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Historical revision of the Inquisition
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Historical revision of the Inquisition is a historiographical
project that has emerged in recent years. In the last forty years,
with opening of formerly closed archives, the development of new
historical methodologies, and, in Spain, the death of Francisco Franco
in 1975, new works of historical revisionism have reread the history
of the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions.

Writers associated with this project share the view of Edward Peters,
a prominent historian in the field, who states: "The Inquisition was
an image assembled from a body of legends and myths which, between the
twentieth and the sixteenth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality."[1]
Contents
[show]

* 1 Significant works
o 1.1 Understanding inquisitions
* 2 The Inquisitions in France
o 2.1 Cathars and Waldensians
o 2.2 The "Grand Program"
o 2.3 The "Albigensian Crusade"
o 2.4 Codes and torture
* 3 The Inquisitions in Spain
o 3.1 Antisemitism and the "conversos"
o 3.2 Papal Bull
o 3.3 Procedure and torture
o 3.4 The auto de fe
* 4 The Inquisitions in Italy
o 4.1 Context
o 4.2 The creation of the Holy Office
o 4.3 "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions
o 4.4 Evolution of the Holy Office
* 5 The Creation of "The Inquisition"
o 5.1 "A Protestant Vision..."
o 5.2 The Revolt of the Netherlands
o 5.3 Montanus
o 5.4 William of Orange
o 5.5 The Black Legend
o 5.6 The Enlightenment and Art
* 6 See also
* 7 Resources
* 8 Footnotes
* 9 External links

[edit] Significant works

The two most significant and extensively cited sources of this revised
analysis of the historiography of the inquisitorial proceedings are
Inquisition (1988) by Edward Peters and The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision (1997) by Henry Kamen. These works focus on
exposing and correcting what they argue are popular modern
misconceptions about the inquisitions and historical
misinterpretations of their activities. The following text presents
Peters? and Kamen?s ideas.

[edit] Understanding inquisitions

Because the inquisitorial process was not based on tolerant principles
and doctrines such as freedom of thought and freedom of religion that
became prominent in Western thinking during the eighteenth century,
modern society has an inherent difficulty in understanding the
inquisitorial institutions. From the Middle Ages well into the
seventeenth century in Catholic Europe, the law stated that the worst
offence one could commit was that which threatened the unity and
security of the Catholic Church, and most importantly, the salvation
of souls.[2] Uniformity of worship does not appear to have been the
motivation for setting up the Spanish Inquisition at all.[3] ?The
Inquisition can only be understood within the framework of the
centuries of its existence, when religious uniformity and orthodoxy
and obedience to authority were enforced by almost all political and
religious institutions, and were considered essential for the very
survival of society" (Hitchcock 1996).

Regardless of the century, inquisitions were ecclesiastical
investigations conducted either directly by the Catholic Church or by
secular authorities with the support of the Church. These
investigations were undertaken at varying times in varying regions
under the authority of the local bishop and his designates or under
the sponsorship of papal-appointed legates. The purpose of each
inquisition was specific to the outstanding circumstances of the
region in which it was held. Investigations usually involved a legal
process, the goal of which was to obtain a confession and
reconciliation with the Church from those who were accused of heresy
or of participating in activities contrary to Church Canon law. The
objectives of the inquisitions were to secure the repentance of the
accused and to maintain the authority of the Church. Inquisitions were
conducted with the collaboration of secular authorities. If an
investigation resulted in a person being convicted of heresy and
unwillingness to repent punishment was administered by the secular
authorities.

[edit] The Inquisitions in France
Further information: Medieval Inquisition

[edit] Cathars and Waldensians

The two heresies that gave birth to the French medieval inquisitions
were that of the Cathars (also known as the Albigensians) and the
Waldensians. The Cathars essentially believed that a ?good god?
created everything heavenly while an ?evil god? ? the God of the Old
Testament ? created the material world with the Church acting as its
vehicle (Horvat 1998: 4). The Waldensians rejected the sacramental
authority of the Church and its clerics and encouraged apostolic
poverty (Peters 1988: 43). These movements became particularly popular
in Southern France as well as Northern Italy and parts of Germany.
Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century often pointed to these
movements as part of an underground reformed Church that had been the
victim of persecution for centuries even though the Cathars and the
Waldensians had an unquestionably non-Reformed, dualistic perception
of God (Peters 1988: 123).

[edit] The "Grand Program"

During the eleventh century, a new wave of religiosity swept through
Europe. It claimed that the prospect of salvation in the world would
greatly increase if the world were reformed. In addition, the papacy
itself underwent reform at the end of the eleventh century and the
Church began devising its ?grand program of sanctifying the world?
(Peters 1988: 40). This ?grand program? was a combination of the
Church?s need to reform its institutional life, free itself from
secular control, and to build a Christian society. There was also a
growing opinion that those who rebelled from the church's beliefs
(heretics) or those who behaved in a manner that was ?un-Christian?
were not simply souls led astray in a ?temptation-filled world, but
[were] subverters of the world?s new course? (Peters 1988: 40).

Until the late twelfth century, the investigation of heresy was
considered the responsibility of local churches and it was held that
local secular authorities would prosecute heretics. However, in 1179,
the Church?s ?grand program of sanctifying the world? saw the creation
of The Third Lateran Council that included a canon condemning heretics
(Peters 1988: 47). In 1184, Pope Lucius III issued the Ad abolendam,
labeled "the founding charter of the inquisition," that called for
those found as heretics by the local church to be turned over to
secular courts (Peters 1988: 47). Finally, in 1199, Pope Innocent III
equated heresy with treason and in 1208 called for a ?crusade? against
the Albigensians (Peters 1988: 50).

[edit] The "Albigensian Crusade"

According to Peters the violence of the following ?Albigensian
Crusade? was not in line with the reforms and plans of Innocent, who
stressed confession, reform of the clergy and laity, and pastoral
teachings to oppose heresy (Peters 1988: 50-51). Peters asserts that
the violence was due to the ?crusade? being under the control of mobs,
petty rulers, and local bishops who did not uphold Innocent?s ideas,
armies from northern France swept through the south and essentially
eradicated the Albigensians. The uncontainable, prejudicial passion of
local mobs and heresy hunters, the violence of secular courts, and the
bloodshed of the Albigensian crusade sparked a desire within the
papacy to implement greater control over the prosecution of heresy.
This desire led to the development of organized legal procedures for
dealing with heretics (Peters 1988: 52-58).

[edit] Codes and torture

The new codes and procedures detailed how an inquisitorial court was
to function. If the accused renounced their heresy and returned to the
Church, forgiveness was granted and a penance was imposed. If the
accused upheld their heresy, they were excommunicated and turned over
to secular authorities. The penalties for heresy, though not as severe
as the secular courts of Europe at the time, were codified within the
ecclesiastic courts as well (e.g. confiscation of property, turning
heretics over to the secular courts for punishment) (Horvat 1998: 7;
Peters 1988: 58-67). Additionally, the various ?key terms? of the
inquisitorial courts were defined at this time, including, for
example, ?heretics,? ?believers,? ?those suspect of heresy,? ?those
simply suspected,? ?those vehemently suspected,? and ?those most
vehemently suspected? (Peters 1988: 63).

Generally, inquisitorial courts functioned much like the secular
courts of the time, though their sentences and penances were less
cruel. (Peters 1988: 65) A number of procedures and protections
restricted the torture of the accused and capital punishment was
executed by secular authorities in light of the clerical prohibition
on shedding blood. (Peters 1988: 45) However, much inhumane torture
could nonetheless be inflicted. Torture was not used as a form of
punishment, as was frequent in secular courts. Any confession made
following or during torture had to be freely repeated the next day
without torture or it was considered invalid (Peters 1988: 65).
?Technically, therefore, torture was strictly a means of obtaining the
only full proof available?[The inquisitors?] tasks were not only ? or
even primarily ? to convict the contumacious heretic, but?to preserve
the unity of the Church? (Peters 1988: 65).

After the suppression of the Albigensian heresy in southern France in
the thirteenth century, inquisitorial trials diminished in the face of
more pressing local needs and any lingering trials were left to
secular authorities. Inquisitorial courts conducted under local
episcopacies worked closely with local secular authorities and dealt
with local circumstances. Regional control of the inquisitorial
process and regional concerns became dominant (Peters 1988: 74). By
the mid to late fourteenth century, papal-commissioned inquisitors
were dissolved in many parts of Europe.

[edit] The Inquisitions in Spain
Further information: Spanish Inquisition

[edit] Antisemitism and the "conversos"

Antisemitic attitudes increased all over Europe during the late
thirteenth century and throughout the fourteenth century. England and
France expelled their Jewish populations in 1290 and 1306 respectively
(Peters 1988: 79). At the same time, during the Reconquista, Spain?s
anti-Jewish sentiment steadily increased. This prejudice climaxed in
the summer of 1391 when violent anti-Jewish riots broke out in Spanish
cities like Barcelona (Peters 1988: 82). These mob riots led to major
forced conversions of Jews to Christianity. To distinguish them from
non-converted or long-established Christian families, new converts
were labeled conversos, or New Christians. These distinctions formed
part of the limpieza de sangre ("blood purity") doctrine.

Peters writes,

?From the mid fifteenth century on, religious anti-Semitism
changed into ethnic anti-Semitism, with little difference seen between
Jews and conversos except for the fact that conversos were regarded as
worse than Jews because, as ostensible Christians, they had acquired
privileges and positions that were denied to Jews. The result of this
new ethnic anti-Semitism was the invocation of an inquisition to
ferret out the false conversos who had, by becoming formal Christians,
placed themselves under its authority? (Peters 1988: 84). It was a
heated mixture of this racial and religious prejudice against the
conversos that ignited what later became known as the ?Spanish
Inquisition.?

[edit] Papal Bull

Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella requested a papal bull
establishing an inquisition in Spain in 1478 in response to the unrest
and mob violence against the conversos. Pope Sixtus IV granted a bull
permitting the monarchs to select and appoint two or three priests
over forty years of age to act as inquisitors (Peters 1988: 85). In
1483, Ferdinand and Isabella established a state council to administer
the inquisition with the Dominican Friar Tom?s de Torquemada acting as
its president, even though Sixtus IV protested the activities of the
inquisition in Aragon and its treatment of the conversos. Torquemada
eventually assumed the title of Inquisitor-General (Peters 1988: 89).

The main heresy prosecuted during the period of inquisitions in Spain
was the alleged secret practice of Judaism among the conversos. From
the establishment of the inquisitions up to 1530, it is estimated that
approximately 2,000 ?heretics? were turned over to the secular
authorities for execution in Spain (Kamen 1997: 74). Many of those
convicted of heresy were conversos who fled Spain, often to Italy
where conversos were not subject to prejudice (Peters 1988: 110).

There were so few Protestants in Spain that widespread persecution of
Protestantism was not physically possible. In the 1560s, a little over
one hundred people in Spain were convicted of Protestantism and were
turned over to the secular authorities for execution. From 1560 to
1599, two hundred more people were accused of being followers of
Martin Luther. ?Most of them were in no sense
Protestants...Irreligious sentiments, drunken mockery, anticlerical
expressions, were all captiously classified by the inquisitors (or by
those who denounced the cases) as ?Lutheran?? (Kamen 1997: 98).

[edit] Procedure and torture

Evidence and witness testimony was gathered before an arrest was made.
Once an arrest was made, the accused was given several opportunities
to admit to any heretical behavior before the charges against him/her
were identified. If the accused did not admit to any wrongdoing, the
inquisitors dictated the charges and the accused was required to
respond to them immediately (Peters 1988: 93). Torture was used;
however, it was allowed solely in cases that involved charges of
religious heresy only. Because many inquisitorial trials did not
involve heresy alone, torture was relatively rare. Additionally, the
restrictions on torture in the inquisitorial courts were much more
stringent than those that regulated the torture in the secular courts.
Torture was only used for extracting confessions during a trial and
was not used as punishment after sentencing. If torture was utilized,
the accused was required to repeat their repentance freely and without
torture (Peters 1988: 92-93). The Inquisition also had a rule that
they were only allowed to use torture once, however, they were able to
'suspend' sessions and resume them the following day, so that this
rule was effectively negated.[citation needed]

As seen in the French inquisitions, the purpose of Spanish
inquisitorial torture was to gain either information or confession,
not to punish. It was used in a relatively small percentage of trials,
since of course the threat of torture if no confession was given was
often enough to induce one, and was usually a last resort (Kamen 1997:
174-192). The ?scenes of sadism conjured up by popular writers on the
inquisition have little basis in reality, though the whole procedure
was unpleasant enough [even] to arouse periodic protests from
Spaniards? (Kamen 1997: 189).

[edit] The auto de fe

The auto de fe that followed trials is the most infamous and
misunderstood part of the inquisitions in Spain. The auto de fe
involved prayer, a Catholic mass, a public procession of those found
guilty, and a reading of their sentences (Peters 1988: 93-94).
Artistic representations of the auto de fe usually depict torture and
the burning at the stake. These paintings became a major source for
creating the violent image popularly associated with the Spanish
inquisitions. However, this type of activity never took place during
an auto de fe, which was in essence a religious act. Torture was not
administered after a trial concluded and executions were always held
after and separate from the auto de fe (Kamen 1997: 192-213).

Between 1550 and 1800, the inquisitions in Spain focused on not only
Protestants, but also the conversos, the supervision of their own
clergy, the general problem of non-mainstream religious beliefs among
Catholics, and ?blasphemous? or ?scandalous? behavior (Peters 1988:
86). Spanish inquisitions were not exceptionally different from other
European courts of the time in their prosecution of these offences, as
many of these charges were viewed as part of a broad class of moral
crimes that raised legitimate concern to spiritual and secular courts
in an age when religion was regarded as the fundamental foundation of
society (Peters 1988: 87).

[edit] The Inquisitions in Italy
Further information: Roman Inquisition

[edit] Context

Increasing trends in regionalism, the criticism of ecclesiastic
abuses, the Avignon Papacy, and the Great Schism all contributed to
the emergence of new religious dissent and unrest in fourteenth and
fifteenth century Italy. Furthermore, widespread ecclesiastical and
clerical reform advanced through the last decades of the fifteenth
century, and by the second decade of the sixteenth century, reform
movements prevailed in many parts of Europe (Peters 1988: 106).

The protests raised by Martin Luther that began in 1517 did not
initially receive much attention from the papacy (Peters 1988: 107).
Luther and his supporters concreted the principles of the Protestant
Reformation during the 1520s, sparking the development of many reform
movements in various regions of Italy. By the time of the pontificate
of Paul III, the Reform movement had swept much of Europe away from
the Catholic Church. In response, Paul III issued the Licet ab initio,
establishing inquisitions in Rome in 1542 (Peters 1988: 108). These
inquisitions consisted of six cardinals given the authority to
investigate heresy and to appoint deputies when they deemed necessary.

[edit] The creation of the Holy Office

Although the Roman inquisitions worked moderately and guardedly during
the remainder of the pontificate of Paul III, they became an essential
part of the structure of Rome when Paul IV, who became pope in 1555,
launched the Counter-Reformation that Paul III began (Peters 1988:
108). Later, in 1588, Pope Sixtus V officially organized the
inquisitions into the Congregation of the Holy Roman and Universal
Inquisition or Holy Office (Peters 1988: 109). It is important to
note, however, that this was only one of fifteen administrative
departments of the papal government and was not the sole operating
body of the Church.

[edit] "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions

Even though the inquisitions in Spain prosecuted a small quantity of
Reformers, the Roman inquisitions were the first to target
intentionally and specifically the ?heresy? of Protestantism. These
inquisitions and their subordinate tribunals were generally successful
in keeping any substantial Protestant influence from spreading
throughout Italy (Peters 1988: 110). Protestants in the decades and
centuries to come would use this relatively short-lived persecution as
the basis for their accusations about the awful ?Inquisition.?
Protestant movements were reduced by around 1600, so for the duration
of the seventeenth century the Roman inquisitions turned their focus
to offences other than Protestantism, notably ?magical? heresy (Peters
1988: 111).

In many trials involving ?witchcraft? or ?sorcery,? ?the inquisitors
understood very well that the lack of catechesis or consistent
pastoral guidance could often result in misunderstandings of doctrine
and liturgy, and they showed tolerance of all but the most unavoidably
serious circumstances. Thus, although both the Spanish and Roman
inquisitions prosecuted the offenses of witchcraft and sorcery very
early and vigorously, they also were the first courts to be skeptical
of the evidence and mechanism of witchcraft accusations, and they
consistently offered the most lenient treatment to marginal cases?
(Peters 1988: 111).

Italian historian Andrea Del Col estimates that out of 62,000 cases
judged by Inquisition in Italy after 1542 only 2% (ca. 1250) ended
with death sentence.[4]

[edit] Evolution of the Holy Office

By the turn of the eighteenth century, the Congregation of the Holy
Office had virtually no power or influence outside the Papal States
(Peters 1988: 119). Its main function shifted yet again to the
investigation of clerical immorality and corruption and to the
censoring of printed books, the latter of which was the key
responsibility of the Congregation of the Index (Peters 1988: 119). By
1860, the restrictions placed upon ecclesiastical authority and the
emerging national Italian state only further reduced the activities of
the Holy Office. With its powers reduced to the weakened Papal State,
the Office became an advisory committee to the late nineteenth century
popes, where it played a far greater advisory than executive role
(Peters 1988: 120).

In 1965 Pope Paul VI changed the Office?s name to The Sacred
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and abolished the Congregation
of the Index entirely in 1966. Since then, the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith has functioned as a papal advisor on theological
matters and on matters of ecclesiastical discipline. ?Although its
work is regular, the Congregation can now hardly be thought of as an
Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 120).

[edit] The Creation of "The Inquisition"

The modern day notion of a unified and horrible ?Inquisition? is an
assemblage of the ?body of legends and myths which, between the
sixteenth and the twentieth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality? (Peters 1988: 122). It
was the relatively limited persecution of Protestants, mostly by the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, that provoked the first image of ?The
Inquisition? as the most violent and suppressive vehicle of the Church
against Protestantism. Later, philosophical critics of religious
persecution and the Catholic Church only furthered this image during
the Enlightenment (Peters 1988: 122).

[edit] "A Protestant Vision..."

What made it possible for the Reformers to characterize ?The
Inquisition? was the clerical organization and support of the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, their ?united? success in keeping
Protestant doctrines out of their countries, and the fear of ?The
Inquisition? being initiated in other parts of Europe. ?As a
Protestant vision of Christian history took shape in the sixteenth
century, the contemporary inquisitions were identified with the
inquisitorial tribunals of the medieval past, and the Protestant
Reformers with earlier victims of The Inquisition ? (Peters 1988:
122). Additionally, Catholic defenders of the inquisitorial process
used the same argument ? that the Reformers were no different from
medieval heretics and should be prosecuted in the same manner ? thus
perpetuating the idea of a continuous, masterminded, ?Inquisition?
(Peters 1988: 123).

Within the climate of religious persecution that clouded much of the
sixteenth century, martyrdom became a Protestant narrative of
religious struggle against the Catholic Church, especially Catholic
Spain. Reformers presented ?The Inquisition? as a unified,
papal-dominated process that lasted from the thirteenth century
through the seventeenth century. They created accounts of Protestant
martyrs and a ?hidden? Church, which produced extreme anti-Catholic
attitudes (Peters 1988: 123). Additionally, European political
resentment against Spain, which was the greatest power in Europe at
the time, took focus on ?The Inquisition.? This resentment and the
resulting anti-?Inquisition? propaganda that was published came to a
head during the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain (Peters 1988:
144).

