Any corrections


#1

I am writing someone on our faith and I was hoping if it is not to much trouble that someone could look over it and make sure I have eavrything right. I don’t want to go out and mislead. Thanks and God bless

Dear Br. Larry,

I apologize for the length it took me to responed to your letter various extenuating circumstances continually appeared much to my annoyance.
The Inquisition was still not as atrocious as you write (which I am surprised that you did not seem even slightly alarmed that your and Mr. Lytles numbers were 33 million in difference). If you whish to throw Doctorates around let me reiterate that I had asked DR. Qwinn (who specializes in the time frame and also works at Lamar if you wish to ask him) said that the Inquisition killed only about 10 thousand as a whole. That those found guilty (if they repented) were usually given some form of penance or (and also for those who didn’t repent) were expel from the country. Also that it ussaly took the testimony of two people (which doesn’t the bible say “on the testimony of two witnesses shall a truth be established”) and a confession due to torture (which the rules the church laid down was not to take life nor limb) couldn’t be used in trial. There was also Dr. Kamen (a Jewish professor who specializes in the time frame of 16th centaury Spanish Inquisition) wrote The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision agreed. "YES, YES, YES. This book is an absolute Must. Kamen, is a jew and Cambridge scholar, who specializes in 16th Century Spanish history. He has chaired the best and numerous conferences on the Inquisition. His book is extremely well documented, with cites for virtually every thought including:

  1. The Inquisition was secular from Ferdinand and Isabella…NOT initiated by Rome.
  2. Rome issued a Papal Bull AGAINST Ferdinand and the Inquisition.
  3. One Spanish Bishop died trying to stop the Inquisition
  4. Numerous priests died trying to stop the Inquisition
  5. The numbers concerning deaths is sheer fantasy. Kamen sedulously pours over tax records from the Spanish Crown and found there were only a small number of jews in Spain at that time.
  6. The conversions from Judaism seemed valid to the Jews at that time. He goes over letters and writing from Rabbi’s in Africa who were alarmed that so many Jews were being converted and one Jewish physician, whose name I can’t remember was responsible for thousands of conversions and this upset the Rabbis!!!
  7. Kamen notes the large lag time between the Inquisition itself and rumors of Catholic atrocities. I think he faults protestants in the 19th century.
  8. Does Kamen find that Jews were killed in the Inquisition? Yes. Does he fault the Catholic Church? No. Does he blame the Spanish Crown and some runaway Dominicans? Yes. Did approximately 2,000 people die over a two hundred year period? Yes."1

I would not even see how there could be 67 million people killed by the inquisition seeing how it was only in Spain and for a short time in southern france (combating albinism) and in Italy. There wasn’t 67 million to kill.
And you forget that Protestants were doing the same thing. “The intolerance of Protestantism was certainly not less tyrannical than that with which Catholicism is so much reproached. (Philosophie Positive, IV, 51) What makes, however, Protestant persecutions specially revolting is the fact that they were absolutely inconsistent with the primary doctrine of Protestantism – the right of private judgment in matters of religious belief! Nothing can be more illogical than at one moment to assert that one may interpret the Bible to suit himself, and at the next to torture and kill him for having done so!”2 Where the Calvinists had power killed Catholic (and other Protestants) the same was true with the Lutherans in Germany and the Puritans in England which probably was on par with the inquisition. I am not trying to whitewash this but, mealy show you that it was not that gruesome and that it was not so much Catholicism but, the attitude of the time.


#2

Now, again about Mr. Lytle. Again I do not trust him for numerous reasons in which I will go over with you.
First, He doesn’t seem to be honest about Catholicism dispite him saying that he had been well catechized. Such as he will tell you that an Indulgence is a “free-be” to do what ever you want. Indulgences are not Forgiveness of sin but, the remitted ness the Temporal Punishment, not eternal punishment, of already forgiven sins.(ccc1471). It is not a “Free Bee” as you put it. The Catholic Church teaches that through the sharing of love , wheather through Prayer, acts of penance, works of charity and mercy, between fellow Christians the holiness of one profits others for Paul said in Colossians 1:24 “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in m flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church”. He sufferings can help us behind the sufferings of Christ.
He will come to you saying that Catholics Worship Mary. Yet, this is the official teaching of the Church, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Quote:
Idolatry

2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of “idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.” These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."42 God, however, is the "living God"43 who gives life and intervenes in history.

2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon."44 Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast"45 refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.46

2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man’s innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God."47

I was looking at the index to a Catechism and it even said under Mary “Not Worship 970-971” which I will let you look up yourself if you so have the desire.
He will then probably give this hand full of quotes from Lightministries.com, which are misquotes. Important moderator note: The website that is here offered is not giving accurate quotes of real Catholic documents. But pulling pieces out of context. Thanks to Church Militant for his quick research that he has posted later on in this thread which shows the quotes PNRC posted do not exist. They are complete fabrications. Link removed as rabidly anti-Catholic

3 I have also looked up a few of the quotes to find that this is true. Which plenty of people at the website I am about to give you will testify to you about. He will also tell you “Well you seem to forget I was Catholic I was there.” In which I will lead you to forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=79639&highlight=Mary+Worship where you will find ample current Practising Catholics (who are well educated in their faith) denounce such an Idea and find such an accusation offensive.


#3

Second, He does not follow the Bible as he claims to profess. For example he says that Baptism is symbolic and has not real affects but, the Bible teaches otherwise. “He saved us . . . by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit . . . so that we might be justified by his grace” (Titus 3:5–7). “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38. And it goes on. Does he follow the bible. No.
I am woring on a letter to discuss his theology with him and I will share with you a little bit. “Purgatory

I know you proboly will jump out your seat to say that the Catholic Church invented Purgatory and that it has no basis in the Bible. But it is biblical. Jesus spoke of it in Luke 12:58,59 when he said," When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite." And when you say well that is only with judges as the scripture says, your right but, what you fail to realize it that God is a Judge, which is why we speak of the last judgement. But, Jesus said, “Thou shalt not depart thence,” and we know that there is no departing from hell so the only place we can go where we pay for our sins is Purgatory.
In Matthew 12:32 “and whosoever against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever wpeaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Jesus was saying that one could attain attonment for ones sins (except blasphymy against the holy spirit) either in this world or the world to come. This really come to sense when one hears St. Augustines The City of God “Temporay punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by others after death, by others both now and then; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment”.
Paul even testfies of this in 1 Corinthians 3:13-15, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” Now this cannot refer to just ordinary work because howmany businesses can you name that get burned down on a daily basis. I can’t think of any. “He shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved;” cannont refer to hell because if anyone is “saved” they don’t go to hell, the only logical conclusion is purgatory.
2 Maccabees 12:46 (whos inspiration I shall discuss a little later but, save for now it must be admitted as a feflection of the religious views of the Jews before the New Testament)“It is a Holy and wholesome though to pray for the dead, that they might be loosed from their sins”. As it has already been stated nothing can help in those in hell and those in heaven don’t need it only those in Purgatory could use it (it is also another verse that supports indulgences by the way they sacrifice for the spiritual benifiet of others).
I know your probobly yelling at this paper and turning red with Christs suffering takes care of that and once forgiven one would automaticly go to heaven but, Rev. 21:27 says that nothing Unclean shall enter heaven. And though Christs crucifiction may cover ones sins it is still there and must be cleansed “as by fire” before it can enter into heaven.” Again, is he following what the bible says?
And the list goes on forever. I do not trust him. All that I showed you (and the other Theological issues I am not bringing up due to length) is why I am not returning there. I would strongly urge you to leave and go somewhere else, but, God might have you there for a reason that I don’t see (maybe to talk some sense into them) so I will leave that up to you and God. But, please be on your toes.
One last thing before I let you go, I would like to talk to you about the state of the dead. I know that you believe in Soul-sleep and this is something I would like to address. It took me some work, studying and asking around but, I think I have figured it out.
These are the scriptures I think you gave me suppoting your caseRom. 6:23


#4

[Eccl. 9:5, 6
Ps. 146:3, 4
John 11:11-14
1 Cor. 15:51-54
1 Thess. 4:13-17
John 5:28, 29
Rev. 20:1-10

Reply: Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I don’t see how that relates. This is a true statement

1 Tim. 6:15,16 and this will be made manifest at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

I don’t mean this to sound sarcastic or rude but, it sounds like he was just talking about the Glory of God. Otherwise the “or can see” would sound like we would never get to heaven.

Ecc. 9:5,6 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward; but the memory of them is lost. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and they have no more for ever any share in all that is done under the sun.

I don’t think that is a theological statement on the state of the dead. I noticed that the author of the book seems rather depressed and tends to over exaggerate things. Such as when he tell us that “it’s all useless.” And that the good and evil will all get the same.

John 11:11-14 Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, “Our friend Laz’arus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, "Laz’arus is dead;

I fail to see the connection. People say that someone has “fallen asleep” when they die but, bears no point on the soul as people on this thread have made abundantly clear.

again with 1 Cor. 15:51-54 I fail to see the connection. Paul is talking about the general judgment when this happens.

1st thess. 4:13-17 But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.

it sounds to me like its saying that that the dead will be judged before those who are alive (as if those who died are judged and could go to heaven hell or purgatory.)

John 5:28, 29 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.

I would like to give you the next verse which was conveniently left out. John 5:30 I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just

these verses in no way implies soul sleep. It simply states that they will be doing a little waiting before Jesus will judge them (which leads me to think possibly when Jesus is done with Calvary or whenever Jesus feels like, as with Moses and Elijah).

[/quote]


#5

And I think that Rev. was talking again the two judements (the Particular and the General).

Now to prove consciousness. Heb 12:1 - we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses
Tob 12:12 - angel presents Tobit & Sarah’s prayer to God
Ps 148 - David calls upon angels
Zech 1:12 - angel intercedes for Jerusalem
Mk 12:25, Mt 22:30 - men in heaven are as the angels
Rev 5:8 - those in heaven offer prayers of the holy ones to God
2 Corinthians 5:6-9 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord- for we walk by faith, not by sight- we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

Philippians 1:21-24 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.

