Another Front in the Conciliar War, part five

Well, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has—surprise, surprise—begun his pretty open campaign of retribution against “Archbishop” Carlo Maria Vigano, who is not without blame in the protection of sodomite “bishops” (see Mrs. Randy Engel’s The Strange Case of Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt, part I, and The strange case of Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt, Part II), at the Casa Santa Marta.

Hiding Behind the Phony-Baloney Covers of Self-Righteousness and A Concern for “Creation”

The Argentine Apostate, wrapping up himself up in his trademarked rhetorical regalia of self-righteous indignation and arrogant moral superiority, said on Monday, September 3, 2018, the Feast of Pope Saint Pius X, that the “truth is found in silence,” meaning that he is demonstrating his supposed commitment to “truth” by staying silent in the face of Father Vigano’s continued revelations about his protection of sodomites:

Pope Francis focused his homily on Monday at Casa Santa Marta on the Gospel of the day from Luke (4:16-30) when Jesus returns to Nazareth and meets opposition in the synagogue after commenting on a passage from the prophet Isaiah. The Pope highlights Jesus’ silent composure not only in this scene but also during the passion.

No prophet is accepted….

The Pope said that when Jesus arrived at the synagogue, he aroused curiosity. Everyone wanted to see the person they had heard was working miracles in other places. Instead of satisfying their curiosity, the Pope said, the Son of the Heavenly Father uses only “the Word of God”. This is the attitude Jesus adopted when confronting the devil. The Pope then said that Jesus’ humility opens the door to his first words meant to construct a bridge but instead sow doubt immediately changing the atmosphere “from peace to war”, from “amazement to fury”.

Jesus’ silence

Jesus responds with silence before those “who wanted to throw him out of the city”, the Pope said.

They were not thinking, they were shouting. Jesus stayed silent… The Gospel passage ends with: ‘But he passed through the midst of them and went away’.

Jesus’ dignity

Pope Francis said that Jesus’ dignity shines through this “silence that triumphs over” his attackers. The same thing would happen again on Good Friday, the Pope said.

The people who were saying ‘crucify him’ had praised Jesus on Palm Sunday saying, ‘Blessed are You, Son of David’. They had changed.

Our dignity

The Pope continued saying the truth is humble and silent and is not noisy, acknowledging that what Jesus did is not easy. However, “the dignity of the Christian is anchored in the power of God”. Even in a family, he said, there are times when division occurs because of “discussions on politics, sports, money”. Pope Francis recommends silence and prayer in these cases:

With people lacking good will, with people who only seek scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family: silence, prayer.

Pope Francis concluded praying,

May the Lord give us the grace to discern when we should speak and when we should stay silent. This applies to every part of life: to work, at home, in society…. Thus we will be closer imitators of Jesus. (Jorge the Garrulous Boasts of his "humility".)

What a piece of abominable work.

Bergoglio is so filled with himself that he sees himself as a veritable prophet who is being persecuted because he is the “apostle of mercy” who is giving hardened sinners the “love” and “accompaniment” that they have long craved to get from a “pope” and from what they think is the Catholic Church. There is no need for such a “suffering, prophetic pope of silence” to speak about those “embittered Pharisees” who “gossip” and seek to “divide,” except that the false “pope” is going to do little else than speak about the Vigano testimony in the same thinly-veiled but utterly transparent manner he used yesterday morning at his  Ding Dong School Of Apostasy.

When it comes to protecting “creation,” however, the “suffering prophetic pope of silence” who is very silent concerning the daily worldwide slaughter of innocent preborn children by chemical and surgical means (see Jorge the Motor Mouth Clams Up About Abortion), has plenty to say. Although Bergoglio had been focused on rainforests for a long time, his present focus as the global face of pantheism and naturalism is to keep plastics out of the water:

I would like also to mention the issue of the seas and oceans. It is our duty to thank the Creator for the impressive and marvellous gift of the great waters and all that they contain (cf. Gen 1:20-21; Ps 146:6), and to praise him for covering the earth with the oceans (cf. Ps 104:6). To ponder the immense open seas and their incessant movement can also represent an opportunity to turn our thoughts to God, who constantly accompanies his creation, guiding its course and sustaining its existence (cf. St. John Paul II, Catechesis of 7 May 1986).

Constant care for this inestimable treasure represents today an ineluctable duty and a genuine challenge. There is need for an effective cooperation between men and women of good will in assisting the ongoing work of the Creator. Sadly, all too many efforts fail due to the lack of effective regulation and means of control, particularly with regard to the protection of marine areas beyond national confines (cf. Laudato Si’, 174). We cannot allow our seas and oceans to be littered by endless fields of floating plastic. Here too, our active commitment is needed to confront this emergency. We need to pray as if everything depended on God’s providence, and work as if everything depended on us.

Let us pray that waters may not be a sign of separation between peoples, but of encounter for the human community. Let us pray that those who risk their lives at sea in search of a better future may be kept safe. Let us ask the Lord and all those engaged in the noble service of politics that the more sensitive questions of our day, such as those linked to movements of migration, climate change and the right of everyone to enjoy primary goods, may be faced with generous and farsighted responsibility and in a spirit of cooperation, especially among those countries most able to help.

Let us pray too, for all those who devote themselves to the apostolate of the sea, for those who help reflect on the issues involving maritime ecosystems, for those who contribute to the development and application of international regulations on the seas in order to safeguard individuals, countries, goods, natural resources – I think, for example, of marine fauna and flora, and coral reefs (cf. ibid., 41) or sea beds – and to guarantee an integral development in view of the common good of the entire human family and not particular interests. Let us remember, too, all those who work to protect maritime areas and to safeguard the oceans and their biodiversity, that they may carry out this task with responsibility and integrity. (Jorge's Message on Creation.)

This man is nuts.

The same man who can never utter the word “abortion” and who can never utter a word of rebuke to pro-abortion politicians as each of them to a man or a woman is supportive of all that is near and dear to his darkened, apostate hear never runs out of words to utter in defense of the created world. Jorge Mario Bergoglio sees himself as the caregiver of the earth, not as a pastor of souls because he does not believe that anyone’s soul is in jeopardy of eternal loss save for those of believing Catholics (“restorationists,” “Pharisees,” the “rigid,” “Jansenists,” etc.)

Heretics, though, usually try to wrap themselves up in some supposedly “righteous” cause to serve as a cover for their defection(s) from the Catholic Faith and, at least in most instances, their persistence in lives of unrepentant sin, up to and including the sin that is responsible for clerical abuse scandals and, truth be told, has been the principal driving force behind Modernism and its contemporary manifestations in the counterfeit church of conciliarism: the sin of Sodom.

How can I say this?

Well, consider how the words of the sodomite abuser whose behavior has been in the forefront of all things conciliar, Theodore Edgar McCarrick, uttered in 2007 resemble closely those of “Pope Francis” three days ago when he issued his message about keeping plastic out of the oceans:

McCarrick used the "save the planet" slogan recently, as was reported by Zenit:

NARSARSUAQ, Greenland, SEPT. 12, 2007 ( The beauty of God's creation is being destroyed, and people of all faiths need to work together to stop the destruction, says Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. 

The retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., spoke Tuesday with Vatican Radio about the need to protect the environment. His comments came as he participated in the seventh symposium organized by the nongovernmental organization Religion, Science and the Environment, which ended today. 

The symposium was held under the patronage of Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I and gathered religious and social leaders in Greenland. 

Cardinal McCarrick said that "this is a holy place, because this is God's work. The Lord gave us this world, this beauty, which has an extraordinary importance for the well-being of the entire world. Being here we can say thanks to God for this world, thanks for this place, thanks for the opportunity to live and inhabit these places, because this is his house." 

"But," the 77-year-old cardinal added, "we also know that is necessary to do something so that the world's greatness will go on, the beauty of the world, the holiness of the world. We are here to say that we are a family and that we must safeguard the house of the family." 

On Monday, the participants were in Nuuk, home of the only Catholic church in Greenland. 

Cardinal McCarrick encouraged people of all religions to work together in protecting the environment. 
"We can see this beauty, but we can also see, unfortunately, that all of this is being destroyed," he said. "I believe that we must participate and come together to be able to do something good in this moment for the future of the world and for future generations." (McCarrick Urges Rescuing Planet.)

Birds of an apostate and pantheistic feather certainly do flock together, don’t they?

Let’s face facts, ladies and gentlemen.

Cloaking Their Perversity in the False Good Works”

The lords of conciliarism have fostered a culture of perversity that they have brought out into the open without shame or remorse. All the insanity of “open borders,” “protecting the earth,” income redistribution, social justice and “mercy” provide those who shamelessly revel in sodomy with what they think is the moral “high ground” against who believe in absolutely fixed moral truths that apply to all men in all circumstances.

A strange thing happens, however, in some, although hardly all, people who rebel against God's laws and are steeped, objectively speaking, in lives of unrepentant Moral Sins. Some people actually feel guilt, however attenuated, or, at the very least, a sense of restlessness and dissatisfaction that they cannot recognize is the result of their own nature speaking to them about how it has rebelled against its Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. One of the ways is assuage this guilt is to try to “prove” to oneself that he is truly a “good” person, that his immorality or enabling of others in it does not matter in light of all of the charitable acts he performs and all the “good social policies” he supports/

One example of this can be found in the case of the late Raymond Burr (Perry Mason, which premiered on September 21, 1957, nearly fifty-one years ago now, and Ironside, which premiered as a regularly-scheduled television series on September 14, 1967).

Burr, as was known by many during his life but has been revealed publicly since his death on September 12, 1993, was involved in perversity, which he kept secret with the help of a friendly press corps, which covered up raucous “parties” held in Malibu, California, during his Perry Mason years in the 1950s. The actor never celebrated his perversity publicly, but as is the case with so many steeped in various kinds of sins, he was involved in all manner of charitable organizations, devoting a great deal of whatever free time he had between breaks in the filming of his two major television series to various “humanitarian” projects. Burr even went to South Vietnam on an uncelebrated basis to visit American troops who were serving there in 1960s, suffering a dislocated shoulder once when the military helicopter he was riding in crashed. Burr even postponed cancer treatment in late-1992, just after completing The Return of Ironside in Denver, Colorado, to film one of his last two-hour Perry Mason movies in order to donate his earnings to a charity for a “Christian” foundation for children. The delay caused his cancer to spread, expediting his death on September 12, 1993.

None of Raymond Burr's charitable works could redeem him nor make up for the life of objective sin into which he was steeped. He assuaged whatever guilt, which could be evidenced by his heavy drinking and overeating, he may have felt for his sins by proving to himself to be a “good” person. There was some level, at which Raymond Burr was affected by the natural consequences of his perversity even though he did not recognize or admit this himself.

This is the case with many other prominent people. It is the case with professional “liberals” and other members of the false opposite of the naturalist “left,” each of whom supports, if not being actively engaged in, an assortment of the evils of our day, who want to show how generous they are to the materially poor with the money of others, namely, taxpayers. It is the case with many athletes, especially after some ugly episode that has been widely publicized, as they seek to “rehabilitate” their image. It is the case with many married people who choose to be childless and thus use contraception (or have themselves sterilized), thereby depriving themselves of the joy of children, seeking solace in devoting their lives to pets or various hobbies (sail boating) or to the “bread and circuses.” As it is of the nature of the human being to “worship” something above him, people are going to find "something" around which to organize their lives, if not to make them feel “good” about themselves.

The conciliar revolutionaries are doing precisely this as they look the other way about the infestation of sodomites in almost every major religious community of men and in much of the diocesan presbyterate within the structures of their false religious sect. These men use such issues as “the environment” to assuage their own guilty consciences despite their commission of and support for evils that caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Most Blessed Mother during the events that wrought our Redemption and that wound the souls purchased at such a high price.

Although the Catholic Church does indeed teach us that the Seventh Commandment requires us to make just, proportionate use of the things of this earth as the nature of man's legitimate temporal needs require, she does not teach us that God and nature are one. In other words, the Catholic Church rejects pantheism, which deifies nature and everything in it, including man, to a greater or lesser extent. Indeed, pantheism results in the rise of some variations wherein the human being is considered no more important in the scheme of "matter" than a plant (see, for example, the “species-ism” of Dr. Peter Singer of Princeton, University).

Full-throated environmentalists argue that population must be “controlled” in order to protect natural resources and to provide “living space” for beasts, thus creating a better “quality of life” for man and beast alike. Contraception, sterilization and baby-killing, both chemical and surgical, become imperatives, both in the name of individual “rights” and in the name of "protecting" the environment. This unbalanced view of things is the result of not understanding that God created the world and that while, yes, we must use the things of this earth responsibly, never seeking to deliberately pollute natural resources, the planet is going to end when God Himself says so on the Last Day when He comes to judge the Living and the Dead at the General Judgment, not before. Pantheistic slogans such as "save the earth," which have been emanating with greater frequency from the conciliar Vatican, and they occurred even during the time of the supposed “pope of tradition,” Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, and have proliferated aplenty during the past nearly sixty-six months under the supervision of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Alas, all the supposed “do-gooding” of the conciliar revolutionaries is designed to wrap themselves in self-protective bubble wrap as they get Catholics to accept impurity (fornication, adultery, sodomy and its related vices) as containing “elements of married love.” The men of “social justice” want to be seen as “reformers” who are carrying on the “purifying” work of Martin Luther, whose own revolution was all about impurity, lust and divorce. The counterfeit church of conciliarism, therefore has made an alliance with the promotion, propagation and institutionalization of impurity, immodesty, indecency and perversity in the world to such an extent that there is no refuge for believing Catholics, no matter where they fall along the vast expanse of the ecclesiastical divide during this time of apostasy and betrayal, who object to the tyranny of the homosexual mafia in the world that is promoted by presidential administrations of both major organized crime families of naturalism, protected under cover of the civil law and is celebrated wildly throughout the entirety of so-called popular culture. There is no hiding place, and the voice of what is accepted to be the Catholic Church has fallen silent on the moral evils of the day and truth be told, not too many fully traditional clergy have been outspoken against the vices of perversity as one would expect them to be.

The Code of Omerta to Protect the Guilty and to Shoot Whisteblowers and Critics

This silence, however, can be shattered now and again when scandals such as those associated with the legendary pervert and heretic, Theodore Edgar McCarrick, and that have come to light in recent times in Chile and in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Bergoglio’s reaction in such instances, though, is limited only to cases involving victims who had been abused during their childhood. The conciliar cone of silence, however, descends automatically whenever scandals involving the abuse of seminarians, priests/presbyters and other men by clerical predators. As noted a few days ago, Bergoglio uttered his infamous “Who am I to judge?” when confronted with “Monsignor” Battista Ricca’s notorious history of sodomy when he worked in the Vatican nunciature in Uruguay.

This is important to remember as Bergoglio claimed he took away McCarrick’s conciliar red hat two months ago because of the latter’s abusing a minor, not because of his legendary and well-documented abuse of seminarians, presbyters and other men. Bergoglio wants to protect the environment and to care for the “poor,” not to enforce what he sees as matters of personal morality that he thinks are capable of being “nuanced” according to the prevailing mores of society and the “consciences” of those who find themselves in “loving” relationships. Many of the conciliar revolutionaries are fully supportive of, if not active participants in, the grooming of young men and seminarians to propagate sodomites within the conciliar structures.

Part of this process of grooming young men and seminarians to follow the path of “friendly” presbyters or “bishops” as part of the homosexual collective involves breaking down a man’s natural resistance to effeminacy, including desiring tight, protracted hugs from other men and verbal expressions of love and sympathy. One of the telltale signs of men are trying to groom other men, especially the emotionally vulnerable of any age, especially adolescents and young adults, is the “literature” they keep about them and that they recommend to those they are grooming.

Mrs. Randy Engel, the author of The Rite of Sodomy, indicates that such a list of manuals that seek to normalize sodomy by rationalizing effeminacy and to refine the practice of grooming includes—but is not limited to—the following:

Boswell, John. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. 

Catholic Theological Society of America. Human Sexuality––New Directions in American Catholic Thought. New York: Paulist Press, 1977. 

Cory, Donald Webster. The Homosexual in America –– A Subjective Approach, New York: Greenberg: 1951. 

Foucault, Michael. The History of Sexuality. Volume I. Translated from the French by Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage Books, 1990 

Ginder, Richard. Binding with Briars –– Sex and Sin in the Catholic Church. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1975. 

Goss, Robert. Jesus Acted Up –– A Gay and Lesbian Manifesto. San Francisco: Harper, 1993. 

Goss, Robert. Queering Christ ––  Beyond Jesus Acted Up. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2002. 

Gramick, Jeannine, and Nugent, Robert. “Homosexuality: Protestant, Catholic & Jewish Issues; A Fishbone Tale.” In Homosexuality and Religion, ed., Richard Hasbany, 7-46. New York: Haworth Press, 1989. 

Pemble, John, ed. John Addington Symonds –– Culture and the Demon Desire. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000. 

Perry, Troy D., with Thomas L. P. Swicegood. Don’t Be Afraid Anymore. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990. 

Signorile, Michael. Queer in America. New York: Random House, 1993.

No one, but especially one who believes himself to be a priest, has any excuse to have such books in his library, no, not even on the pretext of a “research” resource. A man recognizes sodomite and effeminate behavior when he sees it, and a priest is supposed to help such a person to recognize the dangers of perverse attractions and to cooperate with the graces won for us by Our Lord during His Passion and Death on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into the souls of men through the loving hands of His Most Blessed Mother, she who is the Mediatrix of All graces, to reform his life and avoid all near occasions of sin and all possibility of giving scandal to others by means of their disordered affections and inappropriate gestures of “intimacy.”

A man who is such has no need of knowing “boundaries” (a false term of wicked and perverse generation that was even used recently by the conciliar “bishop” of Lincoln, James Conley, with whom I was in seminary thirty-seven years and had been friendly until twenty-one years ago) and a man who is need of being physically “caressed” or “hugged” is either an active homosexual or desires to be one, thus making him completely unfit for the Holy Priesthood. There is no place for homosexuals in the priesthood, and there is even less place in the priesthood for priests and bishops who, at worst, recruit, promote and protect them or, at best, seek only to protect them for fear of their own looking bad in the eyes of the public, although some of the silence in many instances has to do with protecting friends at all costs so as not to give ammunition to supposed “enemies,” who are treated as non-persons and held in contempt for a variety of reasons.

The counterfeit church of conciliarism is awash with sodomites and sodomy because most, although certainly not all, heresy has a foundation in the defiance of the moral law by those who embrace and promote it. Heretics cannot stand purity, including the purity and integrity of Catholic teaching on Faith and Morals most of all, and most heretics have celebrated, if only quietly at first, sodomy and its related perverse practices and rituals. It is, though, indisputable that the logic of heresy and error is such that moral degeneracy will follow in its wake sooner or later.

A Historical Perspective

Yes, almost every heresy has a link to impurity, and most heresies have links to sodomy.

The perverse practices of heretics in the Middle Ages was outlined by the late William Thomas Walsh in Characters of the Inquistion, including some practices that were forerunners of the dark arts practiced by all forms of Freemasonry, which has always been in the vanguard of promoting impurity and all manner of unnatural vice in the name of human “freedom.” Consider this example from the Thirteenth Century:

Gregory had already decreed, in 1231, that it was just for the Church to support the State’s right to inflict capital punishment for so grave a threat to its own existence; and he had decreed, that year, that Cathari, Patarenes, Poor Men of Lyons, and others might be handed over, after conviction of heresy by the Church, to the secular courts. Some Patarenes in fact were burned in Rome. Catholics were ordered, under pain of excommunication, to denounce heretics, or their secret meetings, and even to point out those who differed from their neighbors in the ordinary habits of life. Gregory commanded the hierarchy to publish his decrees concerning heretics, and to try to induce the local civil authorities to carry out the Imperial decrees.

The stiffening of Gregory’s attitude was influenced a great deal by reports from Germany concerning the activities of a sect known as the Luciferians. They were a secret society who had already developed a fixed ritual. During their ceremony of initiation, the novice kissed a sort of toad, allowing its tongue and saliva to enter his mouth. Then he was confronted by “a man of ghastly pallor, all skin and bones,” with black piercing eyes, and when he had kissed this apparition, which was icy cold, “all memory of the Catholic faith left him.” A banquet followed. Then the ceremony was renewed, with the appearance of a black cat, to which obscene reverence was paid. The following conversation ensued:

Presiding Magister: “Spare us!”

Another Brother: “Who has commanded this?”

“The Chief Master.”

A fourth: “And we must obey.”

The lights were put out, and “unspeakable orgies” were said to have followed. When they were finished, there came forward the figure of a man “all fiery from his loins upward, and thence downward all hairy like a cat.” (“So they say,” added Pope Gregory.) The Magister offered part of the novice’s clothing to this apparition, saying, “Master, what has been given to me, I give to thee.”

The Apparition: “Well have you often served me. ... To your charge I do entrust what you have given me.”

In Gregory’s account of all this, he adds that the Luciferians often profaned the consecrated Host, doubtless stolen from the altars, or obtained in other ways. Satanists of all periods have manifested hatred, as one might expect, for the Body of Christ.

Incredible? Not to those who have read, in the revelations of certain European converts from Freemasonry, descriptions of the fantastic rituals of some of the continental Grand Orient lodges in the enlightened Nineteenth Century. In some of the advanced degrees of the secret societies that prepared the seeds of the Spanish War of 1936, as they had nourished those of the French Revolution and other modern upheavals, one reads of a hymn to Satan, of a crucifix spat on and trod upon, of a dog presented to the novice for an unseemly kiss; and one wonders whether this is not somehow a survival of one of the grotesque aberrations of the Middle Ages, reported by Gregory IX. At any rate, many of his contemporaries who, as Dr. Mann observes, were neither fools nor knaves, believed all this of the Luciferians of Germany; and it is not surprising that the Pope shared the general indignation, and took steps to cause the deluded wretches or scoundrels who perpetrated such madness to be discovered and brought to justice.  (William Thomas Walsh, Characters of the Inquisition, pp. 41-42.)

These rituals, of course, mirror those of the grotesque, unspeakable practices of those act as described by Saint Paul the Apostle himself in his Epistle to the Romans:

Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. [23] And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things. [24] Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. [25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

[26] For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. [27] And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. [28] And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; [29] Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, [30] Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, [31] Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. [32] Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them. (Romans 1: 21-32.)

The heresies that have faced Holy Mother Church throughout her history, including even in the First Century A.D., have been fueled to a large extent by sodomy, which itself the result of a hatred of all that is naturally true and beautiful, including the fact that God created each species in its own kind, both male and female:

[26] And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. [27] And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. [28] And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth. [29] And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat: [30] And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done. (Genesis 1: 26-30.)

It is no accident that Gnosticism arose in the First Century A.D. and was rife with sodomy as it grew out of the prevailing practices in the Roman Empire and created an alternative universe replete with “secret” knowledge. Eschewing the natural for the unnatural, Gnostics practiced perversity as it was very much a part of a “reality” that was suited to their own subjective purposes that had no correlation whatsoever to the actual world created by God as above:

Gnosticism does not accept the evidence of reality. It is not a matter of what Gnostics do not know, but of what they refuse to acknowledge. Composer Igor Stravinsky wrote that “the old original sin was one of knowledge, the new original sin is one of non-acknowledgment.” It is the refusal to acknowledge anything outside the operation of the human will—most especially “the good” toward which the soul is ordered. The Gnostic is not interested in conforming his mind to reality but in conforming reality to his wishes. Joseph Pieper defined self-deception as an unobjective perception of reality dictated by the will. It is the sheer willfulness of the homosexual movement that is notable. What are its consequences? Charles DeKonick said: “By a disordered love of one’s private good one rejects…the common good as something alien and judges it to be incompatible with one’s individual status…one freely abdicates the dignity proper to the rational creature in order to establish oneself as a radically independent whole.”iiiThe common good is the casualty.

