An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Pope Alexander VI – The Decadent Borgia Pope Who Epitomized The Sex Obsessed Vatican World!

The power and the regressive nature of the Catholic Church was known to me from various examples that one can see everyday, but even I was shocked at the level of decadence that prevails in the Catholic Church and the way it was shaped over the last many centuries.  We happened to watch the series on Netflix – The Borgias.

Pope Alexander VI - The Pope Who Epitomized The Sex Obsessed Vatican World! Click To Tweet
Pope Alexander with his mistress Giulia

It is the story of Pope Alexander VI, whose real name was Rodrigo Borgia, played by Oscar winning Actor – Jeremy Irons.  He is a ruthless character who will stop at nothing – murder, mayhem, wars, putting enemies in plague ridden areas to kill them, indulging in orgies, threesomes, and keeping mistresses!  He was a sexaholic.

Pope Alexander VI has at least two mistresses – Vannozza dei Cattanei (an Italian noblewoman) – when he was a Cardinal of Albano – and Giulia Farnese (a Roman beauty).  He had four kids with Vannozza – Giovanni, Cesare, Lucrezia and Gioffre.

The one scene that very interesting and hilarious at the same time is when Alexander is with his mistress, the young Giulia and he starts to discuss the geopolitics using her bare legs – using every part of her leg as one of the kingdoms around the Vatican and explaining why they are important as he moves up from the ankle to the calf to thigh and beyond.  Giulia was popularly known as Pope’s Whore or as the Bride of Christ.

Even though Borgia or Pope Alexander VI, is defined as the most decadent Pope, but that is not because others were very pious – for, they were as banal and sex and power addicted as he was – but because he was a Spanish Pope in an Italian world!

And, this was obvious during the Banquet of Chestnuts.  It was October 30th, 1501 – known in the Church history as the most scandalous.  But given how all the Cardinals – one of whom would later have been a Pope and many who had until then and beyond that day would have dictated how Jesus was to be made the sine qua non of religion in the world – it was definitive of the very ethos of the Church, at least in those times (and maybe beyond).  These cardinals participated in that night of unlimited orgy.

It started off with wine and sumptuous food in Apostolic Palace – Pope’s official residence.  After the food – the tables were cleared up and the candelabras were taken off and placed on the floor.  Around fifty prostitutes dressed as nuns came in and undressed themselves as the cardinals bid for every act of disrobing by them.  Sex games started where cardinals and priests with the most ejaculations were given prizes of silk tunics and many other fineries by none other than the Pope himself!

Banquet of Chestnuts

Pope Alexander VI’s Master of Ceremonies, Johannes Burchard who wrote the official record of Papal times called Liber Notarum described the orgies and sex games of that night in his accounts.  Of course, the Church has since worked very hard to erase that ignominy from historical records but it has defined the baseness of the Church.

Lucrezia – Pope’s daughter

Lucrezia was a powerful and smart woman who was forever in search of love and often found satiating herself with lust and sex with a lot of men.  She was also responsible for saving the Church once from certain doom when the French king marched to attack.

He made Cesare a cardinal, which the son never wanted to be and so abandoned the “honor”.  He instead wanted to lead the Papal army.  Cesare was known to have fought and led many battles.

But he was also known to have had incestuous sex with his own sister, Lucrezia, who was equally lustful of him.  Their incest was the talk of the town at that time.

Girolamo Savonarola and the Pope

The Florentine friar, Girolamo Savonarola was fanatically against the Pope.  He thought that the Church had been defiled and made dirty.  He gave many speeches in Florence and impacted the folks there with his puritan version of Christianity.  And in that version, it was a sin to enjoy.  To dance and sing or create music.  All the rich possessions – include the exquisite paintings – that belonged to the citizens of that city were gotten out and destroyed!  His version of Christianity was the closest to the version of Islam that Taliban espouses.

Really speaking, the Abrahamic minds have oscillated between the two extremes – of extreme decadence and extreme puritanism.  Either there is a fetish of 72 virgins where all of them are ready to seduce you with their white milky thighs or they want the women to cover every part of her body lest men be lured!  Either you become a Borgia Pope or Savonarola!  There is no room where humanity in its normal state can coexist with piety.  Even Jesus had a virgin birth thrust upon him!

The Pope used the heresy rules and the consequent Church punishment forced upon the friar using the Papal army to burn him on the stake and thus eliminated that threat to his throne.

Roman Empire transformed into Roman Catholic Church

Jesus was a great camouflaging mascot for the decadence and the supremacist ideas of the Romans.  For all the crimes of murder, genocide and killing that were perpetuated by the Church, what could be a better shield than someone who was defined as such a gentle soul?

