By: Ciku Muiruri
What is it about Pope Francis? How has he managed to capture the imagination of the world, for Catholics and non-Catholics alike? Is it his humility? His inclusive outlook? Or just the fact that he’s genuinely a nice guy? He is truly a breath of fresh air.
The papacy has had to clean up its act in recent times after a tremendously ghastly history. There were the likes of Pope Stephen VII (VI) who may have been a little touched in the head.
He had it in for Pope Formosus and ordered that his rotting corpse of eight months be exhumed so as to sit for “trial”. The corpse was held upright in a chair in a grotesque scene straight out of a horror movie.
The pope paced around the corpse, shrieking at it (acting as the prosecution) while a teenage deacon stood beside it and imitating the late Pope’s voice, answered on the corpse’s behalf.
The corpse’s defence was clearly not good enough he was found guilty, stripped of his vestments and 3 fingers cut from his right hand.
The remains were dumped into the River Tiber. If you are wondering how long it took everyone to figure out that the prosecuting Pope was completely insane – well, quite a number of months
(One would think during the trial it may have occurred to one of them). They eventually imprisoned and strangled him. Then, to vindicate Formosus, three further corpses were dug up to clear his name.
CLEARLY A CIRCUS BACK THEN
The church was clearly a circus back then. To this day, no Pope has ever taken the name Formosus. The worst part of this story is that Pope Stephen VII was one of the milder chaps to have sat on the papal throne. Yes, sit back, there were worse ones.
Alexander VI was 100 per cent a secular pope, openly ignoring all rules and traditions of the church. He married, had children and sired numerous others with other women. Worse, he had an incestuous relationship with one of his daughters.
She was supposedly very attractive and he would sell her off to the highest bidder until someone with more money would roll into town and he would declare the former marriage void and sell her off to the new guy.
Orgies were a regular thing for this pope and his clergy. He was eventually poisoned.
Pope John XII was worse. He would sleep with both women and men in the papal palace (which he turned into a brothel). When someone refused his attentions he raped them – Even his two young sisters. He regularly toasted to the devil and refused to ever make the sign of the cross.
A jealous husband who caught him in bed with his wife killed him. Incidentally, his son became John XIII and died the same way.
Julius III was a paedophile. His mansion was decorated with statues of young boys having physical relations with each other. He flaunted his molestation of children, never for a minute hiding it.
He even hired a famous poet at the time to compose rhymes defending the practice of sodomising young boys. His final spit in the face of all that is holy was appointing his young studs as cardinals. This pope and his toy boys single handedly inspired an entire century of anti-papacy sentiment throughout Europe.
Evil popes were not the exception, they were the rule. As the centuries rolled by, things slowly changed and today, here we are. As a Catholic, I’m glad that my church survived everything the devil threw at it – Which was a lot! We can’t hide from our past but we can certainly have a better tomorrow. Pope Francis is, literally, heaven sent. Welcome to Kenya, Holy Father.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION