When an animal is removed from the ecosystem (especially out of fear) it usually causes a chain reaction. 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. Others are less sure. Some historians have forgiven the rats. The Decretals reorganized the whole library of Catholic laws. *More about Chairman Meow. It was largely in the Middle Ages that the black cat became affiliated with evil. Exterminating cats during the black plague epidemic in the 14th century: Cat owners were often accused of witchcraft, and often murdered along with their pets. There are many variables to navigate to make this assertion, but it doesn’t look good for Gregory. The Black Death or Black Plague was the original zombie apocalypse. How then could he have impacted the good people of the 1300’s? Pope Gregory IX told people that domestic cats were diabolical in 1232, fueling anti-cat sentiment, and this prejudice worsened over the years. It came from was Asia, but it is still believed by many to have traveled on the backs of fleas living on rats. The association of the cat with ancient Egypt is well known. Pope Gregory IX (Latin: Gregorius IX; born Ugolino di Conti; c. 1145 or before 1170 – 22 August 1241) was Bishop of Rome, and as such, head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 March 1227 to his death. Buy Long Live the Kitty! For some reason, we find the idea that our ancestors were dumb rather appealing. He is mostly known for issuing the Decretales and starting the Papal Inquisition. 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. 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. If they were dumb, then that means we’re comparatively smart. 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. By rough estimates, as many as 200 million people died. Around 1233, Pope Gregory IX issued a papal bull, Vox in Rama, that condemned a contemporary surge in devil worship. If you survived, you lost many people you loved. 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. By Gregory’s decree, there was a target on the head of every black cat. 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 this case, with no cats around, disease-carrying rats multiplied like crazy, spreading the Plague. TIL That Medieval Pope Gregory IX considered cats to be the 'incarnation of Satan'. Black cats never stood a chance. 1227: Pope Gregory IX established the Inquisitional Courts to arrest, try, convict and execute heretics. Cats were so highly valued that, according to Herodotus, when an Egyptianhouse caught fire, the people first concerned themselves with rescuing their cats and only then thought to put the fire out. 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. 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. Many superstitions, including fear of black cats, continue to this day. 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. The cats play into the picture as they would have normally been instrumental in cutting down the rat populations. 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. Even for modern times, that is not a young age to take on the papal role. Pope Innocent III approved a war of genocide against the Cathars. 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. Cats are extremely convenient scapegoats thanks to their link to witchcraft and evil. 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. Chairman Meow Says: Iz so awful that such a time occurred in our history. During the Spanish Inquisition, he declared cats to be evil. 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. 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. – Long Live the Kitty. We know there was a massive reduction in cat populations at the time because of this, so it’s plausible to make the connection. 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." It was Gregory’s past as an astute lawyer that connected him to his acts of justice within the church. Cold War Photos That Will Never Let Us Forget, Eva Braun: A Closer Look At Hitler’s Wife. Like most diseases, we’re hard pressed to find the bad guy. He was intent on stamping out a sect of Devil-worshippers in Germany who involved black cats in their rituals. The cat thing is a footnote in his story. Let’s see if the math adds up…. The truth is a little messy. Cats were not subservient and tended to be noisy at night, which caused them to be viewed with suspicion. This timeline stretched from 1346 to 1353, a little more than a century after Gregory. 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. Did Pope Gregory’s comfort with the law cause him to overstep his station as the pope? The Vox depicted witches as Satan worshipers and the Lord of Darkness as "a shadowy half cat and half man figure." The Black Plague did happen. Cats were seen as “agents of the devil,” throughout much of history, and slaughtered again centuries later in New England during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. 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. Before you accuse me of clickbait, hear me out. They were declared heretics. This is a cautionary tale to all you cat haters out there. As hysteria increased, the rat population boomed and the Black Plague began to spread out of control. Eventually, the Italian Renaissance would put this so far in the rearview, all we could think about was frilly collars. Because cats are nocturnal and roam at night, they were believed to be supernatural servants of witches, or even witches themselves. 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. Another belief is that the plague was airborne. It was his distaste for cats that penned the Vox in Rama. This persecution was so savage that some scholars believe that by the 1300’s, Europe’s cat numbers were sufficiently depleted to prevent them efficiently killing rats and mice- thus allowing the bubonic plague to spread. 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. Since the reign of Gregory, folks at the time had taken a disliking for cats, especially the black ones. Between 1347 and 1352, some 100 million people died of the Plague, representing almost half of Europe’s population. This demonization led to the widespread, violent persecution of black cats in particular. That misguided stereotype is why witches are still depicted with black cats to this day. 