The Wickedness of the Popes


The Wickedness of the Popes


By Thomas Keane

AKA DoubtingThomas


All but one of the first fifty popes were deemed saints. Whether or not they were deserving of such a title will always be debatable, however, beginning around 500 A.D. the corruption of the Catholic Church becomes undeniable. After that, finding any pope worthy of being called a saint becomes all but impossible. The Papacy had by then become a means to power, and only those craving power pursued it, and they pursued it with all their might. From the New Standard Encyclopedia: “In the furious strife of local parties, the papacy came to be hardly more than the spoils of party victory. Candidates of every variety of incapacity and unsuitableness were set up by rivals.”

Keep in mind that this information was not gleaned from the writings of the Church’s enemies but from the records of its own historians, popes and cardinals: Victor II, Pius II, Cardinal Baronius, Bishop Liutprand, Father Salvianus, and historians, Milman, Gerbert, Buchard, Guicciardini, Vacandard, Draper, and others.

During the atrocities of the Dark Ages these divinely guided popes were so busy murdering each other that there were ten in twelve years (891-903) and forty in just over a hundred. According to Cardinal Baronius and Vulgarius, Pope Sergius III murdered his two predecessors. Toto, a noble at the head of the rabble following, used his influence to have his brother, Constantine II, appointed pope in 708. Constantine II had his eyes put out by Christopher, his chief official. Christopher learned that Karma was a bitch when he and his sons had their eyes put out as punishment for plotting against Pope Gregory. Pope Leo III’s two nephews, Pascal and Campulus, both clerics, hired a band of assassins to murder their uncle and when the hirelings failed, the two nephews took matters into their own hands and dragged the pope into a nearby monastery and killed him.

Another treacherous Christopher deposed Pope Leo the V, and was in turn deposed and succeeded by the bloodthirsty and power hungry Sergius III. During this time the Holy Ghost was not the one selecting the popes but what Cardinal Baronius called scortas, AKA whores. This was known as “the rule of the courtesans,” or sometimes the Pornocracy, or reign of the whores. One of the more notable members of this select group, Theodora, was a woman Cardinal Baronius called the “shameless whore.” Theodora’s daughter, Marozia, was a mirror image of her mother both in appearance and behavior. Both women had sons by none other than Pope Sergius III, and both put their illegitimate sons on the papal throne – John XI and John XII. The first ended up in prison while the second “turned the Lateran Palace into a brothel.” Some of Pope John XII’s crimes – murder, perjury, adultery, incest with his two sisters, bleeding and castrating his enemies, giving church treasure to a mistress, just to name a few. It was said he died at the hands of an outraged husband.

Pope Benedict VI was strangled to death on order of Cardinal Francone, after which the Cardinal became Boniface VII, “a horrid monster surpassing all other mortals in wickedness,” according to the historian Gerbert. Pope Boniface VIII was little better, as he orchestrated the murder of the halfwit Celestine V in order to gain the papacy. However, the Romans drove him out before he even had time to redecorate and after his death, a successor, Pope Clement V, had him tried posthumously where he was found guilty of many horrible crimes including pederasty and murder. But it turned out Clement wasn’t much of a saint himself, as his successor, John XXII, revealed that Clement had stolen the equivalent of five million dollars of papal money which he had given to his nephew.

So corrupt was John XXIII that Sigmund of Hungary felt compelled to call a council to investigate him. The council produced fifty-four articles describing him as “wicked, irreverent, unchaste, a liar, disobedient and infected with many vices.” As a cardinal he was described as having been “inhuman, unjust and cruel,” and as Pope “an oppressor of the poor, persecutor of justice, pillar of the wicked, statue of the simoniacs, addicted to magic, the dregs of vice … wholly given to sleep and carnal desires, a mirror of infamy, a profound inventor of wickedness.” His acquirement of the Papacy was through “violence and fraud and sold indulgences, benefices, sacraments and bulls.” He practiced “piracy, sacrilege, adultery, murder, rape, sodomy, incest and theft.” The council deposed him in 1414.

