There are many reasons why the Dutch swung massively towards hard core Calvinism and cynicism. The infallibility of popes may have played a part, though one suspects that they largely took papal pecadilloes in stride. And were entertained by such idiocy.
At least, judging by their art and literature.
The list of adulterous, rapacious, degenerate, or alcoholic popes and papal officials is too long to list. Reads like a trashy novel besides. Trumpian, in a way. Peyton Place writ large.
1. The Famous Corpse Synod: Stephen VII. (May/896-Aug/897) dug up the long dead corps of pope Formosus and put him on trial in March of 896.
The decaying corps, dressed in papal vestments, was condemned of crimes he had committed as ruling pope.
Then the dead man was defrocked, three fingers on his right hand (the hand of benediction) were cut off, and he was dragged through the streets of Rome and thrown into the Tiber.
Pope Stephen was later put in prison and strangled in his cell.
2. Sergius III (904-911) had Cardinal Christopher and Leo V to murdered so as to become pope. Ordered Formosus dug up again, and had him (the corpse) beheaded.
Seduced a fifteen year old girl while living in the Lateran Palace.
3. Boniface (974) fled to Constantinople with the treasures of the Vatican.
I seem to remember reading that he had raped a girl...
4. Benedict (1044) sold the papal throne to Gregory VI (1046), for fifteen hundred pounds of silver. Eventually he was poisoned. Gregory was deposed by the council of Sutri in 1046 and subsequently executed.
5. Gregory IX (1241) sold absolution to the emperor for a hundred thousand ounces of gold. He also had the emperor's envoys strangled when they told him of the conquest of Jerusalem.
6. Alexander (1261) purchased his election to the papacy.
7. Clement (1268) had the son of the king of Sicily beheaded without trial and without stated reason.
8. Boniface VIII (1294-1303): "Dante called him The Black Beast and assigned him to the 8th circle of Hell with his head in a rock fissure. Had a married woman and her daughter as mistresses. Locked up pope Celestine V, who died of starvation and neglect."
9. Innocent IV (1362) had the emperor poisoned.
10. Pope Paul III (1549) poisoned his mother and his niece, so that he could inherit the family fortune.
And here you thought the Republican Party had invented evil. Hah, mere amateurs!
Florida and Texas are nothing at all like Rome.
Except for the idiots.
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