Friday, September 12, 2008

cadaver synod

holy shit, i love wikipedia.
Pope Stephen VI, the successor of Boniface, influenced by Lambert and Agiltrude, sat in judgment of Formosus in 897, in what was called the Cadaver Synod. The corpse was disinterred, clad in papal vestments, and seated on a throne to face all the charges from John VIII. The verdict was that the deceased had been unworthy of the pontificate. All his measures and acts were annulled, and the orders conferred by him were declared invalid. The papal vestments were torn from his body, the three fingers from his right hand that he had used in consecrations were cut off and the corpse was thrown into the Tiber (and later retrieved by a monk).
and from the Cadaver Synod page:
Probably around January of 897, Stephen VI ordered that the body of his predecessor Formosus be removed from its tomb and brought to the papal court for judgement.
Formosus was accused of transmigrating sees in violation of canon law, of perjury, and of serving as a bishop while actually a layman. Liutprand and other sources say that Stephen had the body stripped of its papal vestments, cut off the three fingers of his right hand used for benedictions, and declared all of his acts and ordinations (including his ordination of Stephen VI as bishop of Anagni) invalid. The body was finally interred in a graveyard for foreigners, only to be dug up once again, tied to weights, and cast into the Tiber River.
According to Liutprand’s version of the story, Stephen VI said: "When you were bishop of Porto, why did you usurp the universal Roman see in such a spirit of ambition?”[15]


so to sum up, a later pope had an earlier pope dug up, dressed up in robes, yelled at it and accused it of being a bad, erm, dead body, then tooks its clothes off again and cut off its fingers. ashes to ashes and all that... i am confused on so many levels. and i love it!

sometimes i wish i had encouraged my history tendencies a little more. shit's crazy!

3 comments:

Six Sider said...

Cadaver Synod. Yet another great improv team name.

To be fair, I've had my share of shows where, from the audience response (or lack there of), it appeared I had dug up bodies, dressed them up and yelled at them for 18-23 minutes.

ruby sneakers said...

ha, it is a good name. as good as 'castlemania'? time will tell.

BB said...

Fuck time. I'll tell you right now. Castlemania rocks!