Black cats never stood a chance. Unfortunately, modern DNA testing allowed us to dig into the causes of death from aging corpses. In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII declared that the cat was the “devil’s favorite animal and idol of all witches.” I am sure you can see where this is going. Kitty cats are not everyone’s flavor of pudding, but they serve an important role in many urban areas, especially in the developing nations outside the western world. Pope Innocent VIII did not believe that cats were such innocent, helpful, and loving creatures. Vox in Rama: Pope Gregory IX on the Witches of Stedingerland (1232) [Introductory note: The decretal letter Vox in Rama (“A Voice in Rama”) of Pope Gregory IX (1227-41) is addressed to Henry, King of Germany and son of the Emperor Frederick II. ABOVE: Illustration of Pope Gregory IX, author of the Vox in Rama, from a manuscript from c. 1482 containing a collection of his decretal letters. Buy Long Live the Kitty! For years there was a debate if the Black Death and the Bubonic Plague were the same, adding speculation to the rat spreading theory. For some reason, we find the idea that our ancestors were dumb rather appealing. Wages rose fast in the absence of labor. The reputation of the cat took a more serious downward turn, however, after Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241 CE) issued his papal bull known as Vox in Rama in 1233 CE denouncing cats as evil and in league with Satan, cats - and especially black cats - were demonized to the point where they were regularly killed all across Europe. Some accounts of this papal bull declare black cats to be an incarnation of the devil; others claim the pope was simply describing the use of black cats in evil rituals. – Long Live the Kitty. Welcome to LongLiveTheKitty.com: Here we disseminate the infinite and perfect wisdom of Glorious Leader, Chairman Meow, leader of the Kitty Revolution. The people of the time may have felt that this was the end of days, but the wake of the plague was nothing but an opportunity for survivors. Some historians have forgiven the rats. When a family cat died, the people of the home observed the same grief-rituals as those for a human family member and cats were routinely mummified in the finest linens. How then could he have impacted the good people of the 1300’s? The Vox depicted witches as Satan worshipers and the Lord of Darkness as "a shadowy half cat and half man figure." The papal inquisition rained down justice on heretics, the people who spoke out against church canon. Since the reign of Gregory, folks at the time had taken a disliking for cats, especially the black ones. The exact relevance of this has been questioned by some experts, but it is true that this century gave rise to the beginning of a difficult era for cats. BELIEVE: To the Cosmos! Since that time, black cats have symbolized bad luck, or a curse, to people not only in Europe but throughout the world. Around 1233, Pope Gregory IX issued a papal bull, Vox in Rama, that condemned a contemporary surge in devil worship. “Vox in Rama” may have been the first official church document that condemns the black cat as an incarnation of Satan. Pope Gregory IX told people that domestic cats were diabolical in 1232, fueling anti-cat sentiment, and this prejudice worsened over the years. You wouldn’t hate that, would you? He is mostly known for issuing the Decretales and starting the Papal Inquisition. In the ensuing years huge numbers of cats (especially black cats ) and even their owners were killed across Europe in fear that they were evil witches and linked to Satan. In the following century Pope Gregory IX added his voice to the campaign against the evil cat. ), Toxoplasmosis: How Cat Poop Can Turn You Into a Crazy Cat Lady (or Gentleman). He was born Ugolino di Conti but took the name Gregory when he became the pope. The mass murder of cats was not the only cause of the Black Plague, but it removed a crucial natural predator of the flea-carrying rats that spread the disease. In the 13th Century a wave of anti-cat sentiment swept through Europe, with religious leaders labeling cats as evil and “diabolical,” including Pope Gregory IX who did so in 1232 AD. In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued a bull declaring that witches did indeed exist and thus it became a heresy to believe otherwise. The truce between Gregory and Frederick II was severely strained in 1235 by imperial accusations that the Pope had been working with the Lombards of northern Italy to undermine imperial influence. Chairman Meow Says: Iz so awful that such a time occurred in our history. Fewer cats, more rats, more fleas, and more plague. In the course of describing the actions of groups engaging in devil worship, the claim was made that black cats were used in the rituals and the devil was likened to a cat. Many of these rodents had fleas that carried diseases including the Black Plague. This sect had taken its inspiration from the legend of the … (dogma defined as “the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology, or any kind of organization: it is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from”). Although Pope Gregory IX had authorized the killing of witches back in the 1200s, the fad just didn't catch on. Also check out our recent Vistaprint business cards review! The Black Plague did happen. Black Cats as Witches’ Familiars. Keep in mind that Chairman Meow iz not targeting religion, ceiling cat forbid ,but shedding light on human nature to digest and follow institutional dogma. This timeline stretched from 1346 to 1353, a little more than a century after Gregory. In 1233, Pope Gregory IX issued the infamous Vox in Romana, which according to History Collection declared, "Thou shalt not suffer a cat to live." Obviously, everything Pope Gregory IX says in this letter sounds incredibly bizarre and salacious—at least to modern readers who are unaccustomed to hearing stories about the alleged debaucheries engaged in by heretics. Eventually, the Italian Renaissance would put this so far in the rearview, all we could think about was frilly collars. Since the reign of Gregory, folks at the time had taken a disliking for cats, especially the black ones. Even for modern times, that is not a young age to take on the papal role. *Coupons: Check out our coupons for stores like Checks Unlimited and CheapOair! Gregory IX Approving the Decretals. That misguided stereotype is why witches are still depicted with black cats to this day. Consider a quote from Rastafari leader Haile Selassie; “Throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” Iz just as true during Dark Ages as iz now. Cats were not subservient and tended to be noisy at night, which caused them to be viewed with suspicion. That was the first church document condemning black cats as instruments of satan. During these witch trials, a woman even testified in court that cats spoke to her, and threatened to hurt her if she didn’t abuse children in the town. “Pope Urban VI, who complained that he did not hear enough screaming when Cardinals who had conspired against him were tortured.” 5. In the 13th century, Pope Gregory IX, pope from 1227-1241, believed that cats actually carried the spirit of Satan himself within them. They were declared heretics. That was when Ugolino was over 80 years old. By rough estimates, as many as 200 million people died. While Gregory denied the charge, the work of the Dominicans among heretics in northern Italy, many of whom were leagued with Frederick’s supporters, did provide a foundation for imperial fears. We know there was a massive reduction in cat populations at the time because of this, so it’s plausible to make the connection. With Halloween is around the corner, Chairman Meow is reminded of a time hundreds of years ago when similar institutional dogma helped fuel the outbreak of The Black Plague across Europe, leading to the (ignorant) mass killing of cats in the 14th century. Gregory based his theory on “evidence” from Conrad of Marburg, a papal inquisitor. Without them, pests would run wild, and not just rats. designs at: Threadless.com and Zazzle, Why Cats Were (Wrongly) Blamed for the Black Plague in Europe, BELIEVE: Long Live Chairman Meow Propaganda Poster (Buy! They spread via trade boats. Pope Gregory IX, who held the papacy from 1227 to 1241, most definitely fell in the second camp — largely because he believed that the fluffy hairball-hackers embodied Lucifer himself. I see it rather more as a concession that is permissible as the Church says “for serious reasons” It is permissible because it accesses what God has provided rather than barriers etc. 1227: Pope Gregory IX established the Inquisitional Courts to arrest, try, convict and execute heretics. The truth of the plague variations that wiped out Europe is, they were the results of a perfect storm. (along with other predators including snakes, which had long since carried the label of being “evil”). However, historian Donald Engel believes that the Vox acted as a death warrant for the cat. By removing many cats from the food chain, the population of rodents began to rise across Europe, as Asian and other foreign ships carrying rats brought them to European harbors. The cat in ancient Egypt was closely linked to the goddess Bastet who presided over the h… The most likely targets were often older cat-owning peasant women (The “Crazy Cat Ladies” of their time) who were labeled “witches” and often burned alive at the stake. There are many variables to navigate to make this assertion, but it doesn’t look good for Gregory. *More about Chairman Meow. Like most diseases, we’re hard pressed to find the bad guy. Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503) According to the Wikipedia source, Pope Gregory IX released a papal bull around 1232, titled Vox in Rama (Latin, “A voice in Rama”), that condemned a contemporary surge in devil worship. Costs of living dropped. If they were dumb, then that means we’re comparatively smart. In this case, with no cats around, disease-carrying rats multiplied like crazy, spreading the Plague. The cats play into the picture as they would have normally been instrumental in cutting down the rat populations. Before you accuse me of clickbait, hear me out. If you survived, you lost many people you loved. Between 1347 and 1352, some 100 million people died of the Plague, representing almost half of Europe’s population. However, Pope Gregory IX declared that cats were «diabolical creatures» in the early thirteenth century, and it is said that this resulted in a massacre of cats in the whole of Europe. TIL That Medieval Pope Gregory IX considered cats to be the 'incarnation of Satan'. The faith has seen a rebirth in recent years. The cats play into the picture as they would have normally been instrumental in cutting down the rat populations. Actually, the murder of cats in Europe continued for hundreds of years, and another Plague swept through Europe again in the 17th Century. The last known Cathar was burned at the stake in 1321 CE. Pope Innocent III approved a war of genocide against the Cathars. People living during this time lived in constant fear of death. It was Gregory’s past as an astute lawyer that connected him to his acts of justice within the church. But, was it because of cats and rats? During the Spanish Inquisition, he declared cats to be evil. In the year 1232, Catholic Pope Gregory IX decreed in his Vox in Rama that the black cat is the “incarnation of Satan.” Where he got this idea is unclear, but his opinion carried a lot of weight and resulted in centuries of fear of black cats in Europe. As people began to get sick and the Black Plague began spreading, more and more cats were killed. Others are less sure. The Decretals reorganized the whole library of Catholic laws. Gregory lived from 1145 to 1241, AD. The cat thing is a footnote in his story. It was his distaste for cats that penned the Vox in Rama. If the Black Death was airborne, then rats had nothing to do with it, exonerating Gregory. Home » chairman meow wisdom » Why Cats Were (Wrongly) Blamed for the Black Plague in Europe. Did Pope Gregory’s comfort with the law cause him to overstep his station as the pope? It’s also true that there was a pope at the time who was not a fan of cats, who banned them. Cold War Photos That Will Never Let Us Forget, Eva Braun: A Closer Look At Hitler’s Wife. It came from was Asia, but it is still believed by many to have traveled on the backs of fleas living on rats. Often fueled by a fear, individuals are often capable of doing illogical or terrible things as groups when given permission by authority figures. They catch cockroaches, snakes, and scorpions too. He was intent on stamping out a sect of Devil-worshippers in Germany who involved black cats in their rituals. Pope Gregory IX(1145–1241) kicked off centuries of bad times for the black cat when he declared in the early 13th century that Lucifer was half-cat. And why did pope gregory think that cats were evil? 1352, some 100 million people died of the 1300 ’ s cats! 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