In saying that the homosexual ideology is an unobjective perception of reality, one should note at the same time that the active homosexual does not intend to perform a purely subjective act. He wants to say and believe that his actions are ordered objectively. This is what requires the reconstitution of reality so that it will conform to his will and transform his subjective acts into ones ordered to objective good. To succeed in this endeavor, the homosexual ideologue relocates the source of good from what is to his will. Only then can he successfully rationalize his moral misbehavior. (The New Gnosticism of the Homosexual Movement.)

There are many elements of Gnosticism in contemporary society today, and it is no exaggeration to state that Jorge Mario Bergoglio and his fellow Modernist revolutionaries have created their own alternative realities, starting with an altnerative to the Catholic Church that preaches a false gospel entirely alien to that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church for Its infallible explication and eternal safekeeping. It is important to remember these words of Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907:

It may be, Venerable Brethren, that some may think We have dwelt too long on this exposition of the doctrines of the Modernists. But it was necessary, both in order to refute their customary charge that We do not understand their ideas, and to show that their system does not consist in scattered and unconnected theories but in a perfectly organised body, all the parts of which are solidly joined so that it is not possible to admit one without admitting all. For this reason, too, We have had to give this exposition a somewhat didactic form and not to shrink from employing certain uncouth terms in use among the Modernists. And now, can anybody who takes a survey of the whole system be surprised that We should define it as the synthesis of all heresies? Were one to attempt the task of collecting together all the errors that have been broached against the faith and to concentrate the sap and substance of them all into one, he could not better succeed than the Modernists have done. Nay, they have done more than this, for, as we have already intimated, their system means the destruction not of the Catholic religion alone but of all religion. With good reason do the rationalists applaud them, for the most sincere and the frankest among the rationalists warmly welcome the modernists as their most valuable allies. (Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907.)

As the synthesis of all heresies, therefore, it should as no surprise to readers of this site that Modernism and its contemporary exponents in the counterfeit church of conciliarism is so favorably disposed to sodomy and its perverse practices.

Mind you, not all heretics of the past and the Modernists of this time have been homosexuals. Of course not. Heresy of its very nature, however, is a corruption of Catholic truth and as such is impure in the sight of the true God of Divine Revelation, the Most Blessed Trinity, and even those heresies not directly liked to carnal impurity wind up making excuses for and/or promoting with the passage of time. (Please see Appendix A for a review of Albigensians/Cathari practices that predisposed them to sodomy and for Chapter Three from Mrs. Randy Engel’s The Rite of Sodomy about the embrace of unnatural vice found in different aspect of the Renaissance.)

Similarly, it would very foolhardy, simplistic and entirely unjust and ahistorical to contend that the plague of sodomy has not infected the souls of fully believing Catholics in the past or at the present time as the vagaries of fallen human nature are such that men who place themselves in the near occasion of sin and think themselves immune to it may fall into practices that they know are evil.

As Mrs. Randy Engel documented extensively in The Rite of Sodomy, it was certainly the case even in the decades of the Twentieth Century prior to the “Second” Vatican Council that some bishops and priests, such as William Cardinal O’Connell, the Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, from 1907 to 1944, who dissented not one whit from the Sacred Deposit of Faith engaged were sodomites and used their positions of clerical authority to place seminarians and/or other priests in compromising situations as a means to control them and to recruit them for their own nefarious, perverted purposes. Sooner or later, of course, those who fall into perversity habitually will find some kind of rationalization or justification for their sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance and the many times that they made an offering of Our Lord in Holy Communion to the devil himself as their souls were, objectively speaking, in states of Mortal Sin. Men who become slave to the devil will then find the great deceiver’s temptation to defect from the Faith in “small ways” too strong to resist and thus provide them with a means to lie “comfortably” with themselves.

This is, by the way, one of the principal goals of the psychology of Carl Ransom Rogers, who sought to convince his patients to be “comfortable” with their sins. Those of you who are old enough might recall that the then First Lady of the United States of America, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, said that she was very “comfortable” with her actions in the Whitewater banking scandal. She is a disciple of Rogerian psychology as well of the adversary himself., and Rogerian psychology played a major role in helping destroy some communities of religious women, including the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and has been instrumental in assuaging sodomites in religious communities of men and in the conciliar diocesan presbyterate to feel “good” about their effeminacy and their active participation in perverse sins in violation of the binding precepts of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments.

Dr. William Coulson, a disciple of the psychology of Carl Rogers explained in an interview with Latin Mass Magazine in 1994 how he helped to destroy the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters:

TLM: Now what year are we talking about, roughly?

COULSON: '66 and '67. There's a tragic book called “Lesbian Nuns, Breaking Silence”, which documents part of our effect on the IHMs and other orders that engaged in similar experiments in what we called "sensitivity" or "encounter." In a chapter of “Lesbian Nuns”, one former Immaculate Heart nun describes the summer of 1966, when we did the pilot study in her order-

TLM: "We" being you and Rogers?

COULSON: Rogers and I and eventually 58 others: we had 60 facilitators. We inundated that system with humanistic psychology. We called it Therapy for Normals, TFN. The IHMs had some 60 schools when we started; at the end, they had one. There were some 615 nuns when we began. Within a year after our first interventions, 300 of them were petitioning Rome to get out of their vows. They did not want to be under anyone's authority, except the authority of their imperial inner selves.

TLM: Who's that on the cover of that book [“Lesbian Nuns”]?

COULSON: This is Sister Mary Benjamin, IHM. Sister Mary Benjamin got involved with us in the summer of '66, and became the victim of a lesbian seduction. An older nun in the group, "freeing herself to be more expressive of who she really was internally," decided that she wanted to make love with Sister Mary Benjamin. Well, Sister Mary Benjamin engaged in this; and then she was stricken with guilt, and wondered, to quote from her book, "Was I doing something wrong, was I doing something terrible? I talked to a priest--"

Unfortunately, we had talked to him first. "I talked to a priest," she says, "who refused to pass judgment on my actions. He said it was up to me to decide if they were right or wrong. He opened a door, and I walked through the door, realizing I was on my own."

A digression at this point. I think that you can see one of the sources from which Jorge Mario Bergoglio got “Who am I to judge?”

TLM: This is her liberation?

COULSON: This is her liberation. Now, her parents had not delivered her to the IHMs in order for her to be on her own. She was precious to them. She describes the day in 1962 when they drove her in the station wagon to Montecito, to the IHMs' novitiate.  How excited they were, to be delivering someone into God's hands! Well, instead they delivered her into the hands of nondirective psychology.

TLM: But to mitigate your own guilt, Dr. Coulson, psychologists don't know what they are doing when it comes to the inner depth of the human person; and one would think the Catholic Church, with 2,000 years' experience, does know what it is doing. This priest was a co-culprit. Had he nipped this in the bud-but he sounds like Rogers: "Well, it seems to me that perhaps you might perhaps do this or that."

COULSON: "What does it mean to you?" not "What does it mean to me?" Or to God.  The priest got confused about his role as a confessor. He thought it was personal, and he consulted himself and said, "I can't pass judgment on you." But that's not what confession is. It is not about the priest as a person, making a decision for the client; rather it's what God says. In fact, God has already judged on this matter. You are quite right to feel guilty about it. "Go thou and sin no more." Instead he said she should decide.

TLM: Okay. Now, why did you choose the IHM order in the first place? Or did they choose you?

COULSON: Well, they hustled us pretty good. They were very progressive to begin with. A shoestring relative of one of Rogers' Wisconsin colleagues was a member of the community. By then we were at the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute (WBSI) in La Jolla, which is a suburb of San Diego; as a Catholic, I was assigned to exploit the connection. I spoke to the California Conference of Major Superiors of Women's Religious Orders, and showed them a film of Carl Rogers doing psychotherapy.

TLM: And Rogers' reputation had already grown.

COULSON: Oh yes. Rogers had a great reputation. He was former president of the American Psychological Association; he won its first Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. And WBSI was also the home of Abraham Maslow, the other great figure in humanistic psychology.

TLM: What do you mean by humanistic psychology?

COULSON: Well, it's also called third-floor psychology. Maslow referred to it as Psychology Three. By that he meant to oppose it to Freud, which is Psychology One, and Skinner and Watson, the behaviorism which is Psychology Two. We Catholics who got involved in it thought this third

force would take account of Catholic things. It would take account of the fact that every person is precious, that we are not just corrupted as Freud would have it, or a “tabula rasa”, which is available to be conditioned in whatever way the behaviorist chooses; but rather we have human potential, and it's glorious because we are the children of a loving Creator who has something marvelous in mind for every one of us.

TLM: That could be very seductive even for Catholics who could reject the other two with a simple wave of the hand. Okay, continue now with the story of the IHMs.

COULSON: As I said, the IHMs were pretty progressive, but some of the leadership was a little bit nervous about the secular psychologist from La Jolla coming in; and so I met with the whole community, some 600 nuns gathered in the Immaculate Heart High School gymnasium, in Hollywood, on an April day in 1967. We've already done the pilot study, we told them. Now we want to get everybody in the system involved in nondirective self-exploration. We call it encounter groups, but if that name doesn't please you, we'll call it something else. We'll call it the person group. So they went along with us, and they trusted us, and that is partly my responsibility, because they thought, "These people wouldn't hurt us: the project coordinator is a Catholic." Rogers, however, was the principal investigator. He was the brains behind the project, and he was probably

anti-Catholic; at the time I didn't recognize it because I probably was, too. We both had a bias against hierarchy. I was flush with Vatican II, and I thought, "I am the Church; I am as Catholic as the Pope. Didn't Pope John XXIII want us to open the windows and let in the fresh air? Here we come!" And we did, and within a year those nuns wanted out of their vows. (We overcame their traditions, we overcame their faith.)

This is why Jorge Mario Bergoglio is so supportive of sodomites in the clergy as he believes in a heretical moral theology of “non-direction,” which itself is part of a Gnostic alternative reality where there can be no such thing as absolute right and wrong or any black-and-white/this-or-that teaching about the simple fact that truth of any kind, including doctrinal and moral truth, exists independently of human acceptance of it.

Remember, however, the triumph of the agenda of the homosexual collective within the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism is the result of this false religious sect’s embrace of dogmatic evolutionism. Sodomy is not a heresy as it afflicts even believing Catholics, whether priests or members of the laity. Sodomy is a sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance. However, the justification for it and public celebration of it are the result of the dogmatically condemned and philosophically absurd proposition that all truth is in the process of evolving, including moral truth. Those have chosen to commit sins against have used dogmatic evolutionism to serve as evangelists in behalf of moral relativism, and no amount of self-justification before men can ever change the truth into a lie. The promotion of sodomy within the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism is a symptom of the larger sickness that is the heretical nature of the whole conciliar enterprise.

The De-Christianization of the World

As longtime readers of my work know, my writing attempts, however inadequately, to explain contemporary events in light of their remote and proximate causes. It is easy to get lost in the “trees” of the “forest” and become agitated over the minutest detail about every news item.

The testimony of Father Carlo Maria Vigano has thus certainly caused a great and very justified stir. However, over and above the fact that, as noted at the beginning of this commentary, the Vatican nunicature in the United States of America has long been a conduit for protecting “bishops” and priests/presbyters accused of perverse activities, the Vigano testimony does not have anything in the slightest to do with the simple truth that conciliarism is a false religion with false doctrines, false, sacrilegious and invalid liturgical rites, false interpretations of Sacred Scripture, false teaching on matters of moral theology and false pastoral “initiatives” that offend God and deceive souls into accepting a new religion presented as a “renewed” Catholic teaching.

Two of conciliarism’s false teachings, though, ha pvelayed a very decisive role in contributing—and not so accidentally—to the spread of every moral evil imaginable (contraception, “natural family planning,” abortion, sodomy and its related vices), namely, “religious liberty” and the “separation of Church and State.” The counterfeit church of conciliarism, you see, has served as the most important of the adversary’s instruments to propagandize in behalf of the revolution against the Social Reign of Christ the King that had begun with Martin Luther and was seized upon at first by Talmudists and, later, Freemasons, as the means to de-Christianize Europe and so marginalize Catholicism as to render her powerless in the face of their wicked designs and to so infiltrate her seminaries with candidates that they would be ready as a veritable fifth column to strike once “popes” to their liking usurped the Throne of Saint Peter.

These truths escaped a writer for the National Catholic Register who thought that the Catholic Church, not her counterfeit ape, is responsible for helping to de-Christianize Europe and thus make possible the triumph of the homosexual collective’s agenda:

The sole reason that there are still secular laws on the books that prohibit and punish pedophilia is that Christianity came to dominate culture in the West through evangelization. The only reason that we have accepted homosexuality in culture and in law is the increasing de-Christianization of the culture in the West. As we become even more secularized (i.e., repaganized), pedophilia will soon be accepted, just as homosexuality, abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia have already been embraced.

This is a massive, massive crisis in and for the Church because a deeply-embedded worldwide homosexual network among our priests, bishops, and cardinals is actively engaged in bringing about the full de-Christianization of the world by preying on boys between 12-18, literally recreating Greco-Roman sexual culture in our seminaries and dioceses. If you want to know what it was like in the sordid sexual days of ancient Greece and Rome, just read the Pennsylvania Report.

That’s a rather horrible irony, isn’t it? The very men most authoritatively charged with the evangelization of all the nations are full-steam ahead bringing about the devangelization of the nations. In doing so, these priests, bishops, and cardinals at the very heart of the Catholic Church are acting as willing agents of repaganization, undoing 2,000 years of Church History. (This Crisis is Worse Than You Realize.)

The writer, Benjamin Wiker, does not give any indication that he understands that the process of de-Christianization, although it has some antecedent roots in certain aspects of the Renaissance, began in earnest with the Protestant Revolution on October 31, 1517, when Father Martin Luther, O.S.A., posted those ninety-five theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther made no secret as to what he was doing:

"Assuredly," said Luther, "a prince can be a Christian, but it is not as a Christian that he ought to govern. As a ruler, he is not called a Christian, but a prince. The man is Christian, but his function does not concern his religion." (As quoted in Father Denis Fahey, The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World.) 

Writing in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885, Pope Leo XIII, took direct note of the fact that the confusion in theological circles in the Sixteenth Century spread as a matter of course to the philosophical realm, producing the secular, religiously indifferentist civil state that would wind up making de facto state-sanctioned atheism the lowest common denominator of men and their nations:

But that harmful and deplorable passion for innovation which was aroused in the sixteenth century threw first of all into confusion the Christian religion, and next, by natural sequence, invaded the precincts of philosophy, whence it spread amongst all classes of society. From this source, as from a fountain-head, burst forth all those later tenets of unbridled license which, in the midst of the terrible upheavals of the last century, were wildly conceived and boldly proclaimed as the principles and foundation of that new conception of law which was not merely previously unknown, but was at variance on many points with not only the Christian, but even the natural law. (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)

A civil ruler renders unto God what is God’s, namely,  a due adherence to the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law, as citizens render unto caesar what is caesar’s, namely, obedience to all lawful edicts that do not contradict the laws of God and do not command them to do evil. Caesar and citizens alike must live for and obey the laws of Christ the King and His true Church in all that pertains to the good of souls.

While it is true that no one can be coerced into accepting the true Faith, one’s private conscience must yield to the rights of God over civil society as the God’s greater honor and glory are above the erroneous consciences of men. It is no imposition upon anything to require unbelievers to render obedience to rulers in a civil state formed according to Catholic principles no matter what they may believe privately as the civil state has a positive obligation to recognize the true religion and to render to the true God of Divine Revelation, the Most Holy Trinity, public homage and praise, a point made by Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885:

As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound to act up to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him, since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law. For, men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, no less than individuals, owes gratitude to God who gave it being and maintains it and whose everbounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its teaching and practice-not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion -- it is a public crime to act as though there were no God. So, too, is it a sin for the State not to have care for religion as a something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, would hold in honor the holy name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favor religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety. This is the bounden duty of rulers to the people over whom they rule. For one and all are we destined by our birth and adoption to enjoy, when this frail and fleeting life is ended, a supreme and final good in heaven, and to the attainment of this every endeavor should be directed. Since, then, upon this depends the full and perfect happiness of mankind, the securing of this end should be of all imaginable interests the most urgent. Hence, civil society, established for the common welfare, should not only safeguard the wellbeing of the community, but have also at heart the interests of its individual members, in such mode as not in any way to hinder, but in every manner to render as easy as may be, the possession of that highest and unchangeable good for which all should seek. Wherefore, for this purpose, care must especially be taken to preserve unharmed and unimpeded the religion whereof the practice is the link connecting man with God.

Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfillment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate. . . . To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the making of laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)

Again, the fact that it is impossible, in human terms, that is, to implement these principles in a world that has been ruined by “religious liberty” and “separation of Church and State, in no way lessens their veracity or their binding nature. Error has consequences that are fatal in nature to the eternal and temporal good of men and their nations.

Writing in Libertas Praestantissimum, June 20, 1888, Pope Leo XIII, while accepting the principle of the toleration of error without conceding anything to an assertion that people have an inherent right to embrace it and to profess it publicly, explained that situation to which a state is driven by the toleration of ever greater evils over the course of time:

Yet, with the discernment of a true mother, the Church weighs the great burden of human weakness, and well knows the course down which the minds and actions of men are in this our age being borne. For this reason, while not conceding any right to anything save what is true and honest, she does not forbid public authority to tolerate what is at variance with truth and justice, for the sake of avoiding some greater evil, or of obtaining or preserving some greater good. God Himself in His providence, though infinitely good and powerful, permits evil to exist in the world, partly that greater good may not be impeded, and partly that greater evil may not ensue. In the government of States it is not forbidden to imitate the Ruler of the world; and, as the authority of man is powerless to prevent every evil, it has (as St. Augustine says) to overlook and leave unpunished many things which are punished, and rightly, by Divine Providence. But if, in such circumstances, for the sake of the common good (and this is the only legitimate reason), human law may or even should tolerate evil, it may not and should not approve or desire evil for its own sake; for evil of itself, being a privation of good, is opposed to the common welfare which every legislator is bound to desire and defend to the best of his ability. In this, human law must endeavor to imitate God, who, as St. Thomas teaches, in allowing evil to exist in the world, "neither wills evil to be done, nor wills it not to be done, but wills only to permit it to be done; and this is good.'' This saying of the Angelic Doctor contains briefly the whole doctrine of the permission of evil.

But, to judge aright, we must acknowledge that, the more a State is driven to tolerate evil, the further is it from perfection; and that the tolerance of evil which is dictated by political prudence should be strictly confined to the limits which its justifying cause, the public welfare, requires. Wherefore, if such tolerance would be injurious to the public welfare, and entail greater evils on the State, it would not be lawful; for in such case the motive of good is wanting. And although in the extraordinary condition of these times the Church usually acquiesces in certain modern liberties, not because she prefers them in themselves, but because she judges it expedient to permit them, she would in happier times exercise her own liberty; and, by persuasion, exhortation, and entreaty would endeavor, as she is bound, to fulfill the duty assigned to her by God of providing for the eternal salvation of mankind. One thing, however, remains always true -- that the liberty which is claimed for all to do all things is not, as We have often said, of itself desirable, inasmuch as it is contrary to reason that error and truth should have equal rights.

And as to tolerance, it is surprising how far removed from the equity and prudence of the Church are those who profess what is called liberalism.For, in allowing that boundless license of which We have spoken, they exceed all limits, and end at last by making no apparent distinction between truth and error, honesty and dishonesty. And because the Church, the pillar and ground of truth, and the unerring teacher of morals, is forced utterly to reprobate and condemn tolerance of such an abandoned and criminal character, they calumniate her as being wanting in patience and gentleness, and thus fail to see that, in so doing, they impute to her as a fault what is in reality a matter for commendation. But, in spite of all this show of tolerance, it very often happens that, while they profess themselves ready to lavish liberty on all in the greatest profusion, they are utterly intolerant toward the Catholic Church, by refusing to allow her the liberty of being herself free. (Pope Leo XIII, Libertas Praestantissimum, June 20, 1888.)

The sovereignty of the people, however, and this without any reference to God, is held to reside in the multitude; which is doubtless a doctrine exceedingly well calculated to flatter and to inflame many passions, but which lacks all reasonable proof, and all power of insuring public safety and preserving order. Indeed, from the prevalence of this teaching, things have come to such a pass that may hold as an axiom of civil jurisprudence that seditions may be rightfully fosteredFor the opinion prevails that princes are nothing more than delegates chosen to carry out the will of the people; whence it necessarily follows that all things are as changeable as the will of the people, so that risk of public disturbance is ever hanging over our heads.

To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God. (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)

The conciliar revolutionaries are thus only finishing off the work that had its nascent beginnings in the Republic of Florence during the Renaissance and came into its own during the Protestant Revolution and the subsequent rise and institutionalization of Judeo-Masonry as the ultimate guiding force of civil society.

Mr.  Wiker, for example, does not realize that the contrast between Catholicism and conciliarism is striking in every regard, especially so considering our true popes’ constant condemnation of both religious liberty and separation of Church and State.

Consider, for example, the contrast between Pope Saint Pius X’s Iamdudum that condemned separation of Church and State in Portugal and Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s endorsement of it when he arrived in Portugal on May 10, 2010:

2. Whilst the new rulers of Portugal were affording such numerous and awful examples of the abuse of power, you know with what patience and moderation this Apostolic See has acted towards them. We thought that We ought most carefully to avoid any action that could even have the appearance of hostility to the Republic. For We clung to the hope that its rulers would one day take saner counsels and would at length repair, by some new agreement, the injuries inflicted on the Church. In this, however, We have been altogether disappointed, for they have now crowned their evil work by the promulgation of a vicious and pernicious Decree for the Separation of Church and State. But now the duty imposed upon Us by our Apostolic charge will not allow Us to remain passive and silent when so serious a wound has been inflicted upon the rights and dignity of the Catholic religion. Therefore do We now address you, Venerable Brethren, in this letter and denounce to all Christendom the heinousness of this deed.

3. At the outset, the absurd and monstrous character of the decree of which We speak is plain from the fact that it proclaims and enacts that the Republic shall have no religion, as if men individually and any association or nation did not depend upon Him who is the Maker and Preserver of all things; and then from the fact that it liberates Portugal from the observance of the Catholic religion, that religion, We say, which has ever been that nation's greatest safeguard and glory, and has been professed almost unanimously by its people. So let us take it that it has been their pleasure to sever that close alliance between Church and State, confirmed though it was by the solemn faith of treaties. Once this divorce was effected, it would at least have been logical to pay no further attention to the Church, and to leave her the enjoyment of the common liberty and rights which belong to every citizen and every respectable community of peoples. Quite otherwise, however, have things fallen out. This decree bears indeed the name of Separation, but it enacts in reality the reduction of the Church to utter want by the spoliation of her property, and to servitude to the State by oppression in all that touches her sacred power and spirit. (Pope Saint Pius X, Iamdudum, May 24, 1911.)

