897: Cadaver Synod. Pope Formoso is found guilty during a trial “post mortem”

Can you imagine anything more grotesque than a process to a dead?

In Middle Ages This also happened.

The event has gone down in history as the “synod of the corpse” and it was set against Pope Formoso, expired on 4 April 896 at the age of eighty years.

Nine months after the solemn burial, the pontiff's body was exhumed to be brought to trial; nothing was left to chance and the man, coated of its vestments, He was put on the throne of the Lateran Basilica in Rome to await, so to say, the verdict.

It is not surprising the fact that the latter was the conviction, It is seen that it is difficult to imagine an effective defense of himself and his work by Formoso, who, after cutting the three fingers of his right hand in blessing, He was dragged through the streets and fed to public ridicule before being thrown into the Tiber.

But what had he done so serious the pope to deserve such ignominious end?

The resided reasons, as always, in the politics of issues.

The judge of this unique judicial process was in fact the new Pope Stephen VI, elected with the support of Dukes of Spoleto, who previously they had seen climb in the struggle for succession to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire Arnulf of Carinthia, King of the East Franks, rightful heir, backed by Formoso and holder of the title of King of Italy for its decision.

The process “post mortem” therefore, was revenge by the dukes, who had contributed to the election of Stephen VI (Photo gives: ticinolive.ch).