Is Pope Benedict XVI the 264th or 265th pope?


Full Question

After the election of Pope Benedict XVI, some media reports said that he is the 264th pope, while others said he is the 265th. Which is it?

Answer

The popular confusion arises from a failure to distinguish between the number of popes and the number of successors to Peter, the first pope. Pope Benedict XVI is the 264th successor of Peter, which makes him the 265th pope of the Catholic Church.