Source: Cadaver Synod
“The Cadaver Synod (also called the Cadaver Trial or, in Latin, the Synodus Horrenda) is the name commonly given to the posthumous ecclesiastical trial of Catholic Pope Formosus, held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome during January of 897.
“Before the proceedings the body of Formosus was exhumed and, according to some sources, seated on a throne while his successor, Pope Stephen (VI) VII, read the charges against him (of which Formosus was found guilty) and conducted the trial. The Cadaver Synod is remembered as one of the most bizarre episodes in the history of the medieval papacy.
“Formosus was accused of transmigrating sees in violation of canon law, of perjury, and of serving as a bishop while actually a layman. Eventually, the corpse was found guilty.”
Jesus, this might be the weirdest history of all. Thank God this corpse was convicted so it couldn’t hurt anyone anymore.
Caption: Jean-Paul Laurens, Le Pape Formose et Étienne VII (“Pope Formosus and Stephen VII”), 1870. Makes you wonder if all those guys in the background realized how fucking crazy this was.