Romans, who killed Jesus (and the Gnostics as well as many enlightened women designated as witches), then used him to kill everyone else.

In the world of many Gods and practices, the fanaticism of one “god” and one “teaching” tweaked in the Nicene creed became the most potent and obvious weapon.  The power of one god, one belief and one authority was the greatest weapon that the Romans left.

Those of the Church themselves rarely had much interest in Jesus or his being.  They were ready to milk him to fill their coffers and armies.  Jesus was always a tool.  In this series as well, during the celebrations for the year 1500, the Borgia Pope wants to get a Christ relic and Jews, who wanted to trade in Rome oblige him with the Lance of Longinus.

Pope Alexander VI commissions the Jewish population of Rome to locate the Spear for him, as he would like a holy relic to display in the Vatican in time for the New Year celebration in 1500.

In exchange, the Jews will be mainstreamed into the Papal States’ economy. Alexander’s enemies attempt to discredit the Jews’ discovery to keep them marginalized and interfere with the Borgia, but they successfully expose the Cardinals’ spear as a fake. It is left vague as to whether the Jews’ spear is genuine, and as to whether Alexander believed them.

The Church then used it to earn money from those gullible who came to see the Pope in that important year – 1500.

The intrigue, the strategies, the ruthless politics and murders – were all common in how power was usurped and perpetuated.

Things have not changed

And, over the years, the things have not changed any.  Even today the Catholic Church is a hotbed of corruption, violence, murders and sex scandals.  Borgia Pope was the most public example of the Church’s decadence, not its only exponent.

For example, the last Pope – Pope Benedict XVI is said to have resigned due to gay sex scandal also called the Vatileaks.  Pope Benedict XVI was the only Pope to have resigned since Celestine V who resigned over 700 years ago!

A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.

The pope’s spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.  The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called “Vatileaks” affair.

The Vatican is now known to be in the throes of a powerful gay lobby, which goes all the way to the top.

I could understand his discomfort. But in Rome these days the topic of gay priests in the upper reaches of the Holy See is hard to avoid. In February of this year, not long before the College of Cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel for the conclave to choose the 266th Pope, the largest Italian daily newspaper, La Repubblica, reported that a “gay lobby”—a more or less unified cabal of homosexual power brokers—might be operating inside the Vatican. According to the newspaper, the possible existence of this gay lobby was among the many secrets described in a two-volume, 300-page report bound in red and presented to Pope Benedict XVI by three cardinals he had appointed to investigate the affair known as “VatiLeaks.” That scandal, which raised fresh suspicions of endemic corruption within the Curia, had broken the previous year after Paolo Gabriele, the papal butler, made off with some of Benedict’s private papers and leaked them to the press.

The sex scandals have not just pushed the last Pope to resign, but they have gone on all the time.  The priests, the pastors, the cardinals and Popes themselves are the perpetuators of crimes and sex orgies untold!

For example, Rev. Andrea Contin of Padua in Italy and Rev. Mario D’Orlando of Naples – were accused of sex scandals recently.  While D’Orlando was busy in gay orgies and scouting for partners on the net, Contin had around 30 lovers (whom he took to swingers resort in France!).  The cases are quite common.

One woman, who claims to have been Contin’s lover for more than three years, claimed the priest carried sex toys and bondage equipment, prostituted his lovers on wife-swapping websites and also invited other priests from the area to sex parties.

And all this hasn’t stopped – even with this so-called disciplinarian Pope – Pope Francis!  His personal advisor’s secretary was running sex parties with drugs in an apartment that belonged to the Vatican.

Vatican police raided a drug-fueled gay sex party at a top priest’s apartment near the city, according to an Italian newspaper report.

The apartment’s occupant, who was not named by police, serves as a secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, a personal adviser to Pope Francis.

The apartment belongs to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith — the branch that reviews appeals from clergy found guilty of sexual abuse of minors, according to Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, which first published the explosive report.

The secrets are everywhere. The Roman gyms, bars, nightclubs, sex clubs, and restaurants.  The details too gory and riveting.  Even today!  Just that the attempt by the Church to cover up has increased.

Borgia was after all no exception.  He is as alive and rollicking today in the Vatican as he was in the 1500s with his mistresses.  And, sex orgies?  They are integral to Vatican too.  Banquets of Chestnuts don’t seem like ending anytime soon!

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment
  1. Harry says

    Those poor simple souls did not know what to do, who had to witness the decadence of the pope and his family and those surrounding him. Did they ?

    I have only watched bits and pieces of it but after reading your article I want to watch the full set . I was never interested when it first came out but now come to think of why not.

    As always nicely written. Harry

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