(Eccl 12:5 NASB) Furthermore, men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street.

(Eccl 12:6 NASB) Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed;

(Eccl 12:7 NASB) then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

(Gen 35:18 NASB) And it came about as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.

(John 11:25 NASB) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,

(John 11:26 NASB) and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

(1 Th 4:13 NASB) But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope.

(1 Th 4:14 NASB) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

(1 Th 4:15 NASB) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.

(Rev 6:9 NASB) And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;

(Rev 6:10 NASB) and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

Samuel prophesies after death: 1 Sam 28:15-19; Sirach 46:20.

Elisha performs marvelous deeds after death: Sirach 48:14 (probably referring in part to the events of 2 Kings 13:21).

In the trustworthy vision of Judas Maccabeus, Onias and Jeremiah are seen constantly praying for the Jewish people after death: 2 Maccabees 15:12-14.

In the story told by Jesus, the rich man and Abraham, one in torment and the other in comfort, converse after death: Luke 16:19-31.

At the Transfiguration, Moses appears and converses with Jesus after death: Luke 9:30-31

I shall let you to your usial activities. I shall pray for you.

Love,
Montie


#6

(which I am surprised that you did not seem even slightly alarmed that your and Mr. Lytles numbers were 33 million in difference).

I don’t know what the numbers were, but you’re absolutely right that it wasn’t millions, it was thousands. Bear in mind that there were several different Inquisitions. Kamen only wrote about Spain, I believe, so you can’t use him to exonerate the medieval Inquisition.

That those found guilty (if they repented) were usually given some form of penance or (and also for those who didn’t repent) were expel from the country.

I’d like to see evidence that unrepentant heretics were banished. Generally they were handed over to the secular arm for execution by burning. Relapsed heretics who repented the second time around were also executed, although typically by strangling rather than burning. You can read Aquinas’s defense of the execution of heretics in ST II/II, qu. 11 art. 3.

Also that it ussaly took the testimony of two people (which doesn’t the bible say “on the testimony of two witnesses shall a truth be established”) and a confession due to torture (which the rules the church laid down was not to take life nor limb) couldn’t be used in trial.

Are you sure about that? My understanding is that according to Roman law (which the Inquisition used) you couldn’t use torture unless you had very strong circumstantial evidence. Torture was then used to extract a confession, which was used as the basis for condemnation. Otherwise why allow torture at all?

  1. The Inquisition was secular from Ferdinand and Isabella…NOT initiated by Rome.

The Spanish Inquisition was initiated by the monarchs. But it was just one instance of the Inquisition, which originated earlier in the Middle Ages and *was *sanctioned by the Papacy. Furthermore, it was hardly secular. The Spanish monarchs were Christian rulers and the Inquisition was a church court staffed by bishops and cardinals.

  1. Rome issued a Papal Bull AGAINST Ferdinand and the Inquisition.

That I’d like to see evidence for. What was the name of this Bull? Sixtus IV authorized the Spanish Inquisition in 1478.
I believe Sixtus did reprove the Inquisition for excessive harshness, and that may be what you have in mind.

  1. One Spanish Bishop died trying to stop the Inquisition

Whom do you have in mind? Carranza? He wasn’t killed trying to stop the Inquisition. He was imprisoned for years by the Inquisition on suspicion of Protestant leanings. Not quite the same thing.

  1. Numerous priests died trying to stop the Inquisition

Who were these priests? What is your source for this?

  1. The numbers concerning deaths is sheer fantasy. Kamen sedulously pours over tax records from the Spanish Crown and found there were only a small number of jews in Spain at that time.
  2. The conversions from Judaism seemed valid to the Jews at that time. He goes over letters and writing from Rabbi’s in Africa who were alarmed that so many Jews were being converted and one Jewish physician, whose name I can’t remember was responsible for thousands of conversions and this upset the Rabbis!!!

You need to clarify your chronology here. At what time were there only a small number of Jews in Spain? At the same time that thousands were converting? And are you seriously saying that Kamen rules out coercion and the desire not to lose their homes and lands as a motivation for conversion? This all seems very dubious to me. You appear to be citing some unidentified source which is citing Kamen. This is not a very convincing way of using historical sources. You need to state clearly where you are getting this review from. Perhaps they are not citing Kamen accurately.


#7

And you forget that Protestants were doing the same thing.

Well, if the Inquisition can’t be blamed on the Catholic Church because it was run by the government, then none of the Protestant persecutions can be blamed on Protestants either! You can’t have your cake and eat it true.

Of course both Protestantism and Catholicism should be held responsible for what their governments did. But while Protestants did persecute, on the whole they were more concerned with public order and less with wiping out heretical opinion than Catholics. Protestant violence tended to be directed against the symbols and leaders of the Catholic Church rather than against rank-and-file Catholics. Natalie Zemon Davis, for instance, has studied religious violence in Lyons and found that Catholics were far more likely to try to kill ordinary Protestants than vice versa. I don’t think there’s any reasonable way to deny that on the whole Catholics were more intolerant of Protestants than vice versa. In fact, most Protestant persecutions were of Anabaptists and antitrinitarians and other radicals rather than of Catholics (England being the major exception!). Of course, this still doesn’t deny your main point that Protestants persecuted as well.