[edit] The Revolt of the Netherlands

By around 1550, the Dutch ?printing press and propaganda turned to the
service of political reform, with The Inquisition as a major focus,
on?a wide scale and with?devastating effects? (Peters 1988: 144). Even
though the Dutch organized their own state-run inquisitions, it was
feared that King Philip II would implement a new ?Spanish Inquisition?
in the Netherlands to eliminate Protestantism. Popular literature,
circulating pamphlets, and other images painted the picture of a
widespread, awful ?Spanish Inquisition.? Eventually, ?The Inquisition?
became viewed as the primary instrument of Catholic tyranny, not only
of Protestants, but also of freedom of thought and religion in
general. However, exporting the Inquisition to the Netherlands was
never in the plans of the Spanish Habsburg rulers, at least after the
time of Charles V.

[edit] Montanus

In 1567, the Spanish Protestant Antonio del Corro, a close relative of
an inquisitor and ferocious enemy of the Spanish Inquisition,
published A Discovery and Plaine Declaration of Sundry Subtill
Practices of the Holy Inquisition of Spain under the pseudonym
Reginaldus Gonzalvus Montanus (Peters 1988: 133). This document, along
with a number of successive publications, was reprinted and translated
throughout Europe and became the definitive source on ?The
Inquisition? for hundreds of years. ?Montanus portray[ed] every victim
of the Inquisition as innocent, every Inquisition official as venal
and deceitful, [and] every step in its procedure as a violation of
natural and rational law? (Peters 1988: 134). The majority of the
?histories? about ?The Inquisition? written after 1567 relied on
Montanus as their main source.

[edit] William of Orange

Also cited as one of the most famous documents supporting the myth of
?The Inquisition? is the Apologie of William of Orange, published in
1581 (Peters 1988: 153). Written by the French Huguenot Pierre
Loyseleur de Villiers, the Apologie also narrated an horrific ?Spanish
Inquisition.? This document preserved and reinforced all of the
anti-?Inquisition? propaganda generated at the beginning and
throughout the Dutch revolt (Peters 1988: 153).

[edit] The Black Legend

During this time, England, under the rule of the Protestant Queen
Elizabeth I and threatened with military attacks from Spain, found a
new surge of nationalism being fueled by anti-Catholic propaganda
centered on a series of books and pamphlets that detailed the horror
of the ?Spanish Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 139-144). Peters writes,
?An image of Spain circulated through late sixteenth-century Europe,
borne by means of political and religious propaganda that blackened
the characters of Spaniards and their ruler to such an extent that
Spain became the symbol of all forces of repression, brutality,
religious and political intolerance, and intellectual and artistic
backwardness for the next four centuries. Spaniards?have termed this
process and the image that resulted from it as ?The Black Legend,? la
leyenda negra? (Peters 1988: 131).

[edit] The Enlightenment and Art

By the seventeenth century, ?The Inquisition? provided political and
philosophical thinkers with an ideal symbol of religious intolerance.
These philosophers and politicians passionately denounced ?The
Inquisition,? citing it as the cause for all the political and
economic failures in countries where ?Inquisitions? were held. From
these debates on toleration, ?The Inquisition? was presented by French
philosophes as the worst of any religious evil to ever come out of
Europe (Peters 1988: 155-154). Additionally, writers, artists, and
sculptors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries used ?The
Inquisition? as one of their main inspirations, retaliating against
?The Inquisition?s? suppression of creativity, literature, and art
(Peters 1988: 189). These artistic images have arguably become some of
the most long-lasting and effective perpetuators of ?The Inquisition?
myth.

[edit] See also

* Inquisition
* Cardinal Ximenes
* Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
* Execution by burning
* List of Grand Inquisitors of Spain
* Historical revisionism (negationism)
* History of the Jews in Spain
* Medieval Inquisition
* Mexican Inquisition
* Peruvian Inquisition
* Portuguese Inquisition
* Roman Inquisition
* Spanish Inquisition
* Histoire de l'Inquisition en France

[edit] Resources

* Peters, Edward. Inquisition. New York: The Free Press, 1988.
* Bradley, Gerard. ?One Cheer for Inquisitions.? Catholic Dossier.
Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Carroll, Anne W. ?The Inquisition.? Christ the King: Lord of
History. Rockford Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers Inc, 1994.
207-211.
* Hitchock, James. ?Inquisition.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6
(Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Horvat, Marian. ?The Holy Inquisition: Myth or Reality.?
Catholic Family News. (Mar, 1998).
* Kamen, Henry. The Spanish Inquisition : A Historical Revision.
London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997.
* Kelly, Henry A. ?Inquisition and the Prosecution of Heresy:
Misconceptions and Abuses.? Church History. Vol. 58, No. 4 (Dec,
1989). 439-451.
* Madden, Thomas F. ?The Real Inquisition: Investigating the
Popular Myth.? National Review Online. June 18, 2004.
* O?Connell, Marvin R. ?The Spanish Inquisition: Fact Versus
Fiction.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Parker, Geoffrey. ?Some Recent Work on the Inquisition in Spain
and Italy.? The Journal of Modern History. Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sept,
1982). 519-532.
* Rice, Ellen. ?The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition.? Catholic
Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Sanchez, M. G. Anti-Spanish Sentiment in English Literary and
Political Writing. (PhD Diss, University of Leeds, 2004).
* Van Hove, S.J., Fr. Brian. ?Beyond the Myth of The Inquisition:
Ours is ?The Golden Age?.? Faith and Reason. (Winter, 1992).

[edit] Footnotes

1. ^ Iarocci, Michael P. (1 March 2006). Properties of Modernity.
Vanderbilt University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8265-1522-3.
http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0826515223&id=CuliwYNyvSUC&pg=PA218&lpg=PA218&sig=DOZYfMfF_RBMgzsbT8KfXVqO3y4.
2. ^ This concern is reflected by a Papal bull issued on April 18,
1482 by Pope Sixtus IV, bull in which he protested

that in Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, and Catalonia the
Inquisition has for some time been moved not by zeal for the faith and
the salvation of souls but by lust for wealth. Many true and faithful
Christians, on the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves, and other
lower and even less proper persons, have without any legitimate proof
been thrust into secular prisons, tortured and condemned as relapsed
heretics, deprived of their goods and property and handed over to the
secular arm to be executed, to the peril of souls, setting a
pernicious example, and causing disgust to many.

Kamen, Henry (23 November 2000). The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision. Orion Publishing Group. p. 49. ISBN
1-84212-205-3.
3. ^ Kamen, p. 61.
4. ^ INTOLLERANZA RELIGIOSA - ALLE RADICI DELLA VIOLENZA

[edit] External links

* FAQ on the Inquisition by James Hannam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_revision_of_the_Inquisition
Goanet News
2009-06-23 00:00:15 UTC
Permalink
Historical revision of the Inquisition
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Historical revision of the Inquisition is a historiographical
project that has emerged in recent years. In the last forty years,
with opening of formerly closed archives, the development of new
historical methodologies, and, in Spain, the death of Francisco Franco
in 1975, new works of historical revisionism have reread the history
of the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions.

Writers associated with this project share the view of Edward Peters,
a prominent historian in the field, who states: "The Inquisition was
an image assembled from a body of legends and myths which, between the
twentieth and the sixteenth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality."[1]
Contents
[show]

* 1 Significant works
o 1.1 Understanding inquisitions
* 2 The Inquisitions in France
o 2.1 Cathars and Waldensians
o 2.2 The "Grand Program"
o 2.3 The "Albigensian Crusade"
o 2.4 Codes and torture
* 3 The Inquisitions in Spain
o 3.1 Antisemitism and the "conversos"
o 3.2 Papal Bull
o 3.3 Procedure and torture
o 3.4 The auto de fe
* 4 The Inquisitions in Italy
o 4.1 Context
o 4.2 The creation of the Holy Office
o 4.3 "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions
o 4.4 Evolution of the Holy Office
* 5 The Creation of "The Inquisition"
o 5.1 "A Protestant Vision..."
o 5.2 The Revolt of the Netherlands
o 5.3 Montanus
o 5.4 William of Orange
o 5.5 The Black Legend
o 5.6 The Enlightenment and Art
* 6 See also
* 7 Resources
* 8 Footnotes
* 9 External links

[edit] Significant works

The two most significant and extensively cited sources of this revised
analysis of the historiography of the inquisitorial proceedings are
Inquisition (1988) by Edward Peters and The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision (1997) by Henry Kamen. These works focus on
exposing and correcting what they argue are popular modern
misconceptions about the inquisitions and historical
misinterpretations of their activities. The following text presents
Peters? and Kamen?s ideas.

[edit] Understanding inquisitions

Because the inquisitorial process was not based on tolerant principles
and doctrines such as freedom of thought and freedom of religion that
became prominent in Western thinking during the eighteenth century,
modern society has an inherent difficulty in understanding the
inquisitorial institutions. From the Middle Ages well into the
seventeenth century in Catholic Europe, the law stated that the worst
offence one could commit was that which threatened the unity and
security of the Catholic Church, and most importantly, the salvation
of souls.[2] Uniformity of worship does not appear to have been the
motivation for setting up the Spanish Inquisition at all.[3] ?The
Inquisition can only be understood within the framework of the
centuries of its existence, when religious uniformity and orthodoxy
and obedience to authority were enforced by almost all political and
religious institutions, and were considered essential for the very
survival of society" (Hitchcock 1996).

Regardless of the century, inquisitions were ecclesiastical
investigations conducted either directly by the Catholic Church or by
secular authorities with the support of the Church. These
investigations were undertaken at varying times in varying regions
under the authority of the local bishop and his designates or under
the sponsorship of papal-appointed legates. The purpose of each
inquisition was specific to the outstanding circumstances of the
region in which it was held. Investigations usually involved a legal
process, the goal of which was to obtain a confession and
reconciliation with the Church from those who were accused of heresy
or of participating in activities contrary to Church Canon law. The
objectives of the inquisitions were to secure the repentance of the
accused and to maintain the authority of the Church. Inquisitions were
conducted with the collaboration of secular authorities. If an
investigation resulted in a person being convicted of heresy and
unwillingness to repent punishment was administered by the secular
authorities.

[edit] The Inquisitions in France
Further information: Medieval Inquisition

[edit] Cathars and Waldensians

The two heresies that gave birth to the French medieval inquisitions
were that of the Cathars (also known as the Albigensians) and the
Waldensians. The Cathars essentially believed that a ?good god?
created everything heavenly while an ?evil god? ? the God of the Old
Testament ? created the material world with the Church acting as its
vehicle (Horvat 1998: 4). The Waldensians rejected the sacramental
authority of the Church and its clerics and encouraged apostolic
poverty (Peters 1988: 43). These movements became particularly popular
in Southern France as well as Northern Italy and parts of Germany.
Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century often pointed to these
movements as part of an underground reformed Church that had been the
victim of persecution for centuries even though the Cathars and the
Waldensians had an unquestionably non-Reformed, dualistic perception
of God (Peters 1988: 123).

[edit] The "Grand Program"

During the eleventh century, a new wave of religiosity swept through
Europe. It claimed that the prospect of salvation in the world would
greatly increase if the world were reformed. In addition, the papacy
itself underwent reform at the end of the eleventh century and the
Church began devising its ?grand program of sanctifying the world?
(Peters 1988: 40). This ?grand program? was a combination of the
Church?s need to reform its institutional life, free itself from
secular control, and to build a Christian society. There was also a
growing opinion that those who rebelled from the church's beliefs
(heretics) or those who behaved in a manner that was ?un-Christian?
were not simply souls led astray in a ?temptation-filled world, but
[were] subverters of the world?s new course? (Peters 1988: 40).

Until the late twelfth century, the investigation of heresy was
considered the responsibility of local churches and it was held that
local secular authorities would prosecute heretics. However, in 1179,
the Church?s ?grand program of sanctifying the world? saw the creation
of The Third Lateran Council that included a canon condemning heretics
(Peters 1988: 47). In 1184, Pope Lucius III issued the Ad abolendam,
labeled "the founding charter of the inquisition," that called for
those found as heretics by the local church to be turned over to
secular courts (Peters 1988: 47). Finally, in 1199, Pope Innocent III
equated heresy with treason and in 1208 called for a ?crusade? against
the Albigensians (Peters 1988: 50).

[edit] The "Albigensian Crusade"

According to Peters the violence of the following ?Albigensian
Crusade? was not in line with the reforms and plans of Innocent, who
stressed confession, reform of the clergy and laity, and pastoral
teachings to oppose heresy (Peters 1988: 50-51). Peters asserts that
the violence was due to the ?crusade? being under the control of mobs,
petty rulers, and local bishops who did not uphold Innocent?s ideas,
armies from northern France swept through the south and essentially
eradicated the Albigensians. The uncontainable, prejudicial passion of
local mobs and heresy hunters, the violence of secular courts, and the
bloodshed of the Albigensian crusade sparked a desire within the
papacy to implement greater control over the prosecution of heresy.
This desire led to the development of organized legal procedures for
dealing with heretics (Peters 1988: 52-58).

[edit] Codes and torture

The new codes and procedures detailed how an inquisitorial court was
to function. If the accused renounced their heresy and returned to the
Church, forgiveness was granted and a penance was imposed. If the
accused upheld their heresy, they were excommunicated and turned over
to secular authorities. The penalties for heresy, though not as severe
as the secular courts of Europe at the time, were codified within the
ecclesiastic courts as well (e.g. confiscation of property, turning
heretics over to the secular courts for punishment) (Horvat 1998: 7;
Peters 1988: 58-67). Additionally, the various ?key terms? of the
inquisitorial courts were defined at this time, including, for
example, ?heretics,? ?believers,? ?those suspect of heresy,? ?those
simply suspected,? ?those vehemently suspected,? and ?those most
vehemently suspected? (Peters 1988: 63).

Generally, inquisitorial courts functioned much like the secular
courts of the time, though their sentences and penances were less
cruel. (Peters 1988: 65) A number of procedures and protections
restricted the torture of the accused and capital punishment was
executed by secular authorities in light of the clerical prohibition
on shedding blood. (Peters 1988: 45) However, much inhumane torture
could nonetheless be inflicted. Torture was not used as a form of
punishment, as was frequent in secular courts. Any confession made
following or during torture had to be freely repeated the next day
without torture or it was considered invalid (Peters 1988: 65).
?Technically, therefore, torture was strictly a means of obtaining the
only full proof available?[The inquisitors?] tasks were not only ? or
even primarily ? to convict the contumacious heretic, but?to preserve
the unity of the Church? (Peters 1988: 65).

After the suppression of the Albigensian heresy in southern France in
the thirteenth century, inquisitorial trials diminished in the face of
more pressing local needs and any lingering trials were left to
secular authorities. Inquisitorial courts conducted under local
episcopacies worked closely with local secular authorities and dealt
with local circumstances. Regional control of the inquisitorial
process and regional concerns became dominant (Peters 1988: 74). By
the mid to late fourteenth century, papal-commissioned inquisitors
were dissolved in many parts of Europe.

[edit] The Inquisitions in Spain
Further information: Spanish Inquisition

[edit] Antisemitism and the "conversos"

Antisemitic attitudes increased all over Europe during the late
thirteenth century and throughout the fourteenth century. England and
France expelled their Jewish populations in 1290 and 1306 respectively
(Peters 1988: 79). At the same time, during the Reconquista, Spain?s
anti-Jewish sentiment steadily increased. This prejudice climaxed in
the summer of 1391 when violent anti-Jewish riots broke out in Spanish
cities like Barcelona (Peters 1988: 82). These mob riots led to major
forced conversions of Jews to Christianity. To distinguish them from
non-converted or long-established Christian families, new converts
were labeled conversos, or New Christians. These distinctions formed
part of the limpieza de sangre ("blood purity") doctrine.

Peters writes,

?From the mid fifteenth century on, religious anti-Semitism
changed into ethnic anti-Semitism, with little difference seen between
Jews and conversos except for the fact that conversos were regarded as
worse than Jews because, as ostensible Christians, they had acquired
privileges and positions that were denied to Jews. The result of this
new ethnic anti-Semitism was the invocation of an inquisition to
ferret out the false conversos who had, by becoming formal Christians,
placed themselves under its authority? (Peters 1988: 84). It was a
heated mixture of this racial and religious prejudice against the
conversos that ignited what later became known as the ?Spanish
Inquisition.?

[edit] Papal Bull

Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella requested a papal bull
establishing an inquisition in Spain in 1478 in response to the unrest
and mob violence against the conversos. Pope Sixtus IV granted a bull
permitting the monarchs to select and appoint two or three priests
over forty years of age to act as inquisitors (Peters 1988: 85). In
1483, Ferdinand and Isabella established a state council to administer
the inquisition with the Dominican Friar Tom?s de Torquemada acting as
its president, even though Sixtus IV protested the activities of the
inquisition in Aragon and its treatment of the conversos. Torquemada
eventually assumed the title of Inquisitor-General (Peters 1988: 89).

The main heresy prosecuted during the period of inquisitions in Spain
was the alleged secret practice of Judaism among the conversos. From
the establishment of the inquisitions up to 1530, it is estimated that
approximately 2,000 ?heretics? were turned over to the secular
authorities for execution in Spain (Kamen 1997: 74). Many of those
convicted of heresy were conversos who fled Spain, often to Italy
where conversos were not subject to prejudice (Peters 1988: 110).

There were so few Protestants in Spain that widespread persecution of
Protestantism was not physically possible. In the 1560s, a little over
one hundred people in Spain were convicted of Protestantism and were
turned over to the secular authorities for execution. From 1560 to
1599, two hundred more people were accused of being followers of
Martin Luther. ?Most of them were in no sense
Protestants...Irreligious sentiments, drunken mockery, anticlerical
expressions, were all captiously classified by the inquisitors (or by
those who denounced the cases) as ?Lutheran?? (Kamen 1997: 98).

[edit] Procedure and torture

Evidence and witness testimony was gathered before an arrest was made.
Once an arrest was made, the accused was given several opportunities
to admit to any heretical behavior before the charges against him/her
were identified. If the accused did not admit to any wrongdoing, the
inquisitors dictated the charges and the accused was required to
respond to them immediately (Peters 1988: 93). Torture was used;
however, it was allowed solely in cases that involved charges of
religious heresy only. Because many inquisitorial trials did not
involve heresy alone, torture was relatively rare. Additionally, the
restrictions on torture in the inquisitorial courts were much more
stringent than those that regulated the torture in the secular courts.
Torture was only used for extracting confessions during a trial and
was not used as punishment after sentencing. If torture was utilized,
the accused was required to repeat their repentance freely and without
torture (Peters 1988: 92-93). The Inquisition also had a rule that
they were only allowed to use torture once, however, they were able to
'suspend' sessions and resume them the following day, so that this
rule was effectively negated.[citation needed]

As seen in the French inquisitions, the purpose of Spanish
inquisitorial torture was to gain either information or confession,
not to punish. It was used in a relatively small percentage of trials,
since of course the threat of torture if no confession was given was
often enough to induce one, and was usually a last resort (Kamen 1997:
174-192). The ?scenes of sadism conjured up by popular writers on the
inquisition have little basis in reality, though the whole procedure
was unpleasant enough [even] to arouse periodic protests from
Spaniards? (Kamen 1997: 189).

[edit] The auto de fe

The auto de fe that followed trials is the most infamous and
misunderstood part of the inquisitions in Spain. The auto de fe
involved prayer, a Catholic mass, a public procession of those found
guilty, and a reading of their sentences (Peters 1988: 93-94).
Artistic representations of the auto de fe usually depict torture and
the burning at the stake. These paintings became a major source for
creating the violent image popularly associated with the Spanish
inquisitions. However, this type of activity never took place during
an auto de fe, which was in essence a religious act. Torture was not
administered after a trial concluded and executions were always held
after and separate from the auto de fe (Kamen 1997: 192-213).

