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Background of the Inquisition The Inquisition was established to root out Heresy. Heresy – “An opinion or doctrine not in line with the accepted teaching of the church (Holman Bible Dictionary) Heresy was considered an ecclesiastical crime and a secular crime. To rebel against the church was to question the legitimacy of the whole social, political, economic, and religious structure of medieval society.
Background of the Inquisition cont. Crucifixion of apostle Peter Torture of Origen, Alexandria, AD 234 Heresy was a crime already in Pagan Rome. It was considered treason, punishable by death (see early Christian martyrs)
Background of the Inquisition cont. Persecution by emperors Diocletian and Maximus, AD 301 Punishment of heresy took place long before the inquisition. Robert the Pious , King of France, in 1022 A.D., who ordered heretics to the flames Mobs in Cologne in 1143 burned heretics at the stake
Background of the Inquisition cont. Pope Lucius III issued a bull in 1184 stating that “both the insolence and mal-pertness of the heretics in their false designs may be crushed” and if they insist in their evil ways they should be handed over to the secular authorities and their properties confiscated. Many of the above ideas were codified by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) under the leadership of pope Innocent III.
Bible & Inquisition Old & New Testament Justification
“ If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you...and he says, "Let us follow other gods"... That prophet or dreamer must be put to death...You must purge the evil from among you. If you hear it said about one of the towns …that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray... then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. (Deut13 NIV) “ If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (John 15:6 NIV)
<ul><li>“ Purging” of “prophets and </li></ul><ul><li>dreamers” (ex. Joan of Arc) </li></ul><ul><li>Putting to death heretics as an </li></ul><ul><li>example to others </li></ul><ul><li>“ inquire,probe and investigate” </li></ul><ul><li>Destruction of whole towns, </li></ul><ul><li>to wipe out heresy </li></ul>Mosaic Law would be emulated by the Inquisition
Before the Inquisition local bishops had the authority to try heretics Now Inquisitors were responsible only to the pope. This autonomy allowed the Inquisition to act as an independent tribunal, able to go where it wanted, when it wanted, and try whom it wanted – with no interference from secular or ecclesiastical authorities.
Victimes of the Medieval Inquisition Prepared by Erwin Sicher. Ph.D., Ph.D. Hard copies for student use only. No electronic copying .
Cathars or Albigenses being burned Albigenses or Cathari ‑ southern France Absolute dualism between good God and Evil god Evil god made world, matter evil Ascetic avoided marriage, oaths, war, meat, eggs Denied the priesthood Denied the sacraments Denied the trinity. Apostolic poverty simplicity of life No resurrection One worst sin was to perpetuate the the flesh
Albigenses or Cathari Fate Burning of 180 Albigensians, 1210 Albigensian Crusade,1209-1229. authorized by the pope and carried out by secular forces under Simon de Montfort. In July Beziers was sacked, with over 20,000 men, women and children killed by crusaders. Papal legate Arnaud was asked if Catholics should be spared answered “Kill them all, for God knows His own”. Post-Crusade slaughter of the Cathars include 183 burned in Montwimer (Marne) in 1239, the burning of 215 Cathar perfecti at the Castle of Montsegur in 1244
Waldenses Peter Waldo (1170’s) ‑ Founder, a rich merchant of Lyon, France He organized "poor men“. Excommunicated for refusal to stop preaching Believed everyone should have a Bible in own tongue as final authority Waldensian Barba or lay preacher Hiding in La Guieisa ‘d la tana ( Waldensian Church in the Cave )
The most infamous incident was the “Piedmont Easter”, when French forces massacred 1,712 Waldensian men, women, and children . Waldensians Few groups have suffered persecution as long and as terrible as the Waldensians, who were hunted down by the Inquisition and secular forces. On June 5, 1561, the town of San Sisto, with its 6,000 inhabitants, was burned. Prisoners were burned like torches, sold as slaves to the Moors or condemned to die of starvation in the dungeons of Cosenza. The massacre reached its height at Montalto Uffugo on June 11th. On the steps of the parish church, 88 Waldensians were slaughtered one by one, like animals brought to market.