“The intolerance of Protestantism was certainly not less tyrannical than that with which Catholicism is so much reproached. (Philosophie Positive, IV, 51)

I don’t know what this source is or why I should take it seriously.

What makes, however, Protestant persecutions specially revolting is the fact that they were absolutely inconsistent with the primary doctrine of Protestantism – the right of private judgment in matters of religious belief!

Since the Reformers did not teach this kind of “private judgment,” and it is emphatically not the primary doctrine of Protestantism, this is a remarkably silly argument.

Nothing can be more illogical than at one moment to assert that one may interpret the Bible to suit himself, and at the next to torture and kill him for having done so!”2

The Reformers taught that ordinary believers could understand Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit. They did not teach that people could interpret the Bible “to suit themselves.” That’s a ridiculous caricature of Protestantism.

Where the Calvinists had power killed Catholic (and other Protestants) the same was true with the Lutherans in Germany and the Puritans in England which probably was on par with the inquisition.

No, it wasn’t. Show me one documented instance of a Protestant government on the Continent executing a Catholic for religious reasons. Show me one instance of a Catholic ever being executed for heresy (maybe it happened a couple times in Scotland). The major instance of Protestant persecution of Catholics was England, and there were particular political reasons for it. I’m not denying that it was a religious persecution–I’m simply saying that it was somewhat of a special case given the questions about the legitimacy of Elizabeth which made her government see Catholic missionaries (with some reason) as politically subversive.

I don’t know of a single instance of the Lutherans executing a Catholic for religious reasons. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, only that I don’t know of it. They generally didn’t execute Anabaptists either–Hans Hut died under suspicious circumstances, but it appears that the fire that broke out in his cell (and which smothered him) was either an accident or possibly the result of his attempt to escape. A few Lutherans were beheaded in the course of intra-Lutheran squabbles!

The Swiss Reformed executed Anabaptists. And, again, our friends the English executed radicals of various sorts. In fact, England and Geneva were the only Protestant governments to burn people at the stake, as far as I know (and Geneva only burned one man).

All of this is to say that your main point is valid, but you go overboard and make dubious claims that will be hard to defend if he knows his stuff. Clearly his sources are bogus. You can deflate the exaggerated claims he’s making without engaging in exaggerations of your own. You’ll be on much stronger ground that way.

If you want to put him in touch with me (as a Protestant who doesn’t buy this anti-Catholic propaganda stuff), I’d be happy to talk to him directly. Send me a private message if you want to do that.

Edwin


#8

Contarini,
Heres your answer…
The Protestant Inquisition

Disclaimer and statement of intent: Unfortunately, the religious “scandal score” needs to be evened up now and then, and the lesser-known “skeletons in the closet” need to be rescued from obscurity, surveyed, and exposed. I take no pleasure in “dredging up” these unsavory occurrences, but it is necessary for honest, fair historical appraisal. This does not mean that I have forsaken ecumenism, or that I wish to bash Protestants, or that I deny corresponding Catholic shortcomings. Historical facts are what they are, and most Protestants (and Catholics) are unaware of the following historical events and beliefs (while, on the other hand, one always hears about the embarrassing and scandalous Catholic stuff – and not often very accurately or fairly at that). If (as I suspect might often be the case) readers are shocked or surprised by the very title of this paper, this would be a case in point, and justification enough for my purposes of education. With that end and stated outlook in mind, I offer this copiously-researched treatise, with all due respect to my Protestant brethren, yet not without some remaining trepidation.

I wouldn’t wax too righteous on us.

John 8:7 When therefore they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Luke 6:42 Or how canst thou say to thy brother: Brother, let me pull the mote out of thy eye, when thou thyself seest not the beam in thy own eye? Hypocrite, cast first the beam out of thy own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to take out the mote from thy brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Pax vobiscum,


#9

I didn’t wax righteous. I summarized the historical evidence as I knew it. If you think Armstrong’s piece contradicts anything I said, please point out the *specific *bit of evidence in question and I’ll respond to it. I don’t recall Dave mentioning any case where a Catholic was executed for heresy or where a continental Protestant government executed a Catholic for religious reasons as happened in England (and possibly in Scotland as well).

There are all sorts of reasons why Protestants were on the whole more tolerant than Catholics. Here are a few:

  1. Protestants were aware of their tenuous position and of just how ridiculous it would look to execute someone as a heretic for believing what everyone had believed until recently.

  2. Generally speaking, larger countries were more vicious in their punishments than smaller political units (Catholic Poland being the major exception because it was highly decentralized), which could banish people quite easily and didn’t need to chop them into little pieces. The Hapsburgs, the French, and the English were probably the three most intolerant regimes in Europe. Since two of those were Catholic, that means that much of the killing for religious reasons that went on was done by Catholics. Small German states, both Protestant and Catholic, tended to be much more tolerant. The Hapsburgs were responsible for a very hefty amount of the religious butchery that went on in 16th-century Europe. But then, they were also the recognized champions of Catholicism, and Catholicism has to take some responsibility for this.

