The Last Judgment on earth: how the Pope punished the corpse

The Last Judgment on earth: how the Pope punished the corpse

Categories: History

The Papacy is one of the oldest institutions in the world. It is not surprising that there have been many dark pages in the history of the Holy See, which dates back almost two thousand years. In addition to the notorious Inquisition (which, in principle, can be called a trend of the times), the chronicles have preserved stories about extremely strange and even cruel deeds of the pontiffs themselves. Perhaps, Pope Stephen VI went the furthest, who brought a trial over a dead man.

The Last Judgment on earth: how the Pope punished the corpse

The Last Judgment on earth: how the Pope punished the corpse

Stephen VI was in power for a little more than a year, from 896th to 897th, which is quite typical for that time, since the papacy was in crisis. In the absence of political and economic support, the pontiffs turned into puppets of influential dynasties.

Before Stephen VI, Pope Formosus ruled. He made attempts to resist the influence of royal dynasties on the Catholic throne, which, of course, attracted their hatred. Formose died suddenly under unclear circumstances in 896, leaving behind a successor Boniface VI.

The Last Judgment on earth: how the Pope punished the corpse

But he stayed on the throne for a few weeks. Influential aristocrats deposed Boniface and installed their own pope, Stephen VI. Under pressure from his patrons, he demanded that the corpse of Formosa, who had died nine months earlier, be exhumed and put on trial. Obscure accusations of treachery were fabricated.

The Last Judgment on earth: how the Pope punished the corpse

At the court session, which was held in the Lateran Palace in January 897, the half-decomposed corpse of Formosa, dressed in ceremonial clothes, was placed on the throne and subjected to "interrogation". The deacon, who imitated the voice of the deceased pope, was responsible for the deceased. This performance went down in history as a Corpse Synod.

The Last Judgment on earth: how the Pope punished the corpse

The Last Judgment on earth: how the Pope punished the corpse

As expected, the defendant was found guilty, his papacy was retroactively invalidated. The corpse had its fingers cut off, with which Formoz made the sign of the cross, its clothes were taken off, the deceased was dragged through the streets of Rome and buried in a mass grave for unknown foreigners. Later, the body of the former pontiff was dug up, probably for profit, and dumped into the Tiber River.

During the mockery of the corpse of Formosa, Rome was shaken by an earthquake, which caused its partial collapse. This sign awakened awe in the Romans and aroused universal indignation against the insults of the former pope. There were rumors that the pontiff's body, fished out of the Tiber, began to work miraculous healings. The city mob rebelled, after which Pope Stephen VI was imprisoned by the rebels, where he was strangled.

Post News Article

Recent articles

Photographer Romualdas Rakauskas and his chronicles of happiness and kindness
Photographer Romualdas Rakauskas and his chronicles of ...

Lithuanian photographer and journalist Romualdas Rakauskas is known all over the world. His kind, optimistic works make us ...

The miracle in the desert: both in 30 km from the sea near Astrakhan appeared lighthouse
The miracle in the desert: both in 30 km from the sea near ...

Lighthouses are strongly associated with the expanses of the sea. This is usually the case — a structure visible from afar is ...

Is non-alcoholic beer really completely harmless
Is non-alcoholic beer really completely harmless

Non-alcoholic beer is not even considered by many to be a substitute for an alcoholic beverage. In fact, how can you compare if ...