark that has echoed down through the…
Answering Two Papal Objections (Interview on the Classical Theism podcast)
Jan 29 • 33 min
Our episode this week is an interview we did with John DeRosa of the Classical Theism podcast, a show that’s all about defending Catholic Christian ideas in Conversation with all sorts of excellent guests like Trent Horn, Dr. Ed Feser, Jimmy Akin, Gomer…
The Pope Who Canceled the Jesuits (Pope Clement XIV)
Jan 13 • 16 min
Our pontiff this week did one of the most infamous deeds in all of papal history. It was so memorable that no pope since has taken that particular papal name, and he was the butt of a joke at the election of our very own Pope Francis for it. His crime? He…
A Review of Netflix’s “The Two Popes” (w/ Taylor Schroll of Forte Catholic)
Dec 26, 2019 • 39 min
Netflix's new film "The Two Popes" is a recently-released biographical drama of the friendship between Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, when the latter was still Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. The film has been mostly praised in the wider culture…
The Pope Who Made Christmas Official (St. Julius I)
Dec 19, 2019 • 16 min
It’s a Popecast Christmas episode this week. Not only did this guy take his turn at fighting off the heresy that had infected a majority of the world’s bishops, but he stood by one of the Church’s greatest bishops and saints, and he may have even been the…
EXTRA: Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter on the Nativity Scene
Dec 2, 2019 • 18 min
A free audio version of Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter_ Admirabile Signum _, defending and encouraging the use of the Nativity Scene – or Christmas creche – for families and communities to develop a deeper understanding of the mystery of Jesus Christ's…
The (Bad) Pope Caught in Bed With Another Man’s Wife (Pope John XII)
Nov 20, 2019 • 17 min
Our pope this week – one of the notorious so-called Bad Popes – was what the kids might call “a player”. A man of loose morals who only got the job because on his deathbed dear old dad made Roman officials pinky swear to elect his kid pope. Oh, and he was…
The Lesser-Known Defender of Rome (St. Gelasius I)
Oct 30, 2019 • 13 min
We’re back this week with an episode on a pope who was equal parts lion and lamb. His blunt writing on papal authority was a respectful dunk on the eastern emperor, and served as that teaching’s foundation for centuries, but in the same breath he gave…
The Last Martyred Pope (St. Martin I)
Sep 26, 2019 • 12 min
On this week’s episode, it’s a pope who answered to no one but God. He was fierce in battling the burgeoning heresy of Monothelitism (which claimed Jesus only had one will), didn’t care if the emperor approved his election or not, and would go on to pay…
The (Bad) Pope of the Protestant Reformation (Pope Leo X)
Sep 12, 2019 • 16 min
On this week’s episode, it’s another one of the “Bad Popes”. This guy loved partying so much, and was so bad at managing money, that one contemporary said he spent three pontificates worth of dough – everything from the guy before him, all of his own…
The Pope of the Counter-Reformation (Paul III)
Aug 31, 2019 • 15 min
On this episode of the Popecast it’s a guy who historian Eamon Duffy listed as one of the 10 Popes Who Shook the World. He was friends with a couple of bad popes, did some shady stuff himself in early life, then had a profound conversion and laid the…
EXTRA: Audio of Pope Francis’ Letter to Priests
Aug 6, 2019 • 28 min
On the 160th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests, Pope Francis released a letter addressed to all the priests of the world. In the letter, Francis encourages and thanks his brother priests for their service, especially…
The Pope and His Enemy, Who Were Martyred Together (Sts. Pontian & Hippolytus)
Aug 2, 2019 • 13 min
This week is a Popecast unlike any other. Our pope this episode was not only the first in history to resign his office, but he did so after being exiled alongside his archrival, a man who had set himself up as the Church’s first antipope. And the craziest…
The Pope Who Condemned His Predecessor…Sort Of (St. Leo II)
Jul 21, 2019 • 15 min
He was in office less than a year, but left a mark on the Church that’s still making waves among Catholics and non-Catholics alike to this very day. Well-educated, a lover of sacred music, and great servant of the poor, for better or for worse this pope…
The Pope Who Gave Us the Feast of Corpus Christi (Urban IV)
Jun 27, 2019 • 11 min
Our pope today introduced a day of celebration that’s endured for over THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLENNIUM. In addition to, you know, wrestling power away from a rogue dynasty and otherwise trying to keep the Church afloat in troubled waters. All in just 3…
