A Review Of Toby Green's _Inquistion: The Reign of Fear_, 2009

Article IV of my “Treaclegloch” reviews


Try not to be so abusive of your detractors: it distracts from the core message and makes too many shut you out and thereby miss your salient points.

I read this book myself, and while it has all the flaws inherent in secular history (meaning that you ought to take it with a pinch of salt) it was both interesting and informative.

Your review raises some important points, particularly the debunking of historical canards and the context of the times. However, we must not pretend that the Inquisition was all sweetness and light, either. There is a strong temptation to believe that apologetics means defending everything the Church (or in the case of the Spanish Inquisition, people who went beyond what the Church asked for) has ever done.

This is false. Apologetics is predominantly the explanation and defence of Church teaching and tradition; it does not preclude an honest acknowledgement that individual Catholics - even members of the hierarchy - can and do fail at times. When we fail to acknowledge this, we set the stage for secular historians to provide their version of the story.

Temporal power, abuses, and corruption did slip into the Inquisition - as they did into every human institution, no matter how holy its intentions were - and accepting this does not make one an anti-Catholic. In fact, Green’s book has an interesting discussion of certain heresies, as well as the psychodynamics involved in some of the abuses. To dismiss it as part of a Protestant or Satanic “anti-Catholic conspiracy” is to miss the point.

As Bl. (soon to be St.) John XXIII said:

“We are conscious today that many, many centuries of blindness have cloaked our eyes so that we can no longer see the beauty of Thy chosen people nor recognise in their faces the features of our privileged brethren. We realize that the mark of Cain stands upon our foreheads. Across the centuries our brother Abel has lain in blood which we drew, or shed tears we caused by forgetting Thy love. Forgive us for the curse we falsely attached to their name as Jews. Forgive us for crucifying Thee a second time in their flesh. For we know not what we did.”

(And forgive my ignorance, but what in the name of St. Jerome is a “Treaclegloch”?) :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you both for your kindly feedback!

Inspirit, part of the “devilish missive” genre created by CS Lewis is a certain degree of arrogant snarkiness-- a devil by its very nature is going to see all humans in this light.

RPRP–It was NOT my point to defend the “White Legend”–in fact Treaclegloch’s (my) referal to Professor Kamen’s seminal work clearly states the SI was a institutionalized means of repression and bigotry. But Green is WAY out of his expertise as a researcher if he flatly states Llorente’s numbers have current academic support–one has to read this book with several blocks of salt, not just a pinch.

“Treaclegloch” just happens to be my nome de guerre for writing this sort of reviews, under the general title “Useful Idiots” derived from the old Marxist term for Western Liberals whose writings and speeches helped further Communist aims and ideology

Oh, I get it. The tone had me thrown for a minute. (And yes, Llorente has been debunked, and clearly has an agenda. We’re in clear agreement there.) I’m still not sure if Green has an open anti-Catholic agenda (he reads more like a modern, liberal historian for whom anything that sounds vaguely Anti-Semitic has to be bashed over the head thousands of times), but you’re right in that his work can certainly be read that way by some. Good review.

“Useful idiot”? That’s a new one. I must use it more often. :smiley:

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