Flagpole, October 31, 2001, pp. 8-9


One thousand one hundred and four years ago a criminal trial took place in Italy, a trial so macabre, so gruesome, so frightful that it easily qualifies as the strangest and most terrible trial in human history. At this trial, called the Cadaver Synod, a dead pope wrenched from the grave was brought into a Rome courtroom, tried in the presence of a successor pope, found guilty, and then, in the words of Horace K. Mann's The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages (1925), "subjected to the most barbarous violence."

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