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GODFATHER: Jeremy Irons plays the ruthless and ambitious Rodrigo Borgia, who became Pope Alexander VI in 1492. © 2013 SHOWTIME. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Papal indulgence

Alexander VI was the worst of the Borgia popes, against whom the Reformation was right to protest. He’s the subject of the Showtime series The Borgias. There were three popes from the Borgia family from the 15th to the 17th centuries, and, of the three, Alexander VI was the most infamous: he was accused of simony, lechery, and adultery—which gives the English actor Jeremy Irons some material to work with. If you ever find yourself wondering how Martin Luther or John Calvin could imagine the pope as the Antichrist, give this series a gander.


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