Did Pope Leo X say "It has served us well, this myth of Christ"?


Full Question

Non-Catholics have told me that Pope Leo X said, "It has served us well, this myth of Christ." Is this true?

Answer

Although the quote is commonly attributed without source documentation to Pope Leo X, it is believed to have originated in a satirical piece titled "The Pageant of the Popes" by a Protestant controversialist named John Bale (1495–1563). Bale wrote: "For on a time when a Cardinall Bembus did move a question out of the Gospell, the Pope gave him a very contemptuous answer saying: ‘All ages can testifie enough howe profitable that fable of Christe hath ben to us and our companie.’"


Michelle Arnold