Between 1550 and 1800, the inquisitions in Spain focused on not only
Protestants, but also the conversos, the supervision of their own
clergy, the general problem of non-mainstream religious beliefs among
Catholics, and ?blasphemous? or ?scandalous? behavior (Peters 1988:
86). Spanish inquisitions were not exceptionally different from other
European courts of the time in their prosecution of these offences, as
many of these charges were viewed as part of a broad class of moral
crimes that raised legitimate concern to spiritual and secular courts
in an age when religion was regarded as the fundamental foundation of
society (Peters 1988: 87).

[edit] The Inquisitions in Italy
Further information: Roman Inquisition

[edit] Context

Increasing trends in regionalism, the criticism of ecclesiastic
abuses, the Avignon Papacy, and the Great Schism all contributed to
the emergence of new religious dissent and unrest in fourteenth and
fifteenth century Italy. Furthermore, widespread ecclesiastical and
clerical reform advanced through the last decades of the fifteenth
century, and by the second decade of the sixteenth century, reform
movements prevailed in many parts of Europe (Peters 1988: 106).

The protests raised by Martin Luther that began in 1517 did not
initially receive much attention from the papacy (Peters 1988: 107).
Luther and his supporters concreted the principles of the Protestant
Reformation during the 1520s, sparking the development of many reform
movements in various regions of Italy. By the time of the pontificate
of Paul III, the Reform movement had swept much of Europe away from
the Catholic Church. In response, Paul III issued the Licet ab initio,
establishing inquisitions in Rome in 1542 (Peters 1988: 108). These
inquisitions consisted of six cardinals given the authority to
investigate heresy and to appoint deputies when they deemed necessary.

[edit] The creation of the Holy Office

Although the Roman inquisitions worked moderately and guardedly during
the remainder of the pontificate of Paul III, they became an essential
part of the structure of Rome when Paul IV, who became pope in 1555,
launched the Counter-Reformation that Paul III began (Peters 1988:
108). Later, in 1588, Pope Sixtus V officially organized the
inquisitions into the Congregation of the Holy Roman and Universal
Inquisition or Holy Office (Peters 1988: 109). It is important to
note, however, that this was only one of fifteen administrative
departments of the papal government and was not the sole operating
body of the Church.

[edit] "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions

Even though the inquisitions in Spain prosecuted a small quantity of
Reformers, the Roman inquisitions were the first to target
intentionally and specifically the ?heresy? of Protestantism. These
inquisitions and their subordinate tribunals were generally successful
in keeping any substantial Protestant influence from spreading
throughout Italy (Peters 1988: 110). Protestants in the decades and
centuries to come would use this relatively short-lived persecution as
the basis for their accusations about the awful ?Inquisition.?
Protestant movements were reduced by around 1600, so for the duration
of the seventeenth century the Roman inquisitions turned their focus
to offences other than Protestantism, notably ?magical? heresy (Peters
1988: 111).

In many trials involving ?witchcraft? or ?sorcery,? ?the inquisitors
understood very well that the lack of catechesis or consistent
pastoral guidance could often result in misunderstandings of doctrine
and liturgy, and they showed tolerance of all but the most unavoidably
serious circumstances. Thus, although both the Spanish and Roman
inquisitions prosecuted the offenses of witchcraft and sorcery very
early and vigorously, they also were the first courts to be skeptical
of the evidence and mechanism of witchcraft accusations, and they
consistently offered the most lenient treatment to marginal cases?
(Peters 1988: 111).

Italian historian Andrea Del Col estimates that out of 62,000 cases
judged by Inquisition in Italy after 1542 only 2% (ca. 1250) ended
with death sentence.[4]

[edit] Evolution of the Holy Office

By the turn of the eighteenth century, the Congregation of the Holy
Office had virtually no power or influence outside the Papal States
(Peters 1988: 119). Its main function shifted yet again to the
investigation of clerical immorality and corruption and to the
censoring of printed books, the latter of which was the key
responsibility of the Congregation of the Index (Peters 1988: 119). By
1860, the restrictions placed upon ecclesiastical authority and the
emerging national Italian state only further reduced the activities of
the Holy Office. With its powers reduced to the weakened Papal State,
the Office became an advisory committee to the late nineteenth century
popes, where it played a far greater advisory than executive role
(Peters 1988: 120).

In 1965 Pope Paul VI changed the Office?s name to The Sacred
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and abolished the Congregation
of the Index entirely in 1966. Since then, the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith has functioned as a papal advisor on theological
matters and on matters of ecclesiastical discipline. ?Although its
work is regular, the Congregation can now hardly be thought of as an
Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 120).

[edit] The Creation of "The Inquisition"

The modern day notion of a unified and horrible ?Inquisition? is an
assemblage of the ?body of legends and myths which, between the
sixteenth and the twentieth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality? (Peters 1988: 122). It
was the relatively limited persecution of Protestants, mostly by the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, that provoked the first image of ?The
Inquisition? as the most violent and suppressive vehicle of the Church
against Protestantism. Later, philosophical critics of religious
persecution and the Catholic Church only furthered this image during
the Enlightenment (Peters 1988: 122).

[edit] "A Protestant Vision..."

What made it possible for the Reformers to characterize ?The
Inquisition? was the clerical organization and support of the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, their ?united? success in keeping
Protestant doctrines out of their countries, and the fear of ?The
Inquisition? being initiated in other parts of Europe. ?As a
Protestant vision of Christian history took shape in the sixteenth
century, the contemporary inquisitions were identified with the
inquisitorial tribunals of the medieval past, and the Protestant
Reformers with earlier victims of The Inquisition ? (Peters 1988:
122). Additionally, Catholic defenders of the inquisitorial process
used the same argument ? that the Reformers were no different from
medieval heretics and should be prosecuted in the same manner ? thus
perpetuating the idea of a continuous, masterminded, ?Inquisition?
(Peters 1988: 123).

Within the climate of religious persecution that clouded much of the
sixteenth century, martyrdom became a Protestant narrative of
religious struggle against the Catholic Church, especially Catholic
Spain. Reformers presented ?The Inquisition? as a unified,
papal-dominated process that lasted from the thirteenth century
through the seventeenth century. They created accounts of Protestant
martyrs and a ?hidden? Church, which produced extreme anti-Catholic
attitudes (Peters 1988: 123). Additionally, European political
resentment against Spain, which was the greatest power in Europe at
the time, took focus on ?The Inquisition.? This resentment and the
resulting anti-?Inquisition? propaganda that was published came to a
head during the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain (Peters 1988:
144).

[edit] The Revolt of the Netherlands

By around 1550, the Dutch ?printing press and propaganda turned to the
service of political reform, with The Inquisition as a major focus,
on?a wide scale and with?devastating effects? (Peters 1988: 144). Even
though the Dutch organized their own state-run inquisitions, it was
feared that King Philip II would implement a new ?Spanish Inquisition?
in the Netherlands to eliminate Protestantism. Popular literature,
circulating pamphlets, and other images painted the picture of a
widespread, awful ?Spanish Inquisition.? Eventually, ?The Inquisition?
became viewed as the primary instrument of Catholic tyranny, not only
of Protestants, but also of freedom of thought and religion in
general. However, exporting the Inquisition to the Netherlands was
never in the plans of the Spanish Habsburg rulers, at least after the
time of Charles V.

[edit] Montanus

In 1567, the Spanish Protestant Antonio del Corro, a close relative of
an inquisitor and ferocious enemy of the Spanish Inquisition,
published A Discovery and Plaine Declaration of Sundry Subtill
Practices of the Holy Inquisition of Spain under the pseudonym
Reginaldus Gonzalvus Montanus (Peters 1988: 133). This document, along
with a number of successive publications, was reprinted and translated
throughout Europe and became the definitive source on ?The
Inquisition? for hundreds of years. ?Montanus portray[ed] every victim
of the Inquisition as innocent, every Inquisition official as venal
and deceitful, [and] every step in its procedure as a violation of
natural and rational law? (Peters 1988: 134). The majority of the
?histories? about ?The Inquisition? written after 1567 relied on
Montanus as their main source.

[edit] William of Orange

Also cited as one of the most famous documents supporting the myth of
?The Inquisition? is the Apologie of William of Orange, published in
1581 (Peters 1988: 153). Written by the French Huguenot Pierre
Loyseleur de Villiers, the Apologie also narrated an horrific ?Spanish
Inquisition.? This document preserved and reinforced all of the
anti-?Inquisition? propaganda generated at the beginning and
throughout the Dutch revolt (Peters 1988: 153).

[edit] The Black Legend

During this time, England, under the rule of the Protestant Queen
Elizabeth I and threatened with military attacks from Spain, found a
new surge of nationalism being fueled by anti-Catholic propaganda
centered on a series of books and pamphlets that detailed the horror
of the ?Spanish Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 139-144). Peters writes,
?An image of Spain circulated through late sixteenth-century Europe,
borne by means of political and religious propaganda that blackened
the characters of Spaniards and their ruler to such an extent that
Spain became the symbol of all forces of repression, brutality,
religious and political intolerance, and intellectual and artistic
backwardness for the next four centuries. Spaniards?have termed this
process and the image that resulted from it as ?The Black Legend,? la
leyenda negra? (Peters 1988: 131).

[edit] The Enlightenment and Art

By the seventeenth century, ?The Inquisition? provided political and
philosophical thinkers with an ideal symbol of religious intolerance.
These philosophers and politicians passionately denounced ?The
Inquisition,? citing it as the cause for all the political and
economic failures in countries where ?Inquisitions? were held. From
these debates on toleration, ?The Inquisition? was presented by French
philosophes as the worst of any religious evil to ever come out of
Europe (Peters 1988: 155-154). Additionally, writers, artists, and
sculptors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries used ?The
Inquisition? as one of their main inspirations, retaliating against
?The Inquisition?s? suppression of creativity, literature, and art
(Peters 1988: 189). These artistic images have arguably become some of
the most long-lasting and effective perpetuators of ?The Inquisition?
myth.

[edit] See also

* Inquisition
* Cardinal Ximenes
* Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
* Execution by burning
* List of Grand Inquisitors of Spain
* Historical revisionism (negationism)
* History of the Jews in Spain
* Medieval Inquisition
* Mexican Inquisition
* Peruvian Inquisition
* Portuguese Inquisition
* Roman Inquisition
* Spanish Inquisition
* Histoire de l'Inquisition en France

[edit] Resources

* Peters, Edward. Inquisition. New York: The Free Press, 1988.
* Bradley, Gerard. ?One Cheer for Inquisitions.? Catholic Dossier.
Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Carroll, Anne W. ?The Inquisition.? Christ the King: Lord of
History. Rockford Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers Inc, 1994.
207-211.
* Hitchock, James. ?Inquisition.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6
(Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Horvat, Marian. ?The Holy Inquisition: Myth or Reality.?
Catholic Family News. (Mar, 1998).
* Kamen, Henry. The Spanish Inquisition : A Historical Revision.
London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997.
* Kelly, Henry A. ?Inquisition and the Prosecution of Heresy:
Misconceptions and Abuses.? Church History. Vol. 58, No. 4 (Dec,
1989). 439-451.
* Madden, Thomas F. ?The Real Inquisition: Investigating the
Popular Myth.? National Review Online. June 18, 2004.
* O?Connell, Marvin R. ?The Spanish Inquisition: Fact Versus
Fiction.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Parker, Geoffrey. ?Some Recent Work on the Inquisition in Spain
and Italy.? The Journal of Modern History. Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sept,
1982). 519-532.
* Rice, Ellen. ?The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition.? Catholic
Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Sanchez, M. G. Anti-Spanish Sentiment in English Literary and
Political Writing. (PhD Diss, University of Leeds, 2004).
* Van Hove, S.J., Fr. Brian. ?Beyond the Myth of The Inquisition:
Ours is ?The Golden Age?.? Faith and Reason. (Winter, 1992).

[edit] Footnotes

1. ^ Iarocci, Michael P. (1 March 2006). Properties of Modernity.
Vanderbilt University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8265-1522-3.
http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0826515223&id=CuliwYNyvSUC&pg=PA218&lpg=PA218&sig=DOZYfMfF_RBMgzsbT8KfXVqO3y4.
2. ^ This concern is reflected by a Papal bull issued on April 18,
1482 by Pope Sixtus IV, bull in which he protested

that in Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, and Catalonia the
Inquisition has for some time been moved not by zeal for the faith and
the salvation of souls but by lust for wealth. Many true and faithful
Christians, on the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves, and other
lower and even less proper persons, have without any legitimate proof
been thrust into secular prisons, tortured and condemned as relapsed
heretics, deprived of their goods and property and handed over to the
secular arm to be executed, to the peril of souls, setting a
pernicious example, and causing disgust to many.

Kamen, Henry (23 November 2000). The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision. Orion Publishing Group. p. 49. ISBN
1-84212-205-3.
3. ^ Kamen, p. 61.
4. ^ INTOLLERANZA RELIGIOSA - ALLE RADICI DELLA VIOLENZA

[edit] External links

* FAQ on the Inquisition by James Hannam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_revision_of_the_Inquisition
Goanet News
2009-06-23 00:00:15 UTC
Permalink
Historical revision of the Inquisition
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Historical revision of the Inquisition is a historiographical
project that has emerged in recent years. In the last forty years,
with opening of formerly closed archives, the development of new
historical methodologies, and, in Spain, the death of Francisco Franco
in 1975, new works of historical revisionism have reread the history
of the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions.

Writers associated with this project share the view of Edward Peters,
a prominent historian in the field, who states: "The Inquisition was
an image assembled from a body of legends and myths which, between the
twentieth and the sixteenth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality."[1]
Contents
[show]

* 1 Significant works
o 1.1 Understanding inquisitions
* 2 The Inquisitions in France
o 2.1 Cathars and Waldensians
o 2.2 The "Grand Program"
o 2.3 The "Albigensian Crusade"
o 2.4 Codes and torture
* 3 The Inquisitions in Spain
o 3.1 Antisemitism and the "conversos"
o 3.2 Papal Bull
o 3.3 Procedure and torture
o 3.4 The auto de fe
* 4 The Inquisitions in Italy
o 4.1 Context
o 4.2 The creation of the Holy Office
o 4.3 "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions
o 4.4 Evolution of the Holy Office
* 5 The Creation of "The Inquisition"
o 5.1 "A Protestant Vision..."
o 5.2 The Revolt of the Netherlands
o 5.3 Montanus
o 5.4 William of Orange
o 5.5 The Black Legend
o 5.6 The Enlightenment and Art
* 6 See also
* 7 Resources
* 8 Footnotes
* 9 External links

[edit] Significant works

The two most significant and extensively cited sources of this revised
analysis of the historiography of the inquisitorial proceedings are
Inquisition (1988) by Edward Peters and The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision (1997) by Henry Kamen. These works focus on
exposing and correcting what they argue are popular modern
misconceptions about the inquisitions and historical
misinterpretations of their activities. The following text presents
Peters? and Kamen?s ideas.

[edit] Understanding inquisitions

Because the inquisitorial process was not based on tolerant principles
and doctrines such as freedom of thought and freedom of religion that
became prominent in Western thinking during the eighteenth century,
modern society has an inherent difficulty in understanding the
inquisitorial institutions. From the Middle Ages well into the
seventeenth century in Catholic Europe, the law stated that the worst
offence one could commit was that which threatened the unity and
security of the Catholic Church, and most importantly, the salvation
of souls.[2] Uniformity of worship does not appear to have been the
motivation for setting up the Spanish Inquisition at all.[3] ?The
Inquisition can only be understood within the framework of the
centuries of its existence, when religious uniformity and orthodoxy
and obedience to authority were enforced by almost all political and
religious institutions, and were considered essential for the very
survival of society" (Hitchcock 1996).

Regardless of the century, inquisitions were ecclesiastical
investigations conducted either directly by the Catholic Church or by
secular authorities with the support of the Church. These
investigations were undertaken at varying times in varying regions
under the authority of the local bishop and his designates or under
the sponsorship of papal-appointed legates. The purpose of each
inquisition was specific to the outstanding circumstances of the
region in which it was held. Investigations usually involved a legal
process, the goal of which was to obtain a confession and
reconciliation with the Church from those who were accused of heresy
or of participating in activities contrary to Church Canon law. The
objectives of the inquisitions were to secure the repentance of the
accused and to maintain the authority of the Church. Inquisitions were
conducted with the collaboration of secular authorities. If an
investigation resulted in a person being convicted of heresy and
unwillingness to repent punishment was administered by the secular
authorities.

[edit] The Inquisitions in France
Further information: Medieval Inquisition

[edit] Cathars and Waldensians

The two heresies that gave birth to the French medieval inquisitions
were that of the Cathars (also known as the Albigensians) and the
Waldensians. The Cathars essentially believed that a ?good god?
created everything heavenly while an ?evil god? ? the God of the Old
Testament ? created the material world with the Church acting as its
vehicle (Horvat 1998: 4). The Waldensians rejected the sacramental
authority of the Church and its clerics and encouraged apostolic
poverty (Peters 1988: 43). These movements became particularly popular
in Southern France as well as Northern Italy and parts of Germany.
Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century often pointed to these
movements as part of an underground reformed Church that had been the
victim of persecution for centuries even though the Cathars and the
Waldensians had an unquestionably non-Reformed, dualistic perception
of God (Peters 1988: 123).

[edit] The "Grand Program"

During the eleventh century, a new wave of religiosity swept through
Europe. It claimed that the prospect of salvation in the world would
greatly increase if the world were reformed. In addition, the papacy
itself underwent reform at the end of the eleventh century and the
Church began devising its ?grand program of sanctifying the world?
(Peters 1988: 40). This ?grand program? was a combination of the
Church?s need to reform its institutional life, free itself from
secular control, and to build a Christian society. There was also a
growing opinion that those who rebelled from the church's beliefs
(heretics) or those who behaved in a manner that was ?un-Christian?
were not simply souls led astray in a ?temptation-filled world, but
[were] subverters of the world?s new course? (Peters 1988: 40).

Until the late twelfth century, the investigation of heresy was
considered the responsibility of local churches and it was held that
local secular authorities would prosecute heretics. However, in 1179,
the Church?s ?grand program of sanctifying the world? saw the creation
of The Third Lateran Council that included a canon condemning heretics
(Peters 1988: 47). In 1184, Pope Lucius III issued the Ad abolendam,
labeled "the founding charter of the inquisition," that called for
those found as heretics by the local church to be turned over to
secular courts (Peters 1988: 47). Finally, in 1199, Pope Innocent III
equated heresy with treason and in 1208 called for a ?crusade? against
the Albigensians (Peters 1988: 50).

[edit] The "Albigensian Crusade"

According to Peters the violence of the following ?Albigensian
Crusade? was not in line with the reforms and plans of Innocent, who
stressed confession, reform of the clergy and laity, and pastoral
teachings to oppose heresy (Peters 1988: 50-51). Peters asserts that
the violence was due to the ?crusade? being under the control of mobs,
petty rulers, and local bishops who did not uphold Innocent?s ideas,
armies from northern France swept through the south and essentially
eradicated the Albigensians. The uncontainable, prejudicial passion of
local mobs and heresy hunters, the violence of secular courts, and the
bloodshed of the Albigensian crusade sparked a desire within the
papacy to implement greater control over the prosecution of heresy.
This desire led to the development of organized legal procedures for
dealing with heretics (Peters 1988: 52-58).

