Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

6 Papal Controversies From History That Will Get You Ready For The Young Pope

  1. Begin
    Photo: Gianni Fiorito/HBO

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    The trailer for HBO's upcoming limited series The Young Pope only tells us so much about the show's actual plot. We see Jude Law's Pope Pius XIII condemning sinners, bossing around a nun played by Diane Keaton, and casually smoking a cigarette. Pius is supposed to look like one bad MF, but, at least from this trailer, he's nothing but talk. Surely there are more twists and turns to come in the rest of the series, but the relatively tame Pius got us thinking about the real bad boys of the Vatican.

    It almost goes without saying that the long and storied history of the papacy has seen its fair share of controversies. From Benedict IX selling his title off for profit to Innocent IV signing off on the use of torture during the Inquisition, not every pope has had a squeaky clean reputation. Pius is certainly in the running to be one of the most photogenic popes, but he's got some stiff competition for the title of most scandalous.

    Ahead, we've rounded up seven of the most infamous figures in the history of the Vatican. Click through to meet history's most controversial popes.


    Begin Slideshow
  2. Photographed by Rockie Nolan.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    0 of 6
  3. Photographed by Rockie Nolan.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    1 of 6
  4. Photographed by Rockie Nolan.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    2 of 6
  5. Photographed by Rockie Nolan.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    3 of 6
  6. Photographed by Rockie Nolan.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    4 of 6