Tag Archives | Vatican

Last Papal Abdication

The Last Papal Abdication

With Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he will abdicate the papacy, he will make history as the first Pope to do so since July 4th, 1415. While Benedict cites his “advanced age” for his reason to leave his position, the last Pope to resign, Pope Gregory XII, left due to a terrible divide in the […]

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Secret Letters Reveal Threats to Roman Catholic Church Over Henry VIII

Secret Letters Reveal Threats to Roman Catholic Church Over Henry VIII’s Marriage

Secret files reveal Henry VIII’s ‘extreme’ threats over marriage ENGLISH nobles threatened “extreme remedies” against the Roman Catholic Church unless the Pope annulled Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, a letter contained in an exhibition of historic documents from the Vatican secret archives revealed yesterday. The 3ft-wide parchment letter, complete with 81 wax seals […]

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Mary Queen of Scots sent letter begging for her life to Vatican before execution

The Vatican Secret Archives have been the holder of many important historical documents.  Now and exhibition will be held at the Capitoline Museums in Rome from February to September 2012.  The exhibit, titled “Lux in arcana – The Vatican Secret Archives reveals itself” will have 100 original documents dating from the 8th to the 20th […]

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Was William Shakespeare a Catholic? The Vatican says there’s ‘little doubt’ he was

In light of the release of the new movie Anonymous, interest has arisen again whether William Shakespeare was secretly Catholic.  In Elizabethan England, many Catholics were persecuted and massacred.  The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, refers to references in Shakespeare’s work as main proof he was Catholic.  Is Shakespeare’s work purely fiction, or personal opinion?  Nick […]

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Review - 1494 by Stephen R. Bown

Review – 1494 by Stephen R. Bown

For casual readers of history, the 1493 papal decree dividing the planet between Portugal and Spain is one more Ripley’s Believe It Or Not exhibit from our strange and wonderful past. For some interested [amazon_enhanced asin="0312616120" container="div" container_class="alignright" price="All" background_color="FFFFFF" link_color="000000" text_color="0000FF" /]parties, like the U.S.-based Indigenous Law Institute, the incident still has propaganda value. […]

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Review - Absolute Monarchs - A History of the Papacy by John Julius Norwich

Review – Absolute Monarchs – A History of the Papacy – By John Julius Norwich

John Julius Norwich makes a point of saying in the introduction to his history of the popes that he is “no scholar” and that he is “an[amazon_enhanced asin="1400067154" container="div" container_class="alignright" price="All" background_color="FFFFFF" link_color="000000" text_color="0000FF" /] agnostic Protestant.” The first point means that while he will be scrupulous with his copious research, he feels no obligation […]

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The evolution of the Popemobile

The evolution of the Popemobile

Historically, pontiffs were carried around in a “sedia gestatoria”, a lavishly decorated throne consisting of a silk-clad chair fixed to a platform and carried by twelve footmen in scarlet uniforms. It is thought to have had its origins in Byzantine traditions, although it may date back even earlier to the sort of elaborate sedan chairs […]

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