The smallest sovereign country in the world can be found in the heart of Italy, Rome and is none other than the Vatican. This small country stamps its own coins, has its own postal system and its own military force, the Swiss Guards. You can't visit Italy and not visit the Vatican City museum and enter St. Peters Basilica the largest Catholic church in the world. Before you visit, you have probably heard of many Vatican city facts and some could be terrifying and even scandalous.
Some ten horrifying and scandalous facts about the Vatican city that will no doubt give you the heebie-jeebies are as follows:-
1. The Woman Pope
It is the norm that the Vatican pope should always be a man. Some time back there was actually a woman pope, Papa Joan who served and managed to fool many clergies. She dressed in men clothes and for more than two years she served as a pope. However, the truth came out one day during a papal procession where she delivered a child and her life ended tragically.
2. Display of Manhood
After the incident with Pope Joan, the Vatican became more cautious. It became a rule that Popes have to be carried in special chairs with openings at the bottom so that they can show their manhood to cardinals. This was an effort to prevent any future females from disguising themselves as males and serving as Popes.
3. A Scandalous Pope Alexander VI
Another surprising Vatican fact is that Pope Alexander VI father several children before he became Pope and afterward bribed his way into becoming Pope back in 1492. It is widespread rumor that he might also have fathered Christopher Colombus.
4. Gay Swiss Guards
The Papal Swiss Guards have always intrigued tourists with their bright and peculiar Renaissance-style uniforms. It has been long suspected that there might be more gay men among them than straight men. Surprisingly back in 1998, there were actually two gay lovers serving as papa Swiss guards.
5. Highest Crime Rate
This might come as a shock to you that Vatican City has the highest crime rate per capita. Most crimes actually go without punishment despite the heavy Swiss guards' presence. However, the good thing is that most of those crimes are simply petty.
6. Money Laundering Allegations
There have been money laundering allegations involving the Vatican bank. This is a very serious crime for such a holy establishment. Investigations were done and the news about the money laundering spread like veld fire. However, it is not clear who was brought to book. That was in 2010.
7. A Gay Prostitution Ring
In 2010, Pope Benedict's own ushers became part of a gay prostitution ring and this tainted the Vatican reputation in a major way. Of course, the usher was dismissed but the incident is still remembered.
8. Nothing Done To Protect Minors From Sexual Abuse
After female popes, money laundering, gay prostitution, there are still accusations by Catholics worldwide towards the Vatican. The accusations claim that top Vatican clergymen have done nothing to stop the sexual abuse of minors across Europe. This continued until Pope Francis himself admitted that something has to be done and he actually accepted the resignation of some accused Popes.
9. Discriminating Facts In The Open
Another recent scandal about the Vatican, this time involving the Pope’s personal butler Paolo Gabriele. Paolo was arrested for leaking the most discriminating facts about the Papal aides. Details of those facts are known to Italian journalists.
10. A Secret Archival Library
Inside the Vatican City walls, there is a Secret Archival Library that contains over 50 miles of shelves piled with books, documents, and manuscripts. Only the Pope's closest confidantes are allowed within the library. The secrets are many which why not many are allowed inside the library.
There are the facts about the Vatican. It is still a mystery to many but from time to time a scandal will break out ad shock the world.