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‘Drunk as a pope’ (origin of the saying)

Vati Leaks - Thursday, February 07, 2013
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Amongst the dozens of dissolute popes, it is generally conceded that Jacques Fourier (1285-1342) gave rise to the popular saying, ‘drunk as a pope’. At his coronation in the Dominican priory at Avignon on January 8th, 1335, he took the name, Benedict XII, and then promptly fell down drunk. Bishop Mollet (d. c. 1640), a learned Catholic historian of the popes, added this comment: ‘There is no dispute about his character, as his gluttony, vulgarity, and violent temper, were notorious. He drank strong wine so continuously that he often lapsed into unconsciousness and was unable to get to the papal bedroom’.

Pope Benedict XII’s contemporaries called him; ‘A Nero, for he demanded death to the laity; he was viper to the clergy, a liar, and a drunkard’. All Europe demanded his abdication, yet the greedy and vindictive Frenchman clung to his papal rags for eight years. His murderous ways narrowly restricted any virtues that the Vatican falsely claims that he possessed. While Catholic historians admit that Benedict XII drank heavily, they fail to mention that Jesus Christ was also ‘a drunkard’ (Matt. 11:19; Luke 7:34).


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