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“Apparently, monasteries prayed for his early death.”  Fragment of the book “Criminal History of the Vatican”

“Apparently, monasteries prayed for his early death.” Fragment of the book “Criminal History of the Vatican”

“Apparently, monasteries prayed for his early death.”  Fragment of the book “Criminal History of the Vatican”

Artur Nowak and Arkadiusz Stempin reveal “The Criminal History of the Vatican”. Here you will find stories about murders, blackmail, corruption and money laundering. And also popes who were far from celibate. We are publishing a fragment of the book, which was published on May 15 by Agora Publishing House.

“Sex is a great thing” – this is what Pope Francis says in the film documentary “Amen – a conversation with the Pope” (available on Disney Plus). Many of Francis’ predecessors believed similarly. And not based on the study of dusty books, but thanks to joyful empiricism. For example: Innocent I (401–417) loved sex with girls, as long as they had not yet reached puberty. Sixtus III (432–440), however, chose more mature women, preferably nuns. He was even accused of seducing a nun. However, since there were no eyewitnesses, the accusation was dropped. Boniface VI (896), still an army priest, raged in women’s chambers so eagerly that Pope John VIII (872–882) temporarily suspended him. Sergius III (904–911), in turn, fathered the future Pope John XI (931–935) with his mistress Marozia.

His namesake, John XII (955–963), sat on the Throne of Peter at the age of eighteen. Immediately in the Basilica of St. Peter, the one built in the times of Emperor Constantine, took over the patronage of the brothel. And he took handfuls of it. He did not despise his own sisters either. But his favorite thing was to chase after pilgrims. Apparently, monasteries prayed for his early death. His prayers were answered when the erotic carnival at a young age was interrupted by an incident in the alcove, where his lover’s husband caught up with him and stabbed him to death. Pope Benedict IX (1032–1044, 1045, 1047–1048), the unrivaled record holder for accession to the papal throne, became famous for his orgies for homosexuals. He sat on it three times and lost it twice. He abdicated once because he decided to marry his beautiful cousin, the daughter of Girard de Saxo. For this purpose, he sold the papacy to his godfather. But the bride changed her mind and the retired Holy Father ran away from the altar. He returned to the papal throne again.

The period from the end of the 9th century to the mid-11th century (882–1046) was described by the Church historian Cardinal Cesare Baronio (1538–1607), who lived half a millennium later, as the “dark century” (saeculum obscurum). Yes, Rome was nothing like the wonderful ancient metropolis. After the fall of the Frankish Carolingians, it lost political importance. Without their protective hand, it was open to hostile tribes, most of them Saracen. Their plundering raids devastated the city, especially the Basilica of St. Peter, which was then located outside the city limits. Until Pope Leo IV (847–855) the part of Rome around St. He surrounded Peter and Hadrian’s former mausoleum with walls. But Baronio coined the term “dark century”, because it was not Rome that lost its splendor, but the papacy. Roman families fought for the papal throne with sword in hand or intrigue. Of the forty-five popes, one third were deposed, and almost the same number lost their lives behind prison bars, in exile, or as a result of murder. In a period of eight years alone – 896–904 – eight popes died. None of them naturally. Historians have given another label to this dark era. They called it pornocracy, which should be understood as the power of courtesans in the Vatican. Only the above-mentioned Marozia, a thrice-married woman, was famous for placing John X, Leo VI, Stephen VII and John XI on the throne, dethroning Leo VI, Stephen VII, John X, murdering John X, Leo VI, Stephen VII and giving birth to John XI. She dominated the patriarchal structure so much that her memory in later generations took the form of the fictional Pope Joan.

Already during the Renaissance, Pope Paul II (1464–1471), for a change, enjoyed scenes of male sadism as part of foreplay before moving on to active sex with men. His death was officially the result of a stroke, apparently caused by an excessively heavy tiara that was placed on his head during long ceremonies. However, there were suspicions of suffocation or poisoning, since the Holy Father ate melons, which he also did on the evening before his death. However, historical records stubbornly pushed the variant of mors in paedicatio, i.e. death in the moment of rapture with another man. The partner of these love games, the underage butler, indeed, even in the official version, was said to have re-entered the papal chamber an hour later and found Paul II “with foaming saliva on his mouth.”

Paul II and Sixtus VI public domain/Cristofano dell’Altissimo/Sailko

The direct successor of Paul II, Sixtus IV (1471–1484), a great believer in the Immaculate Conception of Mary, built another brothel in Rome and financed the construction of the new St. Basilica, still standing today, with prostitution fees. Peter. Pope Clement VII (1523–1534) also collected profits from the hourly wages of Roman prostitutes, who imposed a tax on them shortly after his election. With the funds collected, he built the convent of Santa Maria della Penitenza.

Bishops scattered across Europe followed in the footsteps of popes. The chronicles noted especially their predilection for young boys. For example, Bishop Ulderic of Padua “sinned in the mouths of boys.” At the end of the Middle Ages, throughout the literature of the era, clerical celibacy was the butt of a joke. Rogue monks were constantly caught in ambiguous situations. And this “priest lay with a lady married to a knight”, and this nun, “the priest’s maiden”, gave birth to “a child during cherry blossoms”.

Returning to the heights of the Church, the chronicles recorded that it was Pope Honorius II (1124–1130) who most mourned the loss of his manly powers when he became impotent. He had sex with both women and boys, and even animals. When he became celibate by force, he decreed that all servants in the Lord’s vineyard must practice sexual restraint. Which was difficult for the servants.

For example, Cardinal John of Crema. Honorius sent him to England in 1126 to announce a ban on sex for clergy on the Thames. At that time, men without a partner were perceived as homosexuals. Most clergy escaped from this suspicion into marriage or concubinage. Some priests explained having a concubine as poverty, because without a resourceful woman they would not be able to cope on their own. Meanwhile, the legate had barely reached London when he immediately hurried to the city brothel. There, two agents of the local clergy found him “nudatus usque ad unguem”, naked from head to toe, just like his lady. Purpurat explained to his hosts that he had never had intercourse with his sister, and that he had not come to the British Isles in the company of courtesans. So he submitted to double asceticism, which other cardinals in Rome would never have accepted. The locals just rubbed their eyes in amazement.

A criminal history of the VaticanA criminal history of the Vatican promotional materials of Agora Publishing House

Source: Gazeta

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