RE-POST: Pope Benedict XVI Makes The Great Refusal: Dante's Prophetic Words Of Inferno III Fulfilled?

11 FEBRUARY 2013

Six Years Later - The Papal Abdication 

And I, who looked again, beheld a banner,
Which, whirling round, ran on so rapidly,
That of all pause it seemed to me indignant;
And after it there came so long a train
Of people, that I ne'er would have believed
That ever Death so many had undone.
When some among them I had recognised,
I looked, and I beheld the shade of him
Who made through cowardice the great refusal.
Forthwith I comprehended, and was certain,
That this the sect was of the caitiff wretches
Hateful to God and to his enemies.
These miscreants, who never were alive,
Were naked, and were stung exceedingly
By gadflies and by hornets that were there.
These did their faces irrigate with blood,
Which, with their tears commingled, at their feet
By the disgusting worms was gathered up.
Inferno iii

Commentators on Canto III have come up with a list of possible candidates of the one who made the Great Refusal. All of the names (except for the last two) are found in the work by Maria Picchio Simonelli titled: Inferno III Lecture Dantis Americana - the last two have been added by the commentator - history:

Esau (Commentator: Boccaccio; Benvenuto; Francesco da Buti; Anonimo Fiorentino)

Brother Pietro de Morrone - Pope St. Celestine V (Commentator: Graziolo; Iacopo della Lana; Iacaopo Alighieri; Gudio de Pisa; Gelli; Landino)


Diocletian (Commentator: Pietro Alighieri)

Michele di Lando - Refused to be a perpetual gonfalonier of the Florentine Republic. (Commentator: Landino)

Giano della Bella (Commentator: Pompeo Venturi)

Giano’s brother who refused to lead the Florentine people after Giano fell” Maria Picchio Simonelli (Commentator: Pompeo Venturi)

Vieri de’ Cerchi - Head of the Whites (Commentator: Barlow)

Torrigiano de' Cerchi - Father of Vieri (Commentator: Don Stefano Monini; Pietrobono)

Romulus Augustulus - last Roman emperor in the West (Commentator: Bulgarini)

Pontius Pilate (Commentator: Barbarani; Pascoli; Rostagno)

Julian the Apostate (Commentator: Bergmann)

Archduke Otto von Habsburg  - Refused his birthright in 1961 for political expediency thus leaving the Throne of Augustus vacant. (Commentator: History)

Pope Benedict XVI - Abdication 28 Feb. 2013 (Commentator: History)

Pope Benedict XVI & Otto von Hapsburg
30 November 2009

When some among them I had recognised,
I looked, and I beheld the shade of him
Who made through cowardice the great refusal.

Originally Published 11 February 2013

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