From a wise vision of life and of the world, the just ordering of society follows. Situated within history, the Church is open to cooperating with anyone who does not marginalize or reduce to the private sphere the essential consideration of the human meaning of life. The point at issue is not an ethical confrontation between a secular and a religious system, so much as a question about the meaning that we give to our freedom. What matters is the value attributed to the problem of meaning and its implication in public life. By separating Church and State, the Republican revolution which took place 100 years ago in Portugal, opened up a new area of freedom for the Church, to which the two concordats of 1940 and 2004 would give shape, in cultural settings and ecclesial perspectives profoundly marked by rapid change. For the most part, the sufferings caused by these transformations have been faced with courage. Living amid a plurality of value systems and ethical outlooks requires a journey to the core of one’s being and to the nucleus of Christianity so as to reinforce the quality of one’s witness to the point of sanctity, and to find mission paths that lead even to the radical choice of martyrdom. (Official Reception at Lisbon Portela International Airport, Tuesday, May 11, 2010.)

"Gay marriage" and the surgical execution of children were already "legal" in Portugal when Ratzinger/Benedict XVI visited in 2010. Some “new area of freedom for the Church,” eh?

Then again, what “Pope Benedict XVI” said in 2010 is what Joseph “Cardinal” Ratzinger had told Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre twenty-three years earlier:

"Eminence, even if you give us everything--a bishop, some autonomy from the bishops, the 1962 liturgy, allow us to continue our seminaries--we cannot work together because we are going in different directions. You are working to dechristianize society and the Church, and we are working to Christianize them.

"For us, our Lord Jesus Christ is everything. He is our life. The Church is our Lord Jesus Christ; the priest is another Christ; the Mass is the triumph of Jesus Christ on the cross; in our seminaries everything tends towards the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. But you! You are doing the opposite: you have just wanted to prove to me that our Lord Jesus Christ cannot, and must not, reign over society.

Recounting this incident, the Archbishop described the Cardinal's attitude: "Motionless, he looked at me, his eyes expressionless, as if I had just suggested something incomprehensible or unheard of." Then Ratzinger tried to argue that "the Church can still say whatever she wants to the State," while Lefebvre, the intuitive master of Catholic metaphysics, did not lose sight of the true end of human societies: the Reign of Christ." Fr. de Tinguy hit the nail on the head when he said of Marcel Lefebvre: "His faith defies those who love theological quibbles." (His Excellency Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre, Kansas City, Missouri: Angelus Press, 2004, pp. 547-548.) 

The lords of conciliarism, you see, have helped to pave the way for the triumph of moral evils in the world by reconciling themselves to the false, anti-Incarnational principles upon which Modernity is based and have thus aped the Protestants in their zeal to separate that which is by its nature joined in all that pertains to the good of souls, namely Holy Mother Church and the civil state. The conciliar revolutionaries have also serve as the useful idiots and lackeys of the ancient enemies of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His true Church to show that the “new church” only wants a “voice” in the world and has no power received from her Divine Founder and Invisible Head to exhort and, if necessary, admonish civil rulers when they propose to do—or have in fact done—something contrary to the good of souls, upon which the entirety of social orders.

William Thomas Walsh explained how the Jews of the Sixteenth Century both instigated Martin Luther’s revolution and then served as its enthusiastic propagandists:

The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain had been only a temporary misfortune for that energetic and resourceful race. Already, in various parts of the world, they had built up new political and commercial empires. Even before the Spanish calamity, their control of international trade, and of almost the entire economic life of Europe, had been broken by the organization of the medieval Catholic workmen's guilds: but they had gone a long way toward repairing the misfortune, and scattered from Spain and Portugal, were soon controlling the overland trade between the West and Indies, at Ferrrar, Venice, Ancona, Salonika, Constaninople, Cairo and Suez. A Portuguese Jewish family names Mendes, with relatives in Spain, the Netherlands and England, formed a powerful syndicate which became known as the Spice Trust, whose owners collected toll on goods consumed in every country in Europe, maintained an elaborate intelligence or spy system, indulged in usury on a vast scale, gradually pushed into the background such Catholic bankers as the Fuggers, and threw the huge weight of their wealth and influence on the side of any movement aimed against the Church of ChristJoseph Mendes, one of the spice magnates, went to Constantinople and there became virtually master of the policy of the Sultan; it was he, for example, who instigated the great threat to Christendom which was stopped by the fleet of Don Juan of Austria at LepantoAll the powers of international Jewry were allied with, if not actually the motive power of, the vast conspiracy which produced the Protestant revolt. In fact, it was the famous Battle of the Books, a dispute over the Jewish Talmud and Kabbala, which set the stage for Luther. Erasmus's friend Reuchlin, the defender of the Jewish books, assembled around his a party of revolutionaries without whose instant support the Augustinian monk’s voice might have had no more effect than Huss's or Segarelli'sOnce the landslide began, the wide-spread wealth and power of Talmudic Jewry was organized behind the new movements in England, Germany, and France, and probably gave them their permanence. International finance gave the Protestant Revolt a world capital at London. Many good things came to an end: medieval hospitals and charities; the unity of Europe; the Catholic guilds of workmen, from which the modern labor movement still has much to learn.

Charles apparently had no insight into the real significance of all this revolution that was going on around him and in his very household. For many years he retained a pathetic belief in the efficacy of physical force and, even more, of political intrigue. As he had compromised with the Lutheran movement in Germany, so he attempted to outflank the Anglican position by compromise and finesse. He arranged for Philip (whose Portuguese wife had died) to marry Mary Tudor, with the hope that they would have a son who would inherit both England and Spain, and thus bring England back into the Catholic fold. This in part was to be Philip's recompense for having lost the Empire. The whole international anti-catholic ring had seen to it that the Imperial succession would pass not to the Spanish prince, whose unyielding devotions to the Catholic Church was well know, but to his cousin Maximillian, whose lukewarm Catholicism was believed to mask a Protestant heart. Philip, however, would still be the most powerful ruler in Christendom: he would have, besides England and Spain, the control of Italy through Milan and Naples; Burgundy, the Low Countries, and the New World. The recovery of England would make the victory over Protestantism decisive.

This beautiful dream dissolved in the light of actuality. Charles and his obedient son made the fatal mistake of not following the advice of the Pope and Cardinal Pole on the restoration of the immense properties of the English Church, stolen by Henry VIII and passed on by him to crafty upstarts who supplanted the ancient nobility. These men, under the skillful and unscrupulous leadership of William Cecil, were resolved at all costs to suppress the Catholic worship in England, for the sake of the loot they held. They were so cowed at the accession of Mary that a bold stoke then might have forced them to restore the monastery lands and other properties to the rightful owners. But Charles and Philip advised Mary not to insist too much on the point; counting, of course, on the birth of a Catholic heir, and the healing effects of time. The heir was not born, however, and time proved unfaithful. When Mary died without issue, Philip felt sure that her bastard sister Elizabeth would keep her oath to be a good Catholic if crowned. It had been within his power to exclude her; he even toyed with the idea, doubtless with encouragement by Elizabeth, that he could marry her if he chose, and thus keep England within his hand. Philip  did not know that William Cecil had secretly arranged matters with Ann Boleyn's daughter, and would control her by his powerful will, and the weapon of fear, for nearly all her life. She had hardly been crowned when she broke her oath, revealed herself a Protestant, and made Cecil her chief minister. Thus Philip, with the best of intentions, and it must be admitted, as victim of his father's opportunist policies, had set up a power which would become the rallying point of the new Protestant world, shield the ancient hatred of the Catholic Church, and plague him to the day of his death. Thanks to his father's political advisers, too, he had been drawn into a costly and foolish war with Pope Paul IV, who on his side was deceived by a scoundrelly nephew; and it was a sorry satisfaction when the Spanish troops under the Duke of Alba, took Rome.

Charles, meanwhile, on returning to Spain to prepare his soul for death, had had more than one rude awakening. With no Ximenes beside him to give wise and disinterested advice, the prematurely old Emperor was shocked especially to learn that while he had been neglecting the Inquisition founded by his ancestors, and making clever compromises with the heretics of Germany and England, Lutheranism had not only appeared, but had made considerable headway, in Spain.

Even after the reforms of Ximenes, there was some danger that an anti-Catholic movement might take hold in Spain. The reforms of the great Cardinal had not yet permeated the secular clergy. Also, among the large population of Catholic Jews there were still some who were waiting for any opportunity to embrace a cause which called itself Christian (without demand the Christian test of sincerity in the confessional) and yet was a solvent of true Christianity. Finally Erasmus had sown the seeds of dissidence. This Voltairian individual, this versatile mediocre man with far more knowledge than wisdom, this sickly misbegotten dispeptic who had an almost irrational hatred of monks because his uncle had forced him to enter an Augustinian monastery, and jeered at Crusaders among whom his puny limbs could never have taken a place, became immensely popular in Spain at the beginning of the siglo de oro. He had done some good works on pagan and Christian antiquities, and in patrology; he was ski;lful in polemics; above all, he attacked clerical abuses at a time when it was fashionable all over Europe to do so. He went even further: he ridiculed rites and ceremonies of the Church, and scoffed at some of her sacred dogmas. He despised such warrior Popes as Julius II (whom Moses would have understood better) and could not find words enough to flatter the Medici Popes, Leo X and Clement VII, under whose pontificates occurred two of the greatest calamities that had befallen the Church: the loss of Germany and the loss of England. His Praise of Folly contained in embryo all of Luther's subsequent attack, and even ridiculed texts of Holy Scripture. Good men were taken in by him, believing him to be a sincere Catholic seeking needed reforms. Saint Ignatius began reading his works on the advice of his confessor: but on noticing his fervor and devotion began to ebb away in proportion, he cast away the book he was reading, and thereafter held all the writings of Erasmus in abhorrence. Juan de Vergaro, thought he had been a secretary to Cardinal Ximenes, was less sensitive to spiritual odors; he obtained a Spanish pension for Erasmus. Neither wholly Catholic or wholly Protestant, this mean-spirited scholar withdrew from the abyss in which Luther had walked, while his disciples became pioneers of the New Religion in England, and even in Spain.

To understand the shock of horror with which the Emperor Charles discovered all this in 1558, just before his death, one must consider circumstances often omitted or overlooked in the modern conspiracy (When I use “conspiracy” in this sense, I do not mean necessarily a plot controlled by one man, or a small group: it suffices to notice that men of the same spiritual affinity tend toward a common end) against truth which has poisoned the records of the English-speaking world, but painfully real to men of the time. England, more than ninety per cent Catholic, was quietly taken in hand by a small rich minority of enemies of the Catholic church, many of them, like Cecil, of very obscure origin. In France, leagued with the English Protestants, another small but rich minority of Calvinists, chiefly nobles and usurers, were beginning the formidable plots which were to lead to the eight bloody Huguenot Wars. These two groups had very intimate connections with the Lutheran princes of Germany, and with William of Orange, who was already laying the groundwork for the Protestant revolt in the Low Countries, and urging the Turks, through Jewish bankers friends who were his heavy creditors, to attack Catholic Spain from the Mediterranean. Not all of this was evident in 1558, but enough of it had come to light to make the last nights of the Emperor very restless indeed. And then to find out that a Lutheran plot was well advanced in Spain – !

Perhaps the Spanish, having fought the battles of Christendom against unbelief so many centuries, had a keener awareness that some of their northern neighbors of the significance of such movements. They had learned that in this world appearances are often deceptive. A Dominican theologian, familiar with the recent activities of the Alumbrados, discovered by the agents of [Cardinal] Ximenes [de Cisernos], and aware of the ideas of the medieval Manichee heretics from which they derived, would not be long in stripping the gospel of Luther of its accidents, which gave it the superficial appearance of something new, and fining in its essentials the same old enemy that the Catholic Church had been fighting so many centuries. Luther professed to be appealing from the Middle Ages to the virgin purity of the first Christian centuriesIn reality he was leading the minds of his victims even further back in time, back, in the labyrinth of ideas, to the gospel of despair so elaborately disguised by the bhikkus of India, and so craftily revived by the Beghards, Beguins and other secret societies of the thirteenth century.

“Escape from the evils of life (Karma), from desire and action, into nothingness,” said the Buddhists in effect. “Join us, look within, and sink into pure contemplation. Once desire is dead, you shall be free from sin, rebirth and misery.”

“Life is evil, the work of the devil,” said the medieval Manichees. “Do not listen to Pope or priest, but join our sect of the Pure and the Perfect: then, no matter what you do, you are free from sin, from the torment of conscience, from the evil of living.”

“Be illuminated by a divine feeling from within,” said the Alumbrados. “Obey no one but God, Once you have become perfect and left desire behind, no carnal act you happen to perform can be sinful.”

No human works are of any avail,” said Luther. “Only faith can save you. If you have faith, it does not matter how much you sin; in fact, the more you sin the more you prove your faith. Therefor be a sinner, sin strongly, sin a thousand times a day.”

Was not Luther's doctrine of salvation by grace alone a restatement, with a somewhat different emphasis, of the old despairing dogma of the Alumbrados, the Manichees, the Gnostics, the Buddhists? Did not he and Melancthon, in the name of reform revive that other heresy of Fraticelli: the detestable error that the state had absolute power over the individual and the Church that the State was the supreme judge and master of human affairs: there was a familiar Manichean smell about all this Lutheran business, and in the nostrils of the Dominicans it was not good.

Spain had a reminder of the implications of Illuminism in 1544, when the Inquisition, in one of its few moments of activity under Charles V, astonished the country by arresting the famous beata, Sister Magdalena de la Cruz, who had been a nun for forty years at the convent of Saint Isabel of the Angels in Cordoba, and had had such a reputation for holiness that even members of the royal family went to solicit her prayers, while the Empress Isabel, wife of Charles V, gave her in gratitude the robe in which her son, Philip II, had been baptized. It was said that the saintly woman performed dreadful penances and vigils, that she lived only on the Host received in Holy Communion, and that she had received the stigmata of Our Lord on hands, feet and side.

Under examination by the Dominican inquisitors, however, Sister Magdalena made some very different revelations. She admitted that she was not a Catholic at all, but one of the sect of the Alumbrados; that when seven years old, she had been persuaded by the devil to pretend sanctity; that at eleven she had made a pact with two demonios incubos, named Balban and Pitonio, who used to have intercourse with her by night, disguised in various ways – now as a Jeronymite friar, now as a Franciscan, now as a black bull, now as a camel. In obedience to them she made wounds on her hands, feet and side so cleverly that even holy persons were deceived; she went into “trances” in which she seemed insensible even to the prick of needles, she imposed even upon princesses and the Empress.

The Inquisition imprisoned this foul impostor for life. Yet her evil mission had a certain measure of success even after her death. Her example made good people afraid of all who manifested any of the phenomenon to which she laid claim; so that when Saint Teresa of Avila experienced real raptures and visions, she was suspected by pious persons of being just one more Magdalena of the Cross, and endured unspeakable persecutions in consequence, even after the Inquisitors declared her free from heresy and deception, and a true mystic.

Whether Magdalena was an impostor, a paranoiac, a lunatic, or one possessed, is beside the point here. It was intolerable that such a person should be allowed to represent the Catholic religion and impose upon the Catholic people. It was one of the functions of the Holy Office to protect the faithful from such deceptions; and although Luther was a very different sort of person from the nun of Cordoba, there was a certain similarity between his doctrine and that of the secret society to which she belonged. They too, used Christian terminology, though with esoteric meanings; they spoke of “contrition for sin,” “the cross of the Christian,” “the warmth of the Holy Ghost” and so on; and all their emphasis was on feeling as opposed to reason, and on private judgment as opposed to the authority of an ordered Church. (William Thomas Walsh, Characters of the Inquisition, New York, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1940 pp. 214-223.)

This describes Jorge Mario Bergoglio just as much as the “Christian Zionists” who are such enthusiastic supporters of President Donald John Trump’s relocation of the American Embassy in the Zionist State of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem five months ago (see Jerusalem Belongs to Christ the King and His True Church, part four).

There is one passage from the selection from Characters of the Inquisition quoted just above that I want to emphasize as it describes precisely what the conciliar revolutionaries have believed and have put into practice as they reconciled themselves to the “world” while disparaging the Social Reign of Christ the King:

Did not he and Melancthon, in the name of reform revive that other heresy of Fraticelli: the detestable error that the state had absolute power over the individual and the Church that the State was the supreme judge and master of human affairs: there was a familiar Manichean smell about all this Lutheran business, and in the nostrils of the Dominicans it was not good. (William Thomas Walsh, Characters of the Inquisition.)

Writing in Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1907, Pope Saint Pius X gave us the most cogent summary of the purposes of civil government and how our popes have always opposed the separation of Church and State as circumstances required them to do:

That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it.The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.) 

By the way, one of the correlative proofs of how the conciliar "popes" have defected from the Catholic Faith is that they have done what our true Roman Pontiffs have never ceased to do, to "refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State,” and Pope Pius XI explained in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922, that no Catholic is free to dismiss the binding nature of this teaching, which is found in the very nature of things as ordered by God from all eternity:

Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.

There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidedly than We condemn theological modernism.

It is necessary ever to keep in mind these teachings and pronouncements which We have made; it is no less necessary to reawaken that spirit of faith, of supernatural love, and of Christian discipline which alone can bring to these principles correct understanding, and can lead to their observance. This is particularly important in the case of youth, and especially those who aspire to the priesthood, so that in the almost universal confusion in which we live they at least, as the Apostle writes, will not be "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive." (Ephesians iv, 14) (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)

Oh, in case anyone is interested, it was this passage in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio that served as one of the many impetuses by which I came to conclude that conciliarism could not be reconciled with and was indeed the counterfeit ape of Catholicism. Truth is immutable, and the truth of this matter is that the lords of conciliarism continue to do what the Catholic Church has ever opposed as the work of the devil: the dethroning of Christ the King from His Social Reign over men and their nations through His one and only true Church, the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.

The commitment of the counterfeit church of conciliarism to the agenda of homosexual collective that has led it to find every excuse imaginable to reaffirm unrepentant sinners in their lives of perversity that lead only to their own eternal perdition to the decay of all social order is the very fulfillment of the following prophetic statements made by Popes Gregory XVI, Pius IX and Leo XIII about the ultimate consequences of errors of religious indifferentism “freedom of conscience,” religious liberty and separation of Church and State would have upon men and their nation:

This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyoneIt spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly "the bottomless pit" is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws -- in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.

Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth. Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth. Every law condemns deliberately doing evil simply because there is some hope that good may result. Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored, and even drunk because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again? (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832.)

For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of "naturalism," as they call it, dare to teach that "the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones." And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity," viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;" and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling.

And, since where religion has been removed from civil society, and the doctrine and authority of divine revelation repudiated, the genuine notion itself of justice and human right is darkened and lost, and the place of true justice and legitimate right is supplied by material force, thence it appears why it is that some, utterly neglecting and disregarding the surest principles of sound reason, dare to proclaim that "the people's will, manifested by what is called public opinion or in some other way, constitutes a supreme law, free from all divine and human control; and that in the political order accomplished facts, from the very circumstance that they are accomplished, have the force of right." But who, does not see and clearly perceive that human society, when set loose from the bonds of religion and true justice, can have, in truth, no other end than the purpose of obtaining and amassing wealth, and that (society under such circumstances) follows no other law in its actions, except the unchastened desire of ministering to its own pleasure and interests?" (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864.)(Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864.)

"So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption.Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only way to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the making of laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and, by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action." (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)

The conciliar revolutionaries scoff at and reject these clear, prophetic warnings issued by three popes because they believe in a different religion, a different religion that requires them to look for "solutions" that are indeed quite chimerical and utopian.

We do not despair in the midst of our current difficulties.

As I have noted so many times in the past, the good God has in His ineffable Providence ordained for us to live in precisely these times, which means that the graces His Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, won for us on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, are sufficient for us now as they ever have been or ever will be. It is up to us fallen and thus weak vessels of clay to make use of these graces as we eschew all contact with the contagion of conciliarism and try, despite our own faults and failings, to plant a few seeds for the restoration of a true pope on the Throne of Saint Peter who will fulfill Our Lady’s Fatima Message and help to usher in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary by so doing.

Our Lady gave us her Most Holy Rosary to be our spiritual weapon, a weapon that was used first by Saint Dominic de Guzman against the Albigensians/Cathari and that remains a weapon against the heresies of conciliarism and, of course, the enemies of our own sanctification and salvation.

It is always time to pray another Rosary.

Why not pray one now?

Vivat Chistus Rex!

Viva Cristo Rey!


Examples of the Spread of Perversity in the Three Centuries Before the Protestant Revolution

Rather than include the material below in the main commentary and thus make its reading difficult, I decided that it would be best to present it in this appendix. The indented material comes from other sources. My own commentary, both original and excerpted from other articles, is not indented.

As noted in the main part of this commentary, heresies have an inherent logic that leads them to manifest the perfections of their inherent degeneracy over time. William Thomas Walsh’s description of the heretical believes of the neo-Manicheans, the Albigenisans/Catharis, provides a glimpse into that process:

Something very similar happened when the Manichees began migrating to various parts of Europe, taking with them, not an intellectual protest against the tenets of the Church, not a mere refusal to believe or to practice (there were always unbelievers in Europe, and people who did not go to Mass, yet no coercion was applied to them), but something quite positive and quite sinister, which was felt to be a virus injected into the bloodstream of human society. As most of them came from Bulgaria, they were called Bulgars, Bougres, and finally Buggers.

The Manichees, originally followers of Mani, were oriental dualists who believed virtually in two gods, one good, the other evil. The Father, or Spiritus Vivens, had created the universe, but when he summoned three spirits to carry on the work of creation, one of them, the Great Architect, apparently designed the future paradise, without any thought of man’s attaining it.

Adam and Eve, on the contrary, were the result of intercourse of the Devil, the creator and master of the world: and though Adam had light in him, Eve was all darkness — a notion which perhaps helped to color the Mohammedan concept of the essential inferiority of women. All life on this planet, being the work of the Devil, was evil. Marriage, since it propagated the curse of life, was evil. Suicide, since it ended the crime of living, was good and desirable. There was a horrible logic in all this, granting the initial premise that all matter was evil per se. There was even a germ of truth likely to appeal to a simple-minded person who had noticed that the world was full of miseries and disillusionments, and was either ignorant of or indifferent to the Church’s explanation: that man, having sinned, was under the shadow of evil unless he accepted the redemption of Christ: but that all life, all creation, all being is good in itself, as the work of an all-beneficent God.

Toward the end of the twelfth century, many thousands of Manichees had settled in the cities of Lombardy and Languedoc. In the latter, especially, they were numerous, and, in spite of their professed aversion to the marriage relation, were increasing in numbers. Perhaps the south of France offered them a more congenial environment than they could have found anywhere else in Europe. It was not only fertile and sunny, but it had long been a refuge for unbelievers. There the

Saracens had settled after their invasion of Spain and their defeat at Tours. There, as usual, large Jewish communities had assembled, finding the atmosphere of Islam more congenial, in general, than that of Christendom. There, in the course of centuries, had developed a semi-oriental civilization, easy-going, prosperous, sensual and colorful, with a veneer of Christianity which at times wore very thin. In such surroundings the Manichees probably found more encouragement than in most other lands of the West. “If the truth were known,” says Lewis Browne, “probably it would be found that the learned Jews in Provence were in large part responsible for this freethinking sect. The doctrines which the Jews had been spreading throughout the land for years could not but have helped to undermine the Church’s power;” 3 and another modern Jewish writer goes even further, and considers it “indubitable” that the heretical doctrines of Southern France “were largely the result of friendly intercourse between Christians and Jews.” 4

Once the dissident movement was under way, however, the Jews quickly dissociated themselves from it. They were too intelligent to give up the sublime tradition of Moses, and their sane and well ordered family life, for any such grotesque nonsense as the various sects of Manichees preached. For grotesque nonsense it was, and vicious nonsense, too, that the Albigenses (the name usually given to the French Manichees, from their populous town of Albi) believed and practiced.

