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Pope Paul III

Circa 1530, Pope Paul III (1468-1549). Pope 1534-49, originally Alessandro Farnese, began the Counter-Reformation, commissioned Michelangelo to build St. Peter's Basilica and to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, excommunicated Henry VIII of England 1538, estab (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Popes throughout history

A selection of the 265 popes who have served as head of the Catholic Church, from the recently retired Benedict XVI all the way back to St. Peter.