Freethought Almanac

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October 11, 2011
October 11: Fidei Defensor

Henry VIII (1521): Defender of the Faith It was on this date, October 11, 1521,* that Pope Leo X conferred the title Fidei Defensor, which is Latin for "Defender of the Faith," on England's King Henry VIII. That Medici pope, whose profligate spending and perverse pleasures were the outrage of Rome, was a staunch opponent […]

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May 3, 2011
May 3: Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469) It was on this date, May 3, 1469, that Niccolò Machiavelli was born Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli in Florence, in what is now Italy. Florence had been ruled by the powerful Medici family since 1434, and was constantly at war with its neighboring city-states when not fending off outside aggressors. But […]

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March 6, 2011
March 6: Michelangelo

The Catholic Encyclopedia, while praising his morality, industry and artistic talent, can find no words to describe his religious faith.

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December 13, 2010
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

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