Nothing could be further from the truth than the theory of certain liberal historians that the “noble Albigenses” were a harmless and highly cultured people, persecuted by the Catholic Church out of sheer bigotry and intolerance.

Although these noble heretics lived in the land of troubadours, they themselves achieved nothing intellectually or artistically noteworthy. They called themselves the Cathari, or the Pure (Puritans). They were a secret society with an inner circle of initiates known as the Perfected. To join their True Church, as they called it, one must promise 1) to renounce the Catholic Faith (for they held that the Mass was idolatry, the Eucharist a fraud and an abomination, since bread and wine were

creations of the evil spirit, the Church of Rome the whore of Babylon, and the Pope Antichrist) and 2) to receive, before death, their only sacrament, the consolamentum. After a year’s probation, a member became one of the Perfected by a curious ceremony. He promised, among other things, never to touch a woman, never to kill an animal, never to eat meat, eggs, milk or any other food that came from animals (to which the souls of human beings might have transmigrated — besides, animals were the result of sexual intercourse), never to take an oath, never to travel or pass the night without a socius, never to take off his clothes upon retiring. When he had bound himself to all this and more, he was kissed twice on the mouth by each of the Perfected who were present, and he in turn kissed the next man, who passed the salutation along. If the candidate were a woman, she was not kissed, but merely touched with a book of the Gospels. Indeed, the aversion to women seemed to be the chief and common characteristic of those sects, and the one, naturally, which sane and healthy men were likely to look upon with ribald scorn. The Cathari called marriage prostitution, and held that carnal intercourse between the sexes was the original sin of Adam and Eve, and the greatest of all sins, since it begot children. Even perversion, therefore, was preferable, in their eyes, to marriage. Perhaps the prevalence of abnormal vice among them was exaggerated by their neighbors; yet, human nature being what it is, their tenets could hardly fail to lead in that direction. (William Thomas Walsh, Characters of the Inquistion.)

Even if the estimable William Thomas Walsh understated the prevalence of perversion amongst the Manicheans (Cathari/Albigensians), it is nevertheless true that perverse practices did indeed follow from their false and heretical beliefs. Is it any wonder that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has lavished praise upon the Waldensians repeatedly?

Among the different “charisms” of the Waldensians, who number less than 50,000 worldwide, must be included a rejection of the Christology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology and Mariology taught by the Catholic Church and, as mentioned earlier, its reliance upon subjectivism as the means to practice moral vice with impunity.

Yes, one can see full well why this heretical sect, which has “ordained” women and has endorsed “marriage” between people of the same gender, is held in such high regard by Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Indeed, fornication and sodomy, sins about which the false “pope” makes light, have been practiced by Waldensians since the sect’s formation. After all, “anything goes” once one rejects the true Faith and embraces subjectivism. Sins of impurity, whether natural or unnatural, are frequently the underlying causes of heresies and the formation of heretical sects.

Unlike Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Innocent III and the Fourth Lateran Council condemned the doctrines of the Albigensians and the Waldensians as follows:

We firmly believe and openly confess that there is only one true God, eternal and immense, omnipotent, unchangeable, incomprehensible, and ineffable, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; three Persons indeed but one essense, substance, or nature absolutely simple; the Father (proceeding) from no one, but the Son from the Father only, and the Holy Ghost equally from both, always without beginning and end. The Father begetting, the Son begotten, and the Holy Ghost proceeding; consubstantial and coequal, co-omnipotent and coeternal, the one principle of the universe, Creator of all things invisible and visible, spiritual and corporeal, who from the beginning of time and by His omnipotent power made from nothing creatures both spiritual and corporeal, angelic, namely, and mundane, and then human, as it were, common, composed of spirit and body. The devil and the other demons were indeed created by God good by nature but they became bad through themselves; man, however, sinned at the suggestion of the devil. This Holy Trinity in its common essence undivided and in personal properties divided, through Moses, the holy prophets, and other servants gave to the human race at the most opportune intervals of time the doctrine of salvation.

And finally, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God made flesh by the entire Trinity, conceived with the co-operation of the Holy Ghost of Mary ever Virgin, made true man, composed of a rational soul and human flesh, one Person in two natures, pointed out more clearly the way of life. Who according to His divinity is immortal and impassable, according to His humanity was made passable and mortal, suffered on the cross for the salvation of the human race, and being dead descended into hell, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. But He descended in soul, arose in flesh, and ascended equally in both; He will come at the end of the world to judge the living and the dead and will render to the reprobate and to the elect according to their works. Who all shall rise with their own bodies which they now have that they may receive according to their merits, whether good or bad, the latter eternal punishment with the devil, the former eternal glory with Christ. (Fourth Lateran Council, Against the Albigensians, Joachim, Waldensians, etc., 1215. A different translation is found at Denziger, pp. 168-169.)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is forever apologizing for the infallible guidance provided by the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, to our true popes and the fathers of Holy Mother Church’s true general councils, which is why he must blaspheme the Holy Ghost by making Him out to be a aimless force that blows whichever way men, steeped in their sins and false beliefs, want Him to blow. How can any believing Catholic accept the claim that such a man as Jorge Mario Bergoglio is a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter or that the church he claims to head is anything other than a counterfeit ape of the Catholic Church?

Writing in Characters of The Inquisition, William Thomas Walsh explained how inquisitors such as Bernard Gui, the Inquisitor of Toulouse, France, understood that the Waldensians were masters of evading direct questions put to them, meaning that they, the Waldensians, questioned by Holy Mother Church’s duly-appointed inquisitors, were guided by the forces of darkness itself. Gee, who has avoided any and all personal reply to the Dubia put to him by four conciliar “cardinals” about Amoris Laetitia? Methinks that the name Jorge Mario Bergoglio should come to mind.

A careful reading of the following text from Characters of the Inquisition will reveal that the subjective spirit of the conciliar revolutionaries and their mastery of ambiguity and evasion had been exhibited over eight centuries ago in the form of the Waldensians:

The Waldenses or Poor Men of Lyons, wrote Bernard [Gui], first appeared about the year 1170, making a claim similar to that of the Manichees, that they were the true Christians and successors of Christ's apostles. They believed in Heaven and Hell, but denied that there was a Purgatory. They would take no oaths, and would obey no authority but that of God, which they claimed to receive directly, as holy and perfected men; by the same token denying the authority of the Church, the validity of her sacraments, and the priestly functions of her ministers. Every holy person, they said (including women), was a priest, and their sect alone was holy; hence they absolved one another’s sins. Yet in spite of their aversion to ecclesiastical organization and obedience, they imposed both organization and obedience on all who joined their society, “which they call a fraternity,” added Brother Bernard. The members had to promise strict obedience to thir superiors. (Some of these dissenters had a hierarchy, even a sort of Pope, of their own.) They promised to live in evangelical poverty, with no private property, and in chastity. Theoretically, at least, they owned all things in common, and lived on the alms given to them; “and he who is greater among them distributes and dispenses to any one according to his need.” They were Communists of a sort, these Waldenses, and like many radicals, held somewhat unconventional views of sexual morality. “The Waldeneses praise continency to their believers,” said Bernard, “yet they grant that one ought to satisfy a burning lust by any manner of shamefulness whatsoever, their apostles explaining this by saying it is better to marry than to burn (Medius est nubere quam uri), for it is better, they say, to satisfy lust by any act of shame whatsoever than to be tempted in the heart within; this, however, they keep very secret indeed.” 

(William Thomas Walsh, Characters of the Inquisition, New York, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1940 pp. 60-61.)

What did I say a short while ago about most heresies being caused by a desire to engage in sins against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, both by natural and unnatural means?

Look at Martin Luther.

Look at Henry VIII.

Look at the Waldensians and their admirer, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who seeks to “accompany” fornicators and sodomites rather than exhorting them to quit their sins. This hideous apostate seeks out heretics steeped in perversion whose worldwide following could not fill Dodger Stadium (Chavez Ravine) in Los Angeles, California, or Yankee Stadium III in The Bronx, New York, to capacity while castigating believing Catholics who take Catholic doctrine seriously and are trying, despite their own sins and failings, to save their immortal souls.

Quoting from Bernard Gui’s manual to instruct inquisitors as to how to deal with the Waldensians, William Thomas Walsh provided readers of Characters of the Inquisition with an explanation concerning how heretics such as Bergoglio are skilled in evading direct answers to questions about the Holy Faith:

Twice a year the members of this sect would quietly assemble to hold a general chapter or convention in some town where they were met by some believer, and led, as if they were merchants, to the house of a member, where they would elect officers and carry on other business. They made a great point of visiting churches and hearing sermons, and always maintained a very devout exterior. “Commonly they call themselves brothers, and say they are the Paupers of Christ or the Poor Men of Lyons.” Those who had achieved perfection never worked with their hands. Married men, on joining the sect, gave up their wives when initiated.

Considering the ease with which these self-canonized saints could pervert, the hell fire with which Saint Paul threatened fornicators into the flame of lust, Bernard felt it necessary to warn his readers that the Waldenses were the hardest of all heretics to trap and expose. He furnished the Inquisitors with an account of a typical cross-examination, based upon his own experience:

“When one of them is arrested and brought forward for questioning, he comes as if fearless, and conscious of no evil in himself, and secure. Asked if he knows why he is arrested, he answers very calmly, with a smile, 'Sir, I will gladly tell you the reason.'

He is never at a loss. When the Inquisitor asks what his faith is, he answers,

“I believe all that a good Christian ought to believe.”

“And what do you consider a good Christian?”

“He who believes as the Holy Church teaches to believe and hold.”

“What do you call the Holy Church?”

“Lord, what you say and believe to be the Holy Church.”

I believe the Holy Church to be the Roman Church, over which the Pope presides as lord, and other prelates under him.”

“And I believe it.” answers the suspect promptly (meaning, “I believe that you believe it,” explains Bernard).

Asked about the particular articles of faith, such as the incarnation of Christ, His resurrection and ascension, he replies,

“Firmly I believe it.”

Does he believe that the bread and wine are changed in the Mass, at the words of the priest, into the body and blood of Our Lord”

“Ought I not indeed to believe that?” he demands innocently.

“I do not ask whether you ought to believe it, but do you believe it?”

“I believe whatever you and other good doctors order me to believe.”

The Inquisitor asks if the “other good doctors” are not the masters of the man's sect, and the real dictators of his opinions.

“I believe you also, willingly,” replies the prisoner, “if you teach me anything that may be good for me.”

Inquisitor: “You judge a thing to be good for you, if I teach you what those other masters teach you. But answer simply, if you believe the body of the Lord Jesus Christ to be on the altar.”

Heretic: “I believe.” (He means says Bernard, that “there is a body, and all bodies are of the Lord Jesus Christ.”)

Inquisitor: “Do you believe that there is that body of the Lord which was born of the Virgin and hung on the cross, and arose from the dead and ascended into Heaven?”

Heretic: “And you, Lord, don't you believe it?”

Inquisitor: “I believe it absolutely.”

Heretic: “And I believe it in the same way (meaning, “I want you to believe that I so believe it.”)

Urged again to answer explicitly and directly, he tries another tack. “If you wish to interpret everything I say as otherwise than plainly and simply, then I don't know what I ought to answer to you. I am a simple man, and uneducated. Please don't try to trip me up in my words.”

Inquisitor: “If you are a simple man, reply and act simply, without any cloak of words.”

Heretic: “Willingly.”

Inquisitor: “Then you are willing to swear that you have never taught anything against the faith . . . ?”

Heretic: (trembling a little): “If I ought to swear, I will swear willingly.”

Inquisitor: “You are not asked whether you ought, but whether you are willing to swear.”

Heretic: “If you order me to swear, I will swear.”

Inquisitor: “I don't compel you to swear, because since you believe an oath to be unlawful, you will try to shift the blame to me for compelling you; but if you swear, I will hear.”

Heretic: “What then shall I swear, if you don't order me?”

Inquisitor: “In such a way as to dispel the suspicion that is against you, because you will be counted as a Waldensian heretic, believing and holding that every oath is unlawful and sinful.”

Heretic: “How ought I to speak when I swear?”

Inquisitor: “Swear as you know.”

Heretic: “Lord, I don't know unless you teach me!”

“Then I say to him,” wrote Bernard, forgetting for the moment to be impersonal, “If I had to swear, then, I would raise my hand and touch the holy gospel of God, and say, “I swear by this holy Gospel of God that I have never taught and believed anything that might be against the true faith that the holy Roman Church believes and holds.”

The heretic, “shuddering, and almost like a man who does not know how to form even the words,” mumbles something rather verbose which he intends to have sound like an oath, but not to have the form of an oath; or something in the way of prayer meant to simulate an oath; such as, “If God will aid me, and this holy Gospel, (to show) that I am not a heretic, or have not been one, or have said this or that.”

Inquisitor: “Well, will you swear?”

Heretic: “Didn't you hear me swear?”

Finally, when the heretic is straightened by questions, and at the end of his resources of evasion, he pretends to weep, or flatters the Inquisitor, saying that he will perform any penance to free himself from the infamous charge of which he, a simple man, is wholly innocent.

Sometimes, however, he will say he is ready to swear a simple and straightforward oath. At this point the Inquisitor must answer no doubt with a show of sternness, “If you now swear so that you may go free, take notice that one oath will not be enough for me, nor two, nor ten, nor a hundred, but I shall ask for tociens quociens, for I know that among you dispense from and allow for a certain number of oaths, when necessity compels, to set yourselves or others free. But I will require oaths without number, and especially if I have witnesses against you, your oaths will not be of any good to you, and then you will stain your conscience swearing against him, and on that account you shall not escape.”

Bernard adds, “In the anxiety of such a moment I have seen some of them confess their errors, that they might go free.”

This page from the great Inquisitor's notebook reads like a scene from a comedy; yet often a man's life, yes, and the fate of his soul, hung upon the outcome of the conversation.

Sometimes the Waldenses pretended to be simple-minded or insane, sicut David coram Achis, and they had a thousand other ways of prolonging their examination, in the hope that the Inquisitor might weary of the seemingly endless task and let them go, or that they might discredit him among the Catholic laity, “because he seemed to trouble simple men without cause, and to seek a pretext for destroying them in a too cautious examination.” (William Thomas Walsh, Characters of the Inquisition, New York, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1940 pp. 61-64.)

This is a very accurate summary of how the conciliar revolutionaries themselves have sought to excuse themselves when they have tried to justify their multiple departures from the Holy Faith and their embrace of aspects of practically every heresy that has arisen from the Apostolic era to the present day.

William Thomas Walsh’s description of a heretic applies to the Waldensians, to be sure, but it applies as well to the conciliar revolutionaries of the past and the present, starting with Jorge Mario Bergoglio himself:

A heretic is a professing Christian who takes the parts that he likes, and rejects what he dislikes, without considering that truth is not a subjective thing, but has an objective and eternal validity outside of him and independent of his very existence. (William Thomas Walsh, Characters of the Inquisition, New York, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1940 p. 95.)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of course, dislikes and rejects almost everything to do with the Catholic Faith, which is why he has such a great affinity for heretics such as the Waldensians, who were precursors of Protestantism and of Modernism itself.

There was, however, a bridge between such heretical sects (the Cathari/Albengensians and the Waldensians) so favorably disposed to perversity and that which began the formal process of the de-Christianizing of Europe and thus the triumph of all forms of decadence, including perversity, today, the Protestant Revolution. Catholics must never forget the role played by the corrupting influences of some aspects of the Renaissance from the late-Fourteenth through the early-Sixteenth Centuries, especially those that celebrated celebrate Greek and Roman antiquity and the perverse practices found in those pagan cultures.

Certain aspects of the Renaissance gave rebirth to the old moral relativism of the Sophists of Athens in the Fifth Century B.C. and to a system of amorality in statecraft that is practiced to this very day thanks to Niccolo Machiavelli. It is a short step from the celebration of the paganism of ancient Greece and Rome to celebration of its vices, which is what occurred, especially in the Republic of Florence, where was born a nascent call for the heresy of the separation of Church and State. That nascent call had everything to do with sodomy. Everything.

Consider the detailed information as contained in Chapter 3 of Mrs. Randy Engel’s The Rite of Sodomy on the corrupting influences of the Renaissance (the full chapter is appended below with permission of Mrs. Engel):

           Among the great city-states that emerged in Italy during the Renaissance period was the Republic of Florence considered by many to be the original model for the modern State in the world and birthplace of Dante Alighieri and the first Medici, and the Republic of Venice, mistress of the seas and center of Italian industry and commerce. Both Florence and Venice vied for the title of the birthplace of statistical science and both city-states kept detailed historical records including population statistics and legal and juridical records including convictions for sodomy and other vices – making them a historian’s paradise.

           In recent years a number of historiographers have chronicled the rise of homosexual practices in Renaissance Italy and Europe. Oxford Press has published at least two major works on the subject – Guido Ruggiero’s, The Boundaries of Eros – Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice (1985) and Michael Rocke’s Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence  (1996). In 1989, Harrington Press, an imprint of Haworth Press, Inc. that publishes a large number of homosexual texts, published a more generalized study, The Pursuit of Sodomy - Male Homosexuality in Renaissance and Enlightenment Europe, edited by Kent Gerard and Gert Hekma.

The term “sodomy” as used in all these historical references encompassed a broader definition than strictly anal penetration. In general usage, sodomy was equated with male same-sex acts of every kind including mutual masturbation and fellatio.[vi] However, the terms “sodomite” and “bugger” were usually reserved for the man who was judged to be addicted to the vice and who took the “active” role in the same-sex act typically with a younger partner. As we shall see, throughout Europe, sodomy in all its forms was a dangerous and punishable crime with penalties ranging from large fines and exile to burning at the stake. 

Sodomy in Renaissance Florence

In his excellent study on sodomy and the evolution of the Office of the Night in Florence, Michael Rocke made it clear that for the Renaissance man, homosexual behavior and not homosexual identity remained the cornerstone of common thought on the subject. Florentines felt no compulsion to “organize their understanding and representation of sexuality,” based on sexual deviancy alone, he said.[vii] In their mind, any man was seen as being capable of engaging in sodomy, as well as normal sexual relations with women, hence they did not seek to segregate males exclusively according to the object of their sexual desires.[viii]

As Rocke pointed out early in his study, long before the Renaissance period, Florence suffered the reputation of being the capital of two vices – usury, practiced by the international merchant-banking houses like Bardi and Peruzzi, and sodomy. Among Italians and foreigners alike, “to sodomize” was dubbed florenzen and a “sodomite,” a Florenzer,” he noted.[ix] As for the Florentines, they insisted that sodomy was an imported vice brought into the city by wayfarers and brigands (trapassi or malandrini).[x]

Among the sociological factors that contributed to the general atmosphere of lax morals and the practice of sodomy in particular in Renaissance Florence, said Rocke were:

· The catastrophic demographic consequences of the Black Death and subsequent famine and social and political anarchy. In addition to the Great Plague of 1348-1350 there were recurrent episodes in 1363-1364, 1400, 1417, 1423-1424 and 1430.

· The traditional social patterns of late marriage resulting in a profusion of youthful bachelors.

· The strict seclusion of respectable young unmarried women prior to marriage.

· The revival of interest in the arts and culture of ancient Greece with its tradition of pederasty.[xi]

How pervasive was the vice in Florence?

Rocke reported that historical records of the early Renaissance period support the charge that all social strata were infected with the vice.[xii] The rich and the poor, the layman and the cleric, the citizen and the foreigner were said to practice sodomy. Taverns, public baths, houses of gambling and prostitution and certain public locations such as the Via tra’Pellicciai (Street of the Furriers) were notorious gathering places for sodomites. Rocke also identified certain occupations that were popularly associated with sodomy including  the armed forces, the theater, the arts and teaching (dance and fencing).[xiii]

Was there something resembling a “homosexual sub-culture” in Renaissance Florence?

Rocke answered “no,” although he did document the existence of discreet “networks” or “circles” of sodomites that met the needs of men desiring same-sex contacts.[xiv] These groupings, however, did not form a separate “sexual minority” in the modern sense, he explained.  Rather they were absorbed into the larger and more general framework of illicit sexual activities that thrived in the male-dominated culture of Florence. His comments on the subject are worth quoting in full:                                                          

Enmeshed in these dense and often far-flung webs of affiliation, sodomy in Florence had a marked collective character. The extensive and multi-faceted networks of associations and friendships among sodomites and others sympathetic to them help account for the vitality of sodomy in the community and, consequently, for the difficulty of eradicating it.[xv]                                           

Pederasty Dominates the Florentine Scene

           As to the particular form that male sodomy took in Florence, there was no question that it followed the same pattern that had dominated the Mediterranean scene centuries before the coming of Christ - it was  pederasty in the classical Greek mode with only minor divergences. (Mrs. Randy Engel, Chapter 3, The Rite of Sodomy)

The humanistic revival of classical art, literature and learning known as the Renaissance began in Italy in the 14th century and spread throughout Europe over the next 250 years. It was an era that witnessed great historical changes for both Church and State including the rise of nationalistic tendencies among the secular powers which helped fuel the Reformation in Germany in 1517 and England in 1533. The discovery of the New World revolutionized European commerce and economics stimulating the development of urbanization in the great cities of Europe and the rise of a new ruling class of wealthy merchants and bankers.

There was also a weakening of the Christian moral life especially among the upper classes and the Church hierarchy not excluding the Roman Curia and papacy for whom temporal consideration generally overrode any competing religious and moral considerations. It was said of the Renaissance period that in the quest for the ideal Christian life, the cult of holiness had been replaced by the cult of greatness.[i]

Given this sad state of ecclesiastical affairs, it is more than passing interest that the only Renaissance pope to be canonized was St. Pius V (1566-1572) whose pontificate was marked by a zealousness for the purity of the Faith and a campaign for moral reform of the laity and clergy that included an end to the vice of sodomy which the pope termed “the execrable libidinous vice against nature.”[ii]

At the personal level, the universality and objectiveness of Christian morals were undermined by the new heretical doctrines of the Protestant Reformers including justification by faith alone without reference to good works, the denial of freedom of will, which furnished an excuse for moral lapses and the personal certainty of salvation in faith (i.e., subjective confidence in the merits of Christ).[iii]

In terms of sexual morality, however, it would be a mistake to characterize the Renaissance as a period of unbridled sexual license in which all expressions of carnal lust and sexual excesses were equally tolerated if not encouraged.[iv] This most certainly was not the case. For whatever his moral failings and materialistic tendencies, the Renaissance man remained, at the very core of his being, fundamentally religious.  This perhaps is the best explanation as to why throughout Renaissance Europe and England, the prevailing common sense view of sodomy was that it was an abomination.[v]

Studies on Sodomy in Renaissance Italy 

           Among the great city-states that emerged in Italy during the Renaissance period was the Republic of Florence considered by many to be the original model for the modern State in the world and birthplace of Dante Alighieri and the first Medici, and the Republic of Venice, mistress of the seas and center of Italian industry and commerce. Both Florence and Venice vied for the title of the birthplace of statistical science and both city-states kept detailed historical records including population statistics and legal and juridical records including convictions for sodomy and other vices – making them a historian’s paradise.