Benedict V fled with the Vatican treasury after dishonoring a young girl. For 1,500 pounds of gold, Benedict IX sold the papacy to a successor. Pope Urban VI subjected his cardinals to torture and murder. Pope Innocent VIII took no measures to hide his illegitimate children and even filled their pockets with church riches. During his time as a papal legate, Clement VII ordered the slaughter of the entire populace of Cesena, including the children. Some popes were so offensive they were exiled. At least two were punished for their wickedness by having their eyes and tongues carved out before each man was tied to the tail of an ass and dragged through the streets. Others were so despised that they weren’t safe even in death, the vengeance seekers digging their corpses up and throwing them into the Tiber. The church did such a poor job of leading by example that Pius II reported that “scarcely a prince in Italy had been born in wedlock.”

And then came the shameful Borgias clan, most notably Rodrigo (AKA Pope Alexander VI). Few popes could equal this man in wickedness. For the equivalent of three million dollars he bought his place at the top of the divinely elected hierarchy. The notable historian, Guicciardini, described him thusly: “…private habits of the utmost obscenity, no shame or sense of truth, no fidelity to his engagements, no religious sentiments, insatiable avarice, unbridled ambition, cruelty beyond the cruelty of barbarous races, burning desire to elevate his sons by any means: of whom there were many, and among them one – not any less detestable than his father.” Alexander VI’s son, Cesare Borgia, gained a cardinalate by murdering his brother John, his sister’s husband, and two cardinals. But when he found that he wasn’t making as much money as he had expected, Cesare Borgia renounced his blood-soaked title in order to seek out more profitable enterprises. He made himself Duke of Valentinos, positioned his brother to become Duke of Gandia, and his sister, the Duchess of Ferrara, and later a princess after arranging her marriage to one of the King of Naples’ sons. While still a cardinal, Cesare Borgia turned his quarters in the Vatican into a brothel. Burchard, the papal historian at the time, reported that Cesare indulged in nightly carousing in his rooms, rooms that were just above his father, the Pope’s. Burchard also spoke of the courtesans “dancing naked before the servants of the Lord and the Vicar of Christ.” And Lucrezia, Cesare’s sister, reportedly gave out prizes to whoever “had had carnal intercourse with courtesans the largest number of times.” The church loves to govern the populace but who governs the church?

During the Middle Ages the College of Cardinals was a den of corruption. For anyone with money and influence securing a cardinalate was a breeze. Character, education or ability played no part in it. Even age wasn’t a factor. Paul III appointed two of his teenage grandchildren to office. Paul IV made his nephew a cardinal even though he himself admitted that “his arm is dyed in blood to the elbow.”

In a bizarre episode, just as the cope (Catholic vestment) was being placed upon Alexander III, Cardinal Octavian tore it away and put it on himself, backwards, and proclaimed himself pope. A sort of tug-of-war broke out between Octavian and one of Alexander’s supporters until a group of soldiers loyal to Octavian charged in and declared him a winner. Alexander was forced to flee to France where he raised an army and eventually returned in an attempt to reclaim his title. The battle that followed destroyed several churches and left the floor of St. Peter’s strewn with corpses. The Romans were able to drive out Alexander’s army but not permanently. His second attempt was a success and for the next three years Alexander made his rivals suffer for their insolence.

If the Catholic Church has proven anything over the years it is that it can always be relied upon to be a refuge for the abominable, a sanctuary for the corrupt, a safe haven for the perverted, a protector of the virtue-less, and an exemplar of greed. Both Sadism and Masochism were created and perfected by the Catholic Church. Guilt and oppression are its tools and it uses them with unparalleled skill. Inspired and deluded by its own arrogance and greed, the Catholic Church lit a fire beneath a monster (the Crusades) and to this day the monster still feels the burn and desires retribution. How much longer must we allow religion to divide all of mankind, how much longer must we allow it to revise history, how much longer must we allow it to influence and shape government, how much longer must we allow it to stifle our potential, how much longer must we allow it to abuse our children, how much longer must we allow it to warp our concept of sexuality, how much longer must we allow its organized form tax exempt status, how much longer must humanity suffer and stagnate?



Please visit my main page ( to gain a better understanding of where I am coming from. There you will find all my observations regarding religion and the bible categorized on the Right hand side of the page. Please feel free to read through them and leave a comment or two if you like.

2 Responses to “The Wickedness of the Popes”

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