The Pope Who Saved Western Civilization (St. Pius V)
Jun 5, 2019 • 15 min
Here's a pope who came from nothing, spent his life fighting for the Truth, and ended up practically saving the world. Better to be frail in body and strong in will, than the other way around. SUPPORT THE POPECAST: patreon.com/mattsewell DOCUMENTS…
The Brothers Pope (Sisinnius & Constantine)
May 18, 2019 • 10 min
It’s a Popecast first, folks. The first time we’re covering two popes in a single episode AND the first of three times in Church history that two brothers each held the Chair of Peter – and interestingly enough, also the first of three times that the…
Another Very Bad Pope (Alexander VI)
May 10, 2019 • 16 min
In 1492, something else happened besides Columbus sailing the ocean blue, namely, that the most notorious pope EVER ascended to the Chair of Peter. This week it's the guy who typically tops the list of every rundown of the so-called “Bad Popes”, and who…
The Popecast’s Guide to Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter on the Sex Abuse Scandal
Apr 30, 2019 • 17 min
This episode serves as a brief recap and analysis on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's recent letter on the Church's sexual abuse crisis – paired with the audio version of the letter released exclusively by The Popecast – for those who have neither the time…
EXTRA: Audio of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Letter on Church Sex Abuse Scandal
Apr 13, 2019 • 36 min
On April 10, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI released a letter addressing the scandal of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church – of which the full audible reading can be found here. The retired pope gave historical background to how the scandal came to be, how…
The Abuse Scandal, Human Nature, & the Altar of the Heart (Interview w/ Dr. Chad Pecknold)
Mar 19, 2019 • 43 min
Dr. Chad Pecknold, associate professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, joins the Popecast this week to talk about the present scandal in the Church, human nature, St. Augustine’s two Cities, and the papacy’s role in securing the Church…
The Pope Who Didn’t Do Anything Funny (Pope St. Hilarius)
Mar 13, 2019 • 13 min
This week’s pope has a bit of an ironic name. During his six years in the Chair of Peter, nothing too exciting happened, and certainly nothing that seemed to live up to, uh, how we currently define “hilarious.” Become a patron and get early access to…
Interview w/ Trent Horn (Apologist, Speaker, & Author)
Feb 28, 2019 • 42 min
Catholic apologist, speaker, and author Trent Horn joins Matt on The Popecast this week. Topics covered (among others) include: Biblical basis for the papacy Papal infallibility When is it okay to criticize the pope, and how far is too far? BECOME A…
EXTRA: The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter
Feb 22, 2019 • 5 min
Normally the Church celebrates feast days for persons – men and women from every age who the Church has held up as models of holy living – but today is a day that celebrates a chair. Well, at least what the chair represents. BECOME A PATRON:…
The Pope Who Had RBF (Servant of God, Pope Benedict XIII)
Feb 21, 2019 • 13 min
This week’s pope didn’t want the job, and lived like he didn’t have the job, which got him in some hot water. But the people who worked closest with him knew him only as the parish priest of Rome, and ultimately his personal virtue carried the day. Plus…
The Pope Who Was BFFs With Charlemagne (Pope Adrian I)
Feb 12, 2019 • 17 min
This week’s pope is defined by two words. Charlemagne and iconoclasm. And no, I’m not talking the Trump Twitter kind of iconoclasm. BECOME A PATRON: patreon.com/mattsewell LINKS Pope Adrian I (The Catholic Encyclopedia) Pope Adrian I (Wikipedia) Pope…
The Pope Who Outsmarted Napoleon (Servant of God, Pope Pius VII)
Jan 30, 2019 • 16 min
The pope we’re talking about today was mild-mannered and monkish on the outside, but tough as nails on the inside. He’s went toe to toe with the tiny tyrant for 10 years, and was imprisoned for 6 of them. Never one to let the Church be bullied, he…
The Pope Who Made the Emperor Kneel in the Snow (St. Gregory VII)
Jan 19, 2019 • 18 min
This week’s pope was once described as the epitome of a Christian gentleman, a man of universally recognized virtue, and a profound scholar. He was never one to back down from a fight, and stopped at nothing to reform a broken Church. 1000 years ago, that…
The Pope Who Built the Wall (St. Leo IV)
Jan 8, 2019 • 18 min