On the other hand, it must be said that the most tolerant of the larger kingdoms was Catholic Poland.

We need a lot more careful study of this stuff, free both from polemical agendas and from “everyone-killed-everyone” PC nonsense. I’d like to do some work on it, but I wound up doing intellectual history rather than social/political stuff. The best work on the subject so far is Brad Gregory’s *Salvation at Stake *(Gregory is Catholic BTW). Kamen on the Inquisition and Davis on religious conflict in Lyons are also good (though I have only glanced at Kamen and am recommending him largely by reputation).

Still, I’m trying to be as fair as possible. If you disagree, please be specific instead of throwing online essays and Biblical texts at my head!

Edwin


#10

I think this whole issue is hard to resolve because historical documentation will be disputed - just as the content of the Bible is disputed by those who do not wish to follow it.

Also, we live in a society today that accept certain evils as rights, and yet certain privations as evil. Consider the irony of the people of America, who authorize the state to kill innocent children and elderly, complaining about the Church authorizing the state to kill heretics. Is it not a smokescreen?

I believe there was nothing wrong with the existence of the Inquisition. There were cases of abuse - as there are in our courts today. But the concept of the Inquisition is something that we need not be defensive about. Someone who uses that as the reason for not becoming Catholic is not going to be ready to accept many other things of the Faith. Perhaps they would object to a God who allows people to be tortured in Hell forever for not believing appropriately?

As soon as you accept the tenet that the Inquisition was evil in principle, and then try to act like the Church wasn’t officially involved, then you have played into their hands and lost the case - because the Church was officially involved. The fact of the matter is that it was not evil in principle, despite what many today assert.
Again, I have met people who complain that if God were good, He wouldn’t let people be tortured in Hell forever.

To defend the Inquisition is to show that it was proper, despite any abuses of it by either civil authority or religious mavericks.

hurst


#11

[quote=Contarini]But while Protestants did persecute, on the whole they were more concerned with public order and less with wiping out heretical opinion than Catholics
[/quote]

But, then the same could be said about Catholics though. Albainism, the heresy that started the original inquisition, was something that could,would, and did start revolts against govermental superiours and unrightfully seized (vandalized and occasionaly burned) property as well as mistreatment of Catholic Clergy.(From the book Triumph)
Moslems as well were known not to be all that peacefull (that had force converted North Africa, the middle east, and for a while Spain (which overtly had been retaken by christians)) so fear of openly Moslems and those that might have “Converted” and goten high goverment postitions has a civil reason.
But, then again we both would have to face facts and admitt that “Civil Order” was not the only reason. The German princes that sided with Luther wanted Church property (though some might have converted scincearly) (Dr. Thompson, prof. at Lamar U.)


#12

Define the Inquisition. I would define it as an ecclesiastical court that used Roman law to try and punish religious offenses, imposing lesser penalties itself and handing over incorrigible cases to the secular arm for the imposition of the death penalty.

I do not think the Church should have used Roman law in its courts.

I do not think the Church should be in the business of imprisoning people or using the threat of force to make them repent (much less using torture as provided for under Roman law).

And I most emphatically do not think that the civil authorities should execute people for heresy, or that the Church should hand people over to it for execution.

These are all serious errors, and the third is a monstrous evil. The fact that our society has different evils is irrelevant. Every society has its own evils. These were the evils of medieval/early modern Catholic society (and Protestant society too, though it worked rather differently because the Church generally had far less autonomy). If you condone these evils, you will discredit Catholicism in the eyes of non-Catholics like myself. You can’t say that you haven’t been warned!:tsktsk:

Edwin


#13

[quote=Montie Claunch]But, then the same could be said about Catholics though.
[/quote]

That doesn’t make sense. I deliberately phrased my sentence comparatively. Of course Catholic persecution of heretics was concerned with public order. But Catholics were generally (not always–Poland was far more tolerant than England) more likely to interfere with people’s private beliefs and non-publicized actions, in the belief that the mere existence of heretics on Catholic soil was a horrible pollution. That’s what I’m saying. Again, read Natalie Zemon Davis’s essay “The Rites of Violence” (in her Society and Culture in Early Modern France).

Queen Elizabeth’s claim that she didn’t want to “make windows into men’s souls” may have been largely window-dressing, but it did have some truth to it. I don’t think the same could have been honestly said by, say, Philip II.

Albainism, the heresy that started the original inquisition, was something that could,would, and did start revolts against govermental superiours and unrightfully seized (vandalized and occasionaly burned) property as well as mistreatment of Catholic Clergy.(From the book Triumph)

Yes, Crocker throws around all sorts of claims in that book, but he’s not very good at backing them up. True, some northern Italian heretics (who were I think some form of Albigenses) killed St. Peter Martyr. But then he was an inquisitor–you could argue that it was self-defense. I’m not aware of any solid historical evidence that the Albigenses revolted against governmental superiors as a matter of course (when they were being left alone). After all, many Provencal nobility were Albigensians or favored them. The crusade against the Albigenses was on one level an attempt by the French monarchy to bring southern France under direct rule. Of course it wasn’t only that.

