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R OPE -A-D OPE P OPES Corruption in the Vatican during the Middle Ages and Beyond.

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Presentation on theme: "R OPE -A-D OPE P OPES Corruption in the Vatican during the Middle Ages and Beyond."— Presentation transcript:

1 R OPE -A-D OPE P OPES Corruption in the Vatican during the Middle Ages and Beyond

2 S IMON - PETER – APOSTLE EXTRAORDINAIRE Peter’s position among the apostles was symbolized at the very beginning of his relationship with Christ. At their first meeting, Christ told Simon that his name would thereafter be Peter, which translates as "Rock" (John 1:42). The word “rock” was not used as a proper name in the ancient world. If you were to turn to a companion and say, "From now on your name is Asparagus," people would wonder: Why Asparagus? Christ did not make meaningless gestures, nor did the Jews when it came to names. Giving a new name meant that the status of the person was changed, as when Abram’s name was changed to Abraham or Jacob’s to Israel. Peter is considered (by Catholics) to be the first Pope. (In St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City in Rome, the sculpture of St. Peter holds the keys to heaven.)

3 IT IS BELIEVED THAT MANY OF THE EARLY POPES IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH WERE MARTYRED FOR THEIR BELIEFS, INCLUDING PETER HIMSELF, PIUS I, CORNELIUS I, STEPHEN I, AND SIXTUS II IN THE FIRST 300 YEARS OF THE PAPACY ALONE. In 313 CE the Roman Emperor Constantine, through the Edict of Milan, put a stop to the killing of Christian Popes (and the theft of Christian property.) For all intents and purposes, Christianity was legalized by Constantine, who became Christian himself late in life.

4 C ONSTANTINE THE C HRISTIAN Constantine’s mother was Christian, so he would have been exposed to the practice as a child. One tradition suggests, however, that he didn’t convert until one day, on a battlefield, when he saw a vision of a Cross of Light above the sun, and words that would translate into something like “By this, you will conquer.” He had his soldiers paint crosses on their shields, and they won the battle. After the battle, he didn’t make the usual sacrifices to the gods, and some say his adoption of Christianity began at this time. Others say he slowly converted throughout his life. Others say he converted on his death bed. Whichever it was, he cemented Christianity in the Roman Empire for Millennia. Rubens – Constantine’s Conversion

5 M ORE FUN WITH THE P APAS As Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, the role of Pope became a powerful and coveted one. Because of that, it didn’t always go to the most pious individuals. Papa (Pope) Hormisdas fathered a successive Pope, Silverius I – they both held the office in the 6 th Century. The Cadaver Synod, in the 9 th Century, was pretty bizarre, too. Controversial Pope Formosus died, and his successor, Stephen VI ordered that his body be removed from the Papal tomb and brought to trial. They actually propped him up and “cross- examined” him, then convicted him of breaking Canon law and, oddly enough, perjury! They cut off his fingers, tied weights to him and threw him in the river. This did not go over well, as you can imagine.

6 THERE’S MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM: The Saeculum Obscurum (dubbed “ The Pornocracy” by Protestant historians) was a time in the 10 th Century when a succession of Popes were very influenced by the powerful Theophylacti family, particularly and Theodora her daughter Marozia. They were not prostitutes. That said, it was clear that they were sleeping with a succession of 10 th century Popes. Marozia was definitely one of the many concubines of Pope Sergius III and together they had a child who would later become Pope John XI. An Antipope was a Pope who questioned the validity of the sitting Pope, and claimed to be the true Pope. There were a LOT of Antipopes in the middle ages, including Leo VIII and Sylvester III. 1054 – East-West Schism – Pope Leo IX excommunicates the Byzantine Bishop, and the Orthodox Churches are born. The Crusades, from around 1100 to at least 1300, set out to convert the world to Christianity, and plunder wealth in the process.

7 P OPES ARE FUN ! Throughout the 1300s, seven Popes moved the Papacy to France, in Avignon. They were considered by many to be antipopes because of this choice. The ironically named Pope Innocent VIII was instrumental in the creation of the Spanish Inquisition, and named the (quite possibly psychotic) Tomas de Torquemada as Grand Inquisitor. Pope Alexander VI (1492 – 1503) was father to Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia (of the murderous, corrupt, cut-throat and reportedly incestuous Borgia crime family.) Machiavelli reportedly used Cesare Borgia as his model for The Prince. Pope Leo X, son of Lorenzo de Medici (the richest man in Florence and a famous Renaissance figure and patron of the arts) had his papacy bought for him by his daddy (1513-1521). He excommunicated Martin Luther. Luther didn’t mind. Clement VII refused to grant an annulment to Henry VIII. Pope Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I in 1570. She didn’t mind. Pope Urban VIII tried Galileo in the early 1600s for suggesting that the earth revolved around the sun…that bastard!!!

8 LET’S NOT FORGET “POPE JOAN” THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A RUMOR ABOUT A “FEMALE” POPE IN THE MIDDLE AGES (850 OR SO): “C ONCERNING A CERTAIN POPE OR RATHER FEMALE POPE, WHO IS NOT SET DOWN IN THE LIST OF POPES OR BISHOPS OF ROME, BECAUSE SHE WAS A WOMAN WHO DISGUISED HERSELF AS A MAN AND BECAME, BY HER CHARACTER AND TALENTS, A CURIAL SECRETARY, THEN A CARDINAL AND FINALLY POPE. ONE DAY, WHILE MOUNTING A HORSE, SHE GAVE BIRTH TO A CHILD. IMMEDIATELY, BY ROMAN JUSTICE, SHE WAS BOUND BY THE FEET TO A HORSE’S TAIL AND DRAGGED AND STONED BY THE PEOPLE FOR HALF A LEAGUE. AND WHERE SHE DIED, THERE SHE WAS BURIED, AND AT THE PLACE IS WRITTEN: 'PETRE, PATER PATRUM, PAPISSE PRODITO PARTUM' [O PETER, FATHER OF FATHERS, BETRAY THE CHILDBEARING OF THE WOMAN POPE].” IT’S AN URBAN MYTH – BUT A GREAT ONE!!!!


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