The Bigotry, Racism and Anti-Semitism of Christianity Part II



The Bigotry, Racism and Anti-Semitism of Christianity Part II

In Part 1, I wrote about Jews being forced to race naked through the streets of Rome by the sadistic Pope-king Paul II, and after 200 years Pope Clement IX stopped it in 1668. Well, the Jews in particular Rabbis of the 18th and 19th-century did not fare any better, as part of the religious Carnival for Lent throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Jewish rabbis of the Ghetto of Rome were forced to wear clownish outfits and march through the city streets to jeer of the crowds, pelted by various missiles. When the Jewish community of Rome sent a petition in 1836 to Pope Gregory XVI (1831-46), begging him to stop this annual abuse of Jewish community, he responded, “It is not opportune to make any innovations.” [David I. Kertzer’s (2001), The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican’s Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism, p.74] 

The Ghettos in the Making—The Lock-down of The Jews

Not only is Christianity guilty of bigotry, racism and antisemitism it is also guilty of segregation and confinement and imprisonment of Jews. Rome’s Jews were housed in the ghetto from the 16th to late middle 19th-century, they were isolated and forced to be self-sufficient. They were locked in the ghetto from sunset to dawn, and the gates of the ghetto were only fully opened or demolished until the Fall of Rome and the Papal States in 1870. Yet, ghettos were not synonymous to Rome, many Catholic nations of Europe practised Jewish segregation with the full backing of Rome from at least the 1200s. The kingdom of Poland, under the Piast royal dynasty, was very tolerant of Jews. However, with the loss of the Piastl dynasty or its fragmentation between 1138-1320 the Roman Church in then Germany took advantage of the situation and brought it bigotry and anti-Semitic policies against the Polish Jews. In 1266 the council of Breslau on Jews applied the Fourth Council of the Lateran (1215) limitations on the Jews to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gniezno, forbidding side-by-side life of Jews and Christians and setting up Jewish Ghettos.

Pope-king Pius IX (1846-70) Pope in self-exile (1870-78) in the Vatican. Pius IX aka Pio Nono legacy before he lost it all, including being forsaken by his God in his hour of need back in 1870 when his allies had deserted him. Not even his 535 Bishops from around the world that had gathered and made Pius IX infallible a year earlier in July 1869, had helped, only to make successive pope claiming infallibility. 

We go back to June 1858, when the western world was alight with condemnation when Pius IX kidnapped a 6-year-old Jewish boy by the name of Edgardo Mortara from Bologna, the then Papal State (now Italy). It took years for the condemnation to subside if it ever did. Even in 2017, Steven Spielberg announced he would be making a film about the kidnapping that captured the attention Europe and North America back in the late 1850s and 1860s. 

The Indiscretions of The Popes

(Not in any particular order or anywhere near the Full List!)

Pope-king John XIII (965-72) { yes, I know there was more than one John XIII } was condemned as an adulterer who “defiled his father’s concubine and his niece”. He was said to have died at the hands of an enraged husband, caught in the act of adultery – just like his dad, Pope-king John XII.

Pope-king Stephen VI (896-97) had the body of his predecessor, Pope Formosus (891-96) dug up, dressed in papal vestments, set on a throne and tried for perjury and coveting the papacy.

Pope-king Anacletus (1130-8) committed incest with his sister and several other female relatives. He enjoyed raping nuns.

Pope-king Clement VII (1378-94) aka Robert of Geneva was well known for his ability to decapitate a man with a pike. He became ‘much given to fleshy pleasure’. He surrounded himself with page boys, whose jackets, it was noted, shrunk from being knee-length to mid-buttock ‘or even worse.’

Pope-king Benedict IX (1032-44;1045;1047-8) aka The child-pope (who became Pope at the age of 12? (However, scholars are now saying he was probably aged 20.)) was bi-sexual, sodomised animals, ordered murders and dabbled in witchcraft and Satanism. He loved to throw wild, bi-sexual orgies. Benedict IX held the post of Pope in the years 1032-44, 1045 and 1047-48. He was described as “A demon from hell in the disguise of a priest…”, and St Peter Damian said of him: “That wretch, from the beginning of his pontificate to the end of his life, feasted on immorality.” Dante estimated that under Benedict IX the papacy reached an all-time low in immorality and debauchery. When he was 23 he survived an assassination attempt (strangling at the altar during Mass). Benedict went on to marry his cousin and sell the papacy to his godfather, Gregory VI.

Pope-king Urban II (1088-99) In the year 1095 introduced the callagium, a sex tax which allowed the clergy to keep mistresses, provided they paid an annual fee to the papacy. This had the immediate effect of reducing the use of concubines and hugely increasing clerical homosexuality. 

Pope-king Julius III (1550-55) sodomized young boys, of which one was his own, illegitimate, son. He appointed several handsome teenage boys as cardinals. Cardinal Della Casa’s famous poem In Praise of Sodomy was dedicated to Pope Julius III.”

Sources for the popes: 

Sex lives of the Popes’ by Nigel Cawthorne.

Decline and Fall of the Roman Church, by Malachi Martin.

Oxford Dictionaries of Popes, by J.N.D. Kelly. 

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