The demonization of the Albigenses is a favorite sport of Catholic apologists, but I’m afraid it won’t fly. They had deviant religious beliefs, but beyond that it’s hard to justify the violence directed against them. At least I have not seen evidence that would do so.

However, I don’t dispute that public order was a major motivation behind the persecution of heretics. I’m simply comparing Catholics and Protestants on this score, and saying that Protestants were relatively less likely to hunt people down and make sure they had the right opinions, and more likely to leave people alone as long as they didn’t make a lot of noise. Witness the fact that many Catholics were able to prosper in Elizabethan England, as long as they stayed away from missionary priests, who were seen as enemy agents. Anthony Browne, Viscount Montagu, for instance, openly opposed the Act for the Royal Supremacy at the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign, and was a staunch Catholic throughout his life. Yet he was trusted by the government and sent on many crucial missions, and actually was one of the commissioners who officiated at the trial of Mary Queen of Scots.

I’m not denying the horrendous persecution of those Catholics who dared to participate in the attempt to reestablish an organized Catholic presence in England. I’m not claiming that Protestants were warm cuddly modern liberals who believed in freedom. I’m making a strictly comparative argument.

But, then again we both would have to face facts and admitt that “Civil Order” was not the only reason. The German princes that sided with Luther wanted Church property (though some might have converted scincearly) (Dr. Thompson, prof. at Lamar U.)

Sure. Never underestimate greed as a motive! Human motivations are always mixed. I’m not so much trying to analyze motivation as I am actual policy. My point is that even in England if you had Catholic opinions you would probably be left alone as long as you were not seen to be engaging in “seditious” activities (like attending Mass celebrated by a priest who had come from abroad–which was pretty much the only way a Catholic could get Mass after a certain point). This was far less likely to be the case in places like France or the Hapsburg regions. Poland, as I said, was a shining exception. The evidence is very mixed.

Edwin


#14

Sorry, about that one misphrase. I meant to say “The same could be said about Protestants”.


#15

“The Catholic Encyclopedia remarks accuratlely that ’ it is well konw that belief in the justice of punishing heresy with death was so common among the sixteenth-century reformers-Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and their adherents- that we may say their toleration began where their power ended’.” (Keating 300)

 Keating, Karl. Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on 'Romanism' by 'Bible Christian'

Catholic Encylopedia, s.v. “Inguistion”, 8:15

Would this work better in my attempt that Protestants aren’t better than us (on the moral platform which is why most protestant fundamentalist would even bring it up)?

While I edit and work on that part of the letter (and thank you sir for bringing my attention to those details {good thing I asked for advice}) is there any other parts of the letter that I should look at and consider revising? I don’t want to mess up on this, he is a good freind of mine.


#16

The list That was address in my original letter can be found in the 6th post of forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=68871 while the most of the other information is from Dr. Qwinn, whom I had asked (sorry nothing on paper though you can ask him he works a Lamar and as long as you are polite and breif I don’t think he will mind talking with you). I didn’t put a works cited (as short as it would be) because I was in a rush to get to class. So that’s were I got that info for those who are wondering.


#17

I disagree for the most part. You’re implying that evil was done, are you not? “business of imprisoning”, “threat of force”, "to make them"
Is it not rather “You deserve death, but if you repent, mercy will be shown to you.”?

In today’s courts, that is not offered. If you are guilty, you get punished, no matter how sorry you are. In fact, survivors of murder victims are often out for the blood of the murderer, and only get more angry if he repents, because they want death for death (revenge).

So in that sense, it was more merciful than today. The problem is that people were obstinate and did not repent.

Yes, they had to convert to God, and show it by praising God. If they didn’t, then they are still bent on evil, and a danger to society. Yet this is often portrayed in a negative light as “repent or die”.

Maybe not today, since there are few if any Catholic countries. Also, most today are heretics, and it would be impractical.

But for back then, the civil authorities were Catholic, and Church and State were allied closely.

Murderers are put to death today by the civil authority. Heretics are murderers of souls. It is even a more serious crime - especially if they do not repent. So the civil authority was rightly used by the Church to execute its judgments in this regard.

In our times we have legalized the murder of the unborn, denying that they are persons. See how it comes from wrong beliefs? Heresy is worse than killing the body - it is the source of many evils, both spiritual and physical. Those people who promoted that an unborn baby is not a person deserve death. Yes, that means if this were a Catholic country, the Church would have condemned Supreme Court justices (unless they repented). In the old days the Church would have made sure it was stopped at its source - wrong belief, or heresy.

I think it does matter. If 90% of the population is doing a certain evil, then it is deplored but tolerated for practical reasons. But if a small percentage are doing it, they are targeted for enforcement.

Nowadays, most people are heretics, even within the Church itself. Therefore, the focus on addressing this is different.