           In recent years a number of historiographers have chronicled the rise of homosexual practices in Renaissance Italy and Europe. Oxford Press has published at least two major works on the subject – Guido Ruggiero’s, The Boundaries of Eros – Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice (1985) and Michael Rocke’s Forbidden Friendships Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence  (1996). In 1989, Harrington Press, an imprint of Haworth Press, Inc. that publishes a large number of homosexual texts, published a more generalized study, The Pursuit of Sodomy - Male Homosexuality in Renaissance and Enlightenment Europe, edited by Kent Gerard and Gert Hekma.

The term “sodomy” as used in all these historical references encompassed a broader definition than strictly anal penetration. In general usage, sodomy was equated with male same-sex acts of every kind including mutual masturbation and fellatio.[vi] However, the terms “sodomite” and “bugger” were usually reserved for the man who was judged to be addicted to the vice and who took the “active” role in the same-sex act typically with a younger partner. As we shall see, throughout Europe, sodomy in all its forms was a dangerous and punishable crime with penalties ranging from large fines and exile to burning at the stake. 

Sodomy in Renaissance Florence

In his excellent study on sodomy and the evolution of the Office of the Night in Florence, Michael Rocke made it clear that for the Renaissance man, homosexual behavior and not homosexual identity remained the cornerstone of common thought on the subject. Florentines felt no compulsion to “organize their understanding and representation of sexuality,” based on sexual deviancy alone, he said.[vii] In their mind, any man was seen as being capable of engaging in sodomy, as well as normal sexual relations with women, hence they did not seek to segregate males exclusively according to the object of their sexual desires.[viii]

As Rocke pointed out early in his study, long before the Renaissance period, Florence suffered the reputation of being the capital of two vices – usury, practiced by the international merchant-banking houses like Bardi and Peruzzi, and sodomy. Among Italians and foreigners alike, “to sodomize” was dubbed florenzen and a “sodomite,” a Florenzer,” he noted.[ix] As for the Florentines, they insisted that sodomy was an imported vice brought into the city by wayfarers and brigands (trapassi or malandrini).[x]

Among the sociological factors that contributed to the general atmosphere of lax morals and the practice of sodomy in particular in Renaissance Florence, said Rocke were:

· The catastrophic demographic consequences of the Black Death and subsequent famine and social and political anarchy. In addition to the Great Plague of 1348-1350 there were recurrent episodes in 1363-1364, 1400, 1417, 1423-1424 and 1430.

· The traditional social patterns of late marriage resulting in a profusion of youthful bachelors.

· The strict seclusion of respectable young unmarried women prior to marriage.

· The revival of interest in the arts and culture of ancient Greece with its tradition of pederasty.[xi]

How pervasive was the vice in Florence?

Rocke reported that historical records of the early Renaissance period support the charge that all social strata were infected with the vice.[xii] The rich and the poor, the layman and the cleric, the citizen and the foreigner were said to practice sodomy. Taverns, public baths, houses of gambling and prostitution and certain public locations such as the Via tra’Pellicciai (Street of the Furriers) were notorious gathering places for sodomites. Rocke also identified certain occupations that were popularly associated with sodomy including  the armed forces, the theater, the arts and teaching (dance and fencing).[xiii]

           Was there something resembling a “homosexual sub-culture” in Renaissance Florence?

Rocke answered “no,” although he did document the existence of discreet “networks” or “circles” of sodomites that met the needs of men desiring same-sex contacts.[xiv] These groupings, however, did not form a separate “sexual minority” in the modern sense, he explained.  Rather they were absorbed into the larger and more general framework of illicit sexual activities that thrived in the male-dominated culture of Florence. His comments on the subject are worth quoting in full:                                                          

Enmeshed in these dense and often far-flung webs of affiliation, sodomy in Florence had a marked collective character. The extensive and multi-faceted networks of associations and friendships among sodomites and others sympathetic to them help account for the vitality of sodomy in the community and, consequently, for the difficulty of eradicating it.[xv]                                           

Pederasty Dominates the Florentine Scene

           As to the particular form that male sodomy took in Florence, there was no question that it followed the same pattern that had dominated the Mediterranean scene centuries before the coming of Christ - it was  pederasty in the classical Greek mode with only minor divergences.

           The Rocke study demonstrated that homosexual relations in Florence followed a strict hierarchical form that included an older male between the ages of 19 and 30, and a younger male, usually a teenage boy, between the ages of 14 to 16. The former took the manly active or dominant role and the latter, the passive or feminine role. According to Rocke, these roles were rarely exchanged except where two adolescent peers were involved in mutual sex play.[xvi]      

           In order to attract and seduce handsome young sex partners, older Florentines employed traditional inducements similar to those involved in the Greek eromenos – erestesrelationship – money, gifts and in some cases, the promise of social advancement. If the youth was very poor, an offering of food or housing was usually sufficient to entice him to sexual service, Rocke remarked.[xvii]

           Obviously, the more pleasure that the adult male could give his young partner the easier it was to secure his continued cooperation in the homosexual relationship. Rocke quoted the Venetian libertine priest Antonio Rocco who, in his apologia for pederasty, L’Alcibiade fanciullo a scola (ca 1630) contended that while the adolescent takes “natural” and “physiological” pleasure in being penetrated, it is a “conscientious lover’s duty” to foster that pleasure.[xviii]

From the vantage point of the younger partner, sodomy was also seen as a transitional venture on the way to traditional heterosexual marriage. Rocke made the important point that although some men referred to their younger sexual companion as their “girl” or their “woman,” and to boy prostitutes as “bitches,” the teen partners themselves did not appear to suffer from any “sexual gender identity crisis,” that is, they did not think of themselves as women even though they permitted their bodies to be used like women.[xix]

           One of the most important revelations of the Rocke study was that consensual homosexual relationships involving two grown men were virtually unheard of in Florence. As Rocke stated, “… sex between mature men, was, with rare exceptions, unknown.”[xx] It was considered both “dishonorable” and “feminine” for any full grown man to play the woman’s part, even those men who sought out same-sex relations exclusively, he said. Habitual or inveterate sodomites were known to exist in Renaissance Florence as a small group of older unmarried men, but their passive partners were teenage boys not their peers, Rocke explained.[xxi]          

Mendicant Orders Lead Campaign for Moral Reform

Although Florence had among the most severe laws against sodomy in all Europe, up until the early 1400s, these statutes were unevenly and sporadically enforced. As noted earlier, patterns of late marriage and the isolation of young women before marriage had ingrained sodomy into the very social fabric of Florentine society making wholesale enforcement of such laws virtually impossible.

Most sodomy cases that made it to the Florentine courts involved notorious habitual offenders including older men who played the passive role; violent and/or statutory male rape including child abuse and gang rape; blasphemy or sacrilege; or cases in which foreigners were charged with sodomizing Florentine boys.[xxii]  Guilty parties faced harsh punishment including heavy fines, castration, prison, corporal punishment, exile and execution.

Historian Rocke said that the opening of the 15th century marked the beginning of a radical shift in public attitudes toward sodomy in Florence whose citizens demanded a more vigorous enforcement of anti-sodomy laws and an end to laissez  faire tolerance of the vice by public authorities. At the same time there was an effort to make the punishment more aptly fit the crime especially when the case involved adult first time offenders and youth.[xxiii]

Among the many factors that contributed to the public’s groundswell for a campaign of moral reform in Florence and other cities of Italy and Europe was the growing popular belief that God had sent the plague, famine and incessant fratricidal warfare as a punishment for the widespread practice of sodomy. This apocalyptic message that recalled the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire and brimstone for the crime of sodomy was reinforced by the two of the greatest “Preachers of Repentance” of the late Middle Ages – the saintly Franciscan Italian missionary and miracle worker, St. Bernardino of Siena, and the remarkable Dominican moral reformer, Girolamo Savonarola.

Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444)

           Known world-wide as the “Apostle of Italy,” the mendicant friar Bernardino degli Albizeschi transversed the great cities and smaller villages of central and northern Italy for more than 40 years with his call to the faithful, including his own brothers of the Observant and Order of Friars Minor, to reform their lives.

           Born into a noble and influential Sienese family, Bernardino, like St. Peter Damian, suffered the loss of his parents at a young age and was likewise reared by relatives, in this case, his pious aunts.[xxiv]

           In 1402, at the age of 21, Bernardino received the Franciscan habit at the friary of San Francesco in Siena that belonged to the Observant branch of the Order of Friars Minor. Two years later, after his profession and ordination, he founded a new Observant friary outside the city called La Capriola, where he led a quiet and secluded life of prayer and study of Holy Scripture. It was not until 12 years later, in 1417, that Bernardino emerged from the friary to begin his public ministry to promote morality and regenerate Italian society under the banner of the Holy Name of Jesus.

           As all his biographers including Franco Mormando have confirmed, in an age when preaching was the most important means of mass communication and mass instruction of the faithful, the holy and charismatic Bernardino drew thousands of listeners to his sermons, many of which, by necessity, were preached in the town square to accommodate the vast crowds.[xxv] His audience “embraced the entire spectrum of society,” said Mormando, from the most influential and powerful personages of Church and Crown to the poorest and humblest of laborers, farmers and servants; from the most educated circles of society to the most illiterate peasant. [xxvi] Yet the friar’s message remained the same for one and all - repent and reform your lives.    

Bernardino Attacks Sodomy in Lenten Message

           With the same vigor and explicitness of St. Peter Damian, 370 years before him, Bernardino rarely missed an opportunity to denounce the sin from which “even the Devil flees in horror,” – the sin of sodomy, explained Mormando.[xxvii] Not surprisingly, when the famous preacher from Siena was invited by Florentine civic (not ecclesiastical) officials to deliver a series of Lenten sermons in 1424 and 1425 to rally popular support for moral reform including the abolition of sodomy, his audience was hardly a disinterested one.

These lengthy sermons demonstrated a remarkable knowledge of some of the causal factors that we now associate with homosexuality as well as insights into the nature of the vice and the effects it produces on males unfortunate enough to be caught up in the vice. St. Bernardino preached : 


No sin had greater power over the soul than the one of cursed sodomy, which was always detested by those who lived according to God. …Such passion for undue forms borders on madness. This vice disturbs the intellect, breaks an elevated and generous state of soul, drags great thoughts to petty ones, makes [men] pusillanimous and irascible, obstinate and hardened, servilely soft and incapable of anything. …Sodomites, unrepentant, will suffer more pains in hell than anyone else, because this is the worst sin there is.[xxviii]

           Rocke, also among the friar’s biographers, recorded that Bernardino portrayed the inveterate sodomite as a man who is apathetic toward the fair sex, opposed to marriage, a hater of children and practitioners of sterile and perverted sexual practices which greatly offended God.[xxix] In his sermons, the friar claimed that some men who become habitual sodomites in their youth continue to use boys sexually in maturity and that these individuals once past the age of 32 or 33 found it especially difficult to give up the vice, said Rocke.[xxx]

           The holy friar showed remarkable insight into the problems a woman is likely to expect should she marry a habitual sodomite. According to Rocke, Bernardino offered this “general rule” -  “the greater a sodomite he is, the more he will hate his wife, as pretty as she may be…”[xxxi] The friar noted that in addition to being reminded daily that her husband preferred boys to her, there was also the danger that he might force his “unnatural passions” on her, Rocke recorded.[xxxii]  

           Reflecting on the dangers of rampant unrest and intrigues that characterized Florentine political life, the friar drew a connection between homoerotic loyalties and the subversion of the common good.[xxxiii] He was not alone in his thinking, said Rocke. An earlier 1418 Florentine law sought to exclude from civic and guild offices any convicted or suspected sodomites on the basis that they might conspire with one another against the State.[xxxiv]    

           But, sodomites were not the only objects of Bernardino’s scathing attacks, observed Rocke. The friar also lashed out against parents who fail to set a good religious and moral example for their children and who do not properly monitor and discipline their adolescent sons.[xxxv] Along similar lines, Mormando confirmed that the fiery preacher condemned the emasculating mother who encouraged effeminacy of dress and manners in her son either to psychologically unman him or in some cases to attract wealthy and influential male suitors for the boy.[xxxvi]

           Bernardino did not overlook the rich and powerful and the privileged in his condemnation of sodomy,  nor was he above warning the populace of the alleged favoritism towards sodomites by the powerful Medici, said Rocke.[xxxvii]

           Finally, Bernardino attacked the ease with which sodomites escaped punishment in both Florence and his own city of Siena and demanded that public officials strictly enforce the laws against sodomy in order to restore social and moral stability to the city.

           Given the extraordinary power of the saintly friar to convert the hardhearted and morally indifferent to repentance and reform we can assume Bernardino was successful in raising the consciousness level of the individual Florentine as to the moral and social dangers of sodomy. However, it took seven long years before Florentine government decided to institute a new program of policing and punishing the crime of sodomy – a program that was directed more at managing and controlling the vice rather than eradicating it.

Michael Rocke on the Office of the Night

           In 1432, the Republic of Florence created the Office of the Night (Ufficiali di notte), heretofore referred to as “the Office,” to systematically and vigorously police and prosecute males who engaged in sodomy including “consensual” affairs. Rocke reported that this specially convened judiciary commission was endowed with sweeping investigative and policing powers and it enjoyed an unprecedented reign of 70 years during which time it tried over 17,000 cases of sodomy leading to about 3,000 convictions.[xxxviii] It is the detailed records of these trials, uncovered by Rocke, which provide such an amazingly intimate look at the practice of sodomy in Renaissance Italy. 

           According to Rocke, since the draconian penalties of the past against convicted sodomites did not appear to be effective in curbing the vice, the Office decided upon a different strategy, one that was more lenient, especially toward youthful offenders and put more emphasis on social sanctions such as public corporal punishment and the use of public ridicule and ostracism.[xxxix] It is obvious, said Rocke, that the Office saw itself as the court of last resort rather than first resort in dealing with convicted sodomites.[xl]

           Rocke’s original research into the history of the Office revealed the manner in which it undertook the task of policing the vice. One of its most prominent features, said Rocke, was the leniency shown to the adolescent partner and the defacto acknowledgement by the Office that so-called “consensual” sex with minors often involved a degree of bribery, intimidation, or threat or actual violence by the adult male partner. [xli] Also, as Rocke reminded his readers, “Although the courts seldom penalized boys who let men sodomize them, families and the community evidently had their own way of punishing, shaming, and even ostracizing them.”[xlii]

           The primary form of punishment administered by the Office was a monetary one - the payment of fines on a sliding scale based on the age and social status of the offender. Rocke noted that fines were reduced for men who after being arrested or cited by the Office freely confessed their misdeeds, while those who voluntarily turned themselves into the Office, confessed their crimes and named their partners, were awarded immunity from prosecution.[xliii] For the most serious cases there was prison or exile. False accusations were vigorously punished, Rocke said.[xliv]

           As wide as its juridical powers were, however, the Office did not have jurisdiction over clerical sodomites, Rocke stated. In 1436, when the Office attempted to extend its authority over monasteries, Pope Eugenius IV (1431-1447) was quick to publicly reject the magistracy’s action as an infringement of ecclesiastical privilege.[xlv]

           After the officials of the Office identified monks, priests, chaplains, vicars and other members of the clergy as pederasts, they turned their names over to the proper ecclesiastical authorities including the Inquisition. However, unlike Venice and Valencia where churchmen were among the conspicuously prosecuted for sodomy, it does not appear that the vice was a prominent feature of the Florentine clergy. Rocke did, however, report on a few of the more sensational cases that were tried by the Church.[xlvi]

Rethinking a Failed Strategy

           Whatever the original hopes of the founders of Office of the Night were for the lenient application of the Republic’s anti-sodomy laws as a means of controlling spread of the vice, by the late 1450s it was clear that the strategy had backfired. For while it was true that earlier draconian measures against sodomites including castration and capital punishment did not totally eradicate the vice from the Florentine landscape, it did not necessarily follow that the Office’s novel policies of leniency, self-denunciation with guaranteed immunity and a tendency to turn a blind-eye to an ever growing number of adult recidivists, would fare any better. 

           According to Rocke, by 1458 a full crisis was in the making. As common sense would dictate, the more tolerance the Office exhibited toward sodomy the more the vice increased. Not unexpectedly, the growing network of confirmed sodomites in Florence had taken full advantage of the law to escape punishment and protect and advance their own interests.

           The Florentine government demanded that the Office of the Night institute a more vigorous and punitive approach to the punishment of sodomites, said Rocke.[xlvii] The Officers of the Night countered this order with the argument that such action unfairly discriminated against the poor who made up the bulk of convicted offenders, for, unlike the rich, they could not pay larger fines nor could they escape punishment by going abroad. This conflict of interests, as Rocke noted, reflected the “…considerable differences that often existed between prescriptive norms and practice, between laws against sodomy and their enforcement.”[xlviii] In actuality, these differences were never entirely resolved.

           In 1502, the Office of the Night was dissolved and its responsibilities transferred to other offices. The local magistracy continued to handle the every-day garden variety of cases of sodomy using fines and public humiliation as punishment, reported Rocke. More serious and politically explosive sodomy cases such as those involving the use of violence and forcible rape; multiple crimes including murder; cases involving Jews; and cases of sodomy that took place in churches, were turned over to higher criminal courts such as the Watch of Eight, Rocke confirmed.[xlix]

Frate Girolamo Savonarola Wars Against Sodomy

           While this Great Debate was being carried out in the secular realm in Florence, the Dominicans entered the fray in the person of Girolamo Savonarola – another of the great religious protagonists of the Renaissance era whose demand for moral reform sent shock waves throughout Florence, the Papal States and Rome – the seat of the Roman Curia and the papacy.

           Savonarola was born at Ferrara on St. Matthew’s day, September 21, 1452, the third son of a noble family who had come from Padua to settle in Ferrara at the invitation of NiccolòIII of the great house of Este, a rival to the Medici in their patronage of literature, the arts and science.[l]

           William Clark, one of Savonarola’s English biographers has noted that from early childhood, Savonarola possessed “a serious, almost sorrowful nature” that continued to characterize his adult life and religious ministry.[li] The young man was in his early 20s when he entered the Dominican Order at Bologna to begin a life of prayer, learning and ascetic practices.

           In 1481, the preacher’s superior sent him to Florence where it appeared that his strident preaching on the need for repentance and reform offended the ears of the populace most especially the courtiers of the ruling House of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Undiscouraged, Savonarola went on to preach the Gospel message throughout Italy centering more and more attention on the Book of Revelation and the coming prophecy of the Great Chastisement to come and rebirth of the Church that was to follow.

           He returned to Florence in 1489. Two years later he was appointed prior to the great monastery of San Marco, whereupon, he immediately began his program for the moral reform of the Order by establishing a new Dominican congregation that took on the strict observance of the original Rule of St. Dominic – a life distinguished by severe austerity, prayer and learning.

           The new prior did not demand of others what he himself did not observe. His own life was one of  abstemious behavior – he undertook great fasts and wore only the coarsest and most patched clothing. In an age when clerical fornication, adultery and concubinage were the rule rather than the exception, “No one ever doubted of the chastity of Savonarola.”[lii] The new prior also established the custom of regularly visiting the cells of his Dominican charges that he might raise their minds and hearts to God. Inspired by  the example of Savonarola, the ranks of his small congregation quickly swelled to 238 monks many of whom were drawn from among the most prominent families of the city.

           In August 1490, Clark reported, the Frate began to publicly preach at the great cathedral of San Marco. Florence was to be the starting point of his new campaign to reform the Church, the clergy and religious and the laity. This time thousands of Florentines flocked to hear him denounce the immoralities and vanities of the age. A special gallery was erected for young children and youth to more clearly hear Savonarola’s message, for the monk had long determined that they held the key to a new Reformation.[liii]

           With the death of Lorenzo, “the Magnificent” on April 8, 1492, and the subsequent collapse of Medicean rule and restoration of the Florentine Republic in November 1494, the door was opened to a new era of moral reform modeled along Savonarolian lines and a renewed attack against sodomy both by the Office of the Night and the Watch of Eight.[liv]

The Reform of the Fanciulli

           One of the most interesting aspects of Savonarola’s program for the eradication of sodomy, as reported by Rocke, was that involving the conversion and rehabilitation of thefannciulli, the delinquent and often violent and licentious adolescent boys of Florence, many of who regularly offered their sexual services as passive partners to the older sodomites of the city.[lv] By cutting off the “supply,” the Florentine preacher reasoned, one could diminish if not eliminate the “demand.”

           Clark reported that following a lengthy period of self-imposed silence that began in October 1495, Savonarola emerged from his monastery in February 1496, to proclaim his new anti-sodomy program directed at the re-education and religious formation of Florentine boys and youth.[lvi] For the period it was in effect it met with extraordinary success. According to Rocke, not only did he persuade many of the young men to turn away from a life of sexual promiscuity and violence in favor of a life of good works and pious devotion, but he also motivated them to police and aggressively reproach those who continued to practice the vice.[lvii]

           Perhaps Rocke’s most startling and significant revelation concerning Savonarola’s reform program for boys was the fact that as the available pool of young passive partners began to dry up, the city’s sodomites were forced to turn to older boys and adult men for sexual favors.[lviii]  Rocke’s examination of the documents of the Office of the Night revealed that there was a rise in the normal mean age of passive partners from 16 to 18-years-old.

           Rocke himself did not speculate on the implications of this historic temporary transition, from classic pederasty to more adult peer homosexual relations in late 15th century Florence.

           However, I believe that it is not too far afield to draw at least a partial causal relationship between the rise of child protection laws including the criminalization of pederasty, and the rise of a full blown male adult homosexual subculture in Italy and throughout Europe in the late 1700s.         

           In the years immediately following the death of Frate Savonarola, whose controversial foreign politics and intrigues combined with his public condemnation of papal court immorality led to his excommunication by Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) in 1497 and his arrest, torture and execution at the stake one year later, the tumultuous political see-sawing of anti-sodomy legislation in Florence continued unabated well into the 17th century.[lix]

           From Renaissance Florence we now transport the reader to Renaissance Venice.


Clerical Sodomy in RenaisanceVenice


In Guido Ruggiero’s The Boundaries of Eros - Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice, written ten years before Rocke’s classic study on sodomy in Florence, we find that by the 1400s, sodomy, once a minor blip on the Venetian moral landscape had grown into a major problem for the Republic, infecting all classes of society including the nobility and the clergy.[lx]

           Although one finds many similarities between the two city-states of Florence and Venice with regard to the policing of the vice, there are some unique aspects of the Venetian approach that warrant special attention, most especially the struggle for jurisdiction over offending clerics who have committed capital crimes including sodomy.

           Under Venetian law, sodomy was defined as any sexual act between two males including group (not individual) masturbation, external interfemoral stimulation between the legs of a passive partner, and anal penetration.[lxi] As in Florence, the nature of most sodomy cases was decidedly pederastic.

