Behind the Sacraments: The Untold Secrets of the Catholic Church

 The chief exorcist of the church is very busy

Although exorcism may often be associated with horror movies and the distant past, it remains a practice in the Catholic Church today. Father Gabriel Amorth, the Vatican's former chief exorcist, served in this role for an impressive 60 years and is estimated to have performed approximately 160,000 exorcisms during his tenure. It is worth noting that the exorcism ritual is not limited to Father Amorth alone; Various Popes throughout history have also performed exorcisms. In fact, in 2018, the Vatican hosted an annual workshop where 250 priests from around the world gathered for this purpose, as the BBC reported.

Pope Alexander VI was interested in very strange things

Pope Alexander VI was certainly an eccentric man. He gained notoriety through his participation in an event called the Banquet of Chestnuts in 1501, which is not as boring as it sounds. It is rumored that she persuaded 50 women to disrobe, and then scattered chestnuts on the floor, forcing the women to run around on their hands and knees, resembling pigs, as Historian Tony Perrottet has noted. Adding to the peculiarity of the gathering, Pope Alexander VI reportedly offered a prize to the man who could bed the most women.

Church-funded schools that took indigenous children from their families

The Canadian Indian residential school system consisted of a network of boarding schools aimed at indigenous communities. Children were often taken from their parents' homes, sometimes by forceful means, and placed in these schools. According to the 2015 findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it is estimated that more than 4,000 students have lost their lives due to the consequences of this system. About 60% of these Canadian Indian residential schools were run by the Catholic Church with financial assistance from the federal and provincial governments. The commission determined that the students died as a result of inadequate facilities, disease, suicide, and abuse at the hands of those in charge of the schools.

They hunted Muslims in the Crusades

The Crusade, which lasted from 1095 to 1291, was initially aimed at recapturing Jerusalem from Islamic control, but ultimately turned into a painful 300-year-long conflict. During this long period of conflict, it is estimated that approximately 1.7 million lives were tragically lost. However, the death toll was greater than that of the Muslims, as it is believed that only one out of every 20 Crusaders survived and saw the final capture of Jerusalem under the banner of the Catholic Church.

They spent hundreds of years oppressing the Jewish people

During the Middle Ages, religious beliefs played an important role in fostering anti-Semitism. Adversus Judaeos, a series of sermons by John Chrysostom in the fourth century, was intended to target members of the Church of Antioch who continued to follow Jewish traditions. John Chrysostom criticized this practice, portraying Judaism and synagogues in a decidedly negative light through the use of exaggeration and other rhetorical devices.

For centuries, these teachings were largely ignored until anti-Jewish Christian sentiments emerged in Muslim Andalusia during the 11th and 12th centuries. Historian William I. Brustein suggests that Chrysostom's sermons against the Jews contributed to the belief that Jews bore collective responsibility for the death of Jesus. This interpretation claimed that the Jews present at Jesus's crucifixion, and the Jewish people as a whole, were guilty of suicide, or the murder of God. Over nearly two millennia of Christian-Jewish history, this allegation of suicide has fueled hatred, violence, and persecution against Jews in both Europe and the Americas.

In a significant moment of reconciliation, Pope John Paul II offered forgiveness in 1998 for the Catholic Church's failure to aid Jews during the Holocaust. he admitted this

Christian anti-Semitism may have facilitated Nazi persecution, referring to the Jewish community as "our elder brothers" in the faith. This gesture is an important step towards healing historical wounds.

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