This is a list of sexually active popes, Catholicpriests who were sexually active before becoming pope, and popes who were legally married. Some candidates were sexually active before their election as pope, and it has sometimes been claimed that other popes were sexually active during their papacies. Such relationships were undertaken outside the bond of matrimony and broke the vow of chastity.
There have been 266 popes. Since 1585, no pope is known to have been sexually active before, during or after election to the Papacy.
There are various classifications for those who were sexually active at some time during their lives. Periods in parentheses refer to the years of their papacies.
For many years of the Church's history, celibacy was considered optional. Based on the customs of the times, it is assumed by many that most of the Apostles, such as Peter, were married and had families. It is clear from the New Testament (Mk 1:29–31; Mt 8:14–15; Lk 4:38–39; 1 Tim 3:2, 12; Tit 1:6) that at least Peter had been married, and that bishops, presbyters and deacons of the Early Church were often married as well. It is also clear from epigraphy, the testimony of the Church Fathers, synodal legislation, papal decretals and other sources that in the following centuries a married clergy, in greater or lesser numbers, was a normal feature of the life of the Church. Celibacy was not required for those ordained, but still was a discipline practised in the early Church, particularly by those in the monastic life.
Although various local Church councils had demanded celibacy of the clergy in a particular area, it was not until the Second Lateran Council (1139) that whole of the Latin (Western) Rite of the Catholic Church decided to accept people for ordination only after they had taken a promise of celibacy. The reasons for the imposition of celibacy in the Latin branch of the Church are not straightforward; there was certainly a strain of thought which regarded celibacy as being a more exalted state than marriage, but there was also the matter of married clergy who may have bequeathed Church property to a spouse or child. Regardless, although it is a long-established tradition, clerical celibacy is a matter of Church discipline, not of doctrine. If it were the latter, then Roman Catholic deacons would not be permitted to be married, nor would those clergy in the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches.
In this context, a celibate is a person who is not married. The discipline of priestly celibacy is not considered one of the infallible and immutable dogmas. Celibacy is not synonymous with sexual abstinence, although it entails sexual abstinence because of the requirement of sexual abstinence outside of marriage.
Popes who were married
Saint Peter(Simon Peter), whose mother-in-law is mentioned in the Gospel verses Matthew 8:14–15, Luke 4:38, Mark 1:29–31. Clement of Alexandria notes that "Peter and Philip begat children" and writes: "When the blessed Peter saw his own wife led out to die, he rejoiced because of her summons and her return home, and called to her very encouragingly and comfortingly, addressing her by name, and saying, 'Remember the Lord.' Such was the marriage of the blessed, and their perfect disposition toward those dearest to them." In some legends dating from at least the 6th century, Peter's daughter is Saint Petronilla.
Pope Adrian II (867–872) was married before he took Holy Orders, to a woman called Stephania, and had a daughter. His wife and daughter were still living when he was elected Pope and resided with him in the Lateran Palace. They were murdered by Eleutherius, brother of Anastasius Bibliothecarius, the Church's chief librarian.
Pope John XVII (1003) was married before his election as Pope and had three sons, who all became priests.
Popes sexually active before receiving Holy Orders
Pope Pius II (1458–1464) had at least two illegitimate children, one in Strasbourg and one in Scotland, both born before he entered the clergy. Pius delayed becoming a cleric because of the requirement of chastity.
Popes sexually active after receiving Holy Orders
Pope Julius II (1503–1513) had three illegitimate daughters, one of whom was Felice della Rovere (born in 1483, twenty years before his election as pope, but twelve years after his enthronement as Bishop of Lausanne). The schismatic Conciliabulum of Pisa, which sought to depose him in 1511, accused him of being a "sodomite covered with shameful ulcers." 
Pope Paul III (1534–1549) who, according to some sources, held off ordination in order to continue his promiscuous lifestyle, fathering four illegitimate children (three sons and one daughter) by his mistress Silvia Ruffini after his appointment as Cadinal-Deacon of Santi Cosimo and Damiano. He broke his relations with her ca. 1513. There is no evidence of sexual activity during his papacy. He made his illegitimate son Pier Luigi Farnese the first Duke of Parma.
Popes accused of being sexually active during pontificate
Pope Sergius III (904–911) was accused by his opponents of being the illegitimate father of Pope John XI by Marozia. These accusations are found in Liutprand of Cremona's Antapodosis, as well as the Liber Pontificalis. The accusations are disputed by another early source, the annalist Flodoard (c. 894–966): John XI was brother of Alberic II, the latter being the offspring of Marozia and her husband Alberic I, so John too may have been the son of Marozia and Alberic I. Bertrand Fauvarque emphasizes that the contemporary sources backing up this parenthood are dubious, Liutprand being "prone to exaggeration" while other mentions of this fatherhood appear in satires written by supporters of late Pope Formosus.
