Benedict XVI resigned peacefully, but this has not always been the case for popes who exit the office. In his recent Anxious Bench post, Tal Howard of Gordon College reveals the dark side of papal exits.
- The Apostle Peter was crucified upside down.
- Fourteen popes were martyred between the first and seventh centuries.
- John VIII (872-82) was bludgeoned to death by members of his own entourage
- Stephen VI (896-97) was strangled to death
- Leo V (903) was murdered by his successor
- John X (914-28) died from suffocation
- John XIV (983-84) probably died of starvation in prison
- Gregory V (996-99) was probably poisoned to death
- John XXI died when his study collapsed on him
For more agonizing papal exits read the rest of Tal’s post here.