Saturday, July 02, 2005

The End of the World

Dear Guy in the subway handing out pamphlets about the end of the world,

When things get this bad, I will take your pamphlets more seriously:

“The papacy was powerless and almost comically corrupt. One pope’s mistress, Marozia, made her bastard son and grandson popes in their turn, and is said to have arranged the murder of another pontiff. John XII, her grandson, was deposed by Emperor Otto I in 963 on the grounds that he had ordained a deacon in a stable at an improper season, turned the papal palace into a brother, castrated a cardinal, drunk the devil’s health, and invoked the aid of Jupiter and Venus while playing at dice. Pontificates were quickly fatal; three in succession lasted, respectively, four months, one month, seventeen days. Within a century six popes were assassinated and two were starved to death in prison. The French bishops declared at a council in 991: ‘We seem to be witnessing the coming of Antichrist, for this is the falling away of which the apostle speaks.’”

“The Middle Ages” by Morris Bishop. P.36

8/13/05 -- Found this in the Economist.

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