[edit] Codes and torture

The new codes and procedures detailed how an inquisitorial court was
to function. If the accused renounced their heresy and returned to the
Church, forgiveness was granted and a penance was imposed. If the
accused upheld their heresy, they were excommunicated and turned over
to secular authorities. The penalties for heresy, though not as severe
as the secular courts of Europe at the time, were codified within the
ecclesiastic courts as well (e.g. confiscation of property, turning
heretics over to the secular courts for punishment) (Horvat 1998: 7;
Peters 1988: 58-67). Additionally, the various ?key terms? of the
inquisitorial courts were defined at this time, including, for
example, ?heretics,? ?believers,? ?those suspect of heresy,? ?those
simply suspected,? ?those vehemently suspected,? and ?those most
vehemently suspected? (Peters 1988: 63).

Generally, inquisitorial courts functioned much like the secular
courts of the time, though their sentences and penances were less
cruel. (Peters 1988: 65) A number of procedures and protections
restricted the torture of the accused and capital punishment was
executed by secular authorities in light of the clerical prohibition
on shedding blood. (Peters 1988: 45) However, much inhumane torture
could nonetheless be inflicted. Torture was not used as a form of
punishment, as was frequent in secular courts. Any confession made
following or during torture had to be freely repeated the next day
without torture or it was considered invalid (Peters 1988: 65).
?Technically, therefore, torture was strictly a means of obtaining the
only full proof available?[The inquisitors?] tasks were not only ? or
even primarily ? to convict the contumacious heretic, but?to preserve
the unity of the Church? (Peters 1988: 65).

After the suppression of the Albigensian heresy in southern France in
the thirteenth century, inquisitorial trials diminished in the face of
more pressing local needs and any lingering trials were left to
secular authorities. Inquisitorial courts conducted under local
episcopacies worked closely with local secular authorities and dealt
with local circumstances. Regional control of the inquisitorial
process and regional concerns became dominant (Peters 1988: 74). By
the mid to late fourteenth century, papal-commissioned inquisitors
were dissolved in many parts of Europe.

[edit] The Inquisitions in Spain
Further information: Spanish Inquisition

[edit] Antisemitism and the "conversos"

Antisemitic attitudes increased all over Europe during the late
thirteenth century and throughout the fourteenth century. England and
France expelled their Jewish populations in 1290 and 1306 respectively
(Peters 1988: 79). At the same time, during the Reconquista, Spain?s
anti-Jewish sentiment steadily increased. This prejudice climaxed in
the summer of 1391 when violent anti-Jewish riots broke out in Spanish
cities like Barcelona (Peters 1988: 82). These mob riots led to major
forced conversions of Jews to Christianity. To distinguish them from
non-converted or long-established Christian families, new converts
were labeled conversos, or New Christians. These distinctions formed
part of the limpieza de sangre ("blood purity") doctrine.

Peters writes,

?From the mid fifteenth century on, religious anti-Semitism
changed into ethnic anti-Semitism, with little difference seen between
Jews and conversos except for the fact that conversos were regarded as
worse than Jews because, as ostensible Christians, they had acquired
privileges and positions that were denied to Jews. The result of this
new ethnic anti-Semitism was the invocation of an inquisition to
ferret out the false conversos who had, by becoming formal Christians,
placed themselves under its authority? (Peters 1988: 84). It was a
heated mixture of this racial and religious prejudice against the
conversos that ignited what later became known as the ?Spanish
Inquisition.?

[edit] Papal Bull

Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella requested a papal bull
establishing an inquisition in Spain in 1478 in response to the unrest
and mob violence against the conversos. Pope Sixtus IV granted a bull
permitting the monarchs to select and appoint two or three priests
over forty years of age to act as inquisitors (Peters 1988: 85). In
1483, Ferdinand and Isabella established a state council to administer
the inquisition with the Dominican Friar Tom?s de Torquemada acting as
its president, even though Sixtus IV protested the activities of the
inquisition in Aragon and its treatment of the conversos. Torquemada
eventually assumed the title of Inquisitor-General (Peters 1988: 89).

The main heresy prosecuted during the period of inquisitions in Spain
was the alleged secret practice of Judaism among the conversos. From
the establishment of the inquisitions up to 1530, it is estimated that
approximately 2,000 ?heretics? were turned over to the secular
authorities for execution in Spain (Kamen 1997: 74). Many of those
convicted of heresy were conversos who fled Spain, often to Italy
where conversos were not subject to prejudice (Peters 1988: 110).

There were so few Protestants in Spain that widespread persecution of
Protestantism was not physically possible. In the 1560s, a little over
one hundred people in Spain were convicted of Protestantism and were
turned over to the secular authorities for execution. From 1560 to
1599, two hundred more people were accused of being followers of
Martin Luther. ?Most of them were in no sense
Protestants...Irreligious sentiments, drunken mockery, anticlerical
expressions, were all captiously classified by the inquisitors (or by
those who denounced the cases) as ?Lutheran?? (Kamen 1997: 98).

[edit] Procedure and torture

Evidence and witness testimony was gathered before an arrest was made.
Once an arrest was made, the accused was given several opportunities
to admit to any heretical behavior before the charges against him/her
were identified. If the accused did not admit to any wrongdoing, the
inquisitors dictated the charges and the accused was required to
respond to them immediately (Peters 1988: 93). Torture was used;
however, it was allowed solely in cases that involved charges of
religious heresy only. Because many inquisitorial trials did not
involve heresy alone, torture was relatively rare. Additionally, the
restrictions on torture in the inquisitorial courts were much more
stringent than those that regulated the torture in the secular courts.
Torture was only used for extracting confessions during a trial and
was not used as punishment after sentencing. If torture was utilized,
the accused was required to repeat their repentance freely and without
torture (Peters 1988: 92-93). The Inquisition also had a rule that
they were only allowed to use torture once, however, they were able to
'suspend' sessions and resume them the following day, so that this
rule was effectively negated.[citation needed]

As seen in the French inquisitions, the purpose of Spanish
inquisitorial torture was to gain either information or confession,
not to punish. It was used in a relatively small percentage of trials,
since of course the threat of torture if no confession was given was
often enough to induce one, and was usually a last resort (Kamen 1997:
174-192). The ?scenes of sadism conjured up by popular writers on the
inquisition have little basis in reality, though the whole procedure
was unpleasant enough [even] to arouse periodic protests from
Spaniards? (Kamen 1997: 189).

[edit] The auto de fe

The auto de fe that followed trials is the most infamous and
misunderstood part of the inquisitions in Spain. The auto de fe
involved prayer, a Catholic mass, a public procession of those found
guilty, and a reading of their sentences (Peters 1988: 93-94).
Artistic representations of the auto de fe usually depict torture and
the burning at the stake. These paintings became a major source for
creating the violent image popularly associated with the Spanish
inquisitions. However, this type of activity never took place during
an auto de fe, which was in essence a religious act. Torture was not
administered after a trial concluded and executions were always held
after and separate from the auto de fe (Kamen 1997: 192-213).

Between 1550 and 1800, the inquisitions in Spain focused on not only
Protestants, but also the conversos, the supervision of their own
clergy, the general problem of non-mainstream religious beliefs among
Catholics, and ?blasphemous? or ?scandalous? behavior (Peters 1988:
86). Spanish inquisitions were not exceptionally different from other
European courts of the time in their prosecution of these offences, as
many of these charges were viewed as part of a broad class of moral
crimes that raised legitimate concern to spiritual and secular courts
in an age when religion was regarded as the fundamental foundation of
society (Peters 1988: 87).

[edit] The Inquisitions in Italy
Further information: Roman Inquisition

[edit] Context

Increasing trends in regionalism, the criticism of ecclesiastic
abuses, the Avignon Papacy, and the Great Schism all contributed to
the emergence of new religious dissent and unrest in fourteenth and
fifteenth century Italy. Furthermore, widespread ecclesiastical and
clerical reform advanced through the last decades of the fifteenth
century, and by the second decade of the sixteenth century, reform
movements prevailed in many parts of Europe (Peters 1988: 106).

The protests raised by Martin Luther that began in 1517 did not
initially receive much attention from the papacy (Peters 1988: 107).
Luther and his supporters concreted the principles of the Protestant
Reformation during the 1520s, sparking the development of many reform
movements in various regions of Italy. By the time of the pontificate
of Paul III, the Reform movement had swept much of Europe away from
the Catholic Church. In response, Paul III issued the Licet ab initio,
establishing inquisitions in Rome in 1542 (Peters 1988: 108). These
inquisitions consisted of six cardinals given the authority to
investigate heresy and to appoint deputies when they deemed necessary.

[edit] The creation of the Holy Office

Although the Roman inquisitions worked moderately and guardedly during
the remainder of the pontificate of Paul III, they became an essential
part of the structure of Rome when Paul IV, who became pope in 1555,
launched the Counter-Reformation that Paul III began (Peters 1988:
108). Later, in 1588, Pope Sixtus V officially organized the
inquisitions into the Congregation of the Holy Roman and Universal
Inquisition or Holy Office (Peters 1988: 109). It is important to
note, however, that this was only one of fifteen administrative
departments of the papal government and was not the sole operating
body of the Church.

[edit] "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions

Even though the inquisitions in Spain prosecuted a small quantity of
Reformers, the Roman inquisitions were the first to target
intentionally and specifically the ?heresy? of Protestantism. These
inquisitions and their subordinate tribunals were generally successful
in keeping any substantial Protestant influence from spreading
throughout Italy (Peters 1988: 110). Protestants in the decades and
centuries to come would use this relatively short-lived persecution as
the basis for their accusations about the awful ?Inquisition.?
Protestant movements were reduced by around 1600, so for the duration
of the seventeenth century the Roman inquisitions turned their focus
to offences other than Protestantism, notably ?magical? heresy (Peters
1988: 111).

In many trials involving ?witchcraft? or ?sorcery,? ?the inquisitors
understood very well that the lack of catechesis or consistent
pastoral guidance could often result in misunderstandings of doctrine
and liturgy, and they showed tolerance of all but the most unavoidably
serious circumstances. Thus, although both the Spanish and Roman
inquisitions prosecuted the offenses of witchcraft and sorcery very
early and vigorously, they also were the first courts to be skeptical
of the evidence and mechanism of witchcraft accusations, and they
consistently offered the most lenient treatment to marginal cases?
(Peters 1988: 111).

Italian historian Andrea Del Col estimates that out of 62,000 cases
judged by Inquisition in Italy after 1542 only 2% (ca. 1250) ended
with death sentence.[4]

[edit] Evolution of the Holy Office

By the turn of the eighteenth century, the Congregation of the Holy
Office had virtually no power or influence outside the Papal States
(Peters 1988: 119). Its main function shifted yet again to the
investigation of clerical immorality and corruption and to the
censoring of printed books, the latter of which was the key
responsibility of the Congregation of the Index (Peters 1988: 119). By
1860, the restrictions placed upon ecclesiastical authority and the
emerging national Italian state only further reduced the activities of
the Holy Office. With its powers reduced to the weakened Papal State,
the Office became an advisory committee to the late nineteenth century
popes, where it played a far greater advisory than executive role
(Peters 1988: 120).

In 1965 Pope Paul VI changed the Office?s name to The Sacred
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and abolished the Congregation
of the Index entirely in 1966. Since then, the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith has functioned as a papal advisor on theological
matters and on matters of ecclesiastical discipline. ?Although its
work is regular, the Congregation can now hardly be thought of as an
Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 120).

[edit] The Creation of "The Inquisition"

The modern day notion of a unified and horrible ?Inquisition? is an
assemblage of the ?body of legends and myths which, between the
sixteenth and the twentieth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality? (Peters 1988: 122). It
was the relatively limited persecution of Protestants, mostly by the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, that provoked the first image of ?The
Inquisition? as the most violent and suppressive vehicle of the Church
against Protestantism. Later, philosophical critics of religious
persecution and the Catholic Church only furthered this image during
the Enlightenment (Peters 1988: 122).

[edit] "A Protestant Vision..."

What made it possible for the Reformers to characterize ?The
Inquisition? was the clerical organization and support of the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, their ?united? success in keeping
Protestant doctrines out of their countries, and the fear of ?The
Inquisition? being initiated in other parts of Europe. ?As a
Protestant vision of Christian history took shape in the sixteenth
century, the contemporary inquisitions were identified with the
inquisitorial tribunals of the medieval past, and the Protestant
Reformers with earlier victims of The Inquisition ? (Peters 1988:
122). Additionally, Catholic defenders of the inquisitorial process
used the same argument ? that the Reformers were no different from
medieval heretics and should be prosecuted in the same manner ? thus
perpetuating the idea of a continuous, masterminded, ?Inquisition?
(Peters 1988: 123).

Within the climate of religious persecution that clouded much of the
sixteenth century, martyrdom became a Protestant narrative of
religious struggle against the Catholic Church, especially Catholic
Spain. Reformers presented ?The Inquisition? as a unified,
papal-dominated process that lasted from the thirteenth century
through the seventeenth century. They created accounts of Protestant
martyrs and a ?hidden? Church, which produced extreme anti-Catholic
attitudes (Peters 1988: 123). Additionally, European political
resentment against Spain, which was the greatest power in Europe at
the time, took focus on ?The Inquisition.? This resentment and the
resulting anti-?Inquisition? propaganda that was published came to a
head during the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain (Peters 1988:
144).

[edit] The Revolt of the Netherlands

By around 1550, the Dutch ?printing press and propaganda turned to the
service of political reform, with The Inquisition as a major focus,
on?a wide scale and with?devastating effects? (Peters 1988: 144). Even
though the Dutch organized their own state-run inquisitions, it was
feared that King Philip II would implement a new ?Spanish Inquisition?
in the Netherlands to eliminate Protestantism. Popular literature,
circulating pamphlets, and other images painted the picture of a
widespread, awful ?Spanish Inquisition.? Eventually, ?The Inquisition?
became viewed as the primary instrument of Catholic tyranny, not only
of Protestants, but also of freedom of thought and religion in
general. However, exporting the Inquisition to the Netherlands was
never in the plans of the Spanish Habsburg rulers, at least after the
time of Charles V.

[edit] Montanus

In 1567, the Spanish Protestant Antonio del Corro, a close relative of
an inquisitor and ferocious enemy of the Spanish Inquisition,
published A Discovery and Plaine Declaration of Sundry Subtill
Practices of the Holy Inquisition of Spain under the pseudonym
Reginaldus Gonzalvus Montanus (Peters 1988: 133). This document, along
with a number of successive publications, was reprinted and translated
throughout Europe and became the definitive source on ?The
Inquisition? for hundreds of years. ?Montanus portray[ed] every victim
of the Inquisition as innocent, every Inquisition official as venal
and deceitful, [and] every step in its procedure as a violation of
natural and rational law? (Peters 1988: 134). The majority of the
?histories? about ?The Inquisition? written after 1567 relied on
Montanus as their main source.

[edit] William of Orange

Also cited as one of the most famous documents supporting the myth of
?The Inquisition? is the Apologie of William of Orange, published in
1581 (Peters 1988: 153). Written by the French Huguenot Pierre
Loyseleur de Villiers, the Apologie also narrated an horrific ?Spanish
Inquisition.? This document preserved and reinforced all of the
anti-?Inquisition? propaganda generated at the beginning and
throughout the Dutch revolt (Peters 1988: 153).

[edit] The Black Legend

During this time, England, under the rule of the Protestant Queen
Elizabeth I and threatened with military attacks from Spain, found a
new surge of nationalism being fueled by anti-Catholic propaganda
centered on a series of books and pamphlets that detailed the horror
of the ?Spanish Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 139-144). Peters writes,
?An image of Spain circulated through late sixteenth-century Europe,
borne by means of political and religious propaganda that blackened
the characters of Spaniards and their ruler to such an extent that
Spain became the symbol of all forces of repression, brutality,
religious and political intolerance, and intellectual and artistic
backwardness for the next four centuries. Spaniards?have termed this
process and the image that resulted from it as ?The Black Legend,? la
leyenda negra? (Peters 1988: 131).

[edit] The Enlightenment and Art

By the seventeenth century, ?The Inquisition? provided political and
philosophical thinkers with an ideal symbol of religious intolerance.
These philosophers and politicians passionately denounced ?The
Inquisition,? citing it as the cause for all the political and
economic failures in countries where ?Inquisitions? were held. From
these debates on toleration, ?The Inquisition? was presented by French
philosophes as the worst of any religious evil to ever come out of
Europe (Peters 1988: 155-154). Additionally, writers, artists, and
sculptors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries used ?The
Inquisition? as one of their main inspirations, retaliating against
?The Inquisition?s? suppression of creativity, literature, and art
(Peters 1988: 189). These artistic images have arguably become some of
the most long-lasting and effective perpetuators of ?The Inquisition?
myth.

[edit] See also

* Inquisition
* Cardinal Ximenes
* Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
* Execution by burning
* List of Grand Inquisitors of Spain
* Historical revisionism (negationism)
* History of the Jews in Spain
* Medieval Inquisition
* Mexican Inquisition
* Peruvian Inquisition
* Portuguese Inquisition
* Roman Inquisition
* Spanish Inquisition
* Histoire de l'Inquisition en France

[edit] Resources

* Peters, Edward. Inquisition. New York: The Free Press, 1988.
* Bradley, Gerard. ?One Cheer for Inquisitions.? Catholic Dossier.
Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Carroll, Anne W. ?The Inquisition.? Christ the King: Lord of
History. Rockford Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers Inc, 1994.
207-211.
* Hitchock, James. ?Inquisition.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6
(Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Horvat, Marian. ?The Holy Inquisition: Myth or Reality.?
Catholic Family News. (Mar, 1998).
* Kamen, Henry. The Spanish Inquisition : A Historical Revision.
London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997.
* Kelly, Henry A. ?Inquisition and the Prosecution of Heresy:
Misconceptions and Abuses.? Church History. Vol. 58, No. 4 (Dec,
1989). 439-451.
* Madden, Thomas F. ?The Real Inquisition: Investigating the
Popular Myth.? National Review Online. June 18, 2004.
* O?Connell, Marvin R. ?The Spanish Inquisition: Fact Versus
Fiction.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Parker, Geoffrey. ?Some Recent Work on the Inquisition in Spain
and Italy.? The Journal of Modern History. Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sept,
1982). 519-532.
* Rice, Ellen. ?The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition.? Catholic
Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Sanchez, M. G. Anti-Spanish Sentiment in English Literary and
Political Writing. (PhD Diss, University of Leeds, 2004).
* Van Hove, S.J., Fr. Brian. ?Beyond the Myth of The Inquisition:
Ours is ?The Golden Age?.? Faith and Reason. (Winter, 1992).

[edit] Footnotes

1. ^ Iarocci, Michael P. (1 March 2006). Properties of Modernity.
Vanderbilt University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8265-1522-3.
http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0826515223&id=CuliwYNyvSUC&pg=PA218&lpg=PA218&sig=DOZYfMfF_RBMgzsbT8KfXVqO3y4.
2. ^ This concern is reflected by a Papal bull issued on April 18,
1482 by Pope Sixtus IV, bull in which he protested

that in Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, and Catalonia the
Inquisition has for some time been moved not by zeal for the faith and
the salvation of souls but by lust for wealth. Many true and faithful
Christians, on the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves, and other
lower and even less proper persons, have without any legitimate proof
been thrust into secular prisons, tortured and condemned as relapsed
heretics, deprived of their goods and property and handed over to the
secular arm to be executed, to the peril of souls, setting a
pernicious example, and causing disgust to many.

Kamen, Henry (23 November 2000). The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision. Orion Publishing Group. p. 49. ISBN
1-84212-205-3.
3. ^ Kamen, p. 61.
4. ^ INTOLLERANZA RELIGIOSA - ALLE RADICI DELLA VIOLENZA

[edit] External links

* FAQ on the Inquisition by James Hannam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_revision_of_the_Inquisition
Goanet News
2009-06-23 00:00:15 UTC
Permalink
Historical revision of the Inquisition
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Historical revision of the Inquisition is a historiographical
project that has emerged in recent years. In the last forty years,
with opening of formerly closed archives, the development of new
historical methodologies, and, in Spain, the death of Francisco Franco
in 1975, new works of historical revisionism have reread the history
of the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions.