Knights Templar <ul><li>Warrior monks (founded in 1119 A.D.) to protect pilgrim routes to the Holy Lands. </li></ul><ul><li>King Philip IV of France was in debt to Templars. In 1307, he charged the order with heresy. </li></ul><ul><li>Inquisition Charges were : </li></ul><ul><li>postulants were required to </li></ul><ul><li>deny Christ </li></ul><ul><li>spit on the cross, </li></ul><ul><li>Templars worshiped a </li></ul><ul><li>mysterious head named </li></ul><ul><li>“ Baphomet” (“Mohammed”?) These charges were never </li></ul><ul><li>proved </li></ul>
Templars were found guilty. In 1311, after torture "out of more than 200 Templars in England only four admited to spitting at the cross." In Paris "by the end of May , 120 Templars had been burnt. “ Many Templars received life sentences. The Council of Vienne in 1312 dissolved the order In 1314 the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay was burned alive, after recanting of his earlier confession.
Joan of Arc (1412 – 1431) The most famous victim of the Inquisition was the “Maid of Orleans” – Joan of Arc. In 1430 Joan was captured and sold to the British. She was tried by the French Inquisition for sorcery and heresy, and burned at the stake in 1431. Pope Benedict XV canonized Joan of Arc in 1920.
John Hus (c. 1369 – 1415) Burning of John Hus. Ulrich Richenthal's Das Concilium ( ,1536),
The Fraticelli The Fraticelli (Spirituals), a splinter group of the Franciscans who believed in poverty like their founder. They were accused of heresy for asserting that Christ and the Apostles had no possessions. The first Inquisition trials against the Fraticelli occurred in Marseilles in 1318, when four of them were burned at the stake. They were wiped out by 1426 when the Inquisition, with the help of secular authorities, laid waste to 31 villages known to be sympathetic to them.
(Engraving from Wylie: Dominican Inquisitors) Inquisitors of the Papal Inquisition
Dominicans (a) Dominic‑ Spanish priest (c) Fought heresy “by zealous preaching, by apostolic humility, by austerity, by holiness.” (Durant,“Age of Faith”, p. 803) (d) "Hounds of the Lord" (e) Emphasized preaching (f) Strengthened religion among the people (g) After the death of St. Dominic the pope made them responsible for the Inquisition St.Dominic preaching to heretics, Albigenses
Franciscan Order Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) Renunciation of Worldly Goods St. Francis's father is very angry when he is told that his son renounces his inheritance to follow a life of poverty. Pope Innocent III approved St. Francis rule
Famous inquisitors of the Papal Inquisition <ul><li>Bernard Gui – </li></ul><ul><li>Inquisitor of Toulouse for 17 years, until 1324. Given “credit” for destroying the remnants of French Catharism. He condemned 930 heretics, 45 to death (Durant, “Age of Faith”, p. 783). </li></ul><ul><li>Famous for writing a handbook for Inquisitors Practica inquisitionis haereticae pravitatis . He names the “worst” heretics as Cathars, Waldensians, Beghards, Jews, witches, and clairvoyants. </li></ul><ul><li>Gui in book (movie) Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. </li></ul><ul><li>Conrad of Marburg – </li></ul><ul><li>head inquisitor of Germany (1227-). </li></ul><ul><li>Considered insane, encouraged mob violence in the rounding up of heretics. He believed that there were large groups of devil-worshippers in Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>Forced to resign after charging a powerful nobleman with heresy. </li></ul><ul><li>Friends of his victims murdered him in 1233. </li></ul>
By end of the 15 th cent., the Medieval Papal Inquisition had run its course The flames of the Inquisition would receive new life to fight a new enemy – the Protestants.
Components of the Counter-Reformation Paul III Council of Trent Reformed Papacy Index New Orders Jesuits or S.J. Shock troops of Church Reconstituted Papal Inquisition Paul IV “Even if my own father was a heretic, I would gather the wood to burn him” .
