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Painting A Glass of Wine with Caesar Borgia, by John Collier. Source:           Public Domain

The Worst Popes and Their Dirty Secrets (Video)


Throughout history, the papacy has been a beacon of spirituality and moral guidance for billions of Catholics worldwide. However, nestled within its illustrious lineage lies a trove of scandalous tales, and Benedict the 9th takes center stage in this sordid saga.

Ascending to the papal throne as a mere teenager in approximately 1032, at the age of around 18 or 20, Benedict's reign was marked by a flagrant disregard for the sacred duties of his office. He transformed the Vatican into a playground of debauchery, where excess knew no bounds. Reports of his promiscuity and indulgence in hedonistic pleasures scandalized even the most jaded Romans, earning him the moniker "a demon from hell."

But Benedict's transgressions didn't stop there. In a brazen act of corruption, he sold the papacy for a staggering sum, betraying the trust of the faithful and tarnishing the reputation of the Holy See. His actions epitomized the darkest depths of papal depravity, leaving an indelible mark on history.

Yet, Benedict was not alone in his misconduct. Preceding him, Pope John the 12th, who ruled from 955 to 964, mirrored his debauched behavior, even engaging in incestuous relationships and turning the papal palace into a brothel. Similarly, Pope Alexander the 6th, who held sway from 1492 to 1503, was infamous for his corruption and nepotism. His reign was marred by bribery, coercion, and even witnessing people being pushed out of windows to their deaths.

These tales of papal misdeeds serve as a sobering reminder of the fallibility of human nature, even within the highest echelons of religious authority.

Top image: Painting A Glass of Wine with Caesar Borgia, by John Collier. Source:           Public Domain

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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