A worker of miracles, a battler of barbarians, and someone described as a man who lived to perfection the saying “pray as if everything depends on God, and work as if everything depends on you.” This week it’s Pope #103, St. Leo IV. FOLLOW & SUPPORT THE…
The Pope They Called a Heretic (Honorius I) - Infallibility Series, Pt. 3
May 12, 2018 • 12 min
Wait, a pope was actually condemned as a heretic by an ecumenical council of the Church? Sounds like the jig is up – papal infallibility is a false doctrine! Right? Well…we shall see. SUPPORT THE PODCAST: patreon.com/mattsewell LINKS- Letter from Pope…
The Pope Who Was Once an Antipope (Vigilius) - Infallibility Series, Pt. 2
Apr 20, 2018 • 13 min
This week’s pope was one of the only guys to have been an anti-pope before getting legitimately elected, he pretty much killed his predecessor, and was a bit of a wuss to boot. Yes, even the Bishop of Rome can be a weak-willed flip-flopper, and it…
Gaudete et Exsultate: Interview w/ Katie Prejean McGrady
Apr 13, 2018 • 45 min
Speaker & author Katie Prejean McGrady joins the Popecast to chat about Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice & Be Glad), her recent trip to Rome for a pre-Synod gathering of young people, and how Pope Francis knows…
The First Pope to Not Be a Saint (Liberius) - Infallibility Series, Pt. 1
Mar 21, 2018 • 13 min
How would you like to be the first pope to not be named a saint? First in 350 years and the only non-saint pope in 5 centuries was still pretty holy, but people thought he might be heretic. Also, people use him as an argument against papal infallibility.…
The Pope who Condemned the Sexual Revolution (St. Paul VI)
Mar 8, 2018 • 14 min
Paul VI was nothing short of a prophet. He called out society’s future ills decades before they actually happened, and reigned as pope through the assassination of an American President, the sexual revolution, and a sweeping reform in the Church. Plus ……
The Pope Who Confirmed the Canon of Scripture (St. Damasus I)
Feb 22, 2018 • 9 min
Ever wonder where the official list of the books of the Bible came from? Well, this guy you’re about to learn about is who we have to thank. Every single one of those 73 books you find in Catholic Bibles was listed out by this guy, at a meeting in Rome,…
The Pope Who Founded Western Civilization (St. Gregory the Great)
Feb 14, 2018 • 13 min
Lent is upon us, and we have just the pope. It’s the guy who instituted giving out ashes on Ash Wednesday. The former monk. The humble, generous pontiff who basically founded Western Civilization. SUPPORT THE POPECAST: patreon.com/mattsewellSupport The…
A Very Bad Pope (Benedict IX)
Feb 7, 2018 • 12 min
Our first BAD POPE. Called by the Catholic Encyclopedia a “disgrace to the Chair of Peter” Benedict IX was pope not once, not twice, but THREE separate times, and only because dear ol’ dad pulled some strings to get him there in the first place. SUPPORT…
The Pope Who Battled Attila the Hun (St. Leo the Great)
Jan 31, 2018 • 12 min
This week we’ve got a pope who was here to chew bubblegum and battle heresy … and he was fresh out of bubblegum. He also once convinced Attila the Hun to hightail it out of Rome. In short, he’s one of the greats. Literally. SUPPORT THE PODCAST:…
The Pope with the Bird on His Head (St. Fabian)
Jan 23, 2018 • 10 min
This week’s pope was elected in the most unusual of ways. A bird landed on his head. That’s right, A BIRD. SUPPORT THE PODCAST: patreon.com/mattsewellSupport The Popecast
The Pope Who Almost Contributed to the Bible (St. Clement I)
Jan 15, 2018 • 10 min
Here’s a pope who knew personally more than one of the Apostles — the ACTUAL APOSTLES — and wrote a document that was thiiiis close to being included in the canon of the Bible. Batting cleanup for the young church at Pope #4, it’s St. Clement I. SUPPORT…
The “About Dang Time” Pope (Bl. Gregory X)
Jan 9, 2018 • 10 min
This week we’ve got a pope who came to power after 1000 days of an empty papal chair, a guy who wasn’t even a priest when he was elected! Our pontiff this week butted heads with ambitious kings, and made revisions to the Church playbook that lasted for…
The First Pope (St. Peter)
Jan 2, 2018 • 11 min
This week we’re talking about perhaps the Church’s worst and best pope. The fisherman of little faith, the Apostle with the keys, the preacher who converted 3,000 in a single sermon. SUPPORT THE PODCAST: patreon.com/mattsewell Support The Popecast
Why Popes?
Dec 22, 2017 • 3 min
Whether you’re Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, an Atheist, or something in between — the popes of the Roman Catholic Church matter. Sure, there are 1.2 billion of the world’s citizens who pledge their loyalty to the current pontiff, but St. Peter and his…