Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes

Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes

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Book Summary:

The Pope of Rome is the best known and most influential moral and religious leader in the world. Pick up the paper, turn on the T.V., and there he is. Every government in the world has to deal with him somehow. Love him or hate him, there is no denying his importance. It's this way today, and it's been this way since Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the 4th century.

In all that time, there have been wonder-working saints, lecherous murderers, and many, many mediocrities on the Papal throne - every kind of human being imaginable. Historically, the lives of Popes have been anything but dull and uneventful. Formosus was so hated by his successor, the corrupt Stephen VI, that his rotting corpse was disinterred and subjected to a court trial. St. Leo the Great frightened Attila the Hun into sparing Rome, while St. Gregory the Great banished the plague from the Eternal City by holding a procession. St. Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor by surprise on Christmas Day, but John XII (himself the son of a Pope) was killed by his mistress' lover, and died in her arms. John Paul II raised the popularity of the Papacy to incredible heights, played a huge role in bringing down Communism - and exorcised the Devil from a girl during a public audience.

Most books about the Popes have either tried to whitewash every sin any Pope has committed, or else have made them all out to be all out to be anti-Christs. On this emotional topic, writers seem to have left very little middle ground. But the truth is that there have obviously been good and obviously evil Popes, controversial Popes and forgotten Popes. In this book, they will all have their day in court. One by one, each Pope will be profiled, and their rich history, with all its pageantry, intrigue, holiness, and crime, will be unveiled.

Other Books by Charles A. Coulombe


About the Author:

Charles A. Coulombe was born in New York on 8 November, 1960. At an early age, his parents took him to Hollywood, California, where they lived in an apartment building owned by famed television psychic, Criswell. Coulombe has lectured on a wide variety of historical, religious, and political topics on three continents, and did commentary for ABC News on the death of John Paul II and the election and installation of his successor. He is the author of numerous articles in many journals, and of 10 books on a variety of subjects including Puritan's Empire, a Catholic perspective on American history, and Vicars of Christ, a history of the popes.

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The one
John T. Turner on April 18, 2005
This is the one to own if you want to learn about the popes in an objective fashion. If you read between the lines you'll also learn that the Conciliar Church (the "Catholic Church" since Vatican II) is a vastly different institution from it's predecessor, the Roman Catholic Church of history. As St.Athanasius wrote in the 4th century, concerning the Arians, "They may have the buildings but we have the faith." That said, the book is readable by Catholics and non-Catholics alike and is one that can be reads in bytes. One also comes to the conclusion that the history of western civilization is inseparable from that of the Church.
A Elegant Look at St. Peter and his successors!
Michael Glanville on September 22, 2016
For those of us who really don't have the time to go through the thick pageant of Christian history, especially to learn about all 266 Popes, Vicars of Christ is excellent. Charles Coulombe gives us a more than brief look into the lives of these men, starting from St. Peter all the way to Pope Francis, cluing us into the kinds of lives they led, warts and all, that while many of them were saints, they didn't often live saintly lives. There are many Catholics today that do not consider the current Pontiff to be at all very good, but I usually tell them to read this book in order to understand that there have been far, far worse men to sit on the chair of St. Peter than Francis. An excellent primer for any Christian looking to know more about the history of their faith.