Who To Avoid
Pope John Xii
A synod of bishops once called this pontiff a “monster without a single virtue to atone for his many vices”. It is perhaps no surprise then that he mutilated many of them for their treachery. The grandson of Marozia, he ascended to the papacy around the age of
18 in 955. He lived a life of brazen immorality, making the sacred
Lateran Palace his brothel. Fittingly, he died in 964 after being caught in the act of adultery. As a ruler, he was cruel and duplicitous, but also foolish, turning the Holy
Otto I into an enemy, and almost being dethroned by him in 963.