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! It’s also true that there was a pope at the time who was not a fan of cats, who banned them. It was one of the most deadly pandemics in history. They spread via trade boats. Unfortunately, modern DNA testing allowed us to dig into the causes of death from aging corpses. *Coupons: Check out our coupons for stores like Checks Unlimited and CheapOair! Also check out our recent Vistaprint business cards review! Costs of living dropped. (along with other predators including snakes, which had long since carried the label of being “evil”). Since the reign of Gregory, folks at the time had taken a disliking for cats, especially the black ones. 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. The cats play into the picture as they would have normally been instrumental in cutting down the rat populations. They catch cockroaches, snakes, and scorpions too. In the 13th century, Pope Gregory IX, pope from 1227-1241, believed that cats actually carried the spirit of Satan himself within them. However, historian Donald Engel believes that the Vox acted as a death warrant for the cat. His condemnation of cats may not be responsible for the spread of black death, but it’s definitely connected to the decline in cat populations at the time, and the proliferation of rat populations. Denmark’s Fastelavn held at the start of lent was based on … Indeed the belief that the torture or killing of cats could break spells continued across northern Europe. The cat in ancient Egypt was closely linked to the goddess Bastet who presided over the h… In the following century Pope Gregory IX added his voice to the campaign against the evil cat. One example is the idea that Catholic fear drove people, including Pope Gregory, to wipe out cats, which resulted in a population explosion among plague-infected rodents, thus leading to the Black Death. Black Cats as Witches’ Familiars. 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. That was the first church document condemning black cats as instruments of satan. This sect had taken its inspiration from the legend of the … The papal inquisition rained down justice on heretics, the people who spoke out against church canon. Without them, pests would run wild, and not just rats. It’s believed by some that the plague spread, at least in part, via rats. He appointed a High Inquisitor, Conrad of Marburg, to investigate claims that groups of witches were organizing satanic rituals and threatening the sanctity of the faith. Pope Innocent VIII did not believe that cats were such innocent, helpful, and loving creatures. For years there was a debate if the Black Death and the Bubonic Plague were the same, adding speculation to the rat spreading theory. Since that time, black cats have symbolized bad luck, or a curse, to people not only in Europe but throughout the world. Sweet Home Alabama Lyrics: What Does “Muscle Shoals Has Got the Swampers” Mean. The faith has seen a rebirth in recent years. If the Black Death was airborne, then rats had nothing to do with it, exonerating Gregory. Actually, the murder of cats in Europe continued for hundreds of years, and another Plague swept through Europe again in the 17th Century. Although Pope Gregory IX had authorized the killing of witches back in the 1200s, the fad just didn't catch on. 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. Fewer cats, more rats, more fleas, and more plague. ), Toxoplasmosis: How Cat Poop Can Turn You Into a Crazy Cat Lady (or Gentleman). The truth of the plague variations that wiped out Europe is, they were the results of a perfect storm. 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. The last known Cathar was burned at the stake in 1321 CE. Gregory's decree spurred a violent purging of cats, and black cats suffered the brunt. BELIEVE: To the Cosmos! 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. Wages rose fast in the absence of labor. There are two types of people in this world: cat people, and not cat people. That was when Ugolino was over 80 years old. 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. The rise in the number of rats running rampant only led to the Black Death hitting harder. 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. 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. We have donated over $1000 to cat rescue so far! By the way, regarding NFP, (which I did not mention, nor Pope Gregory) I think a lot of people think of it as a formal teaching of the Church. Often fueled by a fear, individuals are often capable of doing illogical or terrible things as groups when given permission by authority figures. This declaration led to the mass murder of cats which led to a drastic rise in the rat population. You wouldn’t hate that, would you? Pope condemning black cats, a caricature (Image: museumhack.com) In 1233 AD, Pope Gregory IX, head of Catholic church, declared black cats to be an incarnation of the Devil himself. There were probably several strains of plague spreading through Europe. He was born Ugolino di Conti but took the name Gregory when he became the pope. “Vox in Rama” may have been the first official church document that condemns the black cat as an incarnation of Satan. Cats are natural hunters. Gregory lived from 1145 to 1241, AD. 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. 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. In the early 1230s, the new Pope, Gregory IX, turned his attention north to Germany. (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”). Leading to a mass killing of cats, causing the rat population to swell, quickening the spread of the Black Death (fifth paragraph) : todayilearned TIL That Medieval Pope Gregory IX … In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued a bull declaring that witches did indeed exist and thus it became a heresy to believe otherwise. Many believed this was the end of the human race, and who could blame them? Welcome to LongLiveTheKitty.com: Here we disseminate the infinite and perfect wisdom of Glorious Leader, Chairman Meow, leader of the Kitty Revolution. 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