Not in defense of commiting it, but in calling it what it is.
Here is an excerpt from a column by Bishop Rene Henry Gracida entitled “Now Is The Time” that appeared in Catholic Exchange:
We Catholics tend to become very defensive about the word “heresy.” Often when the subject of heresy and heretics comes up accusations are leveled in which the name of the Inquisition is invoked. Even today, one frequently reads a news item about the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the secular press in which the Congregation is identified as “the former Holy Office in charge of the Inquisition.”
Critics of the Spanish Inquisition over the centuries have made categorical and stereotypical errors by falsely holding the Catholic Church responsible for certain atrocities. That which men in the Church were guilty of during the Spanish Inquisition, and that which the Church of that time is falsely accused of, are irrelevant to the reality of heresy per se. There is no need to shy from the reality of heresy because of abuses committed in its name, or abuses which the state, and not the Church was guilty of. We have become reluctant to admit to ourselves that heresy can be a reality in these modern times.
To see the entire column go to: