Le Synode du cadavre: Synodus Horrenda PDF Formosus, held in the Basilica of St. The Cadaver Synod and related events took place during a period of political instability in Italy. This period, which lasted from the middle of the 9th century to the middle of the 10th century, was marked by a rapid succession of pontiffs. Often, these brief papal reigns were the result of the political machinations of local Roman factions, about which few sources survive.
Tandis que fait rage le combat entre Islam et Chrétienté, deux plaideurs s’affrontent lors d’un procés étonnant qui décidera du sort de l’Occident. Exhumé par ses ennemis, couronné de la tiare et installé sur le trône de saint Pierre, c’est le cadavre en décomposition du pape Formose que l’on va juger. Ce roman historique revient sur l’un des épisodes les plus sombres de l’histoire de l’Eglise : le Concile cadavérique, Synodus Horrenda.
Formosus became bishop of Porto-Santa Rufina in 864 during the pontificate of Pope Nicholas I. In 875, shortly after Charles the Bald’s imperial coronation, Formosus fled Rome in fear of then-pope John VIII. A few months later in 876, at a synod in Santa Maria Rotunda, John VIII issued a series of accusations against Formosus and some of his associates. In 878, at another council held at Troyes, John may have confirmed the excommunications.
He also legislated more generally against those who « plunder » ecclesiastical goods. According to the tenth-century author Auxilius of Naples, Formosus was also present at this council. After the death of John VIII in December 882, Formosus’ troubles ended. He resumed his bishopric at Porto, where he remained until elected pope on 6 October 891. Yet this earlier quarrel with John VIII formed the basis of the accusations made at the Cadaver Synod.
The Cadaver Synod is generally presumed to have been politically motivated. Lambert’s father, Guy III of Spoleto, had earlier been crowned by John VIII. The dominant interpretation of these events until the early twentieth century was straightforward: Formosus had always been a pro-Carolingian, and his crowning of Lambert in 892 was coerced. After the death of Arnulf and the collapse of Carolingian authority in Rome, Lambert entered the city and forced Stephen to convene the Cadaver Synod, both to re-assert his claim to the imperial crown and perhaps also to exact posthumous revenge upon Formosus.
This view is now considered obsolete, following the arguments put forth by Joseph Duhr in 1932. Probably around January 897, Stephen VI ordered that the corpse of his predecessor Formosus be removed from its tomb and brought to the papal court for judgment. With the corpse propped up on a throne, a deacon was appointed to answer for the deceased pontiff. Formosus was accused of transmigrating sees in violation of canon law, of perjury, and of serving as a bishop while actually a layman. Eventually, the corpse was found guilty. According to Liutprand’s version of the story, Stephen VI said: « When you were bishop of Porto, why did you usurp the universal Roman See in such a spirit of ambition?
This section needs additional citations for verification. The macabre spectacle turned public opinion in Rome against Stephen. Rumors circulated that Formosus’ body, after washing up on the banks of the Tiber, had begun to perform miracles. A public uprising led to Stephen being deposed and imprisoned. While in prison, in July or August 897, he was strangled.
Cadaver Synod, rehabilitated Formosus, and ordered that his body, which had been recovered from the Tiber, be reburied in Saint Peter’s Basilica in pontifical vestments. Cadaver Synod as a co-judge, overturned the rulings of Theodore II and John IX, reaffirming Formosus’ conviction, and had a laudatory epitaph inscribed on the tomb of Stephen VI. The Cadaver Synod: Strangest Trial in History ». Caspar, MGH Epistolae Karolini Aevi, vol.
The council acta do not survive, but the proceedings are described by Hincmar,Annales, entry for 878, ed. Auxilius,Auxilius, In defensionem sacrae ordinationis papae Formosi, I. Hubert Mordek and Gerhard Schmitz, « Papst Johannes VIII. Konzil von Troyes, » in Geschichtsschreibung und Geistiges Leben im Mittelalter: Festschrift für Heinz Löwe zum 65. Corpus Christianorum: Continuatio Medievalis, vol 156, p. Council of Ravenna in 898, acta edited by J.
Mansi,Sacrorum conciliorum, nova, et amplissima collectio, vol. Papal Genealogy: The Families and Descendants of the Popes. Portions of this view had been argued earlier by G. Quo constitutoformosum e sepulcro extrahere atque in sedem Romanicollocare praecepit. Cum Portuensis esses episcopus, cur ambitionis spiritu Romanam universalem usurpasti sedem? Liutprand of Cremona’s is perhaps the most convenient account of synod, though many additional details are furnished by the pro-Formosan Auxilius.
Stephen VI may have convened it at the impetus of Guido IV. Robert Browning’s lengthy poem, The Ring and the Book, devotes 134 lines to the Cadaver Synod, in the chapter called The Pope. Italian clerics who provide important evidence for the Synod, its circumstances and aftermath. Also includes an important historical discussion of the synod in his introduction. Rome at the end of the ninth and the beginning of the tenth centuries. Llewellyn discusses both Formosus and the Cadaver Synod.
Frédéric Cathala, Le Synode du Cadavre, Les Indes Savantes, 2012. The play Infallibility, which premiered at the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival, features the Cadaver Synod. Pope Formosus, held in the Basilica of St. The Cadaver Synod and related events took place during a period of political instability in Italy. This period, which lasted from the middle of the 9th century to the middle of the 10th century, was marked by a rapid succession of pontiffs. Often, these brief papal reigns were the result of the political machinations of local Roman factions, about which few sources survive.