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:
- The Inquisition was secular from Ferdinand and Isabella…NOT initiated by Rome.
- Rome issued a Papal Bull AGAINST Ferdinand and the Inquisition.
- One Spanish Bishop died trying to stop the Inquisition
- Numerous priests died trying to stop the Inquisition
- 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.
- 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!!!
- Kamen notes the large lag time between the Inquisition itself and rumors of Catholic atrocities. I think he faults protestants in the 19th century.
- 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.