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  #1  
Old Sep 19, '10, 2:19 pm
Jerok Jerok is offline
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Default How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

I've seen numbers as high as 150 million, which is obviously not true.

I can't find a good source for accurate numbers online. Can anyone help me determine how many people died from the Catholic Church (religious wars, inquisition, etc)

Thanks
  #2  
Old Sep 19, '10, 2:45 pm
Farsight001 Farsight001 is offline
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

I learned in high school that it was about 1 million. However, recent scholarship has lowered that number drastically. In college, which was about 4 years ago, it appears to have been down to about 10,000. Then recently (3-4 months ago) I read an article about two of the foremost experts in the world on the subject, after digging through the Vatican archives, have lowered that number further to under 2,000.

Sometimes I save useful links, but if I have one, it'd be on my other computer, which I won't be near for the next couple of days. I'll see if I have it when I get back to it though.
  #3  
Old Sep 19, '10, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerok View Post
I've seen numbers as high as 150 million, which is obviously not true.

I can't find a good source for accurate numbers online. Can anyone help me determine how many people died from the Catholic Church (religious wars, inquisition, etc)

Thanks
Religious wars? Do you believe the Crusades were an unjustified slaughter? If not, what religious wars specifically. Something like 3000-5000 people were executed during the 350 years or so of the inquisition. From what I've read, the myth of the millions of deaths and widespread persecution began sometime after the Protestant defeat at the Battle of Muhlberg.

However, to answer your question directly, nobody died from the Catholic Church. The inquisitions were not a Church matter, and the inquisitors had to be lawyers, not priests.
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  #4  
Old Sep 19, '10, 2:54 pm
Anrando Anrando is offline
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

An odd question to ask, at least to my mind. Why only Catholics? I think that there was a lot of killing going on and it was all committed by PEOPLE. This old claim that the Church was a blood thirsty evil entity during the period is simply not true. Atheists and protestants love to throw this period on the table to prove the evil nature of the Catholic Church. 150 million, WOW, I have never seen that number before. I have read that official Church records number those actually put to death through pseudo-Church related courts to number in the thousands. Quite a difference. Perhaps a bit of propagandizing going on here, methinks.

The Inquisitions were in response to ridding Southern Europe of Islam and an attempt to return to orthodoxy. The Crusades likewise were a response to killings committed by the followers of the moon god. I believe that those two "events" are what are usually used to prove the blood thirsty nature of the followers of the Church.

I have recently read that the Spanish inquisition accounted in total for less deaths than traffic accidents in any given month in the USA. It can be argued when looking at this period through our now "enlightened" eyes that those responsible carried their commission too far, but the whole affair has been incredibly exaggerated. Profession of faith was the desired outcome, not execution.

The Crusades, who can really be sure how many died. Warfare at the time did not take "body counts", on either side. Was there rape, murder, theft, and brigandry during the crusades? Absolutely, as there was in ALL warfare at the time, but again I would proffer that this has been greatly exaggerated of late to slander the Church in the name of "multicultural understanding" where simply EVERYTHING done by Christian Europeans is BAD. Soldiers weren't paid. They extracted their reward from the poor chumps that happened to fall pray to them. Sorry, that's just the way it was. It had nothing to do with the Church. Many became soldiers to make money. I'm talking about the foot soldiers here, not the nobility, nor those motivated by religious considerations. Consequently there was indeed evil committed under the banner of the Crusades, some of them anyway. But in NO way was this sanctioned nor ordered by the Church.

I like history. History is rarely recorded without bias so one must be careful when assessing the truth of what is written.. Mankind has always been a brutish selfish lot who has been, and is, willing to kill for their own enrichment. The Church has never killed anyone. Courts within some Church/State authority have "killed" very few indeed (the propriety of that can be argued elsewhere). MEN acting for their own purposes have. To single out "Catholics", which at the time meant every living European is disingenuous. All non Arab, non Asians were "Catholic", so is your question how many were killed by Europeans during the 9th and 10th centuries? I don't think that is where you want to go. i think you want to know how many were officially "killed" through the overt action of Church related "officials" and courts That number may disappoint those who want to slander the Church I'm afraid. I am not prepared to give you an exact "count" but I dare venture that 150 million is off the mark.................. by just a tad..... say 149 and some odd million.

