Noah teaches history: 6/22/2013
SO that painting up there is of a thing called the Cadaver Synod.
And basically what happened is that the popes were batshit insane.
So a pope named Formosus died in 896, and was succeeded by Stephen VI, who had a bit of a grudge against the former pope.
Wanting to completely desecrate the memory of Pope Formosus, and in some part politically motivated due to a church schism, Stephen had the the former pope’s corpse exhumed, dressed up in papal regalia, and put on trial in a church council, or synod.
Formosus was a accorded a lawyer, who knew that if he were to open his mouth he would be killed, and so he sat there the entire time in complete silence.
At the end of the trial, Formosus was declared guilty of gross abuses of power and other charges, mainly because “he did not utter a word in his own defense”.
Stephen VI had Formosus’ fingers cut off, so that he could no longer perform benedictions, and had the corpse dumped into the Tiber river, where it was found by a Roman fisherman and buried by a farmhouse.
Stephen, however, got what was coming to him: the trial caused an uproar, and he was eventually strangled.
Formosus’ body was eventually recovered and re-interred in St. Peter’s.