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Thread: What is the Truth About the Inquisitions?

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    What is the Truth About the Inquisitions?

    Spanish Inquisitions


    At the time of the Spanish inquisitions there were Christians/Jews/Muslims all living in same land in southern Spain. There were still Muslim armies in southern Spain fighting against the Spanish crown. Many Muslim and Jews converted to Catholicism. Many catholic citizens were worried that false converts would help Muslim armies invade cities and open the gates to the cities and give information to Muslims armies. In 1478 the Spanish government asked, and was granted by pope, to instill inquisitions because of rumors of false converts. The inquisitions had support from the people of Spain at the time, it was centered in cities, it did not effect outside the city and it was overall far less powerful and influncial than previously believed.

    Really politics, the crown of Spain wanted to consolidate power in the south were the people were a threat to Spain's power.”
    -Steve Weidenkopf The real story of the inquisitions teacher of church history at the notre dame graduate school of Christendom collage

    "From the special problems with which Spain was confronted, and from the policy of the rulers, the Spanish Inquisitors were civil functionaries more than Church officials. "A fair way of putting the case is perhaps this" (says Eliza Atkins Stone, a Protestant writer): "The machinery of the Spanish Inquisition was mainly ecclesiastical; the Vatican had more or less voice in its management, but on the lever was always not the Papal, but the Royal hand." This much is beyond question: It began its career under the definite censure of the Holy See, and the latter, perturbed at its severity, constantly urged clemency. "

    Spanish Inquisitions Details

    Used only on baptized christian under royal not papal control. The pope once sent letters to try and stop the crimes done by the crown during Spanish inquisitions. The Inquisitors would set up area and preach/teach for a grace period of 30-40 days for heretics to confess and be forgiven. Than the trial with evidence presented. If enough evidence was found to bring them to trial, the defendant was placed in jail, [a church jail much better conditions than secular] and the defendant's were allowed advocates [lawyer] and allowed to give a list of people who hated them that might lie to get you in trouble who would not be allowed to testify against the charged.


    Torture in secular courts was used regularity. In the inquisitions it was rarely used. Overall torture was used in less than 2% of cases. it could only be used once, it was recorded, a bishop, witnesses, and doctors must all be present. It was limited to 15 minutes. If a confession is made they were given a day rest then re-asked.


    Were usally a fine or prison [often house arrest or monastery house] sometimes the guilty had to wear a yellow shirt with a cross, sometimes flogging was used as a punishment.

    If They Wont Confess and are Guilty

    The charged were than handed over to the state and often burned on stake. Most all cases did not end in secular death penalty.

    "Fewer than 2% of total tried received the death penalty. During the 16th and 17th century fewer than three persons a year were but to death from Sicily to puru,a lower rate than any court in Spain or Europe, secular courts had higher rate of death penalty."
    -The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision by Henry Kamen

    "less than three people per year were sentenced to death by the Inquisition throughout the Spanish Empire, which ranged from Spain to Sicily and Peru. Secular historians given access to the Vatican’s archives in 1998 discovered that of the 44,674 individuals tried between 1540 and 1700, only 804 were recorded as being relictus culiae saeculari. The 763-page report indicates that only 1 percent of the 125,000 trials recorded over the entire inquisition ultimately resulted in execution by the secular authority, which means that throughout its infamous 345-year history, the dread Spanish Inquisition was less than one-fourteenth as deadly on an annual basis as children’s bicycles."

    1480-1530 At the height of Spanish inquisitions 2,000 were executed or 40 a year.
    Over 350 years the entire time of the events, 4,000 in spain were executed.

    "taking into account all the tribunals of spain up till 1530, it is unlikely that more than 2,000 people were executed"
    -The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision Paperbackby Henry Kamen

    Compare with the 6,832 members of the Catholic clergy murdered in the Spanish Republican Red Terror of 1936 is more than twice the number of the victims of 345 years of inquisition.


    Spain had religious peace and unity in society. There were many religious wars in Europe at the time and Spain was free from them.

    "A renowned historian here presents a new view of the notorious Spanish Inquisition, arguing that there was less terror, bigotry, and persecution associated with it than has been previously believed. Based on thirty years of research, the book will revolutionize further study in the field."
    -The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision Henery Kamen Yale University Press; 1997

    Total deaths from inquisitions in all of history

    slight less than 10,000.
    done by church 0
    done by state 10,000

    compared with the atheistic french revolution that persecuted Catholics over 3 years death totals Guillotined, 17,000; shot at Toulon, 2000; drowned at Mantes, men, women, and children, 4,800. Then there were the murders by the mob about 10,000 were killed without trial in the province of Anjou alone.

