Number seven on our list of top ten controversial Catholic Popes is Nicholas III. It’s always good to be the Pope. But for the three years of Nicholas III’s reign (1277-1280), it may have been better to be the Pope’s brother. Or uncle. Or cousin. Nicholas III distributed principalities in the Papal States among members of his family, essentially giving them land and political power. This nepotism earned him a spot in Dante’s eighth circle of Hell.
No 6: Boniface VIII
No 8: Clement V