dark ages


#1

Hello. I was wondering, given the catholic churches doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope, what the Pope’s position is on the killing of 50,000,000 to 100,000,000 “heretics” who disagreed with the catholic theology, and of the banning of the Bible to all but the catholic clergy during the same period of time.

Thank you for responding. I am not trying to start a fight, just get answers.

Kandy


#2

The Bible wasn’t “banned”. The Bible had to be interpreted by the Church Authority. For instance we could have all been hearing the Christadelphians take on Scripture if it wasn’t for the Church protecting the teaching of Scripture. Many people could not read back then. Also there were many Heretics at the time who misled those who could not read by denying Christ Divinity with their own “interpretations”. Hope this helps.

God Bless,
Jon


#3

Thank you. that was a very quick response, and helpful. I read somewhere that catholics and the church leaders were ashamed of that, and that doesn’t work with the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope. I wanted an answer that didn’t contradict doctrines, and I got that


#4

May I ask where you get your statistics? If one uses the normal historical milestones for the dark ages–that is from approximately AD 450 (the fall of Rome) to approximately 1100 (the start of the early middle ages), there weren’t 50,000,000 to 100,000, 000 PEOPLE LIVING all told from start to finish, let alone supposedly killed for heresy. . .

Right from the start I question a conclusion which starts with such a severely flawed premise. . .


#5

You are welcome.
God bless,
Jon


#6

For starters, the Catholic Church did not ban the Bible, only erroneous translations of it. The Church has always encouraged the reading of the Bible for those few who could read. For those who couldn’t, the Bible stories were depicted in the statues, stained glass windows and other icons so the people could visualize what was being read and/or preached to them.

Secondly, you state 50 to 100 million heretics killed as fact. If you expect an honest answer, tell us where you came up with those numbers. They’re false, by the way.

Thirdly, there is ample information available on the main site of Catholic Answers explaining “infallibility.” You obviously don’t understand the meaning of it as used in Catholicism.

Finally, if you’re not here to start a fight, why do you, as a SDA, come on a Catholic site and throw out these false allegations?


#7

Most Christians could not read during the Middle Ages and those who could would find purchasing a book very expensive.

I watched a program on Greek mythology once. The program made the point that although most Greeks couldn’t read, the myths would have been common knowledge due to Greek morality plays and artwork.

The same is true of illiterate Christians during the middle ages. There were morality plays, and artwork that would have explained to the uneducated Christians what the bible taught.

Once the printing press was invented, the bible became much more accesible to the masses.


#8

No where near that many people were executed during the time of the Inquisitions. In fact, it was governments, not the Church that executed those found guilty of heresies. People actually preferred going before a Church tribunal when accused because it was fair and much more lenient in it’s recommendations for punishment if they were found guilty than government tribunals. You really need to do some reading up on this topic, and not just from sources hostile to the Church, but from unbiased historians.

Some Bible translations were forbidden because they were bad translations. Besides, most people were illiterate and poor, so they could neither read nor afford a hand-copied Bible in any language. If a parish had a Bible it was kept chained to keep it from being stolen. Once again, do a bit of reading on this topic before coming to any conclusions.


#9

The poster might not understand that her facts are wrong.


#10

This is really fascinating. Kandy, could you give me some background as to where you got your statistics. I would be most interested since it runs contrary to anything I was ever taught when I got my degree in medieval history - at a state university, just so you don’t think I was handed the Catholic party line.


#11

What makes you think it was only Catholics?
Hartmann Grisar
At Zurich, Zwingli’s State-Church grew up much as Luther’s did . . . Oecolampadius at Basle and Zwingli’s successor, Bullinger, were strong compulsionists. Calvin’s name is even more closely bound up with the idea of religious absolutism, while the task of handing down to posterity his harsh doctrine of religious compulsion was undertaken by Beza in his notorious work, On the Duty of Civil Magistrates to Punish Heretics. The annals of the Established Church of England were likewise at the outset written in blood.
(Grisar, VI, 278)

Janssen tells us the views of some leading “reformers” on this score:

Luther was content with the expulsion of the Catholics. Melanchthon was in favour of proceeding against them with corporal penalties . . . Zwingli held that, in case of need, the massacre of bishops and priests was a work commanded by God.
(Janssen, V, 290)

ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ247.HTM

The Inquisition was not born out of desire to crush diversity or oppress people; it was rather an attempt to stop unjust executions. Yes, you read that correctly. Heresy was a crime against the state. Roman law in the Code of Justinian made it a capital offense. Rulers, whose authority was believed to come from God, had no patience for heretics. Neither did common people, who saw them as dangerous outsiders who would bring down divine wrath
The Catholic Church’s response to this problem was the Inquisition, first instituted by Pope Lucius III in 1184. It was born out of a need to provide fair trials for accused heretics using laws of evidence and presided over by knowledgeable judges. From the perspective of secular authorities, heretics were traitors to God and the king and therefore deserved death. From the perspective of the Church, however, heretics were lost sheep who had strayed from the flock

full article
nationalreview.com/comment/madden200406181026.asp

The Index of Forbidden Books and all excommunications relating to it were officially abolished in 1966. The Inquisition itself was establishedby Pope Gregory IX in 1233. as a special court to help curb theinfluence of heresy.