William Unland

Last edited by Anrando; Sep 19, '10 at 3:12 pm.
  #5  
Old Sep 19, '10, 3:31 pm
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MarianD MarianD is offline
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

Why are there so many attempts at explaining things like the Inquisition and the Crusades? We all have to admit it: the people who carried out these murders were wrong. Counter-Reformation was a good thing, the Inquisitions were the ugly sides of Counter-Reformation. And the Crusades? Don't you know of the corruption that surrounded them?
  #6  
Old Sep 19, '10, 3:35 pm
LegoGE1947 LegoGE1947 is offline
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anrando View Post
An odd question to ask, at least to my mind. Why only Catholics? I think that there was a lot of killing going on and it was all committed by PEOPLE. This old claim that the Church was a blood thirsty evil entity during the period is simply not true. Atheists and protestants love to throw this period on the table to prove the evil nature of the Catholic Church. 150 million, WOW, I have never seen that number before. I have read that official Church records number those actually put to death through pseudo-Church related courts to number in the thousands. Quite a difference. Perhaps a bit of propagandizing going on here, methinks.

The Inquisitions were in response to ridding Southern Europe of Islam and an attempt to return to orthodoxy. The Crusades likewise were a response to killings committed by the followers of the moon god. I believe that those two "events" are what are usually used to prove the blood thirsty nature of the followers of the Church.

I have recently read that the Spanish inquisition accounted in total for less deaths than traffic accidents in any given month in the USA. It can be argued when looking at this period through our now "enlightened" eyes that those responsible carried their commission too far, but the whole affair has been incredibly exaggerated. Profession of faith was the desired outcome, not execution.

The Crusades, who can really be sure how many died. Warfare at the time did not take "body counts", on either side. Was there rape, murder, theft, and brigandry during the crusades? Absolutely, as there was in ALL warfare at the time, but again I would proffer that this has been greatly exaggerated of late to slander the Church in the name of "multicultural understanding" where simply EVERYTHING done by Christian Europeans is BAD. Soldiers weren't paid. They extracted their reward from the poor chumps that happened to fall pray to them. Sorry, that's just the way it was. It had nothing to do with the Church. Many became soldiers to make money. I'm talking about the foot soldiers here, not the nobility, nor those motivated by religious considerations. Consequently there was indeed evil committed under the banner of the Crusades, some of them anyway. But in NO way was this sanctioned nor ordered by the Church.

I like history. History is rarely recorded without bias so one must be careful when assessing the truth of what is written.. Mankind has always been a brutish selfish lot who has been, and is, willing to kill for their own enrichment. The Church has never killed anyone. Courts within some Church/State authority have "killed" very few indeed (the propriety of that can be argued elsewhere). MEN acting for their own purposes have. To single out "Catholics", which at the time meant every living European is disingenuous. All non Arab, non Asians were "Catholic", so is your question how many were killed by Europeans during the 9th and 10th centuries? I don't think that is where you want to go. i think you want to know how many were officially "killed" through the overt action of Church related "officials" and courts That number may disappoint those who want to slander the Church I'm afraid. I am not prepared to give you an exact "count" but I dare venture that 150 million is off the mark.................. by just a tad..... say 149 and some odd million.

William Unland
Seems to me, and I forget where I saw or heard this, the number of people reputedly put to death by the church numbered more than the whole population of the continent of Europe at the time of the Dark Ages.
  #7  
Old Sep 19, '10, 3:42 pm
Cat Herder Cat Herder is offline
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerok View Post
I've seen numbers as high as 150 million, which is obviously not true.

I can't find a good source for accurate numbers online. Can anyone help me determine how many people died from the Catholic Church (religious wars, inquisition, etc)

Thanks
Two. Maybe three.

All other deaths attributed to the "Church" (i.e. Crusades, Spanish Inquisition) were conducted by civil (i.e. secular) governments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Smith View Post
However, to answer your question directly, nobody died from the Catholic Church. The inquisitions were not a Church matter, and the inquisitors had to be lawyers, not priests.
Correct, except for the Roman Inquisition as stated above, which makes for a grand total of two (2) heretics. Or three, if the Reformation is placed in the Dark Ages.
  #8  
Old Sep 19, '10, 3:53 pm
Anrando Anrando is offline
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

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Originally Posted by MarianD View Post
Why are there so many attempts at explaining things like the Inquisition and the Crusades? We all have to admit it: the people who carried out these murders were wrong. Counter-Reformation was a good thing, the Inquisitions were the ugly sides of Counter-Reformation. And the Crusades? Don't you know of the corruption that surrounded them?
No I don't know the corruption surrounding the Crusades. Please enlighten me. Were the Crusades more or less "corrupt" because they were originally called for religious reasons? The first Crusade seems to have been a rather corruption free endeavor. Perhaps I am wrong and have missed something. Were wars of pure conquest then less "corrupt" because their was no "religious" connection? What exactly makes a war "corrupt"?

Indeed some soldiers and princes involved in the Crusades were in it all for their own enrichment, but how exactly does that reflect on the Church again? Was the "corruption" you referenced limited to Catholic Europeans? Were the moon god worshipers exempt from the "corruption" associated with those wars?

