The fact that a number of popes have been bad in the sense that they did not even meet minimal standards of moral integrity and sincere piety poses a serious problem for Roman Catholicism. After surveying a gallery of these infamous popes, I hone in more exactly on just what the problem is. I then argue that the problem remains on both a weak providence view and a strong providence view. According to the former, there is no guarantee that the man chosen pope is God’s will. According to the latter, deploying the resources of middle knowledge, God can make sure that popes infallibly avoid error and teach only truth by making sure the right man is chosen pope. Neither view satisfactorily explains how the papacy can be as important as Rome says it is while so many popes have been such unworthy holders of the office.
- conspicuous corruption