The Dead Body of Pope Formosus

This episode has it all: Pope-on-pope legal drama! Corpse desecration! 3 separate French kings named Charles! Come for an explanation of the Corpse Synod, stay to find out why it’s not easy being pope.

The featured image is a painting by Jean Paul Laurens from 1870. (Image Source)

Quick clarification about the Vatican Secret Archives: These archives are now open to a select group of scholars and a project is underway to digitize these records. However, documents from before the 13th century are spotty and many are absent, some records are still kept confidential, and there’s a significant delay between when records are generated and when they’re released to the public. I don’t mean “secret” in the sense that no one outside the church can see these records, but they are difficult for many people to access and documents from the period we discussed in this episode are spotty.