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Did Pope Leo X Say “It Has Served Us Well, This Myth of Christ?”

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.’”

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