Famous Victims Found guilty of having published a heretical book. Galileo repented and confessed. Punished to house arrest Galileo
<ul><li>The execution of William Tyndale in 1536. He was executed for translating the Bible into English so that ordinary people could read it. </li></ul>
The Spanish Inquisition the Spanish Inquisition has became almost synonymous with the excesses, violence, and cruelty of the Inquisition. In 1478 Pope Sixtus IV issued a bull authorizing King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to appoint an inquisitorial board (which occurred in 1480). The Spanish Inquisition remained intact for 354 years! It wasn’t deactivated until 1834, under Queen Mother Cristina
The sovereigns of Spain appointed Inquisitors. With papal approval. Inquisition, the heads of the mendicant orders typically chose inquisitors (grand inquisitors were chosen by the pope). The Spanish government paid the expenses, and received the net income, of the Inquisition. The Papal Inquisition paid the expenses, and received the net income, of the Inquisition. Spanish Inquisition Papal Inquisition
First Grand Inquisitor: Dominican Friar Tomas Torquemada Appointed in 1483 Inquisitor General for all of Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella. It is estimated that over 100,000 people were sentenced as heretics under his jurisdiction. (Hroch, p. 47.) He died in 1498, after he achieved his life’s goal – the ejection of all un-baptized Jews from Spain on March 30, 1492.
Victims of the Spanish Inquisition There was a long history of persecution of Jews before the Inquisition in Europe and Spain. For example in 1391, over 50,000 Jews were murdered by mobs in Spain. Jews In 1492, the Jews in Spain were given the option of becoming baptized Christians, or leaving Spain. It is estimated that about 50,000 “accepted” conversion, and 100,000-200,000 left Spain. Forced Jewish converts Marranos (“swine”) or conversos , or “New Christians”. The Inquisition had no authority over practicing Jews (who could not be called Christian heretics), the Inquisition had great authority over the conversos , many of whom continued to worship as Jews in secret.
Victims of the Spanish Inquisition Moslems Moslems in Spain suffered a similar fate to the Jews – convert, or be exiled. Converted Moslems were known as Moriscos , and were viewed with great suspicion by the Inquisition. Moslems that did not convert were Moslems that did not convert were exiled from Spain – by some estimates, up to 3,000,000 Moslems left Spain between 1502 and 1615!
Victims of the Spanish Inquisition Protestants Victims were native Protestants (Lutherans and Calvinists), such as Francisco de San Roman, who was the first Protestant burned at the stake in Spain, in 1540. More controversial were Protestants on merchant vessels visiting Spanish ports. In 1565, for example, 26 English subjects were burned at the stake, and 10 times that number were sentenced to Inquisitorial prisons. In 1604, the Treaty of London was signed, which forbade subjects of the King of England from being persecuted for matters of conscience within the realm of the King of Spain. The Spanish Inquisition was very successful at preventing Protestantism from gaining a foothold in Spain
Preached Sermon The Inquisitor would often preach to the population in the town square or church about the sin of heresy. A 1-4 week Term of Grace followed in which voluntary confessions were sought. Those that stepped forward voluntarily and admitted to their heresy were often given limited punishment. After the period of grace, everyone in who had not voluntarily confessed was at risk of being denounced . The Inquisition only required two witnesses for prosecution
The accused was politely summoned. The appearance was voluntary, but failure to appear was taken as evidence of guilt. Trials were held in secret. Suspects were not told the names of their accusers; they could name people that might bear them ill will. If the names of the denouncers were on the list, the accused was often set free (clever suspects would often present very long lists!) The accused were not able to call witnesses , nor (during most of the Inquisition) were they allowed to have counsel present. The accused often put into Inquisitorial prisons from arrest to sentence. In Spain, often from 3-4 years. The accused usually had to pay their own expenses.
Endless Interrogations Seeking Confessions The primary stated goal of the Inquisition was to save souls, suspects were encouraged to confess to their heresy. <ul><li>Those who admitted “guilt” were often let off with penances : </li></ul><ul><li>Pilgrimages </li></ul><ul><li>wear large yellow crosses on their clothing. In Spain called sanbenito . </li></ul><ul><li>Imprisonment in Inquisitorial prisons </li></ul><ul><li>Scourging or lashing (Spain) </li></ul>
Torture Unyielding could be tortured. The use of torture was authorized in 1252 by Pope Innocent IV. In Spain, it is estimated that torture was used in about 1/3 of all cases. (Hroch, p. 146)
Tortura del’agua The ordeal of water consisted in the prisoner being forced to swallow a quantity of water, either by means of a funnel or by soaking a piece of linen jammed into the throat. When the prisoner's nose was blocked and water was dripped continuously into his mouth, it could result in blood vessels bursting. In Italy, five litres was considered 'ordinary', and ten litres 'extraordinary'
The ordeal of fire A prisoner was tied so that he could not move and placed before a good fire. Then fat or grease was applied to his feet, either all over them or simply on the soles, and they would be burned - literally fried - in front of the fire until a confession was obtained. A wooden or metal firescreen was used to interrupt this torture for fresh questioning, and to provide respite in the case of fainting.
