Why so few non-italian popes?

Feb 2014
1,863
Kingdom of the Netherlands
#1
What are the explanations that there have been so few non-italian popes. For example my country (the Netherlands) and England have only had 1 pope both, Spain only 2, Germany, Poland and Portugal not that many more. The only countries with a reasonable amount of popes outside Italy are Syria, France and Greece. Especially in early modern history there have been almost no non-italian popes. If I recall correctly the Italians did not have a majority of the Cardinals in the curia alone, or did they?

Do any of you have good explanations for this?
 
Likes: Futurist
Sep 2013
1,082
Tokyo
#2
What are the explanations that there have been so few non-italian popes. For example my country (the Netherlands) and England have only had 1 pope both, Spain only 2, Germany, Poland and Portugal not that many more. The only countries with a reasonable amount of popes outside Italy are Syria, France and Greece. Especially in early modern history there have been almost no non-italian popes. If I recall correctly the Italians did not have a majority of the Cardinals in the curia alone, or did they?

Do any of you have good explanations for this?
Well, England, Netherlands and chunks of Germany have been strongly protestant countries for around 500 years, so they have severely reduced pools of catholic clergy.
Its an Italian church, based in Rome, Im surprised they've had so many non Italian ones.
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2014
46
London, Ontario, Canada
#3
I think Edwulf nailed it. The "Roman Catholic" religion is just that: Roman. The origins and roots of catholicism lie in Italy (going back as far as Gregory the Great and, indeed, farther).

The majority of Italy is Catholic, and thus the bishops are more plentiful.
 
Likes: Futurist
Feb 2014
1,863
Kingdom of the Netherlands
#4
Well, England, Netherlands and chunks of Germany have been strongly protestant countries for around 500 years, so they have severely reduced pools of catholic clergy.
Its an Italian church, based in Rome, Im surprised they've had so many non Italian ones.
Then take France, Spain and Portugal. They staye loyal to the holy sea. Have you seen any of these climbs the stairs of the papal seat in the 4 decades?

Italians make about 70-80% of all popes in history. And you are stating that those 20-30% non-italian popes are many? Christendom is more then the Italian peninsular you know.
 
Likes: Futurist
Feb 2014
1,863
Kingdom of the Netherlands
#5
I think Edwulf nailed it. The "Roman Catholic" religion is just that: Roman. The origins and roots of catholicism lie in Italy (going back as far as Gregory the Great and, indeed, farther).

The majority of Italy is Catholic, and thus the bishops are more plentiful.
The majority of Spain is Catholic, same for France and Portugal and even Belgium. I dont see the point you are trying to make.

The roots of the catholic faith do as you know start in Asia, not the Italian peninsula. If we count all the bishoprics in Europe then we shall not see an Italian majority. I find it odd that the catholic monarchs of Europe accepted Italian popes after Italian popes. France for example hasn't had a pope since the 1400's.
 
Likes: Futurist
Sep 2013
1,082
Tokyo
#7
Then take France, Spain and Portugal. They staye loyal to the holy sea. Have you seen any of these climbs the stairs of the papal seat in the 4 decades?

Italians make about 70-80% of all popes in history. And you are stating that those 20-30% non-italian popes are many? Christendom is more then the Italian peninsular you know.
The church is a power structure.
The Roman Catholic church is based in Italy, the whole pope gig started there. Ireland is a strongly ROMAN catholic country but I don't think they have ever had a pope. But its the Church of Rome, and for large chunks of its history has not been a democracy. Even now the pope is elected not by the faithful but by a cabal of cardinals. Until recently these will have been inclined to vote for popes from territories they are sympathetic too.

Just like in the British Empire, most of the subject were non British, but most of (all) the leaders were British.

or in a Japanese owned multinational company, most or many employees will be non Japanese but the CEO and most of the big wigs will still be Japanese.
 
Feb 2014
1,863
Kingdom of the Netherlands
#9
The church is a power structure.
The Roman Catholic church is based in Italy, the whole pope gig started there. Ireland is a strongly ROMAN catholic country but I don't think they have ever had a pope. But its the Church of Rome, and for large chunks of its history has not been a democracy. Even now the pope is elected not by the faithful but by a cabal of cardinals. Until recently these will have been inclined to vote for popes from territories they are sympathetic too.

Just like in the British Empire, most of the subject were non British, but most of (all) the leaders were British.

or in a Japanese owned multinational company, most or many employees will be non Japanese but the CEO and most of the big wigs will still be Japanese.
The Italians do not control Christendom. Spain and France have shown them this many of times.
 
Likes: Futurist

Similar History Discussions