Ruggiero reported that the culpable partner in sodomy cases was generally the male adult. His passive adolescent partner was merely a submissive agent.[lxii] Physicians were required to report to the public authorities all cases involving the rupture of the anal orifice of a minor boy due to an act of sodomy, said Ruggiero, and death at the stake was almost a virtual certainty for men convicted of the homosexual rape of a youth.[lxiii]  

           Despite the severe penalties attached to sodomy convictions, however, Venice had a lively homosexual network similar to that of Florence, that was part of the larger underground network of illicit activities in the city, but did not constitute a separate homosexual subculture.[lxiv] Ruggiero reported that there were certain locations in the city that were notorious for same-sex male assignations liaisons.[lxv] He also revealed that it was a common practice in sodomite circles, to feminize male names, for example, changing Rolandino to Rolandina.[lxvi]

As outlined by Ruggiero, the principal unit of judiciary power in Venice was the powerful Dieci or Council of Ten, the membership of which was drawn from the city’s wealthiest patrician families. The Council of Ten delivered justice. More importantly, it delivered equal justice, which meant that it was not above sentencing nobles to death for capital crimes including sodomy.[lxvii]

Unlike Florence, sodomy was always viewed by the Venetian ruling class as a “seriously willed crime,” claimed Ruggiero.[lxviii] He reported that although the city had its own Office of the Night that was charged with policing public morals including the prosecution of sodomites, the Ten assumed jurisdiction in particularly grave cases including incidents of sodomy on Venetian ships; incidents of sodomy that occurred in churches; and cases involving Jews and Christians, or members of the Venetian aristocracy, or high ranking churchmen.[lxix]

           One such case cited by Ruggiero involved a dual crime of sodomy and murder committed on sacred ground. A non-noble son of a city official was accused of the murder of a nobleman named Morosini at the monastery of San Zaccaria. The youth admitted the killing, but said he acted only in self-defense in an attempt to protect his virtue. Since the youth held to his story even under torture, the Ten released him despite pressures from the noble’s family to sentence him to death.[lxx]

           The issue of clerical sodomy had long been a vexing one for the Council of Ten. According to Ruggiero, the Ten along with other Venetian law enforcement agencies believed that the Church was “too lenient” in its treatment of convicted clerical sodomites and that it had a tendency “to protect its own in such matters.”[lxxi] The key question still being asked today was, “Is the cleric above the secular law in the commission of a crime involving a minor?” It appeared to the Ten that while laymen including noblemen convicted of sodomy, received harsh punishment, clerics, even in cases that involved minors, often got away without punishment by Church officials.[lxxii] Under these circumstances, said Ruggiero, the Ten appealed to the pope for help and received it.[lxxiii]

           Sensitive to the continuous charge that the Church was soft in its dealing with clerical sodomites Ruggiero noted that the pope also ordered all clerics to wear clerical attire (robes) and to be registered with the local bishop “in order to be properly distinguished from non-clerics seeking special status to avoid secular punishment.”[lxxiv] And, although death by burning was ruled as unsuitable for a man of the cloth, more stringent penalties were instituted for clerics found guilty of the crime of sodomy including the lifetime confinement of such clerics on a diet of bread and water, Ruggiero pointed out.[lxxv]

           Throughout the other kingdoms of Europe, the legal secular standards for the punishment of the crime of sodomy by the Church and State remained essentially the same as that of the great city-states of Florence and Venice throughout the Renaissance period.

Sodomy in Other Renaissance Cultures                

           In Spain, the prosecution of sodomites was the joint-task of both the Inquisition and the State. Penalties for laymen ranged from corporal punishment and exile to burning at the stake. Clerical sodomites were usually punished by defrocking and in some cases handed over to the secular authorities for execution after the confession and absolution of their sins.

           Feminist apologist Professor Mary Elizabeth Perry in her essay “‘The ‘Nefarious Sin’ in Early Modern Seville,” reported that in late medieval Spain, where “crimes against nature” were closely linked to “religious deviancy,” death by fire was reserved for apostates, heretics and sodomites.[lxxvi]

Perry stated that since Seville was located in the Kingdom of Aragon, the Inquisition under the direction of the Jesuit Order retained jurisdiction over sodomy cases, whereas in Castile, the crime was a matter for the secular authorities.[lxxvii]

           Most of the cases that came before the Inquisition, Perry explained, involved the already familiar pederastic pattern of homosexual relations in late medieval Europe, that is, the sexual servicing of older men by young boys in their mid to late teens.[lxxviii] In cases involving minors under the age of 17, the Jesuits, who were more interested in the salvation of souls than in the infliction of punitive measures, generally argued for leniency and the rehabilitation of youthful offenders, Perry noted.[lxxix] The Jesuits also maintained a prison ministry for adult sodomites who were held in separate cells in the Royal Prison in Seville.[lxxx]

           Perry claimed that in Seville, a center of Catholic piety with a very large number of churches and monasteries, the vice of sodomy was practiced by a significant number of religious and the secular clergy.[lxxxi]

In some clerical cases, the priest or religious was charged with the solicitation of youth for sexual purposes in the confessional, she reported. Penalties for this dual offense of sacrilege and sodomy ranged from reclusion to a monastery where the convicted cleric was prohibited from hearing confessions and disciplined by his bishop or religious superior, to execution by burning. The latter punishment was usually reserved for notorious clerical offenders or cases involving the sexual abuse of young children, said Perry.[lxxxii]

           One such notorious case cited by Perry involved a religious by the name of Pascual Jaime, who served as chaplain to the Duke of Alcada.[lxxxiii] Caught in a compromising position with one of his dolled-up street urchins who were always in his company, Jaime admitted his life-long pederast passions to the Inquisition. He was convicted, defrocked, handed over to the secular authorities by his archbishop and publicly burned at the stake in front of the archbishop’s palace.[lxxxiv] Later, his young accomplice, Francisco Legasteca, who had been awaiting trial in Royal Prison, was also found guilty of sodomy and despite his young age, was also consigned to the flames as a warning to others who had been part of Jaime’s pederast network, Perry noted.[lxxxv]    

Sodomy in Renaissance England

           In comparison with its European counterparts, the Renaissance came relatively late to England – starting in the late 1400s and ebbed in the mid -1600s. It was a period of English history when religion was intimately tied to politics and the crime of sodomy viewed as a treasonable act by the Crown.

As documented by Alan Bray, author of Homosexuality in Renaissance England, in both Elizabethan and Jacobean England, the Protestant Reformers propagated the view that the vice of sodomy was a foreign import - introduced to the isle by the Lombards and Papists – more specifically, the Jesuit Order.[lxxxvi]

In popular literature of the period, the papacy itself was portrayed as a “second Sodom” and a “cistern full of sodomy,” and the Jesuits as Rome’s Antichrist shock troops and the natural enemies of the State.[lxxxvii]

From their pulpits, Protestant ministers condemned priestly celibacy as a cause of sexual deviancy in religious life, while upholding marriage for the clergy as a natural remedy for concupiscence and a “bulwark against sexual debauchery.”[lxxxviii] Scriptural references to God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as a punishment for sodomy provided another popular theme for their sermons as was the connection of sodomy to heresy and witchcraft and sorcery.[lxxxix]

           English Catholics in turn were wont to blame the “unspeakable” vice on the influx of Protestants from the Continent.[xc] Historian Cynthia B. Herrup recalled that the well known English Benedictine monk Father Augustine Baker in the late 1500s, charged that sodomy was “the greatest corruption in our land” and he warned the youth of Oxford and Cambridge to be alert to possible homosexual solicitation.[xci] A warning, not without some basis in fact, for in 1541 Reverend Nicholas Udall, the headmaster of Eton, was prosecuted by the Privy Council for alleged sexual transgressions including buggery.[xcii]

A Portrait of an English “Bugger”

Like his Continental counterpart, the English Renaissance man did not conceive of the sodomite or bugger as he was popularly called, as a man with a different and distinct nature, but rather the general product of a lifetime of material luxury and sexual excesses of all kinds. The portrayal of sodomy as a vice to which the English gentry, more specifically, the London gentry, were addicted, was a common theme in Elizabethan writings and the theater, whereas common folk were portrayed as having more normal sexual desires, said Bray.[xciii] In actuality, sodomy appeared to have permeated all levels of English society, the fact that it was a felony punishable by hanging until death, not withstanding.

In early Renaissance England, the two primary factors said to contribute to the spread of the vice were the historical pattern of late marriage and the social reality of crowded housing that forced non-family members, especially unmarried servants and apprentices, to share the same bed. Also, at a time when blood-lines and inheritance laws were matters of grave political and social importance, the natural consequence of producing bastard sons from unions with female prostitutes or female servants could be eliminated altogether by taking one’s pleasures with adolescent boys from the lower classes. The sexual libertine, obviously, did not need any excuse. 

As in Renaissance Florence and Venice, with the exception of mutual sex play between adolescent partners or groups of boys, sodomy was generally defined in pederastic terms, that is, as same-sex relations involving an active male adult and a passive adolescent boy drawn from the poorer working class.

Sometimes, the dominant partner was a married man and father from the upper classes who managed to live out a secret or discreet life as a lover of boys,” but as Bray noted, in any case neither party was under pressure to define themselves solely by their sexual acts.”[xciv]

According to Bray, while there is historical evidence that some of these pederastic relationships involved mutual affection and friendship, more often than not, the elements of material and financial enticements played the decisive role in the relationship. Also, he added, the element of coercion, actual or potential, can be said to be a factor especially in those sexual liaisons involving employers and their young apprentices; teachers and their underage pupils; or masters and their male servants or pages.   

All classes of English society had access to the services of boy prostitutes housed in tavern brothels that catered to clientele seeking same-sex relations, said Bray.[xcv]

Anti-Sodomy Laws Not Enforced

Although the police records and court proceedings for sodomy trials during the Renaissance period in England are no where as complete and detailed as those of their Italian counterparts, they do provide some information on the extent to which the vice was prosecuted and on the existence and operations of various urban networks or circles of sodomites.

From the surviving official documents and other historical data, it appears that up until the mid-1650s, law enforcement officials in major urban centers like London and in rural areas did not view sodomy as a special type of sexual offense that demanded exclusive attention or vigorous prosecution. Renaissance England did not have an equivalent to the Office of the Night nor was the Inquisition ever formally established as a major juridical force in England as it was on the Continent.

Sodomy cases that made it to the English courts, said Bray, generally involved violence against minors including homosexual rape; notorious incidents involving a grave breach of the social order; and those involving “malicious intent,” that is, where the charge of sodomy was leveled against a prominent personage as a means of destroying his reputation and influence. But even in these cases, the successful prosecution of sodomites was uncommon.

           To understand the apparent discrepancy between the popular sentiments of the day that viewed sodomy as a grave offense against God and the Crown, and the general lack of enforcement of anti-sodomy statues, it is necessary to briefly examine the language as well as the legislative intent of England’s early anti-sodomy statutes.

           The Buggery Act, as it was known, was drafted and promulgated by Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor and an important architect of the English Reformation in 1533, two years before England’s formal schism with Rome. Although the law, no doubt, accurately reflected the strong popular sentiments against the vice, the primary motivation for its passage was political not moral. Its aim was not so much the suppression of sodomy as it was the removal of the Catholic Church’s jurisdiction in the matter. For in addition to making sodomy a felony punishable by death, the statute permitted the Crown to seize the property and lands of convicted sodomites including members of the clergy, thus providing still another excuse for Henry VIII’s wholesale looting of the great monastic houses of England.

It is one of those fascinating footnotes of history that in July of 1540 when the disgraced Cromwell made his way to the scaffold (he made a public confession of faith in the Catholic Church immediately before his execution), he was accompanied to the place of execution by Walter, the 1st Lord of Hungerford, who was condemned to death for committing sodomy with his manservants as well as harboring an alleged enemy of the Crown.[xcvi]    

Over the next 100 years, the provisions of the 1533 law would undergo some modifications. For example, in 1548, King Edward VI approved an amendment to the law that excluded the confiscation of a convicted felon’s property by the Crown. The law was repealed for a short period by Edward’s successor, the Catholic Queen Mary I as part of a general overhaul of the Protestant legislation she had inherited from Edward. However, Mary’s reign proved short. When Queen Elizabeth I ascended the English throne in 1563, she re-instituted her father’s anti-sodomy law in its original form. [xcvii]

           According to Herrup, throughout the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, the language of anti-sodomy legislation was expressed in ecclesiastical rather than common law terms. The definition of sodomy included not only “carnal knowledge between two men,” but also bestiality and unnatural (anal) coitus between a man and a woman.[xcviii] An important feature of English law was that penetration alone determined the felony. 

This singular requirement necessary for conviction in sodomy cases was difficult, if not impossible, for non-participants to prove. Also, most same-sex affairs involved an adult and a minor from the lower class, whose testimony like that of a women, was generally held to be unreliable. The issue of class distinction also carried over to cases involving two adult males since these usually involved a man from the aristocracy and a lower class subordinate in his employ. Further, by bringing the case to the attention of the courts, the accuser automatically implicated himself in a felonious act punishable by death, Herrup pointed out. And, when all else failed, there was always bribery and the intimidation of witnesses. [c]

Although many confirmed sodomites, from all classes, may have eluded the scaffold or gallows on legal technicalities, it does not follow that they escaped punishment altogether. The public humiliation and ostracism of known sodomites including their confinement in the stocks were painful enough reminders of the horror with which the general populace viewed acts of buggery.

           It is interesting to note that a common, though not necessarily untruthful ploy used by the defense in buggery cases, especially those involving the aristocracy, was the claim that the defendant was in an intoxicated state when the alleged act occurred, thus, he could not be held culpable for his actions.[ci]

           Three examples of how all the multi-faceted contingencies of the law against sodomy actually played themselves out in Renaissance England can be found in the Christopher Marlowe murder trial of the late Elizabethan period; the Castlehaven Affair of the post-Jacobean period; and the Molly House trials of the early 18th century. Each case is unique in its own right. 

Sodomy, Spying, Murder and Mayhem

Catholic and Protestant Intriguing in Renaissance England 

           The Reckoning by Charles Nicholl is a masterful re-creation and re-examination of the circumstances and events leading up to the trial of Ingram Frizer for the murder of the famous Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe on May 30, 1593 – a murder in which “lewd” and “unnatural passions” were rumored to have played a part.[cii]

In fact, the murder probably had little if anything to do with Marlowe’s alleged homosexual proclivities, and everything to do with his secret life as a spy and intriguer in the service of the Crown under the direction of the brilliant spy master (later Sir) Francis Walsingham, a Renaissance version of a modern  James Bond.

           Marlowe was recruited into the world of smoke and mirrors in the mid -1580s while studying for holy orders at Corpus Christi College, one of the ancient colleges of the University of Cambridge. He  continued his espionage career long after he had forsaken the Anglican Church for a successful career in London as a playwright and dramatist.

As reported by Nicholl, Marlowe posed as a defector to the Catholic cause in support of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots against her cousin Queen Elizabeth I. He was said to have played a role in the ill-fated Babington Plot of 1586 to kill the Queen and place Mary on the English throne.[ciii]

Earlier, while still at Cambridge, Marlowe was given an assignment to penetrate influential Catholic circles across the channel in Rheims, home of the English College that trained Catholic seminarians, priests and missionaries (and spies, recruiters and infiltrators) for their eventual return to England and the nation’s conversion back to the One True Faith. It remains unclear if he ever actually carried out the mission.[civ] In any case, it is these events, rather than Marlowe’s rumored homosexual affairs, that drew my particular attention when reading The Reckoning for reasons that will soon be made clear.

On May 18, 1593, twelve days before his death, Nicholl said that Marlowe was called before the Privy Council to answer charges that he was a blasphemer and a practicing homosexual. Information concerning the playwright’s anti-religious and hostile views toward Scripture had already been obtained (under torture) from Marlowe’s former roommate, Thomas Kyd.[cv]

Another witness against Marlowe, said Nicholl, was a man of the cloth, one Reverend Richard Baines who said that he had heard Marlowe blaspheme the Lord by saying that, “St John the Evangelist was bedfellow to Christ, and used him as the sinners of Sodoma.”[cvi] Baines urged that “the mouth of so dangerous a member should be stopped.”[cvii] This latter remark was certainly a strange one for a clergyman to utter, but then the Reverend Baines was not your ordinary run of the mill minister. He was, like Marlowe, a long-time spy and intriguer for the Crown, with a most unusual background as an infiltrator and spy against the Catholic Church and would-be traitors to the Crown.

Treachery in the English Seminary       


The young Baines was one of Walsingham’s earliest recruits at Cambridge. The ambitious and enterprising lad began his studies at Christ’s College, but on cue from his controllers later transferred to Caius College in Trinity Street that was home to a large contingent of Catholics. Here he became known, in espionage parlance, as a “sleeper.”

In 1578, Baines was “activated” and sent to Rheims where he enrolled as a seminary student at the English College where Walsingham had already established an extensive spy network.

As related by Nicholl, the spymaster’s agents gathered military and political intelligence on the French government and English émigrés in Paris as well as the Catholic religious and lay leaders of the College. They also attempted to intercept communications between the College and the Vatican, as well as provide the Crown’s secret service with advance warning of priests entering England, said Nicholl.[cviii] Within the College itself, the English agents were instructed to create maximum friction and dissatisfaction among the seminarians and between the seminarians and their superiors, reported Nicholl.[cix]

Life at the College was very austere. It revolved solely around study and prayer. Its seminarians, drawn from England and the Continent, were instantly recognizable by their traditional black gowns and tricorn hats. There was a greatespirit de corps among these young soldiers of Christ, many of whom were willing to risk torture and death should they be captured on English soil. 

           Then, of course, there were men like Baines who were equally dedicated to the cause of the Crown. From what we know of his four years at the College, he spent every waking moment plotting against the Catholic Church and her ministers, especially the College’s president Dr. (later Cardinal) William Allen, while outwardly attending or saying Mass and professing his dedication and love for Christ and His Church.

           As reported by Nicholl, Baines was raised to the sub-deaconate and deaconate in March and May of 1581 and was ordained a Catholic priest on September 1581.[cx] He continued his efforts to insinuate himself deeper into the inner circles of senior officials to discover their secret plans and projects and to spread discontent and rebellion against authority among the young seminarians; deeds for which Walsingham was said to pay well.[cxi]

           Some of the techniques cited by Nicholl that Baines used to spread dissension among the young men at the seminary included the use of “licentious” talk to stimulate carnal passions; breeding contempt and resentment for the strict discipline and rules of the College and against those superiors who enforced the rules; and the urging of hatred of things holy including sacred doctrine.[cxii]

           Eventually Baines’ cover was blown, but the College Council did not immediately act upon the revelation until he approached Allen about returning to England as a missionary in May 1582. After his unmasking, said Nicholl, Baines was held at the local jail for almost a year and then transferred back to the College where he made a signed confession in which he stated he had conceived of a plan to kill Allen, indeed the whole College if he could, by poisoning the seminary’s water system.[cxiii]

           After a time, Allen permitted him to return to England where he continued in Walsingham’s service as a man of property and prominent Protestant minister in Lincolnshire, reported Nicholl.[cxiv]

           Baines, as noted earlier, was certainly not alone in his treachery.

           Another traitor at the College cited by Nicholl was John Nicols, a seminarian from Rome who deserted to the English government. 

            There was also the case of Gilbert Gifford who enrolled at the College at Rheims in 1577 when he was 16-years-old. Although he was thought to be a Catholic youth of exceptional merit, somewhere along the line the English managed to “turn” him also.

Nicholl confirmed that Gifford had two primary targets. One was his cousin Dr. William Gifford, a Professor of Theology, over whom it is said his cousin had a sinister hold. The second was a young man by the name of John Savage whom Gifford persuaded to pledge a solemn oath to kill Queen Elizabeth.[cxv] Savage later became one of the conspirators in the Babington Plot that was secretly micro-managed by Walsingham.

           Gifford himself returned to England in December of 1585 by which time Walsingham was ready to move against the plotters and successfully rid the Queen of her rival, Mary Queen of Scots. Gifford, who was born into a poor family, soon became a wealthy man – no doubt a reward for his outstanding services to his spymaster and the Crown.[cxvi]

           Naturally, the English College at Rheims was not the only Catholic institution infiltrated by English spies working for the Crown.

           Nicholl cited the case of Salomon Aldred, a “turned” Catholic and tailor by trade, who infiltrated the English College seminary at Rome and later became a spy for Walsingham in France. Aldred was described in a somewhat contemptuous manner by his controller thusly: “He is one in show simple, but better acquainted with Romish practices against England than any. …He is unnatural, and of little honesty, yet he is very worth the winning.”[cxvii]

           Another young Catholic who spied at the seminary for the Crown was Charles Sledd who specialized in producing anti-Catholic caricatures of prominent figures like Allen.[cxviii]

           Of all these Renaissance figures from the “secret theater” of espionage, it is Richard Baines who remains the most intriguing.[cxix]

           Baines never “turned.” He was never a “defector” from the Faith. He had no vocation, no calling to the priesthood that could be said to have “soured.” He was, in fact, never even a Catholic! He simply entered the seminary and got himself ordained a Catholic priest for the sole purpose of spying on the Church.

           The Baines case is very important to this study because it demonstrates in a concrete way that the infiltration of the Catholic priesthood as an agent provocator is not merely a figment of a “deranged” and “conspiratorial” imagination. It actually happened!  It happened in 16th century Renaissance England. And it would happen again, more than 300 years later as part of Stalin’s campaign to infiltrate and undermine the Catholic Church in England and throughout Europe and the United States.[cxx]

“A House in Gross Disorder”

The Trial of the Earl of Castlehaven

           In her exquisitely crafted book, A House in Gross Disorder, Cynthia Herrup presents a detailed history and analysis of this late Renaissance tragedy that reads like a modern Gothic novel.

In 1631, Mervin Touchet, the 2nd Earl and 12th Baron of Castlehaven was tried, convicted and executed along with two of his accomplices for sundry of sexual crimes that included voyeurism, rape, incest, group sex, adultery and sodomy. The original charges against the Earl that included rape and sodomy had been brought by his eldest son and heir, James (Lord Audley).

As Herrup related, during the trial, Lord Audley testified that his wife was pressured into having sexual relations with his father’s manservants including Henry Skipwith  (while the Earl occasionally looked on) and that he (James) feared the loss of his inheritance to Skipwith, a “favorite” of his sodomite father.[cxxi] Skipwith was also accused of being sexually involved with  Lord Audley’s stepmother, wrote Herrup[cxxii].

In an unusual judicial ruling, the Court permitted the Earl’s (second) wife, Anne, to give incriminating evidence against her own husband and his cohorts. Herrup reported that the Countess testified that she was restrained by the Earl while he watched her page, Giles Broadway, rape her. She also admitted having sexual relations with her son-in-law, John Anktill, and confirmed that her husband regularly sodomized his manservants and other household attendants including his footman.[cxxiii]

           Other testimony indicated that the Earl, the father of six children by his first wife, played both the active and passive role with his manservants and was obsessed with and dominated by them, a shocking and dangerous reversal of class norms.[cxxiv] Clearly, there were a number of overriding issues involving the undermining of an entire social structure and the violation of the honor of the ruling class that went beyond his indictment for sodomy.