    "Even adjusting for changes in population size, atheist regimes are responsible for 100 times more death in one century than Christian rulers inflicted over five centuries.As for the Inquisition, much of the modern stereotype was largely made up by Spain’s political enemies, and later by anti-Christians. The Inquisition only had authority over professing Christians, and the Inquisition trials were often fairer and more lenient than their secular counterparts. Often the only penalty given was some sort of penance such as fasting. Over a period of 350 years, historians such as Henry Kamen15 estimate only between 1,500 and 4,000 people were executed for heresy."
    -A review of What’s So Great About Christianity? by Dinesh D’Souza

    medieval Inquisitions

    Started in 1184- bishops were sent to determine heretics in their area from the Pope. These were to be done before secular law dealt with heretics [who would burn them at the stake] as the secular law was not accurate to determine true faith. Between the years of 1200-1400 inquisitors would move from one place to another, later they would be set up in big cities and heretics would be brought to them. In 1231 a major Heresy in the south of France that rejected Jesus divinity and humanity but instead thought him a phantom that did not die on the cross, and that the purpose of life was to free ourselves from bodies and the highest form of worship was suicide. The church reacted. First the church held councils and condemned the heresy but it continued to spread rapid. An earlier Pope had sent missionaries to teach/preach and worked with secular rulers for help. Later a secular leader kills a papal legate and the pope calls a crusade to destroy the Heresy in reaction.

    Worldview and why Heresy is bad

    In that time period they had different worldviews than we do today. Religion was everything at that time and all society was built around it. Anything done to disrupt belief also disrupts the entire way of life. Christianity was united at the time in the catholic faith. Heresy was seen as an active threat that sought to convert the faithful. It was seen as a threat to the soul. Violence follows heresy by dividing communities. Secular leaders felt heresy a threat to their authority, it was a capital crime in secular law.

    For why heresy was taken so serious at the time read here ical%20Perspective.html

    Purpose of the Inquisitions

    The inquisitions were formed to combat secular and church persecution of heretics. Persecution lessened under the inquisitions. The Secular governments of the time offered no rights to the heretics and the penalty was capital punishment to be burned at stake. Mobs at times lynched heretics without trials.

    "In France, in 1430, the Inquisition was established by the authority of the Pope, as an orderly and judicial means of dealing with what was regarded as a terrible social and religious evil. Maycock writes: "In the thirteenth century the secular arm, as a rule, needed no encouragement in the vigorous prosecution of heresy. And, so far as the burning of heretics was concerned, the Inquisition was a damping factor rather than a driving force."Undoubtedly Vacandard is right when he says, 'Taking all in all, the Inquisition in its operation developed a real progress in the treatment of criminals; for it not only put an end to the vengeance of the mob, but it diminished considerably the number of others condemned to death.'

    The Churches main goal was to save the soul of the heretic and to protect the unity of the church and society. They wanted conversion and not the death of the heretic. Inquisitors were sent to show the heretic why they were wrong and convert them. If the inquisitors failed in there job the heretic was handed over to the state to be killed. The Church was interested in saving the soul from eternal punishment. Inquisitions effected only post baptism Catholics who had fallen from a major doctrine. A list of procedures for papal inquisitors was used to determine if a heretics were in the faith. it did not effect Jews/Muslims. Inquisitors must be men of good faith and good morals and have theological training.

    How They Operated

    Inquisitors come to a area and announce they are their and give a grace period of 30-40 days. They also would teach/preach the faith. They give an area where a heretic can come to confess and be brought back into the church. After the grace period is over evidence is gathered to bring a heretic to court where they would be tried. The defendant could gather evidence [and witnesses] and everything said by the defendant was recorded and written down. If they are found guilty, the inquisitors would try and show the heretic why they are wrong and why their soul is in danger, and try to bring them back.


    Torture was originally not allowed. Yet it was allowed extensive in secular courts to bring about confession. Later when it was used it was optional and most inquisitors did not chose to use it. The most famous inquisitor Bernard Gui said not to use it as it was not effective. It was regulated and inquisitors themselves could not use torture. They brought in secular ruler to do so under church regulated guidelines with the intent to get a confession or the truth, not a punishment. It only could be used once after all other options were used up. A confession made by a supposed heretic in torture would be given a day of rest, than asked again if their confession was genuine.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.


    Punishments for heretics that confesses and asked forgiveness were penance, fasting, wear special cloths [yellow with cross for period of time] give alms or go on pilgrimage [crusade]

    If the Heretic Refuses

    And the inquisitors cannot help, they give heretic over to the state. Death penalty from the state often was to burn at the stake. The catholic church never killed anyone, it was against cannon law to do so, they handed them over to the state. most cases did not end in death of heretic.

    1227-1277 in france 5,000 were executed or 100 a year
    Bernard Gui 16 years 930 judgments 42 given to state or less than 5%

    for more soee The real story of the inquisitions by Steve Weidenkopf.

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    Nobody expected them.
    * Enforce Border Security – America should be guarding her own borders and enforcing her own laws instead of policing the world and implementing UN mandates.

    * No Amnesty - The Obama Administration’s endorsement of so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, will only encourage more law-breaking.

    * Abolish the Welfare State – Taxpayers cannot continue to pay the high costs to sustain this powerful incentive for illegal immigration. As Milton Friedman famously said, you can’t have open borders and a welfare state.

    * End Birthright Citizenship – As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be granted U.S. citizenship, we’ll never be able to control our immigration problem.

    Reprinted from [Nov. 29, 2011]

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    ... and they have three weapons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Ryan
    In Washington you can see them everywhere: the Parasites and baby Stalins sucking the life out of a once-great nation.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    Nobody expected them.
    「The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident;」.-Sir William Jones

  6. #5
    It's true that the Inquisition was much smaller than is commonly supposed.

    And it's true that it may from time to time have served a useful security function.

    But altogether it was a destructive institution, born out of irrational fears/hatreds, which retarded Spanish development.
    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

    -H. L. Mencken

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