Here are some of the most absurd and unforgivable things the catholic church has ever done:
1.Covering Up Tens Of Thousands Of Cases Involving Sexual Misconduct
Remember the time there was a systematic cover up of abuse, molestation, and rape at the hands of priests that went all the way to the top of the church? Conservative estimates say there were 17,200 victims in the US alone, and this type of mistreatment happened worldwide. When complaints came in, priests and other offenders were transferred rather than punished. The extent of their actions will probably never be fully understood because of the decades of cover-up.
2.Terrorizing Jews And Muslims For 300 Years
In 1095, when Pope Urban II made a plea for war with Muslims, armies of Christians in Western Europe took up the charge. The pope promised serfs freedom if they went, galvanizing the masses. In the First Crusade, an army of peasants led by Peter the Hermit was massacred by the Turks. When an army of knights went after them and captured Jerusalem, it was said they slaughtered Muslims until the streets ran with blood.
3. Evil things Done By Pope Boniface VIII
Boniface VIII (1230-1303) was guilty of many horrible crimes that, sum total, make him seem like a sadistic Roman emperor. Among other things, he oversaw the complete destruction of Palestrina, a city that peacefully surrendered. Palestrina was completely razed, and Boniface ordered a plow driven over it to prove it had been reduced to nothing but earth and rubble.
You know priests take a vow of celibacy, right? Apparently, Boniface VIII didn’t take his too seriously. He once had a three-way with a married woman and her daughter, but was even more well known for saying that having intercourse with young boys was as natural as rubbing one hand against the other. So, obviously, he was raping (or at least fornicating with) children.
4.Imprisoning Galileo In His Home For Years Because He Suggested Science Was Greater Than God.
In 1633, Galileo Galilei, the father of like all science, was put on trial by the church for saying the sun is the center of the universe and the Earth moves around it, rather than the other way around. Which is, you know, true for the most part (sure, okay, the sun isn’t the center of the universe, but still, he was onto something). But that didn’t matter.
Pope Urban VIII was having none of it, seeing Galileo’s statement as horrific heresy. So, 10 cardinals sat in judgment of Galileo, who was threatened with torture, imprisonment, and even being burned at the stake. Galileo, 69 at the time and in a “pitiable state of bodily indisposition,” eventually renounced his beliefs. Because of this, the church went easy on him and, rather than torture, he was subjected to house arrest until he passed. What a way to treat the father of modern of science.
5.Burning Someone 43 Years After He Passed Because He Upset Some Important Catholics
John Wycliffe (1320-1384), famous English theologian and vocal critic of the church, was a forerunner of the Reformation. Among his many criticisms was a belief the church should give up its worldly possessions. As you can imagine, this wasn’t an idea the church was happy to have spread around. Wycliffe also promoted and worked on the first English translation of the Bible, hoping to give people direct access to the word of God. Again, not a fun idea for the church, which liked its monopoly on power.
William Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury, made moves against Wycliffe after retiring (gotta stay busy). Wycliffe’s writings were banned in certain areas, but it didn’t end there. It didn’t even end when Wycliffe perished of a stroke in 1384. Instead, in 1415 (31 years after he passed), the Council of Constance declared Wycliffe a heretic. Not only did they order his books burned, but they also ordered his body exhumed and burned. And it took them 12 years to do that. So, 43 years after Wycliffe passed, his corpse was torched and his ashes thrown in the River Swift. So much for resting in peace.
6. The Joust Of Whores Organized By Pope Alexander VI
The Joust of Whores is just one example of the corrupt and ridiculous popes of yore. In 1501, Pope Alexander VI (a Borgia, if that rings any bells), who was known to have some pretty refined hobbies, like watching horses fornicate, took things way over the top. According to historian Tony Perrottet, he invited 50 women to strip at the pope’s table. Then things got weird.
As Perrotet writes, “Alexander and his family gleefully threw chestnuts on the floor, forcing the women to grovel around their feet like swine; they then offered prizes of fine clothes and jewelry for the man who could fornicate with the most women.
“It’s rumored Alexander VI was slain by his son, Cesar. Just to show how truly vile Alexander was, his body was expelled from the basilica of Saint Peter. Why? He was considered too evil for sacred soil.
7. Absolving Sins For Cash Payments, Including Sins Not Yet Committed
Pope Leo X had expensive taste and wasn’t above using shady means to satisfy it. Indulgences were peddled as “pay X to absolve you of Y.” Basically, money gets you into heaven. To give some indication of how crazy things got, Dominican friar John Teztel was named Grand Commissioner of indulgences in Germany (so, overseeing indulgence was his only job), where he sold absolution for future sins. So: “Hey, give us some gold, it’s all good if you kill that dude next week.
“If you were poor and ignorant, as most poor people in the period probably were, you basically just believed you were hopelessly f*cked and did your best to prepare for an eternity spent frolicking in the torments of hell.
So what happened? Martin Luther, none too pleased, wrote his 95 Theses, effectively kick-starting the Reformation.