Post by Robert Post by Patrick Post by Robert Post by duke Post by Mattb.
Posted at Patrick Barker, Great Falls Central Catholic High School
The Horrors of the Church and Its Holy Inquisition
The Inquisition was an ecclesiastical court and process of the Roman
Catholic Church setup for the purpose towards the discovery and
punishment of heresy which wielded immense power and brutality in
medieval and early modern times.
Hey, firewater, did you get that. It's what I've been telling you.
You've been saying that the RCC didn't do this, but civil courts did.
The RCC set up the courts.
The civil authorities dealt out the punishments.
Prove it in all cases, liar.
I am not aware of ALL Cases.
the Catholic Church had significant religious and political power in
Europe. To maintain its authority, the church suppressed heretics. The
church had a very specific definition of heresy: A heretic publicly
declared his beliefs (based upon what the church considered inaccurate
interpretations of the Bible) and refused to denounce them, even after
being corrected by the authority. He also tried to teach his beliefs
to other people. He had to be doing these things by his own free will,
not under the influence of the devil.
The Spanish Inquisition was unique in that it was established by
secular rulers, King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella, with the
approval of Pope Sixtus IV. The monarchy was Catholic, and it had just
united two kingdoms, Aragon and Castile, as a single country in the
late 15th century. Reasons for the Inquisition included a desire to
create religious unity and weaken local political authorities and
familial alliances. Money was another motive -- the government made a
profit by confiscating the property of those found guilty of heresy.
Historians speculate that the monarchy convinced Pope Sixtus IV to
allow the inquisition by threatening to remove Spanish troops from
Rome, where they were needed to prevent an attack by Turkey.
Waldensians and Cathars, members of spiritual movements that gained
popularity and threatened the authority of the Catholic Church, were
the primary targets of the Medieval Inquisition.
The Portuguese Inquisition was similar to the Spanish Inquisition in
that it operated under the monarchy. It was established in 1536 and
targeted Jews and recent converts to Christianity, as well as accused
witches. The Portuguese Inquisition extended to Portugal's New World
colonies. A later Portuguese Inquisition, the Goa Inquisition,
targeted Hindus as well.
In 1998, Pope John Paul II addressed the International Symposium on
the Inquisition. In his address, he stated that "The Inquisition
belongs to a tormented phase in the history of the Church, which . . .
Christians examine in a spirit of sincerity and open-mindedness."
However, the Pope also stated that "before asking for forgiveness, it
is necessary to know the facts exactly and to recognize the
deficiencies in regard to evangelical exigencies in the cases where it
Six years later, the Symposium released a report of its findings,
which were based on studies of documents from the Vatican's Secret
Archives. According to the Symposium, most of the torture and
executions attributed to the Catholic Church during the various
inquisitions didn't occur at all. In addition, the total number of
accused heretics put to death during the Spanish Inquisition comprised
0.1 percent of the more than 40,000 who were tried. The number of
witches burned at the stake by the inquisitions in Spain, Italy and
Portugal was 99, out of more than 125,000 trials [source: Zenit]. In
fact, according to the Symposium, in some cases the inquisitions saved
lives by keeping accused heretics from secular authorities, who had
both the power and desire to execute them.
In 1252, Pope Innocent IV had issued a bull that allowed the use of
torture to get a confession. In the 16th century, the Spanish
inquisitors took advantage of this bull. This task was often assigned
to local authorities, but the inquisitors themselves participated as
well. If the accused confessed while being tortured, he had to confess
again while not under torture for the confession to count. Torture was
only supposed to be used if all other attempts at obtaining proof of
heresy had been exhausted.