Talk:Pope Innocent VIII

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Deleted text[edit]

I deleted this text from the article:

  • He is the one who successfully eliminated cannabis, (marijuana,) traditions in the church, and also as a medicine.

If there were marijuana traditions in the Roman Catholic Church, I'd have probably heard about them. Hemp continued to have medical uses up till the early 20th century, and AFAIK there were no sectarian differences in its use. If anyone has a reference for this and it means something, please step forward and clarify this. - Smerdis of Tlön 18:11, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

There is reference of this in Jack Herer's excellent book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes. "In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII singled out cannabis healers and other herbalists, proclaiming hemp an unholy sacrament of the second and third types of satanic mass." I will add this to the article. -Teetotaler 15 March, 2008

There is no mention of cannabis in the 1484 papal bull Summis desiderantes. It is online in English and short, if you want to verify it. So please do not add this unless you can find actual primary source material, not just some recycled gossip.

The variant on this claim is that it comes from the mad book Malleus Maleficarum of two years later, which has Summis desiderantes as a preface. However, I cannot see a passage there on cannabis either, though I have not looked thoroughly: I did not see anything on Google that allowed the identification of particular text. I found a passage (Part II, Question IX) about hallucinagens used for prestidigation, to fool people that a rod was a snake, etc. Rick Jelliffe (talk) 04:38, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

General tone problems[edit]

I'm getting a distinct sense that whoever wrote the major portion of this entry really didn't like Pope Innocent VIII. I didn't mind when they mentioned his appointment of Torquemada, and I can live with comments about distributing slaves to the Curia, but when you start adding snide Latin epigrams about how many bastards he fathered (without bothering to give an attribution) and speculations about Giuliano wanting a Pope "whom he was confident he could control", then I think you're starting to lower Wikipedia's standards somewhat. - Agur bar Jacé (talk) 18:50, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I tend to agree. Blue-Haired Lawyer 12:42, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
It's so hard to find much to like about this Pope. The article barely scratches the surface of his role in the Inquisition and the persecution of women and children as witches.LeValley 05:43, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Speaking of which...[edit]

A paragraph reads: "Shortly after his coronation Innocent VIII addressed a fruitless summons to Christendom to unite in a crusade against the infidels; the amount of his own zeal may in some degree be estimated from the fact that in 1489, in consideration of a yearly stipend of 40,000 ducats and a gift of the Holy Lance, he consented to favour Bayazid II (1481–1512) by detaining the Sultan's fugitive brother Cem in close confinement in the Vatican."

This attack on Innocent seems a bit wide of the mark. The editor apparently intended to convey the idea that Innocent did not care about the crusades, really. But the lengthy explanation of Cem's imprisonment loses the reader. So the pope was paid to detain an erstwhile enemy's brother. So what? A little corruption that is a bit hard to grasp at first reading. I think the "fruitless summons" remark should be allowed to stand alone. Okay to describe the Cem imprisonment later without the editor's possibly WP:OR implication IMO. The reader can make up her/his own mind. Student7 (talk) 13:45, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree, that paragraph makes little sense. But, the way I took it was this: Innocent VIII was all gung-ho on crusades, but no one else was (God bless 'em). One can figure out how zealous he was about the Crusades by noting that he took a bribe from Bayazid II (whom, presumably, he would have been crusading against), in order that he capture Bayazid's fugitive brother and detain him. // This left me thinking perhaps the author was being sarcastic? Zeal is zeal - it's passed in passion. This sounds more like greed. It would be great if the article clarified in which direction the yearly stipend was going (presumably TO the pope) and from whom, exactly (Presumably from Bayazid - but not clear, and not sourced).--LeValley 20:57, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

antisemite legend[edit]

The article says "The unsympathetic Roman chronicler Stefano Infessura provides many lively details, among them the apparent attempt to revive Innocent VIII on his deathbed by blood transfusions from three young male children (who died as well in the process)." But isn't that a part of these legends called blood libel, which were used to discriminate Jews? Even after WW II there was a case, when people murdered Jews after they were accused to have sacrificed a Christian boy. I think in this case it should be mentioned that Infessura did not only tell an antipapal, but also a antisemite story. Fulcher (talk) 16:51, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

What's the evidence though? I looked up the text in "History of Medicine: A Scandalously Short Introduction" (full text is in Google Books) that currently disputes the blood transfusion story and it says this:

His Jewish physician, Giacomo di San Genesio, is said to have tried to resuscitate the ailing pontiff by having him drink the blood of three ten-year-old boys whom he had killed. The evidence for this peculiar treatment is unreliable, and the story is probably an anti-Semitic fabrication, not unlike the rumours of ritualistic child murder that tracked the customs of Passover.

The use of the word "probably" makes it seem like the author's opinion. The author also seems to get a detail of the story wrong (the kids were apparently promised a ducat and died during the transfusion, the doctor didn't have them killed). Why the story is unreliable and what evidence exists is also not mentioned. I don't necessarily doubt the idea that this is blood libel, but I feel like this needs a better source. It'd be nice if someone could dig up more details. Patorjk (talk) 04:21, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Little Ice Age[edit]

The article currently attributes the rise of witchcraft fears to the little ice age. Such environmental determinism is highly controversial (to put it mildly) and is presently unsourced. I have removed the text here:

"During what is known as the Little Ice Age, the grip of freezing weather, failing of crops, rising crime, and mass starvation resulted in an increasing fear of witches." (talk) 13:38, 21 October 2013 (UTC)


The section Other Events currently says

Also in 1487, Innocent issued a bull for the extermination of the Waldensians (Vaudois), offering plenary indulgence to all who should engage in the Crusade against them.

The source of this purported bull is the 1669 book General History of Evangelical Churches in Piedmont or Vaud valleys: divided into two books by a protestant pastor (known to Oliver Cromwell)Jean_Léger [1] p284 Latin and French. Bull of Pope Innocent VIII given to Capiténais [2]

I suppose it should be called Id nostri cordis after the first phrase.

There Bull is not listed in Wikipia's section, nor is it on the Vatican website. Do we know it is not a fabrication? It is an enormously influential claim. I am not saying it could not be true, just that without primary evidence (or some better authorities), it must be regarded as dubious.

When I look at the purported Bull, what I see the word that the heresy must be extirpated, not that the heretics must be exterminated. pravitas haeretica de finibus fidelium extirpetur. And extermination and dissipation of these heresies. I do see the word crusade used. A translation would be useful.

So what I propose doing is adding the links and adjusting the wording to Also in 1487, Innocent issued a bull for the extermination of the heresies of the Waldensians (Vaudois), offering plenary indulgence to all who should engage in the Crusade against them.

Another reason to dispute the human extermination claim in the sense of violance: 2 years before the same pope had not mentioned execution as a legitimate response, and 4 years after he appointed a Fransiscan (who are pacifists) who reached a peaceful solution. So that again makes the picture seem (at least) more complex than simplistic talk of crusades.

This materia is page Waldensians. I have added the disputed link there too.Rick Jelliffe (talk) 08:58, 19 April 2018 (UTC)