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A Dark History: The Popes Vice, Murder, And Corruption In The Vatican

(A Dark History Series)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  37 reviews

The papacy is the longest-lasting elected office in the world, and the vast majority of popes have been good and honest Christians. However, not every pontiff has acted in an entirely admirable and saintly manner. A Dark History: The Popes reveals the darkest deeds of the papacy: the murky and immoral past of the throne of St. Peter.

The darkness of the papal history reveal

...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Amber Books (Park Lane Books)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  240 ratings  ·  37 reviews


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Rama
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Scandals in the history of Roman Catholic Church

In this book, the author reviews the Roman Catholic Church history in light of the Papal roll, and re-create the political, social and economic history at different reigns. This brings different pontiffs to life, and identifies the lowest form of life in some leaders who needed more “saving from Christ” than the mainstream followers of the church. This is a comprehensive overview of the 1700 year history of the papacy with selected examples as how
...more
Rama
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book, the author reviews the Roman Catholic Church history in light of the Papal roll, and re-create the political, social and economic history at different reigns. This brings different pontiffs to life, and identifies the lowest form of life in some leaders who needed more “saving from Christ” than the mainstream followers of the church. This is a comprehensive overview of the 1700 year history of the papacy with selected examples as how they ran the hierarchy. It turns out that many H ...more
Wayne Hazle
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book of history. GRUESOME.
But I highly recommend it to everyone.

The Inquisition were so barbaric they are beyond belief.

The last chapter on Pope Pius XII and the Nazis is compelling and enlightening.
Ivana Azap Feješ
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
"By the order of Pope Urban VIII (1623–1644), the astronomer Galileo Galilei was persecuted by the Inquisition and kept under house arrest for ten years. Pope Pius XII (1939–1958) remains controversial today for his actions—or lack of them—during World War II."
Wonderful book ;)
Hannah
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book acknowledges that there have been mostly good popes with the occasional bad seed. Also, during periods of extreme corruption, many bad seeds in a row. This book focuses on the dark times of the papacy - the invention of Inquisitions, the legacy of the Borgias, and the battle for Rome and the creation of Vatican City.

There were a lot of pictures and images from the times and the book was very thoroughly researched. My big complaint is that there were too many sidebars. I couldn't always
...more
Susan Jo Grassi
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book at a thrift shop and decided, as a Catholic convert, to read up on the men who were considered the voice of God on earth. I had never really paid much attention to the Popes until recently so this was a real eye-opener. I spent half the time reading this with my mouth open in absolute horror. I am old enough to remember Pope Pius XII but had no knowledge other than the fact that he had died in 1952. Of all the Popes mentioned in this book, he was the most genuinely human and pi ...more
Tom
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find this book interesting in that it appears to promise some juicy stuff about bad things that Popes have done and it does some of that with medieval popes and the Medicis, but some chapters read as more focusing in the Church as a whole and later in the Vatican's difficulty adjusting to a modern world and finally addresses Pope Pius XII and his behavior during WWII, depicting him and the Church as a whole as doing good despite what others may say to the contrary. The last three chapters hone ...more
Lucy Qhuay
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, religion

Religion is one thing and the Church as an institution is quite another. I have nothing against any religion but everything against the depravity and corruption that finds its way inside all institutions whose purpose was to guide, Comfort and protect the citizens.
Rishonda
Good... but not great. Books like this are basically "light history" with just enough information to tantalize you and make you want to learn more. I'm okay with that, as sometimes you don't want to read 200 pages on a subject before you realize you aren't that interested in it. This book had a few interesting profiles:

1. The murdered Popes: John VIII, Stephen VII, Stephen IX, and Benedict V
2. The Cadaver Synod of 897 (in which the corpse of Pope Formosus was dug up and put on trial for breakin
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Lino Chue
Some problems with concordance and fluidity of the reading. Interesting facts though! Well ilustrated!
Ben Lund
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure: I am not Catholic, however I am a Christian.

When a book has the phrase Dark History in the title, I think you know what you are getting into. I know a little bit about the popes and what kind of things went on in the long history of the catholic church, but I wanted to have a bit more information, fill in the blanks as it were.