I do not wish to condone evil. That is why I favor the Inquisition. If you call the punishing of heresy an evil, then what can I say? If you think it discredits Catholicism to condone the Inquisition (I advocate the principle, not the abuses), then what can I say? I will not back down just because you think it will discredit the Faith. I am not trying to discredit Catholicism, I am trying to demonstrate the reasonableness and even the necessity and value of the Inquisition - properly understood.

If you call the notion of the Inquisition evil, wouldn’t you also have a problem with God forcing us to repent in order to live in heaven, or else be tortured in Hell? But God is just, so there is nothing wrong with what He does. It is us who are wrong and must change.

Are we not simply conditioned by our times to frown upon the killing of heretics by the Church’s direction? Our very times frown upon it, perhaps because the people know they would be liable to that death due to their guilt in the eyes of God.

Warned? I fear God first. I must not condone heresy, and I must strive to rid myself of it, also. As I stated above, what you called evil (killing of unrepentant heretics by the Church) is not what I call evil - nor what a number of saints have called evil. St. Dominic is an example.

If the state isn’t directed by the Church, it will be directed by the anti-Church. In one extreme, heretics are killed. In the other extreme, faithful are killed.

And now we are starting to see the State view religion as the source of hate crimes: Bibles banned, speech against sins banned, promotion of spiritual values “unscientific” and thus banned, etc.

I will go further. I think that if the Church did regain its role in the world, that I would favor the Inquisition coming back - rightly understood, of course.

hurst


#18

[quote=Contarini]Well, if the Inquisition can’t be blamed on the Catholic Church because it was run by the government, then none of the Protestant persecutions can be blamed on Protestants either! You can’t have your cake and eat it true.

Of course both Protestantism and Catholicism should be held responsible for what their governments did. But while Protestants did persecute, on the whole they were more concerned with public order and less with wiping out heretical opinion than Catholics. Protestant violence tended to be directed against the symbols and leaders of the Catholic Church rather than against rank-and-file Catholics. Natalie Zemon Davis, for instance, has studied religious violence in Lyons and found that Catholics were far more likely to try to kill ordinary Protestants than vice versa. I don’t think there’s any reasonable way to deny that on the whole Catholics were more intolerant of Protestants than vice versa. In fact, most Protestant persecutions were of Anabaptists and antitrinitarians and other radicals rather than of Catholics (England being the major exception!). Of course, this still doesn’t deny your main point that Protestants persecuted as well.

I don’t know what this source is or why I should take it seriously.

No, it wasn’t. Show me one documented instance of a Protestant government on the Continent executing a Catholic for religious reasons. Show me one instance of a Catholic ever being executed for heresy (maybe it happened a couple times in Scotland).
[/quote]

I think the figures for Catholic repression of Protestants - not including those Lollards executed under James I (1424-37) - amount to about twenty executions; the last being the burning of Walter Mylne, a priest, in 1559, and including those of Patrick Hamilton in 1528 & George Wishart in 1546. The only Catholics whose names have been put forward to Rome for the institution of a canonical process with a view to their being raised to the honours of the altar as martyrs, are (AFAIK) Blessed George Douglas, & Saint John Ogilvie.

One might conceivably consider St. John’s offence of “declining the King’s authority in matters spiritual” (I think that was the phrase) a heresy, especially as the accused was a convert. Since Christians & subjects were the same people, it might be argued that to [try to] turn the King’s subjects from their Protestantism was heresy against the Divine order ruled by the God-anointed prince ##

The major instance of Protestant persecution of Catholics was England, and there were particular political reasons for it. I’m not denying that it was a religious persecution–I’m simply saying that it was somewhat of a special case given the questions about the legitimacy of Elizabeth which made her government see Catholic missionaries (with some reason) as politically subversive.

I don’t know of a single instance of the Lutherans executing a Catholic for religious reasons. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, only that I don’t know of it. They generally didn’t execute Anabaptists either–Hans Hut died under suspicious circumstances, but it appears that the fire that broke out in his cell (and which smothered him) was either an accident or possibly the result of his attempt to escape. A few Lutherans were beheaded in the course of intra-Lutheran squabbles!

The Swiss Reformed executed Anabaptists. And, again, our friends the English executed radicals of various sorts. In fact, England and Geneva were the only Protestant governments to burn people at the stake, as far as I know (and Geneva only burned one man).

Joan Bocher was burned under Edward VI, just as Anne Askew had been in 1546, under Henry VIII. Ann Askew seems to be a bona fide Protestant martyr, while Joan Bocher was something less theologically reputable, IIRC. An Arian was burnt in 1612. (Not that labels always show more than the judges’ estimate of the erroneous belief being punished - many Luteranos in Spain were (apparently) less Lutheran in doctrine than (in the cultural sense) humanists).

All this is for the record :slight_smile: - atrocity-swapping is not intended. If one really believes in grace, ISTM that a few million executions have no effect upon a Church’s status at all, because no number of human sins can prevail against God’s grace. ##

All of this is to say that your main point is valid, but you go overboard and make dubious claims that will be hard to defend if he knows his stuff. Clearly his sources are bogus. You can deflate the exaggerated claims he’s making without engaging in exaggerations of your own. You’ll be on much stronger ground that way.