#12

The “Dark Ages” has been re-defined to a narrower part of post-classical history, circa 450 AD (the fall of Rome though Byzantium-Roman culture continued uniterupted until 1425) to circa 850–the establishement of the Holy Roman Empire providing SOME central government, though barbarian and Saracen invasions and incusions continued to hammer the Europe’s outlying regions–as well as the “Christian” nobles and royals near constant wars (“Christian” in quotes because the Church mightly struggled to bring these barbarian culture warriors into a semblence of obedience to Chrisian morality)

Kandy, if you got this “statistic” from ANY Jack Chick publication, be warned JTC cannot be trusted on the most elementary historical facts. In his infamous comic The Death Cookie JTC says the CC killed 68 million “bible christians” between 1200 and 1800. That works out to almost 100,000 people every year, year after year, in a pre-industrial, largely muscle-powered weapon (swords, axes, archery)–where the entire population of Europe did not exceed 30 million until the 1700s (and during the 14th Century a little something called the “Black Death” wiped out HALF of Europes population over that century–was the CC doing it’s killing unabated while entire populations we’re dropping like flies?)


#13

Addressing this part of your question, the Pope would not have an opinion on this because this a common bit of anti-Catholic propaganda using half-truths and inflated numbers.

For one thing, as far as killing heretics, the statement as given is unclear. Who was supposed to have killed all these heretics? The implication is, it was the Catholic Church. However, you would be hard pressed to find credible historical evidence that “the Church” directly killed much of anyone. In those days, some of the things that were against Church law were also against civil law (like being a witch, for example). While the Church might make a religious ruling regarding someone, it was the civil government that set the penalties and executed the sentence.

Secondly, the number cited ("50,000,000 to 100,000,000 “heretics”) is ridiculously high. In the entire span of the so-called “Dark Ages” the population never even approached these numbers. If that many people had been executed, there would be few, if any, people left in Europe today!

I don’t doubt your good will, just your sources. You need to toss the SDA anti-Catholic material and read some credible historical accounts. You can start here:

catholiceducation.org/links/search.cgi?query=inquisition

Then stick around here for more info. Welcome to the CA Forums


#14

this will answer your question :slight_smile:

angelfire.com/ms/seanie/deuteros/graham_contents.html


#15

This is a classic example on how non-catholics think. Where the heck they get this stuff is beyond me. It has to be from some narrow minded, ignorant person, or some book written by a Catholic hater. If you need answers other than this forum, please study The Early church Fathers.


#16

here are some real Horror Stories
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democide


#17

Your figures are in excess of what would have been possible - and besides, what are the figures based on ?

The registers of Bernard Gui, who was inquisitor in Toulouse in the South of France from 1307 to 1323, record 930 trials for heresy. Of these, 42 ended in the execution of the person tried.

fordham.edu/halsall/source/gui-cathars.html

biblia.com/christianity/medieval.htm

42 burnings in 16 years is not a large number - 50,000,000 is a very large number; twice that, is larger still

To burn or otherwise execute 50 million people, one has to have:
[LIST]
*]a period of time during which these people were killed
*]a place for them to be killed
*]persons to do the killing
*]reasons for the killings
*]evidence of the killings
*]a mode of being killed[/LIST]- so:
[LIST]
*]when
*]where
*]who
*]why,
*]on what evidence
*]how[/LIST]were these killings carried out ?

Certainly people were put to death for heresy - and some of what counted as heresy remained a capital offence outside Catholicism.

Sodomy, for example. The Roman Inquisition (revived in 1542) had jurisdiction over cases involving sodomy. So did the revived Spanish Inquisition; from the 1570s, IIRC. French sodomites were burned by order of non-ecclesiastical courts, at least by the 1720s, IIRC. As for England - it was a hanging offence (at least in principle)until 1863; not because of the CC, but because of an Act of Parliament dating from 1540.

IOW - don’t assume that “being put to death by a Catholic court of some kind” = “being a martyr.” A lot of those executed by Church courts would have been put to death by any court in Europe, whether Catholic or not.

So matters are far less black & white than they may seem.

This does not of itself make the execution of religious dissenters morally right or authentically Christian; & the Church was late in approving such a thing: but, at least as regards the numbers & procedure of the CC in the West (I don’t know anything about the practice of non-Catholic churches), there are a great many myths & exaggerations.

I hope this helps to answer your question :slight_smile:


#18

I see that others have responded well.

