Fiction Boy Sent To Learn Old Lady Girl Learn Cards Roman Catholicism: Why I had to leave PART 4

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Roman Catholicism: Why I had to leave PART 4

There are many stories about the “bad popes” of Roman Catholicism. Although many of them are true, the famous story of “Pope Joan” is considered by many to be fiction. Unless you talk to people like Donna Cross, the novelist who wrote a book about “Pope Joan” after 7 years of research. She claims that there is historical evidence. “I’d say that’s the weight of the evidence—over 500 chronicled accounts of her existence.”

Another person who seems convinced, although he is no longer alive, was the monk and close adviser of the Pope, Mārtiņš Polon. In his “History of the Emperors and Popes,” Polon wrote of a young woman from Mainz who learned Greek and Latin and became “skilled in various branches of knowledge.”

Pope Joan was pope from to 858. It was said that she was a poor German girl who was taught Christianity by English missionaries in a mud hut village in Mainz. Supposedly, she assumed her brother’s identity when the Vikings killed him, calling herself John Anglica (John in English) and joining a boys’ monastery called Fulda. She disguised herself as a monk to be with her cleric friend in Rome, where she so impressed others with her Christian Science teachings that she, still posing as a monk, was eventually elected Pope. With ambition and nervousness, the Englishman John became the cardinal’s secretary and then, as Polon writes, “all choice for the Pope” in AD 855.

Jig was up when she gave birth during the procession, after which she and the child were killed. Other records show that she was sent to a convent and that her son grew up and later became bishop of Ostia. “Experts” are torn about the legitimacy of the story. Oddly enough, subsequent popes avoided taking this terrible path, which was very direct, for 100 years after returning to the Vatican. Polon writes: “The Lord Pope always turns aside from the street … because of the disgust of the event.”

If you travel to Italy and ask questions about Pope Joan, many will point you to clues in the art, literature, and architecture.

The Renaissance poet Giovanni Boccaccio, best known for writing The Decameron, also wrote a book on the subject of 100 Famous Women. No. 51 on his list? Pope Joan. Rarely do booksellers in Rome pull ancient tarot cards from their shelves. The card of hidden knowledge is called “La Papessa” – the female pope. To the north in Siena is the Duomo, where inside the cathedral is a gallery of terracotta busts depicting 170 popes in no particular order. In the 17th century, Cardinal Baronuis, the Vatican librarian, wrote that one of the faces was a woman – Pope Joan. He also wrote that when the Pope at the time decided that the statue should be destroyed, the local archbishop could not bear to see a good statue perish. “The statue was transformed,” says Donna Cross. “…literally so [the name, John Anglicus] was scratched out…” and “Pope Zachary” was written instead.

Near the basilica in St. Peter’s Square are the carvings of Bernini, one of the most famous artists of the 17th century. Among the carvings are eight images of a woman wearing a papal crown, each face increasingly contorted as if it were a woman in labor. Seven of the carvings appear to be of a woman giving birth, and the eighth is an unmistakable carving of a smiling baby.

Many of the Pope’s other stories are undeniably true. In many cases the sins of the flesh were the least of the sins they discovered. In the Middle Ages, many popes were promoted after the assassination of their predecessors. In one particularly sad period of papacy (882-1046), there were 37 popes, some of whom served for less than a month. For example, Leo V (903) was pope for only a month before being imprisoned and tortured by Christopher, who then ascended the throne. Both men were killed in 904 by order of Pope Sergius III (904-911). This pope later had a son by his teenage mistress, Marozia, who became Pope John XI (931-935). In 914, according to one chronicler, Marozia’s mother Theodora placed her lover on the papal throne as John X (914-928). (Theodora and Marosia effectively controlled the papacy through their lineage and are believed by some to be the source of the stories of Pope Joan.) John XII (955-963), who became pope at the age of 19, was accused, perhaps falsely, of for sleeping with his father’s mistress, committing incest with his niece, and castrating a deacon. “The Pope … killed each other, hammered each other to death,” says Mary Malone, a former Catholic nun. “There were 12-year-old popes… we have knowledge of a 5-year-old archbishop… It was a very strange time in history.”

In later years, assassinations gave way to bribery as a way to follow the “Roman road”. Around 40 popes are believed to have bought Vatican posts. But the lax attitude towards celibacy remained unchanged. This was largely because the Roman Catholic Church was an important route to wealth and power. Sons of powerful families were pushed into Church careers, just as wealthy, high-powered Ivy League graduates could pull some strings to get their child to their Alma Mater. Nobles with mistresses saw no reason to adjust their lifestyle just because they had made spiritual vows. Unfortunately, even today too many ministers of all denominations see their position as a job rather than a calling; a call from God himself.

Cardinals and popes who set up easy jobs for their relatives in the Vatican were the source of many jokes in Rome for centuries. Innocent VIII (1484-1492) had a son and a daughter who lived with him in the Vatican. The infamous Alexander VI (1492-1503), born Rodrigo Borgia, fathered at least four illegitimate children while still a cardinal, including the murderer Cesare Borgia and the notorious poisoner Lucrezia Borgia. Clement VII (1523-1534), himself illegitimate, had a son whom he tried to make Duke of Florence. Paul III (1534-1539) had four children; he made two teenage grandsons cardinals. Pius IV (1559-1565) had three children, etc., ad nauseam. As for papal children and their holy fathers, there is a tradition that Pope Hormisdas (514-523) was the father of Pope Silverius (536-537). It may not be correct to call Silveria illegitimate, since the rule of clerical celibacy was not firmly established in the early Church. Exactly how many “holy fathers” there were is probably impossible to determine because of the lack of documentation on such matters.

The Catholic Church is quite forthcoming about these naughty popes, opening the Vatican archives to historians in the 19th century. The Church acknowledges that unworthy men have held the office, but maintains that their papal functions have not been undermined by their carnality, which we might more often hear associated with politicians. Unfortunately, the doctrine of papal infallibility only applies to certain formal statements of faith and morals, so it is claimed that bad popes have not led the church astray. Regarding papal infallibility, the Encyclopedia Britannica states: “The definition of the First Vatican Council … lays down the conditions under which the pope can be said to have spoken infallibly or ex cathedra. It is a prerequisite that the pope wishes to demand the irrevocable consent of the entire church on some aspect of faith or morals.” .” In contrast, the ordinary teachings of the Church are not infallible. The Pope can say what he likes about birth control, for example, and Catholics have an obligation to obey, at least from a conservative perspective. But until he makes an unmistakable statement on the subject, he has a chance to change his mind one day.

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