Pope St. Leo the Great

Born in Rome, Leo served as a deacon to Pope St. Celestine I and Pope St. Sixtus III. Leo was elected pope in 440 while on a diplomatic mission to Gaul, now France. He is one of three popes called "the Great."

Pope St. John XXIII

Born Angelo Roncalli in Italy, Pope St. John XXIII was ordained a priest in 1904. During World War I, he served as a medic and chaplain. He represented the Church as a Vatican diplomat in Bulgaria, Turkey, and France, eventually becoming a

Can the pope overturn a previous pope’s teaching?

A reader asks: “Does the pope have the authority to overturn pronouncements of previous popes, for example, in matters of contraception and the ordination of women?” As Monsignor Charles Pope explains, we must distinguish between different types of law and teaching. There

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