           Unfortunately for the Earl of Castlehaven, his total amorality was not the only factor weighing in against his acquittal. Although he held membership in the Church of England (witnesses charged he was an atheist), his brother was a Catholic and both had ties to Ireland at a time when the Irish were still battling the English. These were the seeds of treason. Also, as Herrup noted, unlike his father, James I, and his libertine Jacobean court, the current sovereign of the House of Stuart, Charles I, was a man of strict and conventional morals in both his private and public life. The idea that a member of the aristocracy would abet in the rape of his own wife by his own manservants had sent shock waves through Whitehall.

Still, it was possible that Mervin might have been able to escape with his life had he shown any sign of repentance. He did not. He continued to declare he was innocent of the charges against him, said Herrup.[cxxv]

The actual trial lasted only one day. On April 25, 1631, the judge and jury made up of 27 peers including friends of the Countess rendered their verdict - guilty.[cxxvi] Knowing the king was against the Earl of Castlehaven had made that a foregone conclusion. However, it was widely believed that Charles would commute the death sentence especially as Lord Audley asked for mercy for his father and the distinguished Touchet family lineage went back to antiquity. But the king did not.

The Earl was beheaded on Tower Hill and two of his minions, Broadway and Florence Fitzpatrick (who had been promised immunity) were hanged at Tyburn three months later.[cxxvii]

Had the Castlehaven scandal been simply a case of a master buggering his servant, it probably never would have come to trial. However, as Herrup concluded, it was the grave social and political implications of the Earl’s acts, rather than the acts themselves, that made his downfall inevitable - an important observation that is applicable to the debate over homosexuality in our own times.

The “Molly House” Trials

           Our third and final example of the application of English anti-sodomy laws takes us to the end of the English Renaissance period. Here we return to the writings of Alan Bray.

In the spring of 1726, acting under pressure from the Societies for Reformation of Manners, a lay committee for the monitoring of public morals, the London police conducted a sting operation against the house of Margaret Clap in Field Lane, off Holborn, and other “molly houses” located in taverns and private homes north of the Thames.[cxxviii] As far as the Societies were concerned the action was long overdue, reported  Bray. Earlier police raids against these sodomite haunts conducted in 1699 and 1707 had apparently not been effective in halting the proliferation of the gatherings of all-male debauchees that had been a part of the London social scene for more than 100 years.[cxxix]

           Molly is the familiar pet form or diminutive of the female name Mary. Originally, “molly” was slang for a female prostitute, but later the term came to be identified with same-sex devotees who exhibited exaggerated effeminate traits and mannerisms.[cxxx]

Although, some writers contend that mollies were drawn from all the social classes, including the aristocracy, it is more probable that the lower and lower-middle classes predominated at these establishments.[cxxxi]

The molly house was, in fact, a male homosexual brothel. According to Bray, by the early 1700s it had become a society within a society – complete with its own jargon, designated cruising areas, customs and rules.[cxxxii] Here men gathered to drink, sing, dance, flirt, gossip, arrange assignations and engage in sex with each other or with young male prostitutes hired by the proprietors.

The hallmark of a molly was his extravagance in effeminacy and transvestism, claimed Bray.[cxxxiii] There was a secret set of signals by which mollies could identify one another. One molly house described by  Bray featured a room called “the chapel” where men played husband and wife  as if it were their “wedding night.”[cxxxiv] Male and female roles were interchangeable.

At the molly house, Renaissance men with same-sex desires let down their hair, figuratively and literally. They wore make-up and adorned themselves in female clothing or costumes all the while assuming female voices and airs and prancing about with a mincing gait and other caricaturized mannerisms of the feminine gender. In other words, mollies were what we call today, “flaming queens.”

As Randolph Trumbach noted in his essay “The Birth of the Queen: sodomy and the Emergence of Gender equality in Modern Culture 1660-1750,” to effect the feminine identity associated with the passive or receptive role, the molly was required to adapt artificial help in terms of clothing, mannerisms and feminine names.[cxxxv] On the other hand, if the molly was taking the active role, such adaptations were unnecessary.

Whether one chooses to identify the mollies, as “homosexual transvestites” or “cross-dressing homosexuals,” one thing is clear – they were ultimately organized for the sole purpose of procuring male same-sex partners. As Bray suggested, no one ever entered a molly house ignorant of the type of trade it provided or the nature of and penalties attached to the homosexual acts committed therein.[cxxxvi]

One unusual aspect of London’s molly house was that it served as a homosexual enclave for adult sodomites who engaged in sex with each other as well as young boys. True, there were some English rakes who equated radical politics with radical sex and who sought out the sexual diversions and irreverent atmosphere of the molly house offered along with houses of female prostitution. However, it appears that most of the patrons of the molly houses were adult men who were exclusively drawn to other adult men or boys for sexual gratification. The “he-whore” had no interest in women, remarked Trumbach.[cxxxvii] In this sense then, there were some mollies in 18the century England whose behaviors and sexual preference were characteristic of the modern effeminate homosexual.

The fact that sodomites were having sexual relations, both active and passive, with other adult males at the molly houses did produce some interesting legal implications including the possibility of blackmail and its attendant dangers of public exposure, scandal and possible suicide, suggested Trumbach.[cxxxviii] Homosexual acts with young boys whose testimony in court could easily be dismissed were one thing. Homosexual acts with other adult males was quite a different matter. These men were playing a dangerous game and they knew it. 

Under English law, it was homosexual acts leading to penetration and ejaculation that lead to convictions for sodomy and the gallows.[cxxxix]

The sensational Clap trial led to the conviction and hanging of three men in May 1726.[cxl] Additional trials followed in July, but these appeared to have attracted less public attention, the novelty of the molly perhaps having been worn a bit thin. By the mid -1700s, most of the molly houses were discovered and closed down. But the concept of a “molly” as an effeminate sodomite and a prototype of a male homosexual continued to linger on in English society for decades, indeed well into modern times.


Sodomy Charges Against Three Renaissance Popes


           Before leaving the Renaissance period, I should like to touch upon the delicate issue of the three Renaissance popes to whom the label of sodomite has been affixed by various writers and historians and whose names appear on various “queer” lists as homosexuals.  They are Pope Paul II, Pope Sixtus IV and most importantly, Pope Julius III.

           With regard to the charges against the first two of these popes, Paul II and Sixtus IV the historical evidence against them is virtually non-existent.

           Pietro Barbo, the future Pope Paul II was born in Venice in 1417 to Niccolo Barbo and Polixena Condulmer, the sister of Pope Eugene IV (1431-1447). After studying for a career in business, the pope’s nephew changed his mind and entered the priesthood where he quickly advanced from Archdeacon of Bologna to cardinal deacon in 1440. Barbo was elected pope in 1464 largely as a reaction against the policies of his predecessor, Pope Pius II. Known personally for both his generosity to the poor and his love of display and gala festivals, the imposing Paul II did not hesitate to use his office to prosecute heretics in France and Germany and to attempt to restore order in the Papal States.[cxli]

With regard to matters of faith and morals, the pope demonstrated a great concern regarding the growing influence of the half-pagan and materialistic side of the Humanist Movement in various Church dicasteries. In 1466, he abolished the College of Abbreviators that was charged with the abridging of papal decrees and edicts before they went to the copyists. He also moved to suppress the Roman Academy on the grounds of gross immorality on the part of some of its members. Naturally these actions ignited a strong negative reaction from those intellectuals and prominent public figures who stood to loose their profitable stipends and the many privileges associated with the office.[cxlii]

Among those so affected was the well-known Humanist writer and archivist Bartolomeo Sacchi, known as Platina, who enjoyed membership in both the College of Abbreviators and the Roman Academy.[cxliii]

Platina got his revenge against Paul II five years after the pope’s death in a calumnious biography in which he charges his archenemy with being a sodomite and a lover of young boys. In fact, Paul II had a reputation for sternness in his private conduct and we know he used his office to attack immorality, even within the Curia itself. Given Platina’s well-known grievances against the pope, and since there appears to be no collaborative testimony to support the charges of gross immorality, this writer is inclined to side in favor of Pope Paul II and against Platina.  

The second pope to be charged with sodomy was Pope Sixtus IV, a radically different personality than his predecessor Paul II to whom he owed his ecclesiastical good fortune.

Francesco della Rovere, the future Pope Sixtus IV was born in humble surroundings near Abisola on July 21, 1414. After entering the Franciscan Order, he gained eminence as an outstanding student of  philosophy and theology at the University of Pavia and later rose to the office of procurator. In 1467 Pope Paul II created him Cardinal of S. Pietro in Vincoli. Four years later, with the death of Paul II, della Rovere himself ascended the Chair of Peter.

Unfortunately for the Church and for the new pope, Sixtus IV’s energies were immediately consumed in a series of pressing political struggles both within and without the Papal States. Also, his penchant for nepotism entangled the pontiff in some unsavory Italian political intrigues including the disastrous Pazzi Conspiracy, headed by the pope’s nephew, Cardinal Raffaele Sansone Riario, that was designed to bring about the overthrow of the Medici and bring Florence under the rule of the House of Riarii.[cxliv]

Although Sixtus IV is remembered in his history as a political rather than religious leader, his pontificate was not altogether marked by secular interests. He vigorously attacked the heretical doctrine of the Waldenses and was a well-known patron of arts and letters. Unlike Pope Paul II, his attitude toward the Renaissance was decidedly positive and he was credited with being the second founder of the Vatican Library. Not without a touch of irony, Sixtus IV turned over the management of the library to none other than Platina who held the office until his death in 1481.

As to his private life and personal morals Sixtus IV was held to be blameless.

So where did the charges of sodomy against him originate? With a political enemy and a life-long conspirator against the Papal government by the name of Stefano Infessura.[cxlv]

Born at Rome circa 1435, Infessura was a lawyer by profession and served for many years as the secretary to the Roman Senate. He was notorious for his anti-papal sentiments and political intrigues including a conspiracy against Pope Nicholas V. Indeed his life’s work was dedicated to the destruction of the Papal States and the transformation of Rome into a republic.

In 1494, Infessura wrote a scurrilous attack on the papacy in the form of a chronicle titled, Diarium urbis Romae (Diario della Citta di Roma 1294-1494). The work, later widely used by Protestants against the Church, contained all manner of gossip and rumors of Roman society including a host of calumnies against the morals of the Papal Court, which during the Renaissance period was certainly not always of the highest caliber. But Infessura did not stop there. Where calumnies against certain enemies were wanting, he created them, as were the charges of incestuous pederasty and sodomy made against Pope Sixtus IV.

As evidence in support of these charges, Infessura cited the pope’s appointment of his two favorite nephews, Pietro Riario, a Franciscan, and Giuliano della Rovere (the future Pope Julius II) to the cardinalate. He then went on to claim that the young men became their uncle’s lovers.

Infessura’s charges of nepotism against Sixtus IV were true. His nephews Pietro and Giuliano received their red hats on December 16, 1471. Raffaello Sansoni Riario, not quite 17-years-old, received his red hat on December 10, 1477 along with two other relatives, Cristoforo della Rovere and Girolamo Basso della Rovere.[cxlvi] Their main qualification for the office was that they were family. In these turbulent times, a pope needed to surround himself with men he could trust and this need generally translated itself into papal appointments of family members.

Of Cardinal Pietro Riario (1445-1474) we know little except for the fact that he lived the life of a Renaissance prince and became a generous patron of the arts and scholarship. He is remembered for the building of the Cancelleria Palace allegedly financed from the winnings of one night of dice play with the nephew of Pope Innocent VIII. In his personal conduct, the unanimous verdict of history was that he lived an immoral life but no rumors of homosexuality were attached to his love affairs.

Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, proved more worthy of his office. A soldier at heart, he undertook many diplomatic and military tasks for Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492) over whom he held considerable influence. Under the Borgia pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) he did not fare as well, but nevertheless his ecclesiastical star continued to rise. With the sudden death of Pope Pius III on October 18, 1503, after only 26 days in office, Giuliano’s moment had arrived. Within hours of the October 31, 1503 papal conclave he was elected pope and took the name Julius II.

Under his ten-year reign the Papal States were made secure from internal struggles and foreign interventions and Italy delivered from its subjection to France. Interestingly, unlike his uncle, Pope Sixtus IV, he was free from nepotism.[cxlvii] He heard Mass almost daily, often celebrating it himself. In 1512, he convoked the Fifth Lateran Council with the intention of instituting a number of important Church reforms especially within the Roman Curia and the monastic orders.

Let us return now to Infessura’s charges that both Pietro and Giuliano served as “catamites” to their pope-uncle Pope Sixtus IV.

First, there is the implausibility that, given the close alliance that extended between family members, especially those of great power and influence, an uncle, much less a pope-uncle would sexually misuse his own natural nephews. Secondly, if heredity plays any role whatsoever in one’s sexual life, the Rovere lineage was wildly heterosexual and prolific, its eminent ecclesiastics not excluded.

For example, before he became pope, Giuliano fathered three daughters, one of whom he gave in marriage to Giovanni Giordano Orsini.[cxlviii] Famous for his warlike manliness and temperamentally characterized as the pontefice terribile, it borders upon the incredible to suggest he would submit his body  for penetration  by any man – including his uncle, the pope, no less.

Later reputable historians of the Renaissance popes have largely dismissed the chronicles of Infessura as being grossly unreliable and purposefully maligning. So much so that when Oreste Tommasini, edited the Diarium in 1890, all references to Infessura’s accusation of pederasty and sodomy against Pope Sixtus IV and his nephews were eliminated on the grounds that they lacked any foundation whatsoever in fact.

The Distinguished Del Monte Family


           Unlike the accusations of sodomy made against Pope Paul II and Pope Sixtus IV, the charges of unnatural affection between Cardinal Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte who became Pope Julius III and the 17 year old Cardinal Innocenzo, appeared during their lifetime.

Although, once again, the historical evidence appears to disprove that the love between the del Monte pope and his adopted nephew was a homoerotic one, nevertheless the story of their extraordinary relationship and its tragic consequences is worth retelling, if only to reaffirm the character and integrity of one of history’s most maligned popes.               

In Michael L. Doerrer’s historic masterpiece, The Life of Cardinal Innocenzo Del Monte, A Scandal in Scarlet, we can trace the ecclesiastical fortunes – both good and bad – of the del Monte family of Tuscany for three generations beginning with the elevation of the most worthy Antonio Maria Ciocchi del Monte to the office of cardinal on March 10, 1511.[cxlix]

           Antonio assisted Pope Julius II at the Fifth Lateran Council and after the death of the old della Rovere pope became a confidant to the youthful Cardinal Giovanni de’Medici who took the name of Pope Leo X (1513-1521).[cl] Antonio was credited with helping to uncover the plot to murder the pope and with bringing the would-be assassins to justice.[cli] In gratitude for his personal service and in recognition of his service to the Church, in 1519, Leo X awarded Antonio the See of Albano.

So esteemed was he among his fellows of the Sacred College that at both the 1522 papal conclave following the death of Pope Leo X, and again at the 1523 conclave following the death of Pope Adrian VI, Antonio’s name was found among the candidates for the papal office.[clii] When the honor fell to Cardinal Giulio de’Medici, who reigned for the next 11 years as Pope Clement VII, Antonio served him also, both at home and abroad, as he had faithfully served the pope’s three predecessors.

           When his brother died, Antonio brought his sister-in-law Margherita and her six children to Rome to reside with him, reported Doerrer. He raised them as if they were his own taking special care for their spiritual, educational and material needs.  Later, when his brother, Vincenzo died, Antonio likewise aided his widow Crisofora and her children. Of these, the eldest son, Giovanni, became the cardinal-uncle’s favorite and the heir apparent to the most powerful man in the Church after the pope.        

Pope Julius III – A Great Canonist and Defender of the Faith

Giovanni Maria (Giammaria) Ciocchi del Monte, the future Pope Julius III, was born in Rome on September 10, 1487. Following in his father’s footsteps, he studied law at Perugia and Siena, and under the tutorage of his famous uncle he attended the finest oratory and received his theological training under the great Dominican teacher, Ambrosius Catharinus. Thanks to Antonio’s influence, Giovanni entered papal service as chamberlain to Pope Julius II. In 1512, at the age of 25, he succeeded his uncle as Archbishop of Siponto. [cliii]

The young prelate later won the favor of both Medici popes. Leo X gave him the Diocese of Pavia and continued to retain him for administrative purposes at Siponto. Pope Clement VII made him vice-legate of Perugia and twice, prefect of Rome.[cliv]

           After the death of his cardinal-uncle on September 20, 1533, Giovanni Maria’s star continued to rise on the talented prelate’s own merits. In 1534, he was appointed legate to Bologna, the Romagna and Piacenza.

           On October 5, 1543 Giovanni Maria received the red hat from the hands of Pope Paul III (1534-1549) who later entrusted the new cardinal with the preparatory work necessary for convocation of the Council of Trent that was called to meet the crisis of the Protestant Reformation.

On February 6, 1545, he was appointed the first president of the Council and ten months later, on December 13, 1545 he convened the first session of the historic Council that would cover a span of 14 years and would bring about major reforms in the life of the Church.[clv]

           As recorded by Doerrer, in 1547, Pope Paul III relieved Giovanni Maria of his duties with regard to the management of the Council due to the cardinal’s poor health and made him legate to Bologna where del Monte had served 13 years earlier. Doerrer recalled that the inhabitants filled the streets with “joyous adulation at the appointment,” a reaffirmation of the high esteem in which he was held by the people.[clvi]

           Four years later, following the death of Paul III, Cardinal Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte found himself occupying the Chair of Peter as Pope Julius III.

           What type of man was the new pope?

           The renowned German church historian Father Hubert Jedin (1900-1980) who wrote the definitive history of the Council of Trent, stated that del Monte was one of the most skillful canonists of his time with a great knowledge of the law and a natural affinity for diplomacy. In the words of Doerrer, he possessed, “…that unerring sense of objectivity, that instinctive appreciation of what is politically correct and attainable, which are characteristics of the Italian man-of-the-people to this day.”[clvii] The members of the Curia found him a diligent and faithful and honest servant of the Church.[clviii]

           As Pope Julius III, he remained a strict defender of the Faith and institutions of the Church and a papal leader in the Church’s Counter-Reformation.[clix]

Pastorally speaking, the pope appeared to have gained the love and respect of the populace in the many dioceses where he served, especially in Bologna. Perhaps part of his charm was that he never became fully cosmopolitan, retaining many of the characteristics of the rural peasants of the Tuscany region. He was a distinguished prince of the Church, but his personal demeanor was often somewhat coarse and unrefined confided Doerrer. 

He had “an unusual racy and inappropriate sense of humor,” and “an unusually melancholy temperament” punctuated by a decidedly short fuse and unmovable stubbornness, Doerrer added.[clx] Also, good wine was never far away, helping to kill the pain of chronic gout and infections of the eyes and teeth and neurological facial problems that plagued his later years.[clxi]

           What his short reign as Pope Julius III might have been like had the elderly del Monte never laid eyes on the young Innocenzo we do not know, but there is no doubt that it would have been much more favorable than history now records.          

Cardinal Innocenzo - the Last of the Renaissance Princes 

           Innocenzo, the future cardinal-prince, was about 15-years-old when he first met the aging prelate who was then serving as the governor of Piacenza.

Born in 1532, in the northern fortress town of Borgo San Donnino, half way between Piacenza and Parma, Innocenzo (not his baptismal name) was the illegitimate son of a common soldier and beggar woman who left home at the age of 14 to seek his fortune and never looked back.[clxii] All his life, Doerrer tells us, Innocenzo would be driven by an indomitable instinct to survive and survive he did, no matter what the cost to those who cared for him including his greatest benefactor, Cardinal Giovanni Maria.

           The details of their first meeting are sketchy. According to Doerrer, many young men of the neighboring region came to the cardinal’s establishment seeking work. The story is that Innocenzo attracted the prelate’s particular attention when the young boy skillfully wrestled himself free from the grasp of the cardinal’s pet ape. Impressed by the youth’s courage and spunk, the cardinal brought him into his household where Innocenzo served initially as a valero – a combination of footman and attendant to the sickly prelate. His lack of formal education and over-all coarse behavior, which in other households might have militated against him, found favor with the old del Monte who came to treat the youth with the same affection he showed for his own relatives’ grandsons. Soon the witty and charming Innocenzo had attached himself to the entire family, said Doerrer.

Had the cardinal let the matter rest here, we probably never would have heard any more about the ill-fated Innocenzo. But once the stubborn old man determined that his favorite should be given an opportunity to prove himself worthy and advance up the social and ecclesiastical ladder, the youth’s fortunes and misfortunes would forever be tied to the del Monte name. When, at Giovanni Maria’s request, the cardinal’s brother, Boldovino, formally adopted the boy, the relationship between the two men was formally sealed. [clxiii]

After seeing to the youth’s general education, the cardinal obtained for him a minor position as a provost in the Tuscany Diocese of Arezzo, even though it was obvious from the youth’s behavior and temperament, that he was totally unsuited for a career in the service of the Church.

And here, in minor obscurity, he might have remained had not the unexpected happened.

           Pope Paul III died suddenly and the elderly del Monte ascended the papal throne as Pope Julius III.

Once again, nepotism swept through the Curia. But as we have already seen this was nothing new in the history of the Church. During these dangerous times for the papacy, as Doerrer humorously noted, “Almost every cardinalitial consistory was like a little family reunion.”[clxiv]

In a more serious vein, Doerrer noted that while the practice of nepotism is largely disparaged today, during the Renaissance when the Papal States and the papacy itself was under constant attack, having one’s relatives in key Church positions served to stabilize Church administration and insured loyalty to the reigning pontiff.

Secondly, it is an incontrovertible fact of history, that with the exception of his adopted nephew Innocenzo, the confidence that Pope Julius III placed in his cardinal-nephews reaped great rewards for the Church during the mid -16th and early 17th centuries..

Among the most praiseworthy of del Monte’s legitimate cardinal-nephews listed by Doerrer are:

· The great reformer Cardinal Fulvio della Corgna.

· The saintly Cardinal Cristoforo Guidalotti Ciocchi del Monte, a Doctor of both civil and canon law.

· Cardinal Girolamo Simoncelli, Boldovino’s grandson known for his great zeal and love for the Church.

· And the most remarkable of all, Giovanni Maria’s great nephew, Saint Roberto de’Nobili, who was made a cardinal at age 12, lived an exemplary religious life and died in 1559 with the odor of sanctity at the age of 17, having exhausted his short life in God’s service.[clxv]

Unfortunately Innocenzo was not cut from the same cloth as these men. Cardinal Reginald Pole once called him an “impious rogue,” Doerrer said.[clxvi]

When the College of Cardinals heard that the pope intended to raise his adopted nephew, a bastardo to boot, there was a sense of outrage especially among the leaders of the Counter-Reformation in the Curia who believed, with good reason, that the appointment would bring dishonor upon the Church.

           Ignoring these protests, Pope Julius III quickly issued a bull legitimizing Innocenzo (he had done the same for his brother Boldovino’s illegitimate son Fabiano) and in a secret consistory on July 2, 1550 gave him the red hat.[clxvii] He then made Innocenzo papal legate to Bologna. Soon, said Doerrer, the young prelate was living the life any Medici prince would envy.[clxviii]

With regard to his new ecclesiastical appointment, Innocenzo was never more than a figurehead. When the elderly del Monte realized he had made a grievous error in selecting Innocenzo for the dual political and diplomatic role for which the young man had absolutely no qualifications, he gave his cardinal-nephew’s tasks over to the capable Cardinal Girolamo Dandini, Doerrer recorded.[clxix] This left Innocenzo free to indulge his baser passions, which included a string of scandalous love affairs including one with his future sister-in-law, the poetess Donna Ersilia Cortese.[clxx]

Whether or not such behavior ever motivated Julius III to consider reducing Innocenzo to a lay-state remains in the realm of conjecture. The pope was made aware of the Cortese affair which threatened to become a public scandal of the first order, but he did nothing to defend the reputation of the del Monte family. By this time, Pope Julius III was in failing health due to the advancement of gout that made eating too painful. He died literally of starvation on March 23, 1555 and was buried in Saint Peter’s crypt. His plain tomb bearing the name Papa Julius III.[clxxi]

Cardinal Innocenzo was now on his own. He was just 23-years-old.   

