Sorcery at the Vatican: The Papacy’s Seven Deadly Sinners
Mention ‘the Pope’ today and the image it immediately summons up for many people is of a saintly old man standing on a balcony in Rome blessing the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square (technically the Piazza San Pietro) and calling for peace and harmony in the world. However historically there is a tradition that far from representing all that is good and holy in the Roman Catholic Church, some popes were actually practicing sorcerers who had called upon dark forces to help them ascend the Throne of St Peter.
Before one looks at the lives of the seven biggest sinners ever to wear the papal crown, one first needs to set the scene for what one sees in the present Papacy is only a relatively recent iteration. For example, for the best part of 1,000 years – and only ending in 1870 with the Reunification of Italy – the Papacy was also a significant temporal power ruling a large part of the Italian Peninsular. And, before that, the popes spent several hundred years embroiled in doctrinal disputes within the Christian Church, deciding which were orthodox teachings and which were unorthodox heresies.
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