Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2011-08-09
August 9: The Terrible Sixtus

Sixtus IV (1471) It was on this date, August 9, 1471, that Franciscan Friar-turned-Cardinal Francesco della Rovere was elevated to the Papacy as Sixtus IV. A pious man, Sixtus also loved his family – he had a brother, three sisters, and fourteen nephews and nieces (two of those nephews may have been his own sons!) […]

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2011-07-29
July 29: Galileo’s Pope

Urban VIII (d. 1644) It was on this date, July 29, 1644, that the pope who will be remembered throughout history as the persecutor of Galileo, Urban VIII, died at Rome. It had been 18 months since his victim had died in Florence, while under a house arrest, which Urban did nothing to mitigate. Born […]

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2011-07-03
July 3: Churches v. Scholarship

His one achievement was to drive out of the Church what was left of Catholic scholarship.

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2011-01-06
January 6: Joan of Arc

Since those who believed Joan a witch and those who believed her a messenger of God subscribed to the same superstitions, it is of little consequence whose side is right.

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2010-12-31
December 31: Andreas Vesalius

Andreas Vesalius died at age 49 in Zakinthos, Greece. He had reached Jerusalem, but never made it back home. You could say Vesalius died for the church that persecuted him.

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2010-12-13
December 13: Council of Trent

What is seldom admitted is that the Church was hurting from the loss of income to the Protestant churches, and stipulated a meeting in an Italian town — so that the Inquisition could finish off the heretics.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


Daily Almanac

This Week in Freethought History (March 3-9)

Read about Ira Glass, Penn Jillette, the brutal Pope Eugene IV, Gabriel García Márquez, André Morellet the Encyclopedist, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Mirabeau the revolutionist and more …



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