Was William's conquest of Britain at the same time, and his subsequent subjugation of the Saxons less corrupt because there was no "religious" connotation, just pure greed?

I need some help to understand how the actions of soldiers in one war are "corrupt" when the same actions in another war are not . How do the actions of soldiers in one battle become corrupt because there are crosses on their tunics when those same actions are not corrupt when they wear eagles, hawks, or flowers as their badge?

Thanks,
Bill Unland
  #9  
Old Sep 19, '10, 3:57 pm
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Prodigal Son1 Prodigal Son1 is offline
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

Most of those I hear making the 'many killed by Catholics' argument use it as a way to castigate or condemn the Catholic Church, and they are all Americans, at least the ones I've heard make the argument. Yet, I never hear the same condemnations directed at Americans over the use of nuclear weapons against the Japanese during WWII. It appears hypocritical to me....
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  #10  
Old Sep 19, '10, 3:57 pm
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Victorious Victorious is offline
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegoGE1947 View Post
Seems to me, and I forget where I saw or heard this, the number of people reputedly put to death by the church numbered more than the whole population of the continent of Europe at the time of the Dark Ages.
The Catholic Church did not execute anybody. Obstinate and intractable heretics were turned over to the civil authorities. This is because at the time the Inquisition was in effect, heresy was an offense against the civil law as well as Church law. The promulgation of error was viewed as a threat to the fabric of society (and given the present unraveled state of society amid the proliferation of bad ideas, I'm hard pressed to declare that point of view unreasonable).

Someone said the Inquisition was not a Church affair. It was an ecclesiastical court, and the inquisitors were priests of the mendicant orders (Franciscans and Dominicans, especially Dominicans). The inquisitors actually did trouble themselves about arriving at the truth of the cases before them, and achieving just results. Their notions of due process might not come up to the standards we expect, say, in the United States in the 21st century, but I bet the average Joe Winebarrel of the Middle Ages would rather have to appear in front of the Inquisition than in front of a secular court.
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  #11  
Old Sep 19, '10, 3:58 pm
Anrando Anrando is offline
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

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Originally Posted by LegoGE1947 View Post
Seems to me, and I forget where I saw or heard this, the number of people reputedly put to death by the church numbered more than the whole population of the continent of Europe at the time of the Dark Ages.
Oh goodness. I dare say that quote might be from, how shall I say this, a source with an agenda other than truth perhaps?

How exactly could you kill more people than were alive ? That would be truly miraculous wouldn't it.

Perhaps we are throwing the plague into the mix and blaming THAT on the Church as well? Why not. Catholics are responsible for all the evil in the world. How many times have I heard THAT over the years?

Regards,
Bill Unland
  #12  
Old Sep 19, '10, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

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Old Sep 19, '10, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anrando View Post
Oh goodness. I dare say that quote might be from, how shall I say this, a source with an agenda other than truth perhaps?

How exactly could you kill more people than were alive ? That would be truly miraculous wouldn't it.

Perhaps we are throwing the plague into the mix and blaming THAT on the Church as well? Why not. Catholics are responsible for all the evil in the world. How many times have I heard THAT over the years?

Regards,
Bill Unland
Well, I remember hearing that some people actually do blame the Church for the plague even though the Church did more than anyone or any organization to try to help and heal people that had gotten infected with the plague.
  #14  
Old Sep 19, '10, 4:22 pm
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

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Originally Posted by MarianD View Post
Why are there so many attempts at explaining things like the Inquisition and the Crusades? We all have to admit it: the people who carried out these murders were wrong. Counter-Reformation was a good thing, the Inquisitions were the ugly sides of Counter-Reformation. And the Crusades? Don't you know of the corruption that surrounded them?
No, we don't have to admit any such thing. While there were some people who used thier power in wrong and violent ways, the people at the heart of the Crusades and the Inquisitions (there were several) were not all wrong. Nor were either of these events "murders".
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  #15  
Old Sep 19, '10, 4:28 pm
Anrando Anrando is offline
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Default Re: How many people did Catholics kill in Dark Ages?

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Most of those I hear making the 'many killed by Catholics' argument use it as a way to castigate or condemn the Catholic Church, and they are all Americans, at least the ones I've heard make the argument. Yet, I never hear the same condemnations directed at Americans over the use of nuclear weapons against the Japanese during WWII. It appears hypocritical to me....
Great, from the 10th century to 1945. Perhaps a different thread to bash the use of the A-bomb, and Americans in general, would be interesting.

Catholic bad. America bad. American Catholic.........REALLY bad.

I actually do get what you are trying to tell us here, but the predictable portrayal of all things American as somehow "less than enlightened" wears me down a bit.

Bill Unland
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