A Mom And Her 19-Year-Old Daughter Killed 5 Family Members 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 pope” of Roman Catholicism. While many of them are true, many believe the famous “Pope Joan” story is a fabrication. Unless you’re talking to someone like Donna Cross, a novelist who, after 7 years of research, wrote a book about “Joan of Pope.” She claims the historical evidence is there. “I’d say it’s the weight of the evidence – over 500 chronicles documenting her existence.”

Another person who seemed to believe this was Martin Polonus, a monk and close advisor to the Pope, although he is no longer alive. In his History of Emperors and Popes, Polonus writes of a young woman from Mainz who learned Greek and Latin and became “versed in every branch of knowledge”.

Presumably, Pope Joan remained pope until 858. She is said to have been a poor German girl who lived in a mud-hut village in Mainz and was taught Christianity by English missionaries. It is said that when he was killed by the Vikings, she accepted her brother’s identity, called himself John Anglicus (English John), and joined a monastery for boys named Fulda. She disguised herself as a monk to be with her cleric boyfriend in Rome, where she so impressed others with her Christian scholarly learning that she – still impersonating a monk – was eventually elected pope. With ambition and courage, Englishman John became a The cardinal’s secretary, and then, as Polonus writes, in AD 855, “all chose the pope.”

When she gave birth in the parade, the jig started, and she and the baby were killed. Other records say she was sent to a convent and her son grew up to be bishop of Ostia. The “experts” were unhappy with the legitimacy of the story. Oddly enough, for 100 years future popes avoided taking that dreaded route when returning to the Vatican — it was a very direct one. Polonus wrote: “His pontiff always turns away from the street… for abhorrence of events.”

If you travel to Italy and ask Pope Joan questions, many will lead you to clues embedded in art, literature and architecture.

Renaissance poet Giovanni Boccaccio, known for his Decameron, also wrote a book about 100 Famous Women. No. 51 on his list? Pope Joan. Rare book dealers in Rome take ancient tarot cards off their shelves. The card that hides knowledge is called “La Papessa” – The Female Pope. To the north, in Siena, is the Duomo, which houses a gallery of terracotta busts displaying 170 popes, in no particular order. In the 17th century, Vatican librarian Cardinal Baronuis wrote that one of the faces was a woman – Pope Joan. He also wrote that the local archbishop could not bear the sight of a good statue being wasted when the pope at the time ordered its destruction. “The statues have changed,” believes Donna Cross. “…literally, it [the name, John Anglicus] Scratched out…” and replaced by “Pope Zachary”.

In the Basilica in St. Peter’s Square, there are sculptures by Bernini, one of the most famous artists of the 17th century. The engraving features eight female figures wearing papal tiaras, each face increasingly contorted, as if of a woman in childbirth. Seven of the engraved images seem to tell the story of a woman giving birth, and the eighth is an unmistakable engraving of a smiling baby.

The stories of many other popes are undeniably true. In many cases, the sins of the flesh are the least of their public sins. During the Middle Ages, many popes were elevated to public office after their predecessors were murdered. During a particularly sad papal period (882 to 1046), there were 37 popes, some of whom served for less than a month. For example, Leo V (903) was Pope for only one month before he was imprisoned and tortured by Christopherus, who subsequently ascended the throne. Both were killed in 904 on the orders of Pope Sergius III (904-911). The pope came and had a son with his teenage mistress Marozia, who would later become Pope John XI (931-935). According to one chronicler, in 914 Marozia’s mother Theodora installed her lover John X (914-928) on the papacy. (Theodora and Marozia effectively controlled the pope through their bloodlines, which, some say, may be the source of Pope Joan’s story.) John XII (955-963), who was pope at the age of 19, was accused, perhaps wrongly, of , slept with his father’s mistress, had incest with his niece, and castrated a deacon. “The popes … killed each other, beat each other to death,” said former Catholic nun Mary Malone. “There’s a 12-year-old pope…we know a 5-year-old archbishop…that was a very strange time in history.”

In later years, murder gave way to bribery as the way of the “Roman Way”. Some 40 popes are believed to have paid for their jobs at the Vatican. But lax attitudes toward celibacy have not changed. This is largely because the Roman Catholic Church is an important gateway to wealth and power. The son of an influential family is pushed into a career in the church, just as a rich, powerful Ivy League alumnus might pull connections to get their kid into their alma mater. Nobles with mistresses saw no reason to adjust their lifestyles just because they had taken a spiritual vow. Sadly, even today, too many pastors of all denominations view their position as a job rather than a profession; a calling from God.

For centuries, cardinals and popes have been the source of many jokes in Rome for their relatives to find easy jobs in the Vatican. Innocent VIII (1484-1492) had a son and a daughter who lived with him in the Vatican. The notorious Alexander VI (1492-1503), born Rodrigo Borgia, had at least four illegitimate children during his cardinalship, including the murderous Cesare Borgia ( Cesare Borgia and the notorious murderer Lucrezia Borgia. Clement VII (1523-1534), himself an illegitimate son, had a son whom he tried to make Duke of Florence. Paul III (1534-1539) had four children; he appointed two teenage grandsons as cardinals. Pius IV (1559-1565) had three children, etc., disgusting. As far as Pope children and their Holy Fathers are concerned, there is a tradition that Pope Hormisdas (514-523) was the father of Pope Silverius (536-537). Calling Silverius illegitimate is probably inappropriate because the rule of priestly celibacy was not firmly established in the early church. Due to the lack of such documents, it may not be possible to determine exactly how many “Holy Fathers” there were.

The Catholic Church was so candid about these mischievous popes that it opened the Vatican Archives to historians in the 19th century. The Church acknowledges that the office is held by unworthy men, but insists that their papacy has not been compromised by their flesh, something we probably hear more often about politicians. Alas, the doctrine of papal inerrancy applies only to certain official statements of faith and morals, so it has been argued that the bad pope did not lead the Church astray. Regarding papal inerrancy, Encyclopaedia Britannica says, “The definition of the first Vatican Council…sets the conditions under which a pope can be said to be inerrant, or ex cathedra. The pope intends to require irrevocable consent as a prerequisite From the whole Church in some aspect of faith or morality.” By contrast, the Church’s ordinary teachings are not infallible. For example, the pope can say what he likes about birth control, and Catholics are obliged to obey, at least in the eyes of conservatives. But before he makes an infallible statement on the subject, he has the option to change his mind one day.

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