Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Dark History: the Popes: Vice, Murder, and Corruption in the Vatican Hardcover – 2011
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Dust jacket flap. This book reveals a catalog of wrongdoings perpetrated by popes over the centuries, a record that has been mainly kept from the public eye. Lots of historical facts with beautifully illustrated pictures.
Top customer reviews
The author discusses in some detail as how the church orchestrated the virtual genocide of Cathars, an ascetic sect centered on the Southwest of France who believed that God and the Devil shared the world. In the year 1231 C.E the first inquisition was held and many were subjected to horrific tortures and burned on the stake including thousands of supposed witches, wizards, and sorcerers. Any dissent from the beliefs of the church was met with papal wrath. Catholic Church committed most heinous crimes in the name of the religion. Tolerance was a dirty word in medieval Europe and Christian belief in particular. Pope Gregory IX appointed Dominican friars as the chief investigators of heresy and non-Christian beliefs in Europe and they took full advantage of the vast powers from the church. Nobles, commoners, priests and everyone who fell under suspicion were persecuted. The Knights Templar had a distinguished record of service to Christendom but fell under suspicion of the church and many leaders were burnt alive.
Pope Alexander VI formerly known as Rodrigo Borgia ascended to power by violence, murder, bribery and ruthlessness comparable only to the organized crime families centuries later. Pope Calixtus III who was elected in 1455 excelled at nepotism. He packed the Vatican bureaucracy with relatives in lucrative posts. To him papacy was a business to be milked and exploited for gain. He also approved Spain and Portugal to engage in the salve trade. Repression and brutality was approved by the Vatican to impose Catholicism on Native Americans.
The book also discusses the handling of Galileo’s case. The church which increasingly feared that the emerging field of astronomy and physics was going to explain the physical reality without the direct involvement of God. Astronomers were entertaining the idea that heavens were cosmic structures like earth and they circle the Sun, and Earth is not the center of the universe. This was devastating to the fundamental Christian beliefs. Galileo was put under house arrest. Under threat of torture, imprisonment and even burning at the stake, he was forced, on his knees, to "abjure, curse and detest" a lifetime of brilliant scientific work. Pope Urban VIII was brutal in persecuting a great astrophysicist, and Catholic Church was relentless on other would-be scientists embracing Galileo’s science.
Pedophilia and sodomy was widely practiced by numerous popes. Pope Benedict IX, (1032-48), Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303), and Pope Julius III (1550-55) were some of the biggest pedophiles preying upon young men in the Vatican. Pope Bon vivant Clement VI (1342-52) had numerous mistresses and suffered from gonorrhea. Pope Sixtus IV (1471-84), who founded the Sistine Chapel, had six illegitimate sons and charged priests for keeping mistresses. Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) presided over more sex-orgies than Sunday Masses, wrote author Edward Gibbon. After his death — quite possibly poisoned by his pathological son, this pope’s body was expelled from the basilica of Saint Peter as too evil to be buried in sacred soil. Pope Julius II (1503-13) is remembered for commissioning Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling also suffered from syphilis. On Good Friday of 1508, he was unable to allow his feet to be kissed by the faithful as it was completely covered with syphilitic sores. Innocenzo Ciocchi del Monte (c. 1532–1577) was a notorious Cardinal whose sodomy relationship with Pope Julius III caused grave scandal in the early 16th century.
The book is easy to read with plenty of colored paintings of the past popes and historical structures. The reader can relate well with the history. The historical narratives support the existence of sodomy and pedophilia in the church. It is apparent that such sex abuse claims within the church is not recent. This hideous practice is a formidable challenge since pedophilia is not reported in developing countries for the fear of retaliation and recrimination.