Pope John XII (955–963) was accused by his adversaries of adultery and incest. The monk Benedict of Soracte noted in his volume XXXVII that he "liked to have a collection of women". According to Liutprand of Cremona in his Antapodosis, "they testified about his adultery, which they did not see with their own eyes, but nonetheless knew with certainty: he had fornicated with the widow of Rainier, with Stephana his father's concubine, with the widow Anna, and with his own niece, and he made the sacred palace into a whorehouse." According to E. R. Chamberlin, John XII was "a Christian Caligula whose crimes were rendered particularly horrific by the office he held". Some sources report that he was rumoured to have died 8 days after being stricken by paralysis while in the act of adultery, others that he was killed by the jealous husband while in the act of committing adultery. (See also Saeculum obscurum)
Pope Benedict IX (1032– became pope in 1044, again in 1045 and finally 1047–1048). He was accused by Bishop Benno of Piacenza of "many vile adulteries." Pope Victor III referred in his third book of Dialogues to "his rapes... and other unspeakable acts." His life prompted SaintPeter Damian to write an extended treatise against illicit sex in general, and homosexuality in particular. In his Liber Gomorrhianus, Damian accused Benedict IX of routine sodomy and bestiality and sponsoring orgies. In May 1045, Benedict IX resigned his office to pursue marriage.
Pope Paul II (1464–1471) is popularly thought to have died due to indigestion arising from eating melon in excess, though a rumour was spread by his detractors that he died while engaging in sodomy.
Pope Sixtus IV (1471–1484). According to the published chronicle of the Italian historian Stefano Infessura, "Diary of the City of Rome", Sixtus was a "lover of boys and sodomites" - awarding benefices and bishoprics in return for sexual favours, and nominating a number of young men as cardinals; some of whom were celebrated for their good looks. However, Infessura had partisan allegiances to the Colonna and so is not considered to be always reliable or impartial.
Pope Leo X (1513–1521) was allegedly a practising homosexual, according to some modern and contemporary sources (Francesco Guicciardini and Paolo Giovio). He was alleged to have had a particular (albeit one-sided) infatuation for Marcantonio Flaminio.
^<The Life of Girolamo Savonarola (1959) by Roberto Ridolfi
^George L. Williams, Papal Genealogy: The Families And Descendants Of The Popes, page 74: "Clement now made Alessandro de Medici (his illegitimate son by a Nubian slave) into the first duke of Florence" (McFarland & Company, 1998) ISBN 0-7864-2071-5
^Liber Pontificalis (first ed., 500s; it has papal biographies up to Pius II, d. 1464)
^Reverend Horace K. Mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, Volumes 1-13 quote: "Was John XI the son of Pope Sergius by the abandoned Marozia? Liutprand says he was, and so does the author of the anonymous catalogue in the Liber Pontificalis in his one-line notice of John XI." (1928)
^Anura Gurugé, The Next Pope: After Pope Benedict XVI, page 37: "John XI (#126) would also appear to have been born out of wedlock. His mother, Marozia, from the then powerful Theophylacet family, was around sixteen years old at the time. Liber Pontificalis, among others, claim that Sergius III (#120), during his tenure as pope, was the father." (WOWNH LLC, 2010). ISBN 978-0-615-35372-2
^Fauvarque, Bertrand (2003). "De la tutelle de l'aristocratie italienne à celle des empereurs germaniques". In Y.-M. Hilaire (Ed.), Histoire de la papauté, 2000 ans de missions et de tribulations. Paris:Tallandier. ISBN 2-02-059006-9, p. 163.
^Joseph McCabe, Crises in The history of The Papacy: A Study of Twenty Famous Popes whose Careers and whose Influence were important in the Development of The Church and in The History of The World, page 130 (New York; London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1916)
^The Book of Saints, by Ramsgate Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine's Abbey, A.C. Black, 1989. ISBN 978-0-7136-5300-7
^"Cuius vita quam turpis, quam freda, quamque execranda extiterit, horresco referre." Victor III, Pope (1934). Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Libelli de lite (Dialogi de miraculis Sancti Benedicti Liber Tertius auctore Desiderio abbate Casinensis ed.). Hannover: Deutsches Institut für Erforschung des Mittelalters. p. 141. Retrieved 2008-01-03.