Why Not to Annoy the Medieval Catholic Church

However, such a path was denied the hapless Raymond VI, one of the most excommunicated men of the middle ages. . . . The personal bitterness directed at Raymond is difficult to understand; his iconic significance less so. He was the epitome of the fautor, the heretic’s accomplice. As such, there appeared no forgiveness, even beyond the grave. In 1222, Raymond had died technically excommunicate, prevented by his final stroke from making oral confession to the abbot of St. Sernin. His body, covered in a pall provided by the Hospitallers, was refused burial. Despite repeated appeals by his son and numerous ecclesiastical inquiries, his coffin remained unburied in the precincts of the Hospitaller house in Toulouse, where it was still to be seen over a century later, the shrouded body half-eaten by rats. By 1515, the worm-ridden coffin had collapsed in pieces and the bones had gone, except for the skull. This was kept by the Hospitallers, who, as late as the 1690s, used to show it off to the morbid and the curious.

—Christopher Tyerman, God’s War: A New History of the Crusades, p. 605.

See also the Cadaver Synod for more Fun With Dead (Heretical?) Catholics.

The Cadaver Synod (also called the Cadaver Trial or, in Latin, the Synodus Horrenda) is the name commonly given to the posthumous ecclesiastical trial of Pope Formosus, held in Rome in January of 897. During the proceedings, the decomposing body of Formosus, who had been dead for nine months, was dressed in his papal vestments and seated on a throne while his successor, Pope Stephen VI, read the charges against him and conducted the trial.