| ODE TO THE PAPACY
Following are brief sketches of some of the more interesting holders of the title 'Vicar of Christ' [Pope](it should be noted that the Latin equivalent of the Greek 'anti' is 'vicarius,' from whence is derived the word 'vicar').
Without a doubt, there was one Pope who was completely mad. In 896 Stephen VII set in motion the trial of his rival, the late Pope Formosus who had been dead for 9 months at the time. Formosus' corpse was dragged from its tomb and arrayed on a throne in the council chamber. The corpse, wrapped in a hair shirt, was provided with council, who wisely remained silent while Pope Stephen raved and screamed at it. The crime of Formosus was that he had crowned emperor one of the numerous illegitimate heirs of Charlemagne after first having performed the same office for a candidate favored by Stephen. After Stephen's rant, the corpse was stripped of its clothes and its fingers were chopped off. It was then dragged through the palace and hurled from a balcony to a howling mob below who threw it into the Tiber. The body was later rescued by people sympathetic to Formosus and given a quiet burial. Stephen was strangled to death a few years later.
In 964 Pope Benedict V raped a young girl and absconded to Constantinople with the papal treasury only to reappear when the money ran out. Church historian Gerbert called Benedict 'the most iniquitous of all the monsters of ungodliness.' The pontiff was eventually slain by a jealous husband. His corpse, bearing a hundred dagger wounds, was dragged through the streets before being tossed into a cesspit.
In October 1032 the papal miter was purchased for the 11-year old Benedict IX. Upon reaching his 14th year, a chronicler wrote that Benedict had already surpassed in wantonness and profligacy all who had preceded him. He often had to leave Rome in a hurry.
Gregory VII was a master forger, surpassing even the great fraud known as the 'Donation of Constantine,' the document that created the Papal States. Gregory had an entire school of forgers turning out document after document bearing the papal seal of approval. Gregory also formalized the celibacy doctrine in order to curtail the many gifts of church lands being given away to all of the illegitimate children of priests and bishops.
According to Catholic historian Peter de Rosa in his book Vicars of Christ:
"Popes had mistresses as young as fifteen years of age, were guilty of incest and sexual perversions of every sort, had innumerable children, were murdered in the very act of adultery. Hence the old Catholic phrase, why be holier than the Pope?"
Another interesting figure was Alexander VI (formerly Rodrigo Borgia). He reigned from 1492-1503. Alexander committed his first murder at the age of 12. Upon assuming the Papal miter he cried, "I am Pope, Vicar of Christ!" In his Decline and Fall Gibbon referred to Alexander as the Tiberius of Rome. Like his predecessor Innocent VIII, Alexander sired many children, baptized them personally and officiated at their weddings in the Vatican. He had ten known illegitimate children (including the notorious Cesare and Lucrezia), by his favorite mistress Vannoza Catanei. When she faded, Borgia took the 15-year old Giulia Farnese. Farnese obtained a Cardinal's red hat for her brother who later became Paul III.
Alexander was followed by Julius II who purchased the papacy with his own private fortune. He didn't even pretend to be a Christian. A notorious womanizer who sired any number of bastards, Julius was so eaten away with syphilis that he couldn't even expose his foot to be kissed.
Under Leo X (1513-21)--who cursed and excommunicated Martin Luther-specific prices were enumerated by the Roman Chancery for every imaginable crime. For instance, a deacon accused of murder could be absolved for 20 crowns. Once pardoned, he could not be prosecuted by civil authorities. Two hundred years earlier, John XXII had done much the same thing, setting prices for crimes ranging from rape to sodomy.
During his pontificate Innocent VIII (1484-92) granted a 20-year Butterbriefe indulgence to persons who met his price. For a sum, one could purchase the privilege of eating favorite dishes during Lent. Leo X (Giovanni de Medici) commissioned the Dominican friar Tetzel to sell indulgences which released one from purgatory. Tetzel's famous refrain went, "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs!"
Pope Sixtus IV charged Roman brothels a Church tax. According to historian Will Durant, in 1490 there were 6800 registered prostitutes in Rome. Pius II declared that Rome was the only city run by bastards (the sons of Popes and Cardinals). As Martin Luther once declared, "If there is a Hell, Rome is built over it. It is an abyss from whence issues every kind of sin."
Very brief mention should be made of the staggering scale of the Inquisition. In his History of the Inquisition, Canon Llorente, who was Secretary of the Inquisition in Madrid from 1790-92 estimated the number of condemned in Spain alone to have exceeded 3 million, with 300,000 burned at the stake. A Catholic historian comments on the events leading up to the suppression of the Spanish Inquisition:
"When Napoleon conquered Spain in 1808, a Polish officer in his army, Col. Lemanouski, reported that the Dominicans (in charge of the Inquisition) blockaded themselves in their monastery in Madrid. When Lemanouski's troops forced an entry, the inquisitors denied the existence of any torture chambers. The soldiers searched the monastery and discovered them under the floors. The chambers were full of prisoners, all naked, many insane. The French troops, used to cruelty and blood, could not stomach the sight. They emptied the torture chambers, laid gunpowder to the monastery and blew the place up"
Rome was truly drunk with the Martyr's blood. And the Papacy isn't fairing much better in our modern age, and would appear to be in serious decline, if not in outright defeat.
In November 2000 Italian headlines screamed, "Devil Defeats Pope!" Il Messaggero reported that the Pope had been confronted by a teenage girl in the Vatican who screamed insults in a cavernous voice during an audience. John Paul attempted an exorcism but his ministrations had no effect on the girl.
Devils in the Vatican would come as no surprise to Msgr. Luigi Marinelli. His book Gone With the Wind at the Vatican fairly flew off the shelves in Italy, revealing as it did stories of money-laundering prelates, sex abuse and Satanic rituals performed within the walls of the Holy See.
The verdict on the pederasty that is endemic to the Roman priesthood, is in. The Church paid out more than $1 billion in claims to victims of sex abuse by clergy in the 1990s alone. And the American branch offers a very disturbing treatment method to offenders. One startling example should suffice:
Fr. Jay Mullin was accused of molesting a boy more than 20 years ago in Boston. Then Cardinal Bernard Law commanded Mullin to be evaluated at St. Luke's Institute. The Institute is a Washington clinic that was profiled in a Boston Globe article of February 24, 2002:
"Mullin was flown south in 1992 to a clinic outside Washington, D.C. The church-run clinic had a huge collection of child pornography of varying degrees, which ranged from soft porn to hardcore S&M images, all featuring pre-teen boys and girls"
This would have to rate as the most devilish form of aversion therapy ever known. It would be akin to treating alcoholics with copious quantities of vintage wine or bombarding junkies with free packets of China White heroin. Truly degenerate and depraved lunatics were running the asylum known as St. Lukes.