Isabella the Catholic


Something that happened 800 years beforehand is hardly ‘context’, and I think you’ll find that whatever atrocities committed by Muslims in conquering Iberia just doesn’t come anywhere near the scale of the Spanish Inquistion. No freedom of religion for Spanish Catholics? Well somehow the country managed to stay majority Catholic despite being ruled by Muslims for 800 years, as well as having a very large and prosperous Jewish community. So you can hardly criticise them for not having ‘freedom of religion’ when once Isabella took power she had every Muslim or Jew expelled, tortured them to force them to convert to Catholicism and had the odd thousand or two massacred. Surely the former was preferable in terms of ‘freedom of religion’, Isabella hardly improved upon the situation now did she…

But even if they’d all been the worst people imaginable, how the heck does that make it ok to expell, torture and kill them? And the Jews too (which everyone is ignoring)? Do you think every Muslim/Jew was responsible for such and such crime and so it’s perfectly fine to do this to them?

You know the Europeans didn’t exactly invade America very ‘nicely’. So let’s EXPELL THEM ALL!!! Torture them and kill them and send them BACK TO WHERE *THEY *CAME FROM!!! How fair does that sound?

And yes hundreds of thousands ByzCath, most estimates are somewhere in the 150,000 to 400,000 margin of people expelled from Spain during the Inquistion. Not counting the thousands more tortured and killed.


Your comparison of Isabella with Hitler not only disturbs me but is deeply offensive as well as absolutely ludicrous. Whatever her faults, Isabella ordered no murders.

During her reign the Inquisition was universally admired and envied as the fairest and most humane judicial system in the world. As for the nonsense about it “torturing Protestants, Moslems and Jews”, that is absolutely impossible. Isabella died decades before Protestantism was invented; and by definition the Inquistion had jurisdiction over Christians only; Moslems and Jews were totally outside its reach.

(Btw Jews were also banned from England at this time and were not permitted to return until the crypto-Catholic Charles II took the throne in 1660.)

Later the Inquisition protected Spain from the horrific mass murders caused by protestantism in France, Germany, Britain and Ireland.

Try getting your history from real historians, not from Mel Brooks and Monty Python, nor from the endlessly regurgitated and utterly groundless “Black Legend” invented by late-16th century Dutch and English Hispanophobic and Catholicophobic protestant pamphleteers.

And IIRC Isabella was technically not queen of all Spain but only of the Castille half. Her husband Ferdinand was King of Aragon, the other half, which contained virtually all the Jews and Moslems and in which the Inquisition confined its activities during that time. Ferdinand and Isabella’s descendants became the first rulers of all Spain.


Yeah, sure. Isabella never expelled anyone, she was lovely and humane to Jew and Muslim alike. And the Holocaust never happened… And Elvis is still alive singing to the Loch Ness Monster…

Is this all just made up then? Some great Protestant conspiracy against Isabella no doubt…


If Wikpedia is your source for accurate historical information, then no wonder you’re misguided about Queen Isabella. You do realize that anyone can say whatever they want on Wikipedia, right? I recommend you read some of the books about Queen Isabella that have been recommended by other posters, or at least read this article:

Here is an excerpt from it:

Not only did Isabella the Catholic always show herself the protectress of Columbus, but she was also the protectess of the American aborigines against the ill-usage of the colonists and adventurers. In 1503, she organized the Secretariate of Indian Affairs, which was the origin of the Supreme Council of the Indies. Isabella was no less the patroness of the great Cisneros in the reformation of the monasteries of Spain, a work which he accomplished under the authority of Alexander VI given by the Brief of March, 1493, and which anticipated the reform afterwards executed throughout the whole Church. The good government of the Catholic sovereigns brought the prosperity of Spain to its apogee, and inaugurated that country’s Golden Age. The manufacture of cloths and silks developed at Segovia, Medina, Granada, Valencia, and Toledo, as also that of glass and of steel weapons, of leather and silverware. Agriculture prospered, while navigation and commerce rose to an unprecedented height in consequence of the great discoveries of that epoch…

There are at least two sides to every story, Kadaveri.


Here’s a general rule of thumb: don’t argue with Muslims. It is the equivalent of throwing your pearls before swine.


There aren’t two sides to facts though, they are facts.

Do you *really *think that everything in that Wikipedia article I linked to has been fabricated? Do you really think that there was no Alhambra Decree and that Isabella didn’t really order every Jew and Muslim to be expelled from Spain? There’s all some massive conspiracy? Seriously… you can look this up *anywhere *and wherever you go the Alhambra Decree will say that all Jews are to be expelled from Spain and it was issued and signed by Isabella, that is a fact. It cannot be disputed. End of story.