Actually, I wish you had sought responses from non-Catholics because the numbers you come up with are ludicrous. I learned the history of the Church at the feet of an anti-Catholic historian in a secular University. I was a Protestant then, but largely because of those history courses, I am Catholic today.

We recoil at the though of burning at the stake. But do not think of this from our 20th Century point of view. Execution was a common sentence for many things – such as stealing a sheep. So you have to put it in historical perspective. Heresy was a civil offense as much as a religious one because most heresies taught doctrines that destabilized society and undermined good government. The main point of squelching heresy is to save souls by preventing them from being damaged by false teachings; a secondary point was to assure the order of society for the good of all its citizens.

It would be a credit to any pope, and an affirmtion of infallibility, if he succeeded in staunching the dissemination of spiritual poison.

Others have explained why the Bible was not in the possession of every Christian and why the translation of it was carefully guarded by the Church. The most important points are that a pulpit Bible in those days cost the equivalent of half a million dollars, and required the slaughter of a few of hundred sheep. Moreover, only the clergy could read.

I hope you come away from this thread with some solid facts.


#19

I have never encountered anyone who has actually tried to twist what the papacy did during the dark ages,not only was the bible banned but anyone caught with it without permission from local bishops immediately risked being tortured or burned at the stake by the inquisition

For starters, the Catholic Church did not ban the Bible, only erroneous translations of it. The Church has always encouraged the reading of the Bible for those few who could read. For those who couldn’t, the Bible stories were depicted in the statues, stained glass windows and other icons so the people could visualize what was being read and/or preached to them.

Lie,the catholic church burned anyone who tried to translate the bible into the local languages,case in point William Tyndale and the waldensians who translated the bible into he local tongues

Secondly, you state 50 to 100 million heretics killed as fact. If you expect an honest answer, tell us where you came up with those numbers. They’re false, by the way.

These are just simple estimates as to how many people were killed by the papacy and not just through the inquisition…one statistician estimated that 50 million people were killed by the papacy starting from the dark ages to the last documented execution of the inquisition in 1859 when a spanish schoolmaster was hanged when he replaced the words “ave maria” to “in Jesus Christ’s name”,also we must not forget that millions died during the wars that the papacy has fought including the st.bartholomews massacre,the crusades both local and outside and the 40 years war…if you add them all up it may reach 50 million,simple math people

Thirdly, there is ample information available on the main site of Catholic Answers explaining “infallibility.” You obviously don’t understand the meaning of it as used in Catholicism.

Me being a former catholic absolutely knows what it means-that the pope being a sovereign of God here on earth is absolutely NOT capable of making an error concerning faith and morals and yet if we look at the past popes many sired bastards,some were atheists,even one was satanist and assured people of false salavation by fighting the muslims during the crusades and giving money to the church through the indulgences…hardly the action of a “man of God”


#20

This is a classic example on how non-catholics think. Where the heck they get this stuff is beyond me. It has to be from some narrow minded, ignorant person, or some book written by a Catholic hater. If you need answers other than this forum, please study The Early church Fathers.

And this is exactly human nature to dismiss the truth when confronted with the truth…the papacy did kill millions during the its reign when the inquisition was still in place (before it was forcibly removed by Napoleon Bonaparte). I being a former catholic was outraged when I heard these things,but when I looked more I found that there was consistency to what you brand as “anti-catholic” to history…on the other hand,the pope plays with words as if it has deep remorse for what it has done and yet the canon laws that are used to kill christians not conforming to catholic practices are in place to punish the if necessary kill them if it has the power

We recoil at the though of burning at the stake. But do not think of this from our 20th Century point of view. Execution was a common sentence for many things – such as stealing a sheep. So you have to put it in historical perspective.

So lets get this straight,by not conforming to the pope,by being a man of another religion and for worshipping God which you think is the right way deserve being burned to the stake and suffer execution or torture for life?It is this kind of thinking that people of other religions shy away from christianity…even ancient Rome was much more lenient compared to the actions of the papacy when it was in power…it isn’t even any wonder why people from europe moved to america to escape the inquisitions done at home,heck I’d rather kill myself than to be forcibly converted to what I don’t believe in…as the saying goes “kill a man you destroy his body,forcibly convert a man and you kill his soul”

Heresy was a civil offense as much as a religious one because most heresies taught doctrines that destabilized society and undermined good government. The main point of squelching heresy is to save souls by preventing them from being damaged by false teachings; a secondary point was to assure the order of society for the good of all its citizens.

It would be a credit to any pope, and an affirmtion of infallibility, if he succeeded in staunching the dissemination of spiritual poison.

And yet the result was the dark ages,people did not regard private property and there was such unhygienic conditions that it is a wonder how people survived during those days,even the empire of Rome during its glory days far surpassed even that of the dark ages…


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