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Was Benedict XVI the 264th or 265th pope? What number is Pope Francis?

BY The Editors

March 24-April 6, 2013 Issue | Posted 3/18/13 at 5:09 PM


"The popular confusion arises from a failure to distinguish between the number of popes and the number of successors to Peter, the first pope. Pope Benedict XVI [wa]s the 264th successor of Peter, which ma[de] him the 265th pope of the Catholic Church," according to Catholic Answers at

Now that he is retired, Benedict is called His Holiness Benedict XVI, pope emeritus or Roman pontiff emeritus, according to the Vatican.

In terms of papal numbers, Pope Francis is the 266th pope, the 265th successor to St. Peter.


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