With the death of his great benefactor – the only person that he probably ever truly loved and who loved him back - the young Cardinal Innocenzo knew his fortunes had taken a turn for the worse. Would he, could he reform his life and become worthy of the del Monte name?

Tragically, the answer was no.

According to Doerrer, four of the next five popes tried to bring about his conversion, but the task proved hopeless. Innocenzo proved to be immune to the tidal wave of reform within the Church.

By the time of his death at the age of 46 on All Souls’ Day, November 2, 1577, Cardinal Innocenzo had sustained years of imprisonment for staining the purple with the murder of at least two innocent men and other criminal offenses including rapine - offenses for which he is remained unrepentant.[clxxii] He was buried within hours of his death, unattended and without ceremony, in the del Monte chapel in the Church of San Pietro in Montorio in Tuscany - the “last true Renaissance cardinal-prince,” Doerrer concluded.[clxxiii]

As to the lingering question as to whether or not there was any homosexual attachment between the elderly del Monte and his young protégé, or if the relationship was simply one of the love of an indulgent old man for a disadvantaged youth born into grinding poverty, let us examine the evidence that Doerrer puts before us.

But before doing so, it should be noted that prior to the publication of the Doerrer book, the popular view as expressed both in the popular media and homosexual circles was that the rumors of sodomy against Pope Julius III were true.

In the anti-Catholic work Unzipped - The Popes Bare All by Arthur Frederick Ide, published by American Atheist Press in 1987, the author stated that Julius III had Innocenzo for a lover.[clxxiv]

In Pedophiles and Priests – Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (1966), writer Philip Jenkins, a former Catholic, labeled Pope Julius III as an active homosexual who raised his young lover to the rank of cardinal.[clxxv]

The “updated” version of the initial liaison between Cardinal del Monte and young Innocenzo as seen through the lavender lens of various “Queer” websites, is that Cardinal Giovanni “discovered” Innocenzo, while roaming the streets of Parma (not Piacenza) in search of a young male prostitute on whom he could slake his homosexual passions.[clxxvi]

Fortunately for posterity, in Scandal in Scarlet, Doerrer devoted an entire chapter titled “Zeus and Ganymede?” that is meant to answer these grievous charges. With the skill of an experienced surgeon, the young George Washington University scholar excised fact from fiction and made a final determination that these accusations of moral turpitude against Pope Julius XIII and Cardinal Innocenzo were “without factual foundation.”[clxxvii]

According to Doerrer, the myth of Pope Julius III’s homosexual relationship with Innocenzo can be traced back to two sources. 

The first, is a letter written in 1551 by Matteo Dandolo, the Venetian ambassador in Rome during the early years of Julius III’s pontificate, to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. In a familiar chatty style, Dandolo retold the story of the young Innocenzo’s tryst with the cardinal’s pet ape and how the cardinal “came to like the boy as much as he liked the ape.”[clxxviii] He then added that del Monte provided the youth  “with food and clothing, and he soon allowed the boy into his bedroom and into his own bed – as if he were a son or a nephew.”[clxxix]

Was Dandolo insinuating that theirs was a homosexual relationship? It does not appear so. Seen within its proper context, the meaning of this reference is rather forthright. The diplomat is voicing the opinion that the cardinal treated Innocenzo just like he would a son (or grandson) or nephew – a relationship that would obviously not have included buggery.

According to Doerrer, Innocenzo most likely served as the cardinal’s valet de chambre, that is, he attended to the elderly and sickly del Monte’s needs during the night, a not uncommon practice that continues in the Church today among very elderly and sickly prelates not excluding the pope himself.[clxxx] The fact that he Innocenzo shared the old man’s bed is simply an acknowledgment of practical sleeping arrangements that were customary during the Renaissance period.

Interestingly, Danolo noted that the affection shown by the prelate for Innocenzo was so remarkable that it gave rise to a rumor that the youth was actually his own son, a back-handed way of affirming that the old cardinal possessed normal sexual inclinations.[clxxxi] Certainly, as has Doerrer pointed out, all of Giovanni Maria’s sisters and brother were extremely prolific - allowing as many children as God would provide. There is no reason to assume that had the prelate chosen to eschew the religious life and married, he would have likewise fathered a large and extensive family.[clxxxii]

           The second source cited by Doerrer comes from the poisoned pen of the 16th century chronicler, lawyer and diplomat Johann Philippson (1506-1556), better known as Johan Sleidan. As a Protestant partisan in service to the German princes united against Charles V and the Catholic Church, the anti-papal bias of Sleidan was readily acknowledged. Trent historian Jedin described Sleidan as a one-sided man, “who [laid] the blame for all the evils of the schism upon the alleged ill will of the Roman Curia.”[clxxxiii]

           In Commentaries on Religion and the State in the Reign of Emperor Charles V, published in 1555, the year of Pope Julius III’s death, Sleidan, who probably had knowledge of or access to a copy of the Danolo letter, accused Cardinal del Monte, that is, Pope Julius III, of keeping Innocenzo as a lover – as “Juppiter kept Ganymedes.”[clxxxiv] The work became one of the most widely read narratives of the Reformation period. Up until Doerrer’s recent research initiative on the life of the del Monte family, Sleidan’s accusations have gone largely unchallenged.

           Among the arguments presented by Doerrer that tend to refute the accusation that Cardinal Giovanni Maria del Monte was a practicing pederast and homosexual is the simple fact that the College of Cardinals, dominated by leaders of the Counter-Reformation Movement in the Church, nominated and elected him pope.

If the cardinal, who according to the modern day homosexual gossip mill, was as indiscreet and foolish as to openly solicit a youthful male prostitute in the streets of Bologna or Parma or Piacenza (while suffering from a crippling attack of gout and poor eyesight no less), it is highly unlikely that such behavior  would have escaped the attention of the College of Cardinals.

With a host of Sleidans waiting in the wings to attack the Church at every turn, it strains reason to believe that the Curia for one of the greatest Church councils ever assembled - the Council of Trent - would consider, much less, elect, a pope with a reputation for pederasty.

We also know that Cardinal del Monte was greatly beloved by the common people. Spontaneous crowds gathered and cheered him on wherever he went especially in the North country. Would such treatment be lavished on a prelate rumored to be an inveterate bugger? Again, the answer must be in the negative. 

As for the sexual appetites of the young Cardinal Innocenzo they were demonstratively heterosexual, as evidenced by the Cortese affair and the alleged rape charges against the two women in Siena.[clxxxv]

Of course, this does not absolutely rule out the possibility that he engaged in a sexual liaison with the old, sickly and uncomely del Monte in order to escape his abject life of poverty, but such a relationship would have been difficult for the youth to keep secret for so many years.[clxxxvi] Also the case of Innocenzo remains the only charge of homosexual activity leveled against Giovanni Maria.

In the end, after carefully weighing all the historical and biographical data on both Pope Julius III and Cardinal Innocenzo, I believe that Doerrer was correct in his conclusion that the charges of homosexuality leveled against the two men are without foundation.[clxxxvii]

In the words of Signora Ava Leopoldo, who provided much of the documentation used by Doerrer in his chapter on the allegations against Pope Julius III:                   

There is no valid reason to believe that there existed any manner of sexual relationship between the pope and the boy. I see only affection from one  human being to  another, from a grandfather to his grandson. I see a special admiration for a poor beggar who was able to stand up and survive.[clxxxviii]

           Not until the twentieth century, would the issue of a homosexual pope be raised again. (Mrs. Randy Engel, The Rite of Sodomy, Chapter 3.)

Droleskey afterword: The homosexual "pope" referred to by Mrs. Engel above, Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria/Paul VI was, of course, no pope at all.



[i]For a fascinating look at the Italian Renaissance see Jacob Burckhardt, “The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy,” translated by S.G.C. Middlemore, 1878 available from

[ii] See Guimarães for an excellent summary and bibliography on the pontificate of St. Pius V. 358-360. Guimarães notes that St. Pius V called for the universal application of the death penalty for convicted sodomites from all classes of society including members of the clergy who were to be “stripped of all their posts, dignities and income, and after degradation, be handed over to the secular arm” to be executed as mandated by law according to the appropriate punishment for laymen plunged into this abyss.

[iii] For a comprehensive review of the complex repercussions of the Reformation on Christian life and worship see “The Reformation” by J. P. Kirsch as transcribed by Marie Jutras available from

[iv] Alan Bray, Homosexuality in Renaissance England (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 7.

[v] Ibid., 62.

[vi] Technically speaking, the term sodomy was also applied to the act of anal penetration of a woman by a man for purposes of family limitation or prevention of illegitimate bastard offspring.

[vii] Rocke, 14-15.

[viii] Ibid., 11.

[ix] Ibid., 3.

[x] Ibid., 132.

[xi] Ibid., 14, 28.

[xii] Ibid., 13

[xiii] Ibid., 157-158.

[xiv] Ibid. 150.

[xv] Ibid. 189.

[xvi] Ibid., 13.

[xvii] Ibid., 166.

[xviii] Ibid., 94.

[xix] Ibid., 107.

[xx] Ibid., 13.

[xxi] Ibid., 15.

[xxii] Ibid., 21.

[xxiii] Ibid., 32.

[xxiv] For an introduction to the life and works of St. Bernardino of Sienna see Pascal Robinson’s essay on the saint translated by Olivia Olivares at Also see “The Franciscan Experience” at that contains a brief essay on the holy friar.

[xxv] Franco Mormando, The Preacher’s Demons Bernardino of Siena and the Social Understanding of Early

Renaissance Italy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999).

[xxvi] Ibid., 21-22.

[xxvii] Ibid., 109.

[xxviii] Guimarães, 364.

[xxix] Rocke, 36. See also Rocke’s Ph.D. study on St. Bernardino, “Sodomites in Fifteenth-Century Tuscany: The Views of Bernardino of Siena,” in The Pursuit of Sodomy: Male Homosexuality in Renaissance and Enlightenment Europe, eds. Ken Gerard and Gert Hekma (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1989), 7-31.

[xxx] Ibid., 117, 39.

[xxxi] Ibid., 41.

[xxxii] Ibid.

[xxxiii] Ibid., 33.

[xxxiv] Ibid. 35.

[xxxv] Ibid. 37.

[xxxvi] Mormando, 133.

[xxxvii] Rocke, 142.

[xxxviii] Ibid., 4.

[xxxix] Ibid., 84.

[xl] Ibid.

[xli] Ibid., 162.

[xlii] Ibid., 82.

[xliii] Ibid., 52.

[xliv] Ibid., 71.

[xlv] Ibid., 269.

[xlvi] Ibid., 139.

[xlvii] Ibid. 233

[xlviii] Ibid., 66.

[xlix] Ibid., 49, 163. One such explosive case that came to light during Rocke’s research  involved the former archiepiscopal vicar of Pistonia, messer Donato di Piermaria who admitted that he had sodomized many clerics in his service, some for years. He named 13 boys with whom he had sexual congress, mostly young clerics who came to clean his room, plus many others whose names he could no longer remember.

[l] William Clark, Savonarola His Life and Times (Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Co., 1890), 30. .

[li] Ibid., 31.

[lii] The Life and Times of Girolamo Savonarola (London:  Whittaker and Co., 1843), author unknown, 145.

[liii] Clark, 239.

[liv] Rocke, 206.

[lv] Ibid., 211.

[lvi] Clark, 239.

[lvii] Rocke, 210.

[lviii] Ibid.

[lix] Pope Alexander VI was a Borgia. Called by many names not the least of which was “the scourge of Christendom,” Rodrigo Borgia belonged to a noble Spanish family and came to Rome during the pontificate of his uncle, Calixtus III. He was made Archbishop of Valentia and cardinal before the age of 25. According to Clark, although he was a man of exceptional administrative talents and a consummate politician, he was more interested in temporal than religious concerns. Also, his private life that included a mistress and a large number of offspring, was an open scandal. In his confrontation with Savonarola which was largely a political affair, he attempted to bribe the Dominican firebrand with a red hat. This was a grave error on his part, said Clark, as it helped confirm the friar’s suspicion that the Borgia pope had “usurped the highest station in God’s temple by the crime of simony.” In May 1998 on the 500th anniversary of Savonarola’s death, Tertium Millenium, a publication of the Vatican Committee for the Preparation of the Jubilee announced the beginning of an investigation of the life and works of Savonarola directed at the possible beatification of the Dominican monk. Fr. Innocenzo Venchi, OP,. is in charge of the investigation. His interview on Savonarola is available from

[lx] Ruggiero, 137.

[lxi] Ibid., 115.

[lxii] Ibid., 121.

[lxiii] Ibid., 116, 126.

[lxiv] Ibid., 135.

[lxv] Ibid.

[lxvi] The custom of sodomites assigning each other feminine names appears to have become a common practice throughout Europe and England by the late 1600s. In Lisbon, Portugal, the fanchonos, a self-identified group of effeminate sodomites adopted this practice. See Luiz Mott, Ph.D. and Aroldo Assuncao, “Love’s Labors Lost: Five Letters from a 17th Century Portuguese Sodomite,” in Kent Gerard and Gert Hekma, Eds. The Pursuit of Sodomy: Male Homosexuality in Renaissance and Enlightenment Europe (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1989), 95.

[lxvii] Ruggiero, 124.

[lxviii] Ibid.

[lxix] Ibid., 126-127.

[lxx] Ibid., 134.

[lxxi] Ibid., 141.

[lxxii] Ibid., 142.

[lxxiii] Ibid., 129-132.

[lxxiv] Ibid., 130.

[lxxv] Ibid., 75.

[lxxvi] Mary Elizabeth Perry, “‘The ‘Nefarious Sin’ in Early Modern Seville,” in The Pursuit of Sodomy: Male Homosexuality in Renaissance and Enlightenment Europe, eds. Kent Gerard and Gert Hekma (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1989), 67.

[lxxvii] Perry, 71.

[lxxviii] Ibid., 70.

[lxxix] Ibid.

[lxxx] Ibid., 71, 74.

[lxxxi] Ibid., 79.

[lxxxii] Ibid., 80.

[lxxxiii] Ibid.

[lxxxiv] Ibid.

[lxxxv] Ibid.

[lxxxvi] Alan Bray, Homosexuality in Renaissance England (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 20, 78.

[lxxxvii] Bray, 19-20, 29.

[lxxxviii] Ibid., 26.

[lxxxix] Ibid., 21, 23.

[xc] Cynthia B. Herrup, A House in Gross Disorder – Sex, Law and the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 34.

[xci] Ibid., 27.

[xcii] Ibid., 28. Although Rev. Udall escaped the death penalty and later went on to a successful career in both literary and academic circles, other members of the clergy were not as fortunate. In 1580 Matthew Heaton, a clergyman in East Grinstead, was prosecuted at the Sussex Assizes for a pederastic affair with a boy from his parish. And in 1640, Irish Bishop John Atherson and his suspected lover John Childe were executed for the crime of sodomy.

[xciii] Bray, 34-35.

[xciv] Ibid., 70.

[xcv] Ibid., 54.

[xcvi] Herrup, 36.

[xcvii] See Rictor Norton, A History of Homophobia, “The Medieval Basis of Modern Law,” available online from

[xcviii] Herrup, 28.

[xcix] Ibid., 28, 33. Under English law during the 17th century, rape involved both penetration and emission. Sodomy was linked with bestiality and both were held to be against the order of nature.

[c] Ibid., 28-29.

[ci] Ibid., 30.

[cii] Charles Nicholl, The Reckoning –The Murder of Christopher Marlowe (New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1992).

[ciii] Ibid., 131.

[civ] Ibid., 92, 121.

[cv] The evidence in support of Marlowe’s homosexuality is largely circumstantial. He was not known to have ever had any serious love affairs with either a woman or for that matter, a men. He never married, but since he died at the early age of 29 this can hardly be used against him. A number of Marlowe’s plays including Dido and Edward II demonstrate his marked interest in same-sex relations, but then, the Elizabethan theater was a lightening rod that attracted many pederasts and adult homosexuals in search of boy actors. On the other hand, Marlowe is known to have publicly defended the practice of pederasty going as far as to blaspheme Our Lord by suggesting that His attachment to St. John was an erotic one. Marlowe was known to be acquainted with the occult circles of the “Durham House Set,” as well as with members of London’s homosexual cliques that included the brothers Bacon - Anthony and Francis (a pederast). And as Nicholl stated, there would have been no point in Richard Baines publicly accusing Marlowe of homosexual acts if Marlowe had a reputation of being a “vigorous heterosexual,” which he definitely didn’t. There is a third option of course. Like many artists, Marlowe may have chosen to sink all his energies and passions into his dramas and poetry and his secret life as a spy, eschewing altogether any serious love affair, with either a man or a women.

[cvi] Ibid., 45-46, 342.

[cvii] Ibid., 46.

[cviii] Ibid., 121-122. In one report to Pope Clement VIII, an English priest informed the pope that the Crown hoped to create enmity against the College among moderate English Catholics.

[cix] Ibid., 121.

[cx] Ibid., 123.

[cxi] Ibid., 124.

[cxii] Ibid., 129.

[cxiii] Ibid., 124.

[cxiv] Ibid., 127.

[cxv] Ibid., 131.

[cxvi] Ibid., 134.

[cxvii] Ibid., 113.

[cxviii] Ibid., 125. The turncoat Catholic Charles Sledd worked at English College in Rome. He also provided Baines with French intelligence that was passed on to Walsingham.

[cxix] Super-sleuth writer John Le Carré calls espionage “the secret theater of our society.”

[cxx] Ibid. 96. Nicholl noted that the flirtations of the Cambridge men with Catholicism in the late 1500s, was similar to that of the Cambridge men with Communism in the 1920s and 30s. For most it was a “dilettante game,” he commented, although for the Cambridge spies like Anthony Blunt and Guy Burgess it was deadly serious. 

[cxxi] Herrup, 38.

[cxxii] Ibid., 38, 41.

[cxxiii] Ibid., 42-46.

[cxxiv] Ibid., 49.

[cxxv] Ibid., 91-92.

[cxxvi] Ibid., 55-56.

[cxxvii] Ibid., 95. The verdicts of the jurors in the Touchet Trial are found at

[cxxviii] Bray, 82. For an extensive discussion of the role of the Societies for Reformation of Manners see Alan Hunt, Governing Morals, A Social History of Moral Regulation (London: Cambridge University Press, 1999). According to Hunt, homosexual prostitution did not become a major problem in London until after the 1720s. He reported that in its campaign for community virtue and public order, the primary target of the Societies were homosexual  brothels rather than individual homosexuals. Also, the Societies concentrated their efforts on the lower classes rather than the wealthier upper classes. That the Societies should have “Manners” rather than “Morals” in its name suggests that these groups were less interested in the “salvation of souls,” that is internal conversion, than in outward conformity. The Societies for Reformation of Manners was later replaced by the Societies for the Suppression of Vice in the early 1800s.

[cxxix] Bray., 91.

[cxxx] Ibid., 137.

[cxxxi] Ibid., 85.

[cxxxii] Bray, 85.

[cxxxiii] Ibid., 86.

[cxxxiv] Ibid., 86.

[cxxxv] See Randolph Trumbach, “The Birth of a Queen: Sodomy and the Emergence of Gender Equality in Modern Culture 1660-1750,” in Hidden from History - Reclaiming the Gay & Lesbian Past, eds. Martin Baum Doberman, Martha Vicinus, George Chauncey, Jr., (New York, Penguin Books, 1989), 137-138.

[cxxxvi] Bray, 93.

[cxxxvii] Trumbach, 137.

[cxxxviii] Ibid.

[cxxxix] Ibid., 145.

[cxl] Bray, 90.

[cxli] These biographical details were taken from a brief essay on the life of Pope Paul II (Pietro Barbo) by N. A. Weber, transcribed by Douglas J. Potter and found at


[cxliii] For a discussion of the College of Abbreviators see “History of the Catholic Church – From the Renaissance to the French Revolution,” by Rev. James MacCaffrey, S.J. (1914) and available from

[cxliv] For information on Pope Sixtus IV see “The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church by Francis A. Burkle -Young, author of Passing the KeysModern Cardinals, Conclaves, and the Election of the Next Pope (Lanham, Md.: Madison Books, 2001). The website is

[cxlv]For a brief review of the life and works of Stephano Infessura see the biographical sketch by J. P. Kirsch, transcribed by Beth Ste-Marie at

[cxlvi] Burkle-Young.

[cxlvii] See Michael Ott’s excellent summary of the life of Pope Julius III as transcribed by Kenneth M. Caldwell at wysiwyg://44/

[cxlviii] Ibid.

[cxlix] Michael Leopoldo Doerrer and Francis A. Burkle-Young, The Life of Cardinal Innocenzo Del Monte: A Scandal in Scarlet, (together with Materials for a History of the House of Ciocchi del Monte San Savino), Renaissance Studies Series (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1997), 20-26. Burkle-Young was a member of the Library of Congress and Doerrer a young scholar at George Washington University when he began his research and writings on Cardinal del Monte.

[cl] Ibid., 26-28.

[cli] Ibid., 30.

[clii] Ibid., 32, 37.

[cliii] See a summary of the early life of Pope Julius III by Michael Ott, transcribed by Vivek Gilbert John Fernandez at

[cliv] Ibid.

[clv] Ibid.

[clvi] Doerrer, 72.

[clvii] Ibid., 68.

[clviii] Ibid., 60.

[clix] Ibid., 136.

[clx] Ibid., 69.

[clxi] Ibid.

[clxii] Ibid., 80.

[clxiii] Ibid., 83.

[clxiv] Ibid., 98.

[clxv] Ibid., 101-118.

[clxvi] Ibid., 125.

[clxvii] Ibid., 126.

[clxviii] Ibid., 127.

[clxix] Ibid., 131-132.

[clxx] Ibid., 133.

[clxxi] Ibid., 135.

[clxxii] Ibid., 177.

[clxxiii] Ibid., 200.

[clxxiv] Ide, 162.

[clxxv] Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests  - Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 27.

[clxxvi] “Three Gay Popes” was originally posted on 11/13/00 at but is no longer available. Lamba’s “Famous GLB People in History” at lists Pope Julius III as a “gay.” 

[clxxvii] Doerrer, 187.

[clxxviii] Ibid., 188.

[clxxix] An English translation of the original Danolo letter is provided by Doerrer, 188.

[clxxx] According to Doerrer, Monsignor Loris Capovilla performed this role in the household of the aged Pope John XXIII.

[clxxxi] Ibid., 188.

[clxxxii] Ibid., 192.

[clxxxiii] Ibid., 189.

[clxxxiv] Ibid.

[clxxxv] Ibid., 193.

[clxxxvi] Ibid., 185.

[clxxxvii] Ibid., 194.

[clxxxviii] Ibid.