If you want to put him in touch with me (as a Protestant who doesn’t buy this anti-Catholic propaganda stuff), I’d be happy to talk to him directly. Send me a private message if you want to do that.

Edwin


#19

[quote=Contarini]I didn’t wax righteous. I summarized the historical evidence as I knew it. If you think Armstrong’s piece contradicts anything I said, please point out the *specific *bit of evidence in question and I’ll respond to it. I don’t recall Dave mentioning any case where a Catholic was executed for heresy or where a continental Protestant government executed a Catholic for religious reasons as happened in England (and possibly in Scotland as well).

There are all sorts of reasons why Protestants were on the whole more tolerant than Catholics. Here are a few:

  1. Protestants were aware of their tenuous position and of just how ridiculous it would look to execute someone as a heretic for believing what everyone had believed until recently.
    [/quote]

That’s not insoluble - it could be argued that those resisting conversion from Romish error thereby proved their hatred for God, and their corresponding worthiness to be devoted to destruction by the children of Israel, following the edifying example of King Josiah in his destruction of the altars & high places: during which time Mattan the priest of Baal was slain. It’s a small step from admiring the godly zeal of an OT king of Judah to emulating it: by ransacking Antwerp Cathedral in 1566, for example. Given the fondness of Calvinists for making their own the more enthusiastically violent sentiments of the holy men of the OT, it’s hard not to see a connection between that ransacking in 1566, and John Knox’s way of thinking of his female opponents, if not as the 16th-century “Popish” equivalents of Athaliah - a “fun character”, that one; she massacred “the seed royal”, just as Jehu did in Israel - then at least as the equivalents of some of the other kings’ mothers in Judah. There is plenty of godly violence in the OT for the godly to rejoice in :slight_smile:

OTOH - “Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days”: a nice verse for champions of extreme measures against religious deviation to invoke, perhaps.

The Calvinists do seem to have had a reputation for political violence not shared - that I know of - by Lutherans or most other Protestants (John of Leyden et. al. being the great exception): is that a fair comment; or not ? ##

  1. Generally speaking, larger countries were more vicious in their punishments than smaller political units (Catholic Poland being the major exception because it was highly decentralized), which could banish people quite easily and didn’t need to chop them into little pieces. The Hapsburgs, the French, and the English were probably the three most intolerant regimes in Europe.

I’m impressed that you don’t mention the Spanish in the Netherlands. The treatment of the Remonstrants after the Council of Dort was unlovely - as well as being intra-Calvinist. Protestants have been very harsh to other Protestants at times, alas :frowning:

Since two of those were Catholic, that means that much of the killing for religious reasons that went on was done by Catholics. Small German states, both Protestant and Catholic, tended to be much more tolerant. The Hapsburgs were responsible for a very hefty amount of the religious butchery that went on in 16th-century Europe. But then, they were also the recognized champions of Catholicism, and Catholicism has to take some responsibility for this.

On the other hand, it must be said that the most tolerant of the larger kingdoms was Catholic Poland.

We need a lot more careful study of this stuff, free both from polemical agendas and from “everyone-killed-everyone” PC nonsense.

Absolutely :nerd: :slight_smile:

I’d like to do some work on it, but I wound up doing intellectual history rather than social/political stuff. The best work on the subject so far is Brad Gregory’s *Salvation at Stake *(Gregory is Catholic BTW). Kamen on the Inquisition and Davis on religious conflict in Lyons are also good (though I have only glanced at Kamen and am recommending him largely by reputation).

Still, I’m trying to be as fair as possible. If you disagree, please be specific instead of throwing online essays and Biblical texts at my head!

Edwin


#20

[quote=Contarini] The Spanish Inquisition was initiated by the monarchs. But it was just one instance of the Inquisition, which originated earlier in the Middle Ages and *was *sanctioned by the Papacy. Furthermore, it was hardly secular. The Spanish monarchs were Christian rulers and the Inquisition was a church court staffed by bishops and cardinals.
[/quote]

The goals of the secular authorities and the goals of the Catholic Church at that time were diametrically opposed. The goals of the Catholic Church were not to punish, exterminate, or cripple its flock. The Church wanted to ascertain the truth of each accused’s spiritual condition and give that person a clear choice of whether or not he/she would accept a life of faith.

To that end, the Church sent her representatives. These representatives were educated and specifically trained in the law surrounding these cases. Many of the accused were illiterate and could not defend themselves. Thus, the Church’s business was to defend the accused or at least to provide them with a fair hearing.

State: land grab.
Church: ascertaining the truth, saving souls.

[quote=Contarini]And are you seriously saying that Kamen rules out coercion and the desire not to lose their homes and lands as a motivation for conversion?
[/quote]

This was the motivation. When the Church found out about this, she offered the Jews in question to convert back to Judaism, without penalty. Many chose not to, no doubt because it was clear to them that the Church was not their enemy but the State disguising itself as a friend of the Church was their enemy. And the State was very very interested in their property.


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