Strappado (pulley torture) The prisoner was hoisted about six feet above the floor, sometimes with iron weights attached to his feet, and left hanging there from his wrists tied behind his back. The prisoner was interrogated, and perhaps lashed with a whip. If he still failed to answer the inquisitor's questions, he was hoisted to the ceiling until the torturer suddenly allowed it to drop towards the floor - without letting the body reach the floor. The strain usually caused dislocations. Only a confession or unconsciousness would halt the process.
The wheel The wheel existed in many variations, and has been used since ancient times It involved the prisoner being tied to a large cartwheel, where his body was beaten and broken by battering it with hammers, bars or clubs. It would appear that this torture was used much less often by the Inquisition than the other methods.
The Rack A wooden frame raised from the ground, with planks placed across it like the rungs of a ladder. At each end of the rack were rollers to which the victim's ankles and wrist were attached. The inquisitor would question the victim while he was being positioned on the rack and the rollers at the end would stretch the victim’s body until the braking point – or until a confession.
the stivaletto , (brodequins) It was a vicious form of the boot-type of torture: four thick boards were attached two to each leg with strong rope, as tightly as possible. Then wooden or metal wedges, were driven between the two boards and the leg until the pressure became intolerable and the ropes began to cut into the victim's flesh. If continued, this torture could easily result in the splintering or crushing of bones, and therefore cause permanent disablement.
Punishment Prepared by Erwin Sicher. Ph.D., Ph.D. Hard copies for student use only. No electronic copying .
Imprisonment Those who confessed <ul><li>Those who admitted “guilt” were often let off with penances : </li></ul><ul><li>Pilgrimages </li></ul><ul><li>wear large yellow crosses on their clothing called sanbenito . </li></ul><ul><li>Imprisonment in Inquisitorial prisons </li></ul><ul><li>Scourging or lashing (Spain) </li></ul>Refused to recant of their heresy complete confiscation of property or burning at the stake “ Relapsed” heretics complete confiscation of property or burning at the stake
Once a relapsed or unrepentant heretic was found guilty, they were handed over (or “relaxed”) to the secular authorities for punishment. “The Church shrinks from blood” ( ecclesia abhorret a sanguine ). and would not administer the death sentence.
Act of Faith (auto-da-fé) sermo generalis in early days of Papal Inquisition Held in public, typically in a town square or inside a local church. They were huge public spectacles. In 1660, an auto-da-fé in Seville (1660) lasted for three days, and was attended by 100,000 people. The sentences were read Those sentenced to death: Repentant after sentence to death would be garroted to death before being burned. Those that refused to recant (often Cathar perfecti , Lutherans and Calvinists) were burned alive
Conflicting Views "In his History of the Inquisition, Canon Llorente, who was the Secretary to the Inquisition in Madrid from 1790-92 and had access to the archives of all the tribunals, estimated that in Spain alone the number of condemned exceeded 3 million, with about 300,000 burned at the stake." (Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast , page 79, also 242) "....the Spanish Inquisition, in spite of wildly inflated estimates of the numbers of its victims, acted with considerable restraint in inflicting the death penalty, far more restraint than was demonstrated in secular tribunals elsewhere in Europe that dealt with the same kinds of offenses . The best estimate is that around 3000 death sentences were carried out in Spain by Inquisitorial verdict between 1550 and 1800, a far smaller number than that in comparable secular courts ." Inquisition by Edward Peters (The Free Press/Macmillan, 1988 [Univ of CA Press, 1989], p. 87)
Conflicting Views Historians have exaggerated the numbers, asserting that millions died at the stake in the Spanish Inquisition. The actual numbers are far less, 3,000 to 5,000 during the Inquisition's 350 year history as stated in the 1994 BBC/A&E special program, “The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition…” The fiery deaths were real and regrettable, they pale in comparison to the 100,000 witches burned at the stake in Protestant Germany, and the 30,000 in Britain over the same centuries. William T. Walsh Isabella of Spain (, p. 275).