I was very concerned that the whole book was going to be a slam piece while reading the first couple chapters, I felt like the writers bias was on full d
...more
Vick
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very eye opening. I learned a lot about the Catholic Church, which one doesn't hear or read too often. It sheds a lot of light on periods of history that I never knew or understood about. Some parts greatly shook my faith, but current history made me understand the Pope's request for forgiveness from those affected by the previous popes. I highly recommend this book if you're curious about the "darkside" of the Catholic Church history. Now to read my books on the "standard" history ...more
Amanda Desrochers
Very interesting
Colleen
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Yay! I was just remarking how I wish there was more to this history series, and yes! New one just out. Before I read this book, I'd be hard pressed to name more than half a dozen popes, but now I can rattle off more. Makes sense that the longest elected position in history would have some gruesome times, and book does not disappoint. Entertaining and informing.

Instead of being split up from pope to pope, covers the basic dark epochs. There was the sixty year "Pornocracy", aka Rule of the Harlot
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Granny
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-reading
Reading this book is like eating popcorn at a movie theatre. You know it's bad for you on so many levels: it's fattening, full of chemicals in the salt, and so on. And yet, it is so very tasty that you just can't stop yourself from having more.

The wording leans to the most salacious possible; and the history is iffy whenever it is open to interpretation, but the stories of "Popes behaving badly" is just as entertaining as hell (pardon the pun).

The sidebars are so frequent that it sometimes beco
...more
Shannon
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This little book exceeded my expectations. I love any book that points out the darker aspects of the Catholic Church, especially if it is about popes. Before you rise to judgment, I went to Catholic schools and have formed my own opinions of the Church based on extensive experience. This is a fun book that is perfect for a 30-minute lunch break (noticing a theme here for me? I need books that can sustain a hundred interruptions during a short lunch). You can pick it up, read one story or two, an ...more
Scott
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In general, it's great to understand the tragic and deplorable history of the Catholic church. For that reason, I recommend learning about this topic. However, this book is not the way to do it. This book was lent to me - I would have probably selected a different book on the same topic and not this one.

- Too 'textbooky' like annoying "large text boxes" that are just statements pulled from the paragraphs or "side note" boxes that jump backwards and forwards.
- Very little context in the beginnin
...more
Monica Copeland
Clearly a coffee-table book. I found it puzzling that the rift with Henry VIII wasn't included, but it was redeemed (so to speak) by the thoughtful discussion on the church's official stance on the Nazis and the conditions that made this stance vital to saving many Jews. One thing I didn't like about the book was the break in reading with sidebars and boxes...it disrupted the flow.
Brett
Jan 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting read, especially to see about the scope and utter barbarity of the Inquisition. Sad that it took until the 1990s for a Pope to apologize for the mistreatment of Galileo. I was surprised to see what they wrote about Pope Pius XII. Not a fan of his, but maybe he was very subtle in his machinations.
T.J. Alexian
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Visually lovely, although the copy wants for some editing and is a bit overly repetitious after a while in terms of pull through quotes, etc. The stories of genocide, backstabbing and the Borgias are fascinating, however, although I found myself hoping for a bit more detail. Details, baby, details! The chapter around Pius XII was appropriately balanced.
Millie
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very informative summarization of the most infamous popes. Wonderful illustrations and photographs of ancient works of art, sculpture, famous buildings, etc. Fascinating religious and policital intrigue.
Lana Bradstream
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful history book! Definite read for anyone interested in the history of the Catholic Church. While it only focuses on the darker aspects of the history, it is still a good, intriguing read and it delves into many stories -- the trial of Galileo, the Inquisition, the Borgias and more.
Dave Sippel
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'll be honest, these books are very entertaining but don't feel very scholarly. Sensationalism is the focus. Don't expect an in depth view of the inner working of The Vatican. It feels like a magazine bound into a hard cover book but there is no denying that there are some great pictures inside.
Memy Jedo
Jan 17, 2011 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Yuhuuu!!
This my new one! Got from my fried (Hehe, dipinjemin maksudnya.. Whatever lah!

Start from now :D
Mac
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coffee table type book with basic info.
Nicole Yovanoff
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good read. Not too in depth, but it also had great pictures that brought you into the history and captions that explained the Catholic faith a little better for non-Catholics like myself.
Vikki
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting but dragged in places especially the Inquisition Part 1 and 2. Great pictures and side notes.
Patrick Thompson
Great read, very shocking. Book is laid out more like a school text book, however the stories are really interesting.
Margret
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing history book. I can't believe how many awful people became Popes with no love for the church. I'm glad that now we have a Pope who care for others. Good book!
Jesse
Oct 24, 2015 added it
Did not hold my attention as in other books
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Brenda Ralph Lewis is a writer with over 200 books on history and numerous magazine articles and television documentaries to her name. Her fascination with Scottish history and culture began early in her career and she has since returned to the subject at every opportunity. She regards [her] book on tartans as a labor of love.

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