Writers associated with this project share the view of Edward Peters,
a prominent historian in the field, who states: "The Inquisition was
an image assembled from a body of legends and myths which, between the
twentieth and the sixteenth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality."[1]
Contents
[show]

* 1 Significant works
o 1.1 Understanding inquisitions
* 2 The Inquisitions in France
o 2.1 Cathars and Waldensians
o 2.2 The "Grand Program"
o 2.3 The "Albigensian Crusade"
o 2.4 Codes and torture
* 3 The Inquisitions in Spain
o 3.1 Antisemitism and the "conversos"
o 3.2 Papal Bull
o 3.3 Procedure and torture
o 3.4 The auto de fe
* 4 The Inquisitions in Italy
o 4.1 Context
o 4.2 The creation of the Holy Office
o 4.3 "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions
o 4.4 Evolution of the Holy Office
* 5 The Creation of "The Inquisition"
o 5.1 "A Protestant Vision..."
o 5.2 The Revolt of the Netherlands
o 5.3 Montanus
o 5.4 William of Orange
o 5.5 The Black Legend
o 5.6 The Enlightenment and Art
* 6 See also
* 7 Resources
* 8 Footnotes
* 9 External links

[edit] Significant works

The two most significant and extensively cited sources of this revised
analysis of the historiography of the inquisitorial proceedings are
Inquisition (1988) by Edward Peters and The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision (1997) by Henry Kamen. These works focus on
exposing and correcting what they argue are popular modern
misconceptions about the inquisitions and historical
misinterpretations of their activities. The following text presents
Peters? and Kamen?s ideas.

[edit] Understanding inquisitions

Because the inquisitorial process was not based on tolerant principles
and doctrines such as freedom of thought and freedom of religion that
became prominent in Western thinking during the eighteenth century,
modern society has an inherent difficulty in understanding the
inquisitorial institutions. From the Middle Ages well into the
seventeenth century in Catholic Europe, the law stated that the worst
offence one could commit was that which threatened the unity and
security of the Catholic Church, and most importantly, the salvation
of souls.[2] Uniformity of worship does not appear to have been the
motivation for setting up the Spanish Inquisition at all.[3] ?The
Inquisition can only be understood within the framework of the
centuries of its existence, when religious uniformity and orthodoxy
and obedience to authority were enforced by almost all political and
religious institutions, and were considered essential for the very
survival of society" (Hitchcock 1996).

Regardless of the century, inquisitions were ecclesiastical
investigations conducted either directly by the Catholic Church or by
secular authorities with the support of the Church. These
investigations were undertaken at varying times in varying regions
under the authority of the local bishop and his designates or under
the sponsorship of papal-appointed legates. The purpose of each
inquisition was specific to the outstanding circumstances of the
region in which it was held. Investigations usually involved a legal
process, the goal of which was to obtain a confession and
reconciliation with the Church from those who were accused of heresy
or of participating in activities contrary to Church Canon law. The
objectives of the inquisitions were to secure the repentance of the
accused and to maintain the authority of the Church. Inquisitions were
conducted with the collaboration of secular authorities. If an
investigation resulted in a person being convicted of heresy and
unwillingness to repent punishment was administered by the secular
authorities.

[edit] The Inquisitions in France
Further information: Medieval Inquisition

[edit] Cathars and Waldensians

The two heresies that gave birth to the French medieval inquisitions
were that of the Cathars (also known as the Albigensians) and the
Waldensians. The Cathars essentially believed that a ?good god?
created everything heavenly while an ?evil god? ? the God of the Old
Testament ? created the material world with the Church acting as its
vehicle (Horvat 1998: 4). The Waldensians rejected the sacramental
authority of the Church and its clerics and encouraged apostolic
poverty (Peters 1988: 43). These movements became particularly popular
in Southern France as well as Northern Italy and parts of Germany.
Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century often pointed to these
movements as part of an underground reformed Church that had been the
victim of persecution for centuries even though the Cathars and the
Waldensians had an unquestionably non-Reformed, dualistic perception
of God (Peters 1988: 123).

[edit] The "Grand Program"

During the eleventh century, a new wave of religiosity swept through
Europe. It claimed that the prospect of salvation in the world would
greatly increase if the world were reformed. In addition, the papacy
itself underwent reform at the end of the eleventh century and the
Church began devising its ?grand program of sanctifying the world?
(Peters 1988: 40). This ?grand program? was a combination of the
Church?s need to reform its institutional life, free itself from
secular control, and to build a Christian society. There was also a
growing opinion that those who rebelled from the church's beliefs
(heretics) or those who behaved in a manner that was ?un-Christian?
were not simply souls led astray in a ?temptation-filled world, but
[were] subverters of the world?s new course? (Peters 1988: 40).

Until the late twelfth century, the investigation of heresy was
considered the responsibility of local churches and it was held that
local secular authorities would prosecute heretics. However, in 1179,
the Church?s ?grand program of sanctifying the world? saw the creation
of The Third Lateran Council that included a canon condemning heretics
(Peters 1988: 47). In 1184, Pope Lucius III issued the Ad abolendam,
labeled "the founding charter of the inquisition," that called for
those found as heretics by the local church to be turned over to
secular courts (Peters 1988: 47). Finally, in 1199, Pope Innocent III
equated heresy with treason and in 1208 called for a ?crusade? against
the Albigensians (Peters 1988: 50).

[edit] The "Albigensian Crusade"

According to Peters the violence of the following ?Albigensian
Crusade? was not in line with the reforms and plans of Innocent, who
stressed confession, reform of the clergy and laity, and pastoral
teachings to oppose heresy (Peters 1988: 50-51). Peters asserts that
the violence was due to the ?crusade? being under the control of mobs,
petty rulers, and local bishops who did not uphold Innocent?s ideas,
armies from northern France swept through the south and essentially
eradicated the Albigensians. The uncontainable, prejudicial passion of
local mobs and heresy hunters, the violence of secular courts, and the
bloodshed of the Albigensian crusade sparked a desire within the
papacy to implement greater control over the prosecution of heresy.
This desire led to the development of organized legal procedures for
dealing with heretics (Peters 1988: 52-58).

[edit] Codes and torture

The new codes and procedures detailed how an inquisitorial court was
to function. If the accused renounced their heresy and returned to the
Church, forgiveness was granted and a penance was imposed. If the
accused upheld their heresy, they were excommunicated and turned over
to secular authorities. The penalties for heresy, though not as severe
as the secular courts of Europe at the time, were codified within the
ecclesiastic courts as well (e.g. confiscation of property, turning
heretics over to the secular courts for punishment) (Horvat 1998: 7;
Peters 1988: 58-67). Additionally, the various ?key terms? of the
inquisitorial courts were defined at this time, including, for
example, ?heretics,? ?believers,? ?those suspect of heresy,? ?those
simply suspected,? ?those vehemently suspected,? and ?those most
vehemently suspected? (Peters 1988: 63).

Generally, inquisitorial courts functioned much like the secular
courts of the time, though their sentences and penances were less
cruel. (Peters 1988: 65) A number of procedures and protections
restricted the torture of the accused and capital punishment was
executed by secular authorities in light of the clerical prohibition
on shedding blood. (Peters 1988: 45) However, much inhumane torture
could nonetheless be inflicted. Torture was not used as a form of
punishment, as was frequent in secular courts. Any confession made
following or during torture had to be freely repeated the next day
without torture or it was considered invalid (Peters 1988: 65).
?Technically, therefore, torture was strictly a means of obtaining the
only full proof available?[The inquisitors?] tasks were not only ? or
even primarily ? to convict the contumacious heretic, but?to preserve
the unity of the Church? (Peters 1988: 65).

After the suppression of the Albigensian heresy in southern France in
the thirteenth century, inquisitorial trials diminished in the face of
more pressing local needs and any lingering trials were left to
secular authorities. Inquisitorial courts conducted under local
episcopacies worked closely with local secular authorities and dealt
with local circumstances. Regional control of the inquisitorial
process and regional concerns became dominant (Peters 1988: 74). By
the mid to late fourteenth century, papal-commissioned inquisitors
were dissolved in many parts of Europe.

[edit] The Inquisitions in Spain
Further information: Spanish Inquisition

[edit] Antisemitism and the "conversos"

Antisemitic attitudes increased all over Europe during the late
thirteenth century and throughout the fourteenth century. England and
France expelled their Jewish populations in 1290 and 1306 respectively
(Peters 1988: 79). At the same time, during the Reconquista, Spain?s
anti-Jewish sentiment steadily increased. This prejudice climaxed in
the summer of 1391 when violent anti-Jewish riots broke out in Spanish
cities like Barcelona (Peters 1988: 82). These mob riots led to major
forced conversions of Jews to Christianity. To distinguish them from
non-converted or long-established Christian families, new converts
were labeled conversos, or New Christians. These distinctions formed
part of the limpieza de sangre ("blood purity") doctrine.

Peters writes,

?From the mid fifteenth century on, religious anti-Semitism
changed into ethnic anti-Semitism, with little difference seen between
Jews and conversos except for the fact that conversos were regarded as
worse than Jews because, as ostensible Christians, they had acquired
privileges and positions that were denied to Jews. The result of this
new ethnic anti-Semitism was the invocation of an inquisition to
ferret out the false conversos who had, by becoming formal Christians,
placed themselves under its authority? (Peters 1988: 84). It was a
heated mixture of this racial and religious prejudice against the
conversos that ignited what later became known as the ?Spanish
Inquisition.?

[edit] Papal Bull

Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella requested a papal bull
establishing an inquisition in Spain in 1478 in response to the unrest
and mob violence against the conversos. Pope Sixtus IV granted a bull
permitting the monarchs to select and appoint two or three priests
over forty years of age to act as inquisitors (Peters 1988: 85). In
1483, Ferdinand and Isabella established a state council to administer
the inquisition with the Dominican Friar Tom?s de Torquemada acting as
its president, even though Sixtus IV protested the activities of the
inquisition in Aragon and its treatment of the conversos. Torquemada
eventually assumed the title of Inquisitor-General (Peters 1988: 89).

The main heresy prosecuted during the period of inquisitions in Spain
was the alleged secret practice of Judaism among the conversos. From
the establishment of the inquisitions up to 1530, it is estimated that
approximately 2,000 ?heretics? were turned over to the secular
authorities for execution in Spain (Kamen 1997: 74). Many of those
convicted of heresy were conversos who fled Spain, often to Italy
where conversos were not subject to prejudice (Peters 1988: 110).

There were so few Protestants in Spain that widespread persecution of
Protestantism was not physically possible. In the 1560s, a little over
one hundred people in Spain were convicted of Protestantism and were
turned over to the secular authorities for execution. From 1560 to
1599, two hundred more people were accused of being followers of
Martin Luther. ?Most of them were in no sense
Protestants...Irreligious sentiments, drunken mockery, anticlerical
expressions, were all captiously classified by the inquisitors (or by
those who denounced the cases) as ?Lutheran?? (Kamen 1997: 98).

[edit] Procedure and torture

Evidence and witness testimony was gathered before an arrest was made.
Once an arrest was made, the accused was given several opportunities
to admit to any heretical behavior before the charges against him/her
were identified. If the accused did not admit to any wrongdoing, the
inquisitors dictated the charges and the accused was required to
respond to them immediately (Peters 1988: 93). Torture was used;
however, it was allowed solely in cases that involved charges of
religious heresy only. Because many inquisitorial trials did not
involve heresy alone, torture was relatively rare. Additionally, the
restrictions on torture in the inquisitorial courts were much more
stringent than those that regulated the torture in the secular courts.
Torture was only used for extracting confessions during a trial and
was not used as punishment after sentencing. If torture was utilized,
the accused was required to repeat their repentance freely and without
torture (Peters 1988: 92-93). The Inquisition also had a rule that
they were only allowed to use torture once, however, they were able to
'suspend' sessions and resume them the following day, so that this
rule was effectively negated.[citation needed]

As seen in the French inquisitions, the purpose of Spanish
inquisitorial torture was to gain either information or confession,
not to punish. It was used in a relatively small percentage of trials,
since of course the threat of torture if no confession was given was
often enough to induce one, and was usually a last resort (Kamen 1997:
174-192). The ?scenes of sadism conjured up by popular writers on the
inquisition have little basis in reality, though the whole procedure
was unpleasant enough [even] to arouse periodic protests from
Spaniards? (Kamen 1997: 189).

[edit] The auto de fe

The auto de fe that followed trials is the most infamous and
misunderstood part of the inquisitions in Spain. The auto de fe
involved prayer, a Catholic mass, a public procession of those found
guilty, and a reading of their sentences (Peters 1988: 93-94).
Artistic representations of the auto de fe usually depict torture and
the burning at the stake. These paintings became a major source for
creating the violent image popularly associated with the Spanish
inquisitions. However, this type of activity never took place during
an auto de fe, which was in essence a religious act. Torture was not
administered after a trial concluded and executions were always held
after and separate from the auto de fe (Kamen 1997: 192-213).

Between 1550 and 1800, the inquisitions in Spain focused on not only
Protestants, but also the conversos, the supervision of their own
clergy, the general problem of non-mainstream religious beliefs among
Catholics, and ?blasphemous? or ?scandalous? behavior (Peters 1988:
86). Spanish inquisitions were not exceptionally different from other
European courts of the time in their prosecution of these offences, as
many of these charges were viewed as part of a broad class of moral
crimes that raised legitimate concern to spiritual and secular courts
in an age when religion was regarded as the fundamental foundation of
society (Peters 1988: 87).

[edit] The Inquisitions in Italy
Further information: Roman Inquisition

[edit] Context

Increasing trends in regionalism, the criticism of ecclesiastic
abuses, the Avignon Papacy, and the Great Schism all contributed to
the emergence of new religious dissent and unrest in fourteenth and
fifteenth century Italy. Furthermore, widespread ecclesiastical and
clerical reform advanced through the last decades of the fifteenth
century, and by the second decade of the sixteenth century, reform
movements prevailed in many parts of Europe (Peters 1988: 106).

The protests raised by Martin Luther that began in 1517 did not
initially receive much attention from the papacy (Peters 1988: 107).
Luther and his supporters concreted the principles of the Protestant
Reformation during the 1520s, sparking the development of many reform
movements in various regions of Italy. By the time of the pontificate
of Paul III, the Reform movement had swept much of Europe away from
the Catholic Church. In response, Paul III issued the Licet ab initio,
establishing inquisitions in Rome in 1542 (Peters 1988: 108). These
inquisitions consisted of six cardinals given the authority to
investigate heresy and to appoint deputies when they deemed necessary.

[edit] The creation of the Holy Office

Although the Roman inquisitions worked moderately and guardedly during
the remainder of the pontificate of Paul III, they became an essential
part of the structure of Rome when Paul IV, who became pope in 1555,
launched the Counter-Reformation that Paul III began (Peters 1988:
108). Later, in 1588, Pope Sixtus V officially organized the
inquisitions into the Congregation of the Holy Roman and Universal
Inquisition or Holy Office (Peters 1988: 109). It is important to
note, however, that this was only one of fifteen administrative
departments of the papal government and was not the sole operating
body of the Church.

[edit] "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions

Even though the inquisitions in Spain prosecuted a small quantity of
Reformers, the Roman inquisitions were the first to target
intentionally and specifically the ?heresy? of Protestantism. These
inquisitions and their subordinate tribunals were generally successful
in keeping any substantial Protestant influence from spreading
throughout Italy (Peters 1988: 110). Protestants in the decades and
centuries to come would use this relatively short-lived persecution as
the basis for their accusations about the awful ?Inquisition.?
Protestant movements were reduced by around 1600, so for the duration
of the seventeenth century the Roman inquisitions turned their focus
to offences other than Protestantism, notably ?magical? heresy (Peters
1988: 111).

In many trials involving ?witchcraft? or ?sorcery,? ?the inquisitors
understood very well that the lack of catechesis or consistent
pastoral guidance could often result in misunderstandings of doctrine
and liturgy, and they showed tolerance of all but the most unavoidably
serious circumstances. Thus, although both the Spanish and Roman
inquisitions prosecuted the offenses of witchcraft and sorcery very
early and vigorously, they also were the first courts to be skeptical
of the evidence and mechanism of witchcraft accusations, and they
consistently offered the most lenient treatment to marginal cases?
(Peters 1988: 111).

Italian historian Andrea Del Col estimates that out of 62,000 cases
judged by Inquisition in Italy after 1542 only 2% (ca. 1250) ended
with death sentence.[4]

[edit] Evolution of the Holy Office

By the turn of the eighteenth century, the Congregation of the Holy
Office had virtually no power or influence outside the Papal States
(Peters 1988: 119). Its main function shifted yet again to the
investigation of clerical immorality and corruption and to the
censoring of printed books, the latter of which was the key
responsibility of the Congregation of the Index (Peters 1988: 119). By
1860, the restrictions placed upon ecclesiastical authority and the
emerging national Italian state only further reduced the activities of
the Holy Office. With its powers reduced to the weakened Papal State,
the Office became an advisory committee to the late nineteenth century
popes, where it played a far greater advisory than executive role
(Peters 1988: 120).

In 1965 Pope Paul VI changed the Office?s name to The Sacred
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and abolished the Congregation
of the Index entirely in 1966. Since then, the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith has functioned as a papal advisor on theological
matters and on matters of ecclesiastical discipline. ?Although its
work is regular, the Congregation can now hardly be thought of as an
Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 120).

[edit] The Creation of "The Inquisition"

The modern day notion of a unified and horrible ?Inquisition? is an
assemblage of the ?body of legends and myths which, between the
sixteenth and the twentieth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality? (Peters 1988: 122). It
was the relatively limited persecution of Protestants, mostly by the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, that provoked the first image of ?The
Inquisition? as the most violent and suppressive vehicle of the Church
against Protestantism. Later, philosophical critics of religious
persecution and the Catholic Church only furthered this image during
the Enlightenment (Peters 1988: 122).

[edit] "A Protestant Vision..."

What made it possible for the Reformers to characterize ?The
Inquisition? was the clerical organization and support of the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, their ?united? success in keeping
Protestant doctrines out of their countries, and the fear of ?The
Inquisition? being initiated in other parts of Europe. ?As a
Protestant vision of Christian history took shape in the sixteenth
century, the contemporary inquisitions were identified with the
inquisitorial tribunals of the medieval past, and the Protestant
Reformers with earlier victims of The Inquisition ? (Peters 1988:
122). Additionally, Catholic defenders of the inquisitorial process
used the same argument ? that the Reformers were no different from
medieval heretics and should be prosecuted in the same manner ? thus
perpetuating the idea of a continuous, masterminded, ?Inquisition?
(Peters 1988: 123).

Within the climate of religious persecution that clouded much of the
sixteenth century, martyrdom became a Protestant narrative of
religious struggle against the Catholic Church, especially Catholic
Spain. Reformers presented ?The Inquisition? as a unified,
papal-dominated process that lasted from the thirteenth century
through the seventeenth century. They created accounts of Protestant
martyrs and a ?hidden? Church, which produced extreme anti-Catholic
attitudes (Peters 1988: 123). Additionally, European political
resentment against Spain, which was the greatest power in Europe at
the time, took focus on ?The Inquisition.? This resentment and the
resulting anti-?Inquisition? propaganda that was published came to a
head during the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain (Peters 1988:
144).