Some data for the later periods are offered by Oxford scholar, Kamen: ( Inquisition and Society in Spain in the 16th and 17th Centuries by Henry Kamen (Indiana Univ Press, 1985) re-work of 1965 book ,page 42 ) TRIBUNAL PERIOD YEARS RELAXATIONS (burned in person) Ciudad Real 1483-1485 2 52 Toledo 1485-1501 16 250 Toledo 1575-1610 35 11 Toledo 1648-1794 146 8 Saragossa 1485-1502 17 124 Valencia 1484-1530 46 754 Barcelona 1488-1498 10 23 Mallorca 1488-1729 241 120 Canaries 1504-1820 316 11
Secondary Sources Auguste Comte: The intolerance of Protestantism was certainly not less tyrannical than that with which Catholicism is so much reproached. ( Philosophie Positive , vol. 4, p. 51) Preserved Smith (Secularist) If any one still harbors the traditional prejudice that the early Protestants were more liberal, he must be undeceived…As soon as they had the power to persecute they did. (115:177) Calvinist Geneva was a notoriously harsh place, and much of the harshness was due to Calvin himself. Discipline was his watchword, constant, vigilant,minute discipline. The consistory, supported by the city government,engaged in the meanest inquisitorial practices. Censorship, search and seizure, spying, torture-in short, the whole apparatus of the policestate-operated in the city. Marvin R. O’Connell, The Counter-Reformation, 1560-1610 (N.Y.:Harper Torchbooks,1974), p.132
Secondary Sources Luther was content with the expulsion of the Catholics. Melanchthon was in favour of proceeding against them with corporal penalties…Zwingli held that, in case of need, the massacre of bishops and priests was a work commanded by God. Johannes Janssen, The History of the German People…(St.Louis:B.H.1910), vol.5, 290.
American Colonies Between 1659 and 1660, the Quakers Mary Dyer, Marmaduke Stephenson and William Robinson were hanged in Puritan Massachusetts Governor John Endecott sentences was: "You shall go from hence to the place from whence you came [prison], & from thence to the place of execution, & there hang till you be dead."
Quakers, both men and women, are to "be stripped naked from the middle upwards, and tied to a cart's tail and whipped through the town;" also to "be branded with the letter R on their left shoulder," 1670 Quaker whipping in Boston
The Puritans repealed the Act of Toleration in Maryland in October, 1654, and outlawed the Catholics. . . condemning ten of them to death, four of whom were executed. . .
Anabaptist Felix Manz On January 5, 1527 he was taken to the Limmat River, tied to a pole, and drowned – the first Anabaptist executed for his faith by Protestant authorities. Switzerland
Memorial of Servetus death <ul><li>Michael Servetus arrives in Geneva, </li></ul><ul><li>causes a stir with his Anti-Trinitarian teachings </li></ul><ul><li>Tried and found guilty </li></ul><ul><li>Calvin favors decapitation, but the council burns Servetus at the stake </li></ul>
<ul><li>Henry VIII had everybody who refused to accept him as head of the Church of England executed for treason. </li></ul><ul><li>These monks are being hung, drawn and quartered </li></ul>Protestant England
More’s Execution, Tower The Execution of Catholic Thomas More
Jesuit Edmund Campion’s Execution Punishment of Jesuits Elisabeth executed 125 Jesuits
“ I am fully resolved in all things touching My faith, which I ground upon Jesus Christ, and by him I steadfastly believe to be saved, which faith I acknowledge to be the same that he left to his apostles,..for if an angel come from heaven, and preach any other doctrine than we have received, the apostle biddeth us not believe him.” Margaret Clitherow turned Catholic was crushed under a heavy oak door on March 25, 1586 until her ribs cracked, she cried “Jesus have mercy upon me.” She was left there from 9 am until 3 pm and death, and then she was stuffed secretly into a rubbish heap.
Pope Jean Paul II on March 20, 2000, asked in public pardon for all the crimes and horrors made under the name of Inquisition