Or you could just throw cheap hit and run remarks at me and my faith like the previous post instead of accepting that not all Catholics are nice people, and infact some of them were pretty nasty.


That’s far from the end of the story and you know it. Your bluster may fool some but not all. Not one person here has disputed the fact that Isabella expelled non-Christians from Spain, so please quit your empty ranting at a strawman of your own creation, which you are apparently doing to disguise the fact that you are totally ignoring the historical facts which have been brought to your attention here, and which refute your absurd allegations. Isabella never ordered the murder or torture of anyone, least of all Jews and Moslems.

Your reasoning appears to be “Isabella expelled non-Christians from Spain, therefore I can make absolutely any unrelated outrageous allegation against her, and anyone who who provides the facts which disprove my charges is a liar”. Appalling dishonesty. If you want anyone to respect you and your religion, at least try to pretend you are searching for the truth.


*The Kings Ferdinand and Isabella, by the grace of God, King and Queen of Castile, Leon, Aragon and other dominions of the crown…

"Because when a grave and detestable crime is committed by some members of a given group it is reasonable that the group be dissolved or annihilated*, and the minors by the majors will be punished one by the other; and those who permit the good and honest in the cities and the villages, and by their contact may harm others, must be expelled from the group of peoples, and despite minor reasons, will be harmful to the Republic, and all the more so for the majority of these crimes, would be dangerous and contagious. Therefore, the Council of eminent men and cavaliers of our reign and of other persons of knowledge and conscience of our Supreme Council, and after much deliberation, it is agreed and resolved that all Jews and Jewesses be ordered to leave our kingdoms and that they not be allowed to ever return.

We further order in this edict that all Jews and Jewesses of whatever age that reside in our domain and territories leave with their sons and daughters, servants and relatives large or small, of all ages, by the end of July of this year, and that they dare not return to our lands and that they do not take a step across, such that if any Jew who does not accept this edict is found in our kingdom and domains or returns will be sentenced to death and confiscation of all their belongings."

Is this a hoax? Did Isabella never issue or sign this decree from which I’ve excerpted?

I really can’t believe I’m being accused of ignoring historical facts when things like this just stare everyone in the face. Are these words not clear?


Now here is the other side of the coin, the treatment of Jews and Christians of Spain by the “peaceful” moors!

Here is just one excerpt:
Al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year, sometimes twice a year, raiding expeditions were sent to ravage the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts, even as far as the Aegean Islands, looting and burning as they went. Thousands of people were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousand of Christian slaves brought from all parts of Christian Europe (the Saqaliba), and a harem filled with captured Christian women. **Society was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines, with the Arab tribes at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the Berbers who were never recognized as equals, despite their Islamization; lower in the scale came the mullawadun converts and, at the very bottom, the dhimmi Christians and Jews. **

The lines I bolded also refute the claim by Kadaveri that Arabs did not have hierarchies!



You don’t get it, you just don’t get it. It’s besides the point, which is that Isabella had every Jew and Muslim expelled from Spain under penalty of death, amongst other things, these are not the actions of a Saint!


Yes, they are.

“Freedom of religion” is an invention of the Enlightenment. It is NOT a quality of Catholicism.


so it’s ok to kill non catholics when scriptures say THOU SHALT NOT KILL?

where does it say “thou shalt not kill Roman Catholics, but killing Protestants, Jews, Muslims, atheists,” is ok.

Didn’t Jesus also say anyone who hates his brother has already commited murder in his heart?


It’s no where near that wildly inflated number and whatever the real number is most was done not by the Church but by the state not connected with the Church. Six hundred is more like it.



Seriously, are you unaware of the murdering of Catholics by Protestants during the years of the deformatio–excuse me, reformation?

maybe you ought to read up on what it means to be human historically, instead of being duped into believing that yours is the higher road. :shrug:


If indeed such actions are not the actions of a saint and disqualify a person, then why should anyone regard Mohammed as holy since he ordered the deaths of so many people–Jews, Christians and polytheists alike— who opposed his religious message? He even carried some of them out by his own hand.

He also forbade any religion except Islam in the Arabian peninsula and prescribed death for anyone found practising that religion, did he not? Quite a few people who refused to convert to Islam were thus expelled from their homes, if not killed. And it was no insginifcant number that Mohammed killed …

Note that I make no argument in favour of either Queen Isabella’s sanctity or her possible canonisation. I am merely pointing out the fact that your objection applies to Mohammed as well and thus ought to raise some serious obstacles to regarding him as a holy man.


I know that, but it doesn’t make ANY killing ordered by EITHER church right. :mad:


The Church never in herself ordered murders.

La Reina de Catolica or Queen Isabel’s sainthood is not of our judgment to deside. It is God’s, and it is the duty of our Holy Mother Church