[edit] The Revolt of the Netherlands

By around 1550, the Dutch ?printing press and propaganda turned to the
service of political reform, with The Inquisition as a major focus,
on?a wide scale and with?devastating effects? (Peters 1988: 144). Even
though the Dutch organized their own state-run inquisitions, it was
feared that King Philip II would implement a new ?Spanish Inquisition?
in the Netherlands to eliminate Protestantism. Popular literature,
circulating pamphlets, and other images painted the picture of a
widespread, awful ?Spanish Inquisition.? Eventually, ?The Inquisition?
became viewed as the primary instrument of Catholic tyranny, not only
of Protestants, but also of freedom of thought and religion in
general. However, exporting the Inquisition to the Netherlands was
never in the plans of the Spanish Habsburg rulers, at least after the
time of Charles V.

[edit] Montanus

In 1567, the Spanish Protestant Antonio del Corro, a close relative of
an inquisitor and ferocious enemy of the Spanish Inquisition,
published A Discovery and Plaine Declaration of Sundry Subtill
Practices of the Holy Inquisition of Spain under the pseudonym
Reginaldus Gonzalvus Montanus (Peters 1988: 133). This document, along
with a number of successive publications, was reprinted and translated
throughout Europe and became the definitive source on ?The
Inquisition? for hundreds of years. ?Montanus portray[ed] every victim
of the Inquisition as innocent, every Inquisition official as venal
and deceitful, [and] every step in its procedure as a violation of
natural and rational law? (Peters 1988: 134). The majority of the
?histories? about ?The Inquisition? written after 1567 relied on
Montanus as their main source.

[edit] William of Orange

Also cited as one of the most famous documents supporting the myth of
?The Inquisition? is the Apologie of William of Orange, published in
1581 (Peters 1988: 153). Written by the French Huguenot Pierre
Loyseleur de Villiers, the Apologie also narrated an horrific ?Spanish
Inquisition.? This document preserved and reinforced all of the
anti-?Inquisition? propaganda generated at the beginning and
throughout the Dutch revolt (Peters 1988: 153).

[edit] The Black Legend

During this time, England, under the rule of the Protestant Queen
Elizabeth I and threatened with military attacks from Spain, found a
new surge of nationalism being fueled by anti-Catholic propaganda
centered on a series of books and pamphlets that detailed the horror
of the ?Spanish Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 139-144). Peters writes,
?An image of Spain circulated through late sixteenth-century Europe,
borne by means of political and religious propaganda that blackened
the characters of Spaniards and their ruler to such an extent that
Spain became the symbol of all forces of repression, brutality,
religious and political intolerance, and intellectual and artistic
backwardness for the next four centuries. Spaniards?have termed this
process and the image that resulted from it as ?The Black Legend,? la
leyenda negra? (Peters 1988: 131).

[edit] The Enlightenment and Art

By the seventeenth century, ?The Inquisition? provided political and
philosophical thinkers with an ideal symbol of religious intolerance.
These philosophers and politicians passionately denounced ?The
Inquisition,? citing it as the cause for all the political and
economic failures in countries where ?Inquisitions? were held. From
these debates on toleration, ?The Inquisition? was presented by French
philosophes as the worst of any religious evil to ever come out of
Europe (Peters 1988: 155-154). Additionally, writers, artists, and
sculptors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries used ?The
Inquisition? as one of their main inspirations, retaliating against
?The Inquisition?s? suppression of creativity, literature, and art
(Peters 1988: 189). These artistic images have arguably become some of
the most long-lasting and effective perpetuators of ?The Inquisition?
myth.

[edit] See also

* Inquisition
* Cardinal Ximenes
* Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
* Execution by burning
* List of Grand Inquisitors of Spain
* Historical revisionism (negationism)
* History of the Jews in Spain
* Medieval Inquisition
* Mexican Inquisition
* Peruvian Inquisition
* Portuguese Inquisition
* Roman Inquisition
* Spanish Inquisition
* Histoire de l'Inquisition en France

[edit] Resources

* Peters, Edward. Inquisition. New York: The Free Press, 1988.
* Bradley, Gerard. ?One Cheer for Inquisitions.? Catholic Dossier.
Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Carroll, Anne W. ?The Inquisition.? Christ the King: Lord of
History. Rockford Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers Inc, 1994.
207-211.
* Hitchock, James. ?Inquisition.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6
(Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Horvat, Marian. ?The Holy Inquisition: Myth or Reality.?
Catholic Family News. (Mar, 1998).
* Kamen, Henry. The Spanish Inquisition : A Historical Revision.
London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997.
* Kelly, Henry A. ?Inquisition and the Prosecution of Heresy:
Misconceptions and Abuses.? Church History. Vol. 58, No. 4 (Dec,
1989). 439-451.
* Madden, Thomas F. ?The Real Inquisition: Investigating the
Popular Myth.? National Review Online. June 18, 2004.
* O?Connell, Marvin R. ?The Spanish Inquisition: Fact Versus
Fiction.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Parker, Geoffrey. ?Some Recent Work on the Inquisition in Spain
and Italy.? The Journal of Modern History. Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sept,
1982). 519-532.
* Rice, Ellen. ?The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition.? Catholic
Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Sanchez, M. G. Anti-Spanish Sentiment in English Literary and
Political Writing. (PhD Diss, University of Leeds, 2004).
* Van Hove, S.J., Fr. Brian. ?Beyond the Myth of The Inquisition:
Ours is ?The Golden Age?.? Faith and Reason. (Winter, 1992).

[edit] Footnotes

1. ^ Iarocci, Michael P. (1 March 2006). Properties of Modernity.
Vanderbilt University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8265-1522-3.
http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0826515223&id=CuliwYNyvSUC&pg=PA218&lpg=PA218&sig=DOZYfMfF_RBMgzsbT8KfXVqO3y4.
2. ^ This concern is reflected by a Papal bull issued on April 18,
1482 by Pope Sixtus IV, bull in which he protested

that in Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, and Catalonia the
Inquisition has for some time been moved not by zeal for the faith and
the salvation of souls but by lust for wealth. Many true and faithful
Christians, on the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves, and other
lower and even less proper persons, have without any legitimate proof
been thrust into secular prisons, tortured and condemned as relapsed
heretics, deprived of their goods and property and handed over to the
secular arm to be executed, to the peril of souls, setting a
pernicious example, and causing disgust to many.

Kamen, Henry (23 November 2000). The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision. Orion Publishing Group. p. 49. ISBN
1-84212-205-3.
3. ^ Kamen, p. 61.
4. ^ INTOLLERANZA RELIGIOSA - ALLE RADICI DELLA VIOLENZA

[edit] External links

* FAQ on the Inquisition by James Hannam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_revision_of_the_Inquisition
Goanet News
2009-06-23 00:00:15 UTC
Permalink
Historical revision of the Inquisition
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Historical revision of the Inquisition is a historiographical
project that has emerged in recent years. In the last forty years,
with opening of formerly closed archives, the development of new
historical methodologies, and, in Spain, the death of Francisco Franco
in 1975, new works of historical revisionism have reread the history
of the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions.

Writers associated with this project share the view of Edward Peters,
a prominent historian in the field, who states: "The Inquisition was
an image assembled from a body of legends and myths which, between the
twentieth and the sixteenth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality."[1]
Contents
[show]

* 1 Significant works
o 1.1 Understanding inquisitions
* 2 The Inquisitions in France
o 2.1 Cathars and Waldensians
o 2.2 The "Grand Program"
o 2.3 The "Albigensian Crusade"
o 2.4 Codes and torture
* 3 The Inquisitions in Spain
o 3.1 Antisemitism and the "conversos"
o 3.2 Papal Bull
o 3.3 Procedure and torture
o 3.4 The auto de fe
* 4 The Inquisitions in Italy
o 4.1 Context
o 4.2 The creation of the Holy Office
o 4.3 "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions
o 4.4 Evolution of the Holy Office
* 5 The Creation of "The Inquisition"
o 5.1 "A Protestant Vision..."
o 5.2 The Revolt of the Netherlands
o 5.3 Montanus
o 5.4 William of Orange
o 5.5 The Black Legend
o 5.6 The Enlightenment and Art
* 6 See also
* 7 Resources
* 8 Footnotes
* 9 External links

[edit] Significant works

The two most significant and extensively cited sources of this revised
analysis of the historiography of the inquisitorial proceedings are
Inquisition (1988) by Edward Peters and The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision (1997) by Henry Kamen. These works focus on
exposing and correcting what they argue are popular modern
misconceptions about the inquisitions and historical
misinterpretations of their activities. The following text presents
Peters? and Kamen?s ideas.

[edit] Understanding inquisitions

Because the inquisitorial process was not based on tolerant principles
and doctrines such as freedom of thought and freedom of religion that
became prominent in Western thinking during the eighteenth century,
modern society has an inherent difficulty in understanding the
inquisitorial institutions. From the Middle Ages well into the
seventeenth century in Catholic Europe, the law stated that the worst
offence one could commit was that which threatened the unity and
security of the Catholic Church, and most importantly, the salvation
of souls.[2] Uniformity of worship does not appear to have been the
motivation for setting up the Spanish Inquisition at all.[3] ?The
Inquisition can only be understood within the framework of the
centuries of its existence, when religious uniformity and orthodoxy
and obedience to authority were enforced by almost all political and
religious institutions, and were considered essential for the very
survival of society" (Hitchcock 1996).

Regardless of the century, inquisitions were ecclesiastical
investigations conducted either directly by the Catholic Church or by
secular authorities with the support of the Church. These
investigations were undertaken at varying times in varying regions
under the authority of the local bishop and his designates or under
the sponsorship of papal-appointed legates. The purpose of each
inquisition was specific to the outstanding circumstances of the
region in which it was held. Investigations usually involved a legal
process, the goal of which was to obtain a confession and
reconciliation with the Church from those who were accused of heresy
or of participating in activities contrary to Church Canon law. The
objectives of the inquisitions were to secure the repentance of the
accused and to maintain the authority of the Church. Inquisitions were
conducted with the collaboration of secular authorities. If an
investigation resulted in a person being convicted of heresy and
unwillingness to repent punishment was administered by the secular
authorities.

[edit] The Inquisitions in France
Further information: Medieval Inquisition

[edit] Cathars and Waldensians

The two heresies that gave birth to the French medieval inquisitions
were that of the Cathars (also known as the Albigensians) and the
Waldensians. The Cathars essentially believed that a ?good god?
created everything heavenly while an ?evil god? ? the God of the Old
Testament ? created the material world with the Church acting as its
vehicle (Horvat 1998: 4). The Waldensians rejected the sacramental
authority of the Church and its clerics and encouraged apostolic
poverty (Peters 1988: 43). These movements became particularly popular
in Southern France as well as Northern Italy and parts of Germany.
Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century often pointed to these
movements as part of an underground reformed Church that had been the
victim of persecution for centuries even though the Cathars and the
Waldensians had an unquestionably non-Reformed, dualistic perception
of God (Peters 1988: 123).

[edit] The "Grand Program"

During the eleventh century, a new wave of religiosity swept through
Europe. It claimed that the prospect of salvation in the world would
greatly increase if the world were reformed. In addition, the papacy
itself underwent reform at the end of the eleventh century and the
Church began devising its ?grand program of sanctifying the world?
(Peters 1988: 40). This ?grand program? was a combination of the
Church?s need to reform its institutional life, free itself from
secular control, and to build a Christian society. There was also a
growing opinion that those who rebelled from the church's beliefs
(heretics) or those who behaved in a manner that was ?un-Christian?
were not simply souls led astray in a ?temptation-filled world, but
[were] subverters of the world?s new course? (Peters 1988: 40).

Until the late twelfth century, the investigation of heresy was
considered the responsibility of local churches and it was held that
local secular authorities would prosecute heretics. However, in 1179,
the Church?s ?grand program of sanctifying the world? saw the creation
of The Third Lateran Council that included a canon condemning heretics
(Peters 1988: 47). In 1184, Pope Lucius III issued the Ad abolendam,
labeled "the founding charter of the inquisition," that called for
those found as heretics by the local church to be turned over to
secular courts (Peters 1988: 47). Finally, in 1199, Pope Innocent III
equated heresy with treason and in 1208 called for a ?crusade? against
the Albigensians (Peters 1988: 50).

[edit] The "Albigensian Crusade"

According to Peters the violence of the following ?Albigensian
Crusade? was not in line with the reforms and plans of Innocent, who
stressed confession, reform of the clergy and laity, and pastoral
teachings to oppose heresy (Peters 1988: 50-51). Peters asserts that
the violence was due to the ?crusade? being under the control of mobs,
petty rulers, and local bishops who did not uphold Innocent?s ideas,
armies from northern France swept through the south and essentially
eradicated the Albigensians. The uncontainable, prejudicial passion of
local mobs and heresy hunters, the violence of secular courts, and the
bloodshed of the Albigensian crusade sparked a desire within the
papacy to implement greater control over the prosecution of heresy.
This desire led to the development of organized legal procedures for
dealing with heretics (Peters 1988: 52-58).

[edit] Codes and torture

The new codes and procedures detailed how an inquisitorial court was
to function. If the accused renounced their heresy and returned to the
Church, forgiveness was granted and a penance was imposed. If the
accused upheld their heresy, they were excommunicated and turned over
to secular authorities. The penalties for heresy, though not as severe
as the secular courts of Europe at the time, were codified within the
ecclesiastic courts as well (e.g. confiscation of property, turning
heretics over to the secular courts for punishment) (Horvat 1998: 7;
Peters 1988: 58-67). Additionally, the various ?key terms? of the
inquisitorial courts were defined at this time, including, for
example, ?heretics,? ?believers,? ?those suspect of heresy,? ?those
simply suspected,? ?those vehemently suspected,? and ?those most
vehemently suspected? (Peters 1988: 63).

Generally, inquisitorial courts functioned much like the secular
courts of the time, though their sentences and penances were less
cruel. (Peters 1988: 65) A number of procedures and protections
restricted the torture of the accused and capital punishment was
executed by secular authorities in light of the clerical prohibition
on shedding blood. (Peters 1988: 45) However, much inhumane torture
could nonetheless be inflicted. Torture was not used as a form of
punishment, as was frequent in secular courts. Any confession made
following or during torture had to be freely repeated the next day
without torture or it was considered invalid (Peters 1988: 65).
?Technically, therefore, torture was strictly a means of obtaining the
only full proof available?[The inquisitors?] tasks were not only ? or
even primarily ? to convict the contumacious heretic, but?to preserve
the unity of the Church? (Peters 1988: 65).

After the suppression of the Albigensian heresy in southern France in
the thirteenth century, inquisitorial trials diminished in the face of
more pressing local needs and any lingering trials were left to
secular authorities. Inquisitorial courts conducted under local
episcopacies worked closely with local secular authorities and dealt
with local circumstances. Regional control of the inquisitorial
process and regional concerns became dominant (Peters 1988: 74). By
the mid to late fourteenth century, papal-commissioned inquisitors
were dissolved in many parts of Europe.

[edit] The Inquisitions in Spain
Further information: Spanish Inquisition

[edit] Antisemitism and the "conversos"

Antisemitic attitudes increased all over Europe during the late
thirteenth century and throughout the fourteenth century. England and
France expelled their Jewish populations in 1290 and 1306 respectively
(Peters 1988: 79). At the same time, during the Reconquista, Spain?s
anti-Jewish sentiment steadily increased. This prejudice climaxed in
the summer of 1391 when violent anti-Jewish riots broke out in Spanish
cities like Barcelona (Peters 1988: 82). These mob riots led to major
forced conversions of Jews to Christianity. To distinguish them from
non-converted or long-established Christian families, new converts
were labeled conversos, or New Christians. These distinctions formed
part of the limpieza de sangre ("blood purity") doctrine.

Peters writes,

?From the mid fifteenth century on, religious anti-Semitism
changed into ethnic anti-Semitism, with little difference seen between
Jews and conversos except for the fact that conversos were regarded as
worse than Jews because, as ostensible Christians, they had acquired
privileges and positions that were denied to Jews. The result of this
new ethnic anti-Semitism was the invocation of an inquisition to
ferret out the false conversos who had, by becoming formal Christians,
placed themselves under its authority? (Peters 1988: 84). It was a
heated mixture of this racial and religious prejudice against the
conversos that ignited what later became known as the ?Spanish
Inquisition.?

[edit] Papal Bull

Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella requested a papal bull
establishing an inquisition in Spain in 1478 in response to the unrest
and mob violence against the conversos. Pope Sixtus IV granted a bull
permitting the monarchs to select and appoint two or three priests
over forty years of age to act as inquisitors (Peters 1988: 85). In
1483, Ferdinand and Isabella established a state council to administer
the inquisition with the Dominican Friar Tom?s de Torquemada acting as
its president, even though Sixtus IV protested the activities of the
inquisition in Aragon and its treatment of the conversos. Torquemada
eventually assumed the title of Inquisitor-General (Peters 1988: 89).

The main heresy prosecuted during the period of inquisitions in Spain
was the alleged secret practice of Judaism among the conversos. From
the establishment of the inquisitions up to 1530, it is estimated that
approximately 2,000 ?heretics? were turned over to the secular
authorities for execution in Spain (Kamen 1997: 74). Many of those
convicted of heresy were conversos who fled Spain, often to Italy
where conversos were not subject to prejudice (Peters 1988: 110).

There were so few Protestants in Spain that widespread persecution of
Protestantism was not physically possible. In the 1560s, a little over
one hundred people in Spain were convicted of Protestantism and were
turned over to the secular authorities for execution. From 1560 to
1599, two hundred more people were accused of being followers of
Martin Luther. ?Most of them were in no sense
Protestants...Irreligious sentiments, drunken mockery, anticlerical
expressions, were all captiously classified by the inquisitors (or by
those who denounced the cases) as ?Lutheran?? (Kamen 1997: 98).

[edit] Procedure and torture

Evidence and witness testimony was gathered before an arrest was made.
Once an arrest was made, the accused was given several opportunities
to admit to any heretical behavior before the charges against him/her
were identified. If the accused did not admit to any wrongdoing, the
inquisitors dictated the charges and the accused was required to
respond to them immediately (Peters 1988: 93). Torture was used;
however, it was allowed solely in cases that involved charges of
religious heresy only. Because many inquisitorial trials did not
involve heresy alone, torture was relatively rare. Additionally, the
restrictions on torture in the inquisitorial courts were much more
stringent than those that regulated the torture in the secular courts.
Torture was only used for extracting confessions during a trial and
was not used as punishment after sentencing. If torture was utilized,
the accused was required to repeat their repentance freely and without
torture (Peters 1988: 92-93). The Inquisition also had a rule that
they were only allowed to use torture once, however, they were able to
'suspend' sessions and resume them the following day, so that this
rule was effectively negated.[citation needed]

As seen in the French inquisitions, the purpose of Spanish
inquisitorial torture was to gain either information or confession,
not to punish. It was used in a relatively small percentage of trials,
since of course the threat of torture if no confession was given was
often enough to induce one, and was usually a last resort (Kamen 1997:
174-192). The ?scenes of sadism conjured up by popular writers on the
inquisition have little basis in reality, though the whole procedure
was unpleasant enough [even] to arouse periodic protests from
Spaniards? (Kamen 1997: 189).

[edit] The auto de fe

The auto de fe that followed trials is the most infamous and
misunderstood part of the inquisitions in Spain. The auto de fe
involved prayer, a Catholic mass, a public procession of those found
guilty, and a reading of their sentences (Peters 1988: 93-94).
Artistic representations of the auto de fe usually depict torture and
the burning at the stake. These paintings became a major source for
creating the violent image popularly associated with the Spanish
inquisitions. However, this type of activity never took place during
an auto de fe, which was in essence a religious act. Torture was not
administered after a trial concluded and executions were always held
after and separate from the auto de fe (Kamen 1997: 192-213).

Between 1550 and 1800, the inquisitions in Spain focused on not only
Protestants, but also the conversos, the supervision of their own
clergy, the general problem of non-mainstream religious beliefs among
Catholics, and ?blasphemous? or ?scandalous? behavior (Peters 1988:
86). Spanish inquisitions were not exceptionally different from other
European courts of the time in their prosecution of these offences, as
many of these charges were viewed as part of a broad class of moral
crimes that raised legitimate concern to spiritual and secular courts
in an age when religion was regarded as the fundamental foundation of
society (Peters 1988: 87).

[edit] The Inquisitions in Italy
Further information: Roman Inquisition

[edit] Context

Increasing trends in regionalism, the criticism of ecclesiastic
abuses, the Avignon Papacy, and the Great Schism all contributed to
the emergence of new religious dissent and unrest in fourteenth and
fifteenth century Italy. Furthermore, widespread ecclesiastical and
clerical reform advanced through the last decades of the fifteenth
century, and by the second decade of the sixteenth century, reform
movements prevailed in many parts of Europe (Peters 1988: 106).

The protests raised by Martin Luther that began in 1517 did not
initially receive much attention from the papacy (Peters 1988: 107).
Luther and his supporters concreted the principles of the Protestant
Reformation during the 1520s, sparking the development of many reform
movements in various regions of Italy. By the time of the pontificate
of Paul III, the Reform movement had swept much of Europe away from
the Catholic Church. In response, Paul III issued the Licet ab initio,
establishing inquisitions in Rome in 1542 (Peters 1988: 108). These
inquisitions consisted of six cardinals given the authority to
investigate heresy and to appoint deputies when they deemed necessary.

[edit] The creation of the Holy Office

Although the Roman inquisitions worked moderately and guardedly during
the remainder of the pontificate of Paul III, they became an essential
part of the structure of Rome when Paul IV, who became pope in 1555,
launched the Counter-Reformation that Paul III began (Peters 1988:
108). Later, in 1588, Pope Sixtus V officially organized the
inquisitions into the Congregation of the Holy Roman and Universal
Inquisition or Holy Office (Peters 1988: 109). It is important to
note, however, that this was only one of fifteen administrative
departments of the papal government and was not the sole operating
body of the Church.

[edit] "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions

Even though the inquisitions in Spain prosecuted a small quantity of
Reformers, the Roman inquisitions were the first to target
intentionally and specifically the ?heresy? of Protestantism. These
inquisitions and their subordinate tribunals were generally successful
in keeping any substantial Protestant influence from spreading
throughout Italy (Peters 1988: 110). Protestants in the decades and
centuries to come would use this relatively short-lived persecution as
the basis for their accusations about the awful ?Inquisition.?
Protestant movements were reduced by around 1600, so for the duration
of the seventeenth century the Roman inquisitions turned their focus
to offences other than Protestantism, notably ?magical? heresy (Peters
1988: 111).

In many trials involving ?witchcraft? or ?sorcery,? ?the inquisitors
understood very well that the lack of catechesis or consistent
pastoral guidance could often result in misunderstandings of doctrine
and liturgy, and they showed tolerance of all but the most unavoidably
serious circumstances. Thus, although both the Spanish and Roman
inquisitions prosecuted the offenses of witchcraft and sorcery very
early and vigorously, they also were the first courts to be skeptical
of the evidence and mechanism of witchcraft accusations, and they
consistently offered the most lenient treatment to marginal cases?
(Peters 1988: 111).

Italian historian Andrea Del Col estimates that out of 62,000 cases
judged by Inquisition in Italy after 1542 only 2% (ca. 1250) ended
with death sentence.[4]

[edit] Evolution of the Holy Office

By the turn of the eighteenth century, the Congregation of the Holy
Office had virtually no power or influence outside the Papal States
(Peters 1988: 119). Its main function shifted yet again to the
investigation of clerical immorality and corruption and to the
censoring of printed books, the latter of which was the key
responsibility of the Congregation of the Index (Peters 1988: 119). By
1860, the restrictions placed upon ecclesiastical authority and the
emerging national Italian state only further reduced the activities of
the Holy Office. With its powers reduced to the weakened Papal State,
the Office became an advisory committee to the late nineteenth century
popes, where it played a far greater advisory than executive role
(Peters 1988: 120).

In 1965 Pope Paul VI changed the Office?s name to The Sacred
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and abolished the Congregation
of the Index entirely in 1966. Since then, the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith has functioned as a papal advisor on theological
matters and on matters of ecclesiastical discipline. ?Although its
work is regular, the Congregation can now hardly be thought of as an
Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 120).

[edit] The Creation of "The Inquisition"

The modern day notion of a unified and horrible ?Inquisition? is an
assemblage of the ?body of legends and myths which, between the
sixteenth and the twentieth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality? (Peters 1988: 122). It
was the relatively limited persecution of Protestants, mostly by the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, that provoked the first image of ?The
Inquisition? as the most violent and suppressive vehicle of the Church
against Protestantism. Later, philosophical critics of religious
persecution and the Catholic Church only furthered this image during
the Enlightenment (Peters 1988: 122).

[edit] "A Protestant Vision..."

What made it possible for the Reformers to characterize ?The
Inquisition? was the clerical organization and support of the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, their ?united? success in keeping
Protestant doctrines out of their countries, and the fear of ?The
Inquisition? being initiated in other parts of Europe. ?As a
Protestant vision of Christian history took shape in the sixteenth
century, the contemporary inquisitions were identified with the
inquisitorial tribunals of the medieval past, and the Protestant
Reformers with earlier victims of The Inquisition ? (Peters 1988:
122). Additionally, Catholic defenders of the inquisitorial process
used the same argument ? that the Reformers were no different from
medieval heretics and should be prosecuted in the same manner ? thus
perpetuating the idea of a continuous, masterminded, ?Inquisition?
(Peters 1988: 123).

Within the climate of religious persecution that clouded much of the
sixteenth century, martyrdom became a Protestant narrative of
religious struggle against the Catholic Church, especially Catholic
Spain. Reformers presented ?The Inquisition? as a unified,
papal-dominated process that lasted from the thirteenth century
through the seventeenth century. They created accounts of Protestant
martyrs and a ?hidden? Church, which produced extreme anti-Catholic
attitudes (Peters 1988: 123). Additionally, European political
resentment against Spain, which was the greatest power in Europe at
the time, took focus on ?The Inquisition.? This resentment and the
resulting anti-?Inquisition? propaganda that was published came to a
head during the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain (Peters 1988:
144).

[edit] The Revolt of the Netherlands

By around 1550, the Dutch ?printing press and propaganda turned to the
service of political reform, with The Inquisition as a major focus,
on?a wide scale and with?devastating effects? (Peters 1988: 144). Even
though the Dutch organized their own state-run inquisitions, it was
feared that King Philip II would implement a new ?Spanish Inquisition?
in the Netherlands to eliminate Protestantism. Popular literature,
circulating pamphlets, and other images painted the picture of a
widespread, awful ?Spanish Inquisition.? Eventually, ?The Inquisition?
became viewed as the primary instrument of Catholic tyranny, not only
of Protestants, but also of freedom of thought and religion in
general. However, exporting the Inquisition to the Netherlands was
never in the plans of the Spanish Habsburg rulers, at least after the
time of Charles V.

[edit] Montanus

In 1567, the Spanish Protestant Antonio del Corro, a close relative of
an inquisitor and ferocious enemy of the Spanish Inquisition,
published A Discovery and Plaine Declaration of Sundry Subtill
Practices of the Holy Inquisition of Spain under the pseudonym
Reginaldus Gonzalvus Montanus (Peters 1988: 133). This document, along
with a number of successive publications, was reprinted and translated
throughout Europe and became the definitive source on ?The
Inquisition? for hundreds of years. ?Montanus portray[ed] every victim
of the Inquisition as innocent, every Inquisition official as venal
and deceitful, [and] every step in its procedure as a violation of
natural and rational law? (Peters 1988: 134). The majority of the
?histories? about ?The Inquisition? written after 1567 relied on
Montanus as their main source.

[edit] William of Orange

Also cited as one of the most famous documents supporting the myth of
?The Inquisition? is the Apologie of William of Orange, published in
1581 (Peters 1988: 153). Written by the French Huguenot Pierre
Loyseleur de Villiers, the Apologie also narrated an horrific ?Spanish
Inquisition.? This document preserved and reinforced all of the
anti-?Inquisition? propaganda generated at the beginning and
throughout the Dutch revolt (Peters 1988: 153).

[edit] The Black Legend

During this time, England, under the rule of the Protestant Queen
Elizabeth I and threatened with military attacks from Spain, found a
new surge of nationalism being fueled by anti-Catholic propaganda
centered on a series of books and pamphlets that detailed the horror
of the ?Spanish Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 139-144). Peters writes,
?An image of Spain circulated through late sixteenth-century Europe,
borne by means of political and religious propaganda that blackened
the characters of Spaniards and their ruler to such an extent that
Spain became the symbol of all forces of repression, brutality,
religious and political intolerance, and intellectual and artistic
backwardness for the next four centuries. Spaniards?have termed this
process and the image that resulted from it as ?The Black Legend,? la
leyenda negra? (Peters 1988: 131).

[edit] The Enlightenment and Art

By the seventeenth century, ?The Inquisition? provided political and
philosophical thinkers with an ideal symbol of religious intolerance.
These philosophers and politicians passionately denounced ?The
Inquisition,? citing it as the cause for all the political and
economic failures in countries where ?Inquisitions? were held. From
these debates on toleration, ?The Inquisition? was presented by French
philosophes as the worst of any religious evil to ever come out of
Europe (Peters 1988: 155-154). Additionally, writers, artists, and
sculptors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries used ?The
Inquisition? as one of their main inspirations, retaliating against
?The Inquisition?s? suppression of creativity, literature, and art
(Peters 1988: 189). These artistic images have arguably become some of
the most long-lasting and effective perpetuators of ?The Inquisition?
myth.

[edit] See also

* Inquisition
* Cardinal Ximenes
* Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
* Execution by burning
* List of Grand Inquisitors of Spain
* Historical revisionism (negationism)
* History of the Jews in Spain
* Medieval Inquisition
* Mexican Inquisition
* Peruvian Inquisition
* Portuguese Inquisition
* Roman Inquisition
* Spanish Inquisition
* Histoire de l'Inquisition en France

[edit] Resources

* Peters, Edward. Inquisition. New York: The Free Press, 1988.
* Bradley, Gerard. ?One Cheer for Inquisitions.? Catholic Dossier.
Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Carroll, Anne W. ?The Inquisition.? Christ the King: Lord of
History. Rockford Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers Inc, 1994.
207-211.
* Hitchock, James. ?Inquisition.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6
(Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Horvat, Marian. ?The Holy Inquisition: Myth or Reality.?
Catholic Family News. (Mar, 1998).
* Kamen, Henry. The Spanish Inquisition : A Historical Revision.
London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997.
* Kelly, Henry A. ?Inquisition and the Prosecution of Heresy:
Misconceptions and Abuses.? Church History. Vol. 58, No. 4 (Dec,
1989). 439-451.
* Madden, Thomas F. ?The Real Inquisition: Investigating the
Popular Myth.? National Review Online. June 18, 2004.
* O?Connell, Marvin R. ?The Spanish Inquisition: Fact Versus
Fiction.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Parker, Geoffrey. ?Some Recent Work on the Inquisition in Spain
and Italy.? The Journal of Modern History. Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sept,
1982). 519-532.
* Rice, Ellen. ?The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition.? Catholic
Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Sanchez, M. G. Anti-Spanish Sentiment in English Literary and
Political Writing. (PhD Diss, University of Leeds, 2004).
* Van Hove, S.J., Fr. Brian. ?Beyond the Myth of The Inquisition:
Ours is ?The Golden Age?.? Faith and Reason. (Winter, 1992).

[edit] Footnotes

1. ^ Iarocci, Michael P. (1 March 2006). Properties of Modernity.
Vanderbilt University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8265-1522-3.
http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0826515223&id=CuliwYNyvSUC&pg=PA218&lpg=PA218&sig=DOZYfMfF_RBMgzsbT8KfXVqO3y4.
2. ^ This concern is reflected by a Papal bull issued on April 18,
1482 by Pope Sixtus IV, bull in which he protested

that in Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, and Catalonia the
Inquisition has for some time been moved not by zeal for the faith and
the salvation of souls but by lust for wealth. Many true and faithful
Christians, on the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves, and other
lower and even less proper persons, have without any legitimate proof
been thrust into secular prisons, tortured and condemned as relapsed
heretics, deprived of their goods and property and handed over to the
secular arm to be executed, to the peril of souls, setting a
pernicious example, and causing disgust to many.

Kamen, Henry (23 November 2000). The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision. Orion Publishing Group. p. 49. ISBN
1-84212-205-3.
3. ^ Kamen, p. 61.
4. ^ INTOLLERANZA RELIGIOSA - ALLE RADICI DELLA VIOLENZA

[edit] External links

* FAQ on the Inquisition by James Hannam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_revision_of_the_Inquisition
Goanet News
2009-06-23 00:00:15 UTC
Permalink
Historical revision of the Inquisition
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Historical revision of the Inquisition is a historiographical
project that has emerged in recent years. In the last forty years,
with opening of formerly closed archives, the development of new
historical methodologies, and, in Spain, the death of Francisco Franco
in 1975, new works of historical revisionism have reread the history
of the Roman and Spanish Inquisitions.

Writers associated with this project share the view of Edward Peters,
a prominent historian in the field, who states: "The Inquisition was
an image assembled from a body of legends and myths which, between the
twentieth and the sixteenth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality."[1]
Contents
[show]

* 1 Significant works
o 1.1 Understanding inquisitions
* 2 The Inquisitions in France
o 2.1 Cathars and Waldensians
o 2.2 The "Grand Program"
o 2.3 The "Albigensian Crusade"
o 2.4 Codes and torture
* 3 The Inquisitions in Spain
o 3.1 Antisemitism and the "conversos"
o 3.2 Papal Bull
o 3.3 Procedure and torture
o 3.4 The auto de fe
* 4 The Inquisitions in Italy
o 4.1 Context
o 4.2 The creation of the Holy Office
o 4.3 "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions
o 4.4 Evolution of the Holy Office
* 5 The Creation of "The Inquisition"
o 5.1 "A Protestant Vision..."
o 5.2 The Revolt of the Netherlands
o 5.3 Montanus
o 5.4 William of Orange
o 5.5 The Black Legend
o 5.6 The Enlightenment and Art
* 6 See also
* 7 Resources
* 8 Footnotes
* 9 External links

[edit] Significant works

The two most significant and extensively cited sources of this revised
analysis of the historiography of the inquisitorial proceedings are
Inquisition (1988) by Edward Peters and The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision (1997) by Henry Kamen. These works focus on
exposing and correcting what they argue are popular modern
misconceptions about the inquisitions and historical
misinterpretations of their activities. The following text presents
Peters? and Kamen?s ideas.

[edit] Understanding inquisitions

Because the inquisitorial process was not based on tolerant principles
and doctrines such as freedom of thought and freedom of religion that
became prominent in Western thinking during the eighteenth century,
modern society has an inherent difficulty in understanding the
inquisitorial institutions. From the Middle Ages well into the
seventeenth century in Catholic Europe, the law stated that the worst
offence one could commit was that which threatened the unity and
security of the Catholic Church, and most importantly, the salvation
of souls.[2] Uniformity of worship does not appear to have been the
motivation for setting up the Spanish Inquisition at all.[3] ?The
Inquisition can only be understood within the framework of the
centuries of its existence, when religious uniformity and orthodoxy
and obedience to authority were enforced by almost all political and
religious institutions, and were considered essential for the very
survival of society" (Hitchcock 1996).

Regardless of the century, inquisitions were ecclesiastical
investigations conducted either directly by the Catholic Church or by
secular authorities with the support of the Church. These
investigations were undertaken at varying times in varying regions
under the authority of the local bishop and his designates or under
the sponsorship of papal-appointed legates. The purpose of each
inquisition was specific to the outstanding circumstances of the
region in which it was held. Investigations usually involved a legal
process, the goal of which was to obtain a confession and
reconciliation with the Church from those who were accused of heresy
or of participating in activities contrary to Church Canon law. The
objectives of the inquisitions were to secure the repentance of the
accused and to maintain the authority of the Church. Inquisitions were
conducted with the collaboration of secular authorities. If an
investigation resulted in a person being convicted of heresy and
unwillingness to repent punishment was administered by the secular
authorities.

[edit] The Inquisitions in France
Further information: Medieval Inquisition

[edit] Cathars and Waldensians

The two heresies that gave birth to the French medieval inquisitions
were that of the Cathars (also known as the Albigensians) and the
Waldensians. The Cathars essentially believed that a ?good god?
created everything heavenly while an ?evil god? ? the God of the Old
Testament ? created the material world with the Church acting as its
vehicle (Horvat 1998: 4). The Waldensians rejected the sacramental
authority of the Church and its clerics and encouraged apostolic
poverty (Peters 1988: 43). These movements became particularly popular
in Southern France as well as Northern Italy and parts of Germany.
Protestant reformers in the sixteenth century often pointed to these
movements as part of an underground reformed Church that had been the
victim of persecution for centuries even though the Cathars and the
Waldensians had an unquestionably non-Reformed, dualistic perception
of God (Peters 1988: 123).

[edit] The "Grand Program"

During the eleventh century, a new wave of religiosity swept through
Europe. It claimed that the prospect of salvation in the world would
greatly increase if the world were reformed. In addition, the papacy
itself underwent reform at the end of the eleventh century and the
Church began devising its ?grand program of sanctifying the world?
(Peters 1988: 40). This ?grand program? was a combination of the
Church?s need to reform its institutional life, free itself from
secular control, and to build a Christian society. There was also a
growing opinion that those who rebelled from the church's beliefs
(heretics) or those who behaved in a manner that was ?un-Christian?
were not simply souls led astray in a ?temptation-filled world, but
[were] subverters of the world?s new course? (Peters 1988: 40).

Until the late twelfth century, the investigation of heresy was
considered the responsibility of local churches and it was held that
local secular authorities would prosecute heretics. However, in 1179,
the Church?s ?grand program of sanctifying the world? saw the creation
of The Third Lateran Council that included a canon condemning heretics
(Peters 1988: 47). In 1184, Pope Lucius III issued the Ad abolendam,
labeled "the founding charter of the inquisition," that called for
those found as heretics by the local church to be turned over to
secular courts (Peters 1988: 47). Finally, in 1199, Pope Innocent III
equated heresy with treason and in 1208 called for a ?crusade? against
the Albigensians (Peters 1988: 50).

[edit] The "Albigensian Crusade"

According to Peters the violence of the following ?Albigensian
Crusade? was not in line with the reforms and plans of Innocent, who
stressed confession, reform of the clergy and laity, and pastoral
teachings to oppose heresy (Peters 1988: 50-51). Peters asserts that
the violence was due to the ?crusade? being under the control of mobs,
petty rulers, and local bishops who did not uphold Innocent?s ideas,
armies from northern France swept through the south and essentially
eradicated the Albigensians. The uncontainable, prejudicial passion of
local mobs and heresy hunters, the violence of secular courts, and the
bloodshed of the Albigensian crusade sparked a desire within the
papacy to implement greater control over the prosecution of heresy.
This desire led to the development of organized legal procedures for
dealing with heretics (Peters 1988: 52-58).

[edit] Codes and torture

The new codes and procedures detailed how an inquisitorial court was
to function. If the accused renounced their heresy and returned to the
Church, forgiveness was granted and a penance was imposed. If the
accused upheld their heresy, they were excommunicated and turned over
to secular authorities. The penalties for heresy, though not as severe
as the secular courts of Europe at the time, were codified within the
ecclesiastic courts as well (e.g. confiscation of property, turning
heretics over to the secular courts for punishment) (Horvat 1998: 7;
Peters 1988: 58-67). Additionally, the various ?key terms? of the
inquisitorial courts were defined at this time, including, for
example, ?heretics,? ?believers,? ?those suspect of heresy,? ?those
simply suspected,? ?those vehemently suspected,? and ?those most
vehemently suspected? (Peters 1988: 63).

Generally, inquisitorial courts functioned much like the secular
courts of the time, though their sentences and penances were less
cruel. (Peters 1988: 65) A number of procedures and protections
restricted the torture of the accused and capital punishment was
executed by secular authorities in light of the clerical prohibition
on shedding blood. (Peters 1988: 45) However, much inhumane torture
could nonetheless be inflicted. Torture was not used as a form of
punishment, as was frequent in secular courts. Any confession made
following or during torture had to be freely repeated the next day
without torture or it was considered invalid (Peters 1988: 65).
?Technically, therefore, torture was strictly a means of obtaining the
only full proof available?[The inquisitors?] tasks were not only ? or
even primarily ? to convict the contumacious heretic, but?to preserve
the unity of the Church? (Peters 1988: 65).

After the suppression of the Albigensian heresy in southern France in
the thirteenth century, inquisitorial trials diminished in the face of
more pressing local needs and any lingering trials were left to
secular authorities. Inquisitorial courts conducted under local
episcopacies worked closely with local secular authorities and dealt
with local circumstances. Regional control of the inquisitorial
process and regional concerns became dominant (Peters 1988: 74). By
the mid to late fourteenth century, papal-commissioned inquisitors
were dissolved in many parts of Europe.

[edit] The Inquisitions in Spain
Further information: Spanish Inquisition

[edit] Antisemitism and the "conversos"

Antisemitic attitudes increased all over Europe during the late
thirteenth century and throughout the fourteenth century. England and
France expelled their Jewish populations in 1290 and 1306 respectively
(Peters 1988: 79). At the same time, during the Reconquista, Spain?s
anti-Jewish sentiment steadily increased. This prejudice climaxed in
the summer of 1391 when violent anti-Jewish riots broke out in Spanish
cities like Barcelona (Peters 1988: 82). These mob riots led to major
forced conversions of Jews to Christianity. To distinguish them from
non-converted or long-established Christian families, new converts
were labeled conversos, or New Christians. These distinctions formed
part of the limpieza de sangre ("blood purity") doctrine.

Peters writes,

?From the mid fifteenth century on, religious anti-Semitism
changed into ethnic anti-Semitism, with little difference seen between
Jews and conversos except for the fact that conversos were regarded as
worse than Jews because, as ostensible Christians, they had acquired
privileges and positions that were denied to Jews. The result of this
new ethnic anti-Semitism was the invocation of an inquisition to
ferret out the false conversos who had, by becoming formal Christians,
placed themselves under its authority? (Peters 1988: 84). It was a
heated mixture of this racial and religious prejudice against the
conversos that ignited what later became known as the ?Spanish
Inquisition.?

[edit] Papal Bull

Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella requested a papal bull
establishing an inquisition in Spain in 1478 in response to the unrest
and mob violence against the conversos. Pope Sixtus IV granted a bull
permitting the monarchs to select and appoint two or three priests
over forty years of age to act as inquisitors (Peters 1988: 85). In
1483, Ferdinand and Isabella established a state council to administer
the inquisition with the Dominican Friar Tom?s de Torquemada acting as
its president, even though Sixtus IV protested the activities of the
inquisition in Aragon and its treatment of the conversos. Torquemada
eventually assumed the title of Inquisitor-General (Peters 1988: 89).

The main heresy prosecuted during the period of inquisitions in Spain
was the alleged secret practice of Judaism among the conversos. From
the establishment of the inquisitions up to 1530, it is estimated that
approximately 2,000 ?heretics? were turned over to the secular
authorities for execution in Spain (Kamen 1997: 74). Many of those
convicted of heresy were conversos who fled Spain, often to Italy
where conversos were not subject to prejudice (Peters 1988: 110).

There were so few Protestants in Spain that widespread persecution of
Protestantism was not physically possible. In the 1560s, a little over
one hundred people in Spain were convicted of Protestantism and were
turned over to the secular authorities for execution. From 1560 to
1599, two hundred more people were accused of being followers of
Martin Luther. ?Most of them were in no sense
Protestants...Irreligious sentiments, drunken mockery, anticlerical
expressions, were all captiously classified by the inquisitors (or by
those who denounced the cases) as ?Lutheran?? (Kamen 1997: 98).

[edit] Procedure and torture

Evidence and witness testimony was gathered before an arrest was made.
Once an arrest was made, the accused was given several opportunities
to admit to any heretical behavior before the charges against him/her
were identified. If the accused did not admit to any wrongdoing, the
inquisitors dictated the charges and the accused was required to
respond to them immediately (Peters 1988: 93). Torture was used;
however, it was allowed solely in cases that involved charges of
religious heresy only. Because many inquisitorial trials did not
involve heresy alone, torture was relatively rare. Additionally, the
restrictions on torture in the inquisitorial courts were much more
stringent than those that regulated the torture in the secular courts.
Torture was only used for extracting confessions during a trial and
was not used as punishment after sentencing. If torture was utilized,
the accused was required to repeat their repentance freely and without
torture (Peters 1988: 92-93). The Inquisition also had a rule that
they were only allowed to use torture once, however, they were able to
'suspend' sessions and resume them the following day, so that this
rule was effectively negated.[citation needed]

As seen in the French inquisitions, the purpose of Spanish
inquisitorial torture was to gain either information or confession,
not to punish. It was used in a relatively small percentage of trials,
since of course the threat of torture if no confession was given was
often enough to induce one, and was usually a last resort (Kamen 1997:
174-192). The ?scenes of sadism conjured up by popular writers on the
inquisition have little basis in reality, though the whole procedure
was unpleasant enough [even] to arouse periodic protests from
Spaniards? (Kamen 1997: 189).

[edit] The auto de fe

The auto de fe that followed trials is the most infamous and
misunderstood part of the inquisitions in Spain. The auto de fe
involved prayer, a Catholic mass, a public procession of those found
guilty, and a reading of their sentences (Peters 1988: 93-94).
Artistic representations of the auto de fe usually depict torture and
the burning at the stake. These paintings became a major source for
creating the violent image popularly associated with the Spanish
inquisitions. However, this type of activity never took place during
an auto de fe, which was in essence a religious act. Torture was not
administered after a trial concluded and executions were always held
after and separate from the auto de fe (Kamen 1997: 192-213).

Between 1550 and 1800, the inquisitions in Spain focused on not only
Protestants, but also the conversos, the supervision of their own
clergy, the general problem of non-mainstream religious beliefs among
Catholics, and ?blasphemous? or ?scandalous? behavior (Peters 1988:
86). Spanish inquisitions were not exceptionally different from other
European courts of the time in their prosecution of these offences, as
many of these charges were viewed as part of a broad class of moral
crimes that raised legitimate concern to spiritual and secular courts
in an age when religion was regarded as the fundamental foundation of
society (Peters 1988: 87).

[edit] The Inquisitions in Italy
Further information: Roman Inquisition

[edit] Context

Increasing trends in regionalism, the criticism of ecclesiastic
abuses, the Avignon Papacy, and the Great Schism all contributed to
the emergence of new religious dissent and unrest in fourteenth and
fifteenth century Italy. Furthermore, widespread ecclesiastical and
clerical reform advanced through the last decades of the fifteenth
century, and by the second decade of the sixteenth century, reform
movements prevailed in many parts of Europe (Peters 1988: 106).

The protests raised by Martin Luther that began in 1517 did not
initially receive much attention from the papacy (Peters 1988: 107).
Luther and his supporters concreted the principles of the Protestant
Reformation during the 1520s, sparking the development of many reform
movements in various regions of Italy. By the time of the pontificate
of Paul III, the Reform movement had swept much of Europe away from
the Catholic Church. In response, Paul III issued the Licet ab initio,
establishing inquisitions in Rome in 1542 (Peters 1988: 108). These
inquisitions consisted of six cardinals given the authority to
investigate heresy and to appoint deputies when they deemed necessary.

[edit] The creation of the Holy Office

Although the Roman inquisitions worked moderately and guardedly during
the remainder of the pontificate of Paul III, they became an essential
part of the structure of Rome when Paul IV, who became pope in 1555,
launched the Counter-Reformation that Paul III began (Peters 1988:
108). Later, in 1588, Pope Sixtus V officially organized the
inquisitions into the Congregation of the Holy Roman and Universal
Inquisition or Holy Office (Peters 1988: 109). It is important to
note, however, that this was only one of fifteen administrative
departments of the papal government and was not the sole operating
body of the Church.

[edit] "Heresies" of the Italian Inquisitions

Even though the inquisitions in Spain prosecuted a small quantity of
Reformers, the Roman inquisitions were the first to target
intentionally and specifically the ?heresy? of Protestantism. These
inquisitions and their subordinate tribunals were generally successful
in keeping any substantial Protestant influence from spreading
throughout Italy (Peters 1988: 110). Protestants in the decades and
centuries to come would use this relatively short-lived persecution as
the basis for their accusations about the awful ?Inquisition.?
Protestant movements were reduced by around 1600, so for the duration
of the seventeenth century the Roman inquisitions turned their focus
to offences other than Protestantism, notably ?magical? heresy (Peters
1988: 111).

In many trials involving ?witchcraft? or ?sorcery,? ?the inquisitors
understood very well that the lack of catechesis or consistent
pastoral guidance could often result in misunderstandings of doctrine
and liturgy, and they showed tolerance of all but the most unavoidably
serious circumstances. Thus, although both the Spanish and Roman
inquisitions prosecuted the offenses of witchcraft and sorcery very
early and vigorously, they also were the first courts to be skeptical
of the evidence and mechanism of witchcraft accusations, and they
consistently offered the most lenient treatment to marginal cases?
(Peters 1988: 111).

Italian historian Andrea Del Col estimates that out of 62,000 cases
judged by Inquisition in Italy after 1542 only 2% (ca. 1250) ended
with death sentence.[4]

[edit] Evolution of the Holy Office

By the turn of the eighteenth century, the Congregation of the Holy
Office had virtually no power or influence outside the Papal States
(Peters 1988: 119). Its main function shifted yet again to the
investigation of clerical immorality and corruption and to the
censoring of printed books, the latter of which was the key
responsibility of the Congregation of the Index (Peters 1988: 119). By
1860, the restrictions placed upon ecclesiastical authority and the
emerging national Italian state only further reduced the activities of
the Holy Office. With its powers reduced to the weakened Papal State,
the Office became an advisory committee to the late nineteenth century
popes, where it played a far greater advisory than executive role
(Peters 1988: 120).

In 1965 Pope Paul VI changed the Office?s name to The Sacred
Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and abolished the Congregation
of the Index entirely in 1966. Since then, the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith has functioned as a papal advisor on theological
matters and on matters of ecclesiastical discipline. ?Although its
work is regular, the Congregation can now hardly be thought of as an
Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 120).

[edit] The Creation of "The Inquisition"

The modern day notion of a unified and horrible ?Inquisition? is an
assemblage of the ?body of legends and myths which, between the
sixteenth and the twentieth centuries, established the perceived
character of inquisitorial tribunals and influenced all ensuing
efforts to recover their historical reality? (Peters 1988: 122). It
was the relatively limited persecution of Protestants, mostly by the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, that provoked the first image of ?The
Inquisition? as the most violent and suppressive vehicle of the Church
against Protestantism. Later, philosophical critics of religious
persecution and the Catholic Church only furthered this image during
the Enlightenment (Peters 1988: 122).

[edit] "A Protestant Vision..."

What made it possible for the Reformers to characterize ?The
Inquisition? was the clerical organization and support of the
inquisitions in Spain and Italy, their ?united? success in keeping
Protestant doctrines out of their countries, and the fear of ?The
Inquisition? being initiated in other parts of Europe. ?As a
Protestant vision of Christian history took shape in the sixteenth
century, the contemporary inquisitions were identified with the
inquisitorial tribunals of the medieval past, and the Protestant
Reformers with earlier victims of The Inquisition ? (Peters 1988:
122). Additionally, Catholic defenders of the inquisitorial process
used the same argument ? that the Reformers were no different from
medieval heretics and should be prosecuted in the same manner ? thus
perpetuating the idea of a continuous, masterminded, ?Inquisition?
(Peters 1988: 123).

Within the climate of religious persecution that clouded much of the
sixteenth century, martyrdom became a Protestant narrative of
religious struggle against the Catholic Church, especially Catholic
Spain. Reformers presented ?The Inquisition? as a unified,
papal-dominated process that lasted from the thirteenth century
through the seventeenth century. They created accounts of Protestant
martyrs and a ?hidden? Church, which produced extreme anti-Catholic
attitudes (Peters 1988: 123). Additionally, European political
resentment against Spain, which was the greatest power in Europe at
the time, took focus on ?The Inquisition.? This resentment and the
resulting anti-?Inquisition? propaganda that was published came to a
head during the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain (Peters 1988:
144).

[edit] The Revolt of the Netherlands

By around 1550, the Dutch ?printing press and propaganda turned to the
service of political reform, with The Inquisition as a major focus,
on?a wide scale and with?devastating effects? (Peters 1988: 144). Even
though the Dutch organized their own state-run inquisitions, it was
feared that King Philip II would implement a new ?Spanish Inquisition?
in the Netherlands to eliminate Protestantism. Popular literature,
circulating pamphlets, and other images painted the picture of a
widespread, awful ?Spanish Inquisition.? Eventually, ?The Inquisition?
became viewed as the primary instrument of Catholic tyranny, not only
of Protestants, but also of freedom of thought and religion in
general. However, exporting the Inquisition to the Netherlands was
never in the plans of the Spanish Habsburg rulers, at least after the
time of Charles V.

[edit] Montanus

In 1567, the Spanish Protestant Antonio del Corro, a close relative of
an inquisitor and ferocious enemy of the Spanish Inquisition,
published A Discovery and Plaine Declaration of Sundry Subtill
Practices of the Holy Inquisition of Spain under the pseudonym
Reginaldus Gonzalvus Montanus (Peters 1988: 133). This document, along
with a number of successive publications, was reprinted and translated
throughout Europe and became the definitive source on ?The
Inquisition? for hundreds of years. ?Montanus portray[ed] every victim
of the Inquisition as innocent, every Inquisition official as venal
and deceitful, [and] every step in its procedure as a violation of
natural and rational law? (Peters 1988: 134). The majority of the
?histories? about ?The Inquisition? written after 1567 relied on
Montanus as their main source.

[edit] William of Orange

Also cited as one of the most famous documents supporting the myth of
?The Inquisition? is the Apologie of William of Orange, published in
1581 (Peters 1988: 153). Written by the French Huguenot Pierre
Loyseleur de Villiers, the Apologie also narrated an horrific ?Spanish
Inquisition.? This document preserved and reinforced all of the
anti-?Inquisition? propaganda generated at the beginning and
throughout the Dutch revolt (Peters 1988: 153).

[edit] The Black Legend

During this time, England, under the rule of the Protestant Queen
Elizabeth I and threatened with military attacks from Spain, found a
new surge of nationalism being fueled by anti-Catholic propaganda
centered on a series of books and pamphlets that detailed the horror
of the ?Spanish Inquisition? (Peters 1988: 139-144). Peters writes,
?An image of Spain circulated through late sixteenth-century Europe,
borne by means of political and religious propaganda that blackened
the characters of Spaniards and their ruler to such an extent that
Spain became the symbol of all forces of repression, brutality,
religious and political intolerance, and intellectual and artistic
backwardness for the next four centuries. Spaniards?have termed this
process and the image that resulted from it as ?The Black Legend,? la
leyenda negra? (Peters 1988: 131).

[edit] The Enlightenment and Art

By the seventeenth century, ?The Inquisition? provided political and
philosophical thinkers with an ideal symbol of religious intolerance.
These philosophers and politicians passionately denounced ?The
Inquisition,? citing it as the cause for all the political and
economic failures in countries where ?Inquisitions? were held. From
these debates on toleration, ?The Inquisition? was presented by French
philosophes as the worst of any religious evil to ever come out of
Europe (Peters 1988: 155-154). Additionally, writers, artists, and
sculptors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries used ?The
Inquisition? as one of their main inspirations, retaliating against
?The Inquisition?s? suppression of creativity, literature, and art
(Peters 1988: 189). These artistic images have arguably become some of
the most long-lasting and effective perpetuators of ?The Inquisition?
myth.

[edit] See also

* Inquisition
* Cardinal Ximenes
* Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
* Execution by burning
* List of Grand Inquisitors of Spain
* Historical revisionism (negationism)
* History of the Jews in Spain
* Medieval Inquisition
* Mexican Inquisition
* Peruvian Inquisition
* Portuguese Inquisition
* Roman Inquisition
* Spanish Inquisition
* Histoire de l'Inquisition en France

[edit] Resources

* Peters, Edward. Inquisition. New York: The Free Press, 1988.
* Bradley, Gerard. ?One Cheer for Inquisitions.? Catholic Dossier.
Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Carroll, Anne W. ?The Inquisition.? Christ the King: Lord of
History. Rockford Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers Inc, 1994.
207-211.
* Hitchock, James. ?Inquisition.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6
(Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Horvat, Marian. ?The Holy Inquisition: Myth or Reality.?
Catholic Family News. (Mar, 1998).
* Kamen, Henry. The Spanish Inquisition : A Historical Revision.
London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997.
* Kelly, Henry A. ?Inquisition and the Prosecution of Heresy:
Misconceptions and Abuses.? Church History. Vol. 58, No. 4 (Dec,
1989). 439-451.
* Madden, Thomas F. ?The Real Inquisition: Investigating the
Popular Myth.? National Review Online. June 18, 2004.
* O?Connell, Marvin R. ?The Spanish Inquisition: Fact Versus
Fiction.? Catholic Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Parker, Geoffrey. ?Some Recent Work on the Inquisition in Spain
and Italy.? The Journal of Modern History. Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sept,
1982). 519-532.
* Rice, Ellen. ?The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition.? Catholic
Dossier. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Nov-Dec, 1996).
* Sanchez, M. G. Anti-Spanish Sentiment in English Literary and
Political Writing. (PhD Diss, University of Leeds, 2004).
* Van Hove, S.J., Fr. Brian. ?Beyond the Myth of The Inquisition:
Ours is ?The Golden Age?.? Faith and Reason. (Winter, 1992).

[edit] Footnotes

1. ^ Iarocci, Michael P. (1 March 2006). Properties of Modernity.
Vanderbilt University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-8265-1522-3.
http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0826515223&id=CuliwYNyvSUC&pg=PA218&lpg=PA218&sig=DOZYfMfF_RBMgzsbT8KfXVqO3y4.
2. ^ This concern is reflected by a Papal bull issued on April 18,
1482 by Pope Sixtus IV, bull in which he protested

that in Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, and Catalonia the
Inquisition has for some time been moved not by zeal for the faith and
the salvation of souls but by lust for wealth. Many true and faithful
Christians, on the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves, and other
lower and even less proper persons, have without any legitimate proof
been thrust into secular prisons, tortured and condemned as relapsed
heretics, deprived of their goods and property and handed over to the
secular arm to be executed, to the peril of souls, setting a
pernicious example, and causing disgust to many.

Kamen, Henry (23 November 2000). The Spanish Inquisition: An
Historical Revision. Orion Publishing Group. p. 49. ISBN
1-84212-205-3.
3. ^ Kamen, p. 61.
4. ^ INTOLLERANZA RELIGIOSA - ALLE RADICI DELLA VIOLENZA

[edit] External links

* FAQ on the Inquisition by James Hannam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_revision_of_the_Inquisition
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