April 3, 2006
HarryTho 4/3 Natalee Holloway CommentaryTopics: Natalee Holloway
With little ongoing in the case of Natalee Holloway's disappearance, I thought I would take a little detour down history lane to a time some 350 years ago in a little French town known as Loudun. Loudun resides south of Paris in the Poitiers area. It would be many kilometers inland from Normandie. Loudun, like many French towns at the time, was controlled for the most part by a senior priest of the Catholic Church.
In the early 17th Century, the senior priest in residence for Loudun was one Urbain Grandier.
Besides being the senior priest, Urbain was, how shall we say it, a lady's man. As the story goes, he seemed to prefer to expurgate the demons creating sin within his parish than to provide his blessing. This was particularly true of his more attractive female parish members, after they had confessed their most sensual desire for him in the confessional. His rare form of confessional ritual overwhelmed even his staunches supporters when he married himself (performed the service himself) to a wealthy widow in Loudun. To sum up a long and lewd narrative, Urbain Grandier created much animosity in his parish.
To make matters worse, in his younger days, he had offended a junior priest, at the time, who later advanced (while Grandier was doing is clandestine confessional services) to become Cardinal Richelieu.
His most egregious shortcoming was that he refused to provide confessional services to a local nunnery, staffed with nuns from poor families.When personally requested to attend to the nunnery by the Abbess, he rejected her. Needless-to-say, the rejected nunnery felt abandoned and rumors abounded of all sorts of evil within its boundaries.
In defense of their predicament, the Abbess, one Joan of the Angels, began making accusations that Urban Grandier consorted with the devil. She even claimed that through "black magic" Grandier seduced her. Soon, the entire nunnery made similar claims that Grandier, accompanied by demons, seduced the entire nunnery.
Modern day scholars have referred to this experience as "collective hysteria."
A superior priest, and a relative to the Abbess, was sent to the town of Loudun to hear the confessions of the nunnery. After hearing their travails, the superior priest, also an exorcists, decided to hold public exorcisms of the nuns. Naturally, this attracted a large audience. The news of the exorcisms spread. Towns people and 17th Century tourists flocked to the exhibitions. The nuns screamed all sorts of lewd acts, performed by Grandier and his demons.
It was decided with so much publicity that Grandier had to be charged with "consorting with the devil." The charge was equivalent to witchcraft.
Under 17th Century interrogation, Grandier confessed to having made a pact with the devil (image of confession).
This pact with devil was extraordinary. A Catholic priest had been enticed by the devil. With a review of his myriad of female conquests, the Inquisitor felt compelled to accept the confession. However, since Grandier had been a favorite of the Church in Paris, a little more convincing would be required. Curiously, and in the true fashion of the 17th Century legal practice, the Inquisitor was able to extract confessions from some of the devils who accompanied Urbain Grandier in his mass seductions of the nuns and the Abbess, Joan of the Angels.
As a last test, a prominent prickster (origin of the word prick) found a blemish on Urbain's body. He pricked it. When Urbain did not bleed form the prick, he was presumed guilty of consorting with the devil.
With the testimonies of the demons ... they were copies (17th Century) of the demons confessions ... and the confirmation of a prominent pricksters, Urbain Grandier was sentenced to execution. The Church placed him into a surphurized gown, tied to a wooden stake on top of a pyre. Faggorts (packs of brush) were placed around is body for quick burn. They lit him up. Some 6,000 spectators came for the execution. The audience reported seeing a dark cloud emerge from Urbain Grandier's body as he burned. They would profess that it was his soul departing for hell.
The story does not end here. It was determined that the nuns and the Abbess were infected with demons. The exorcism of the Abbess took three years.
The Abbess, Joan of the Angels, was deemed "cured" when marks appeared on her forearm with the name of Jesus and other prominent saints. Joan of the Angels was touted as an incredible success and paraded around France with the exorcist. She became a 17th Century media wonder!
The names of the persons involved in this "miracle" of the 17th Century were: 1) Cardinal Richelieu:
He became Prime Minister of France! He was the real power behind Louis XIII.
2) Pere Lactance and 3) Pere Tranquille were popular Franciscans in acquiring confessions in these types of rituals. Lactance became known as Pere Dicas or Father Confessor!
Chapter 11 Page 1 (Caution this link is gruesome and not suitable for young readers)
Pere Dicas would only live another month and die in agony. Pere Tranquille, one of the executioners, likewise, found death in agony.
4) Baron de Laubardemont was instrumental in Grandier's confessions and became a henchman for Richelieu.
Today, we look upon these times as barbaric (to be kind). The perversion of law that transpired in Loudon appears atrocious to us today. Those who prospered from their actions have done tremendous disservice to their careers and to their country. What does it matter what else Cardinal Richelieu achieved in his life? This one act of evil condemns him for eternity. These town people of Loudon who stood and witnessed this injustice are viewed with more contempt then Richelieu and his mob of freaks. The 6,000 in attendance of Grandier's pyre are viewed as the most contemptible form of mankind.
The injustice done to Urbain Grandier occurred 350 years ago. Yet, all those in attendance are remembered. Why? We do not honor these people. Quite the contrary, we seen in these people the abyss of ambition and evil in their actions. We remember them with contempt.
The case of Natalee Holloway's disappearance will be remembered, as well. Centuries from now, people will look back at our time and distinguish the Richelieus, Lombardemonts, Lactances, Tranquilles and Joan of the Angels from among us. How will they view us? For many, only contempt will fill the imaginations of future generations. .
Posted by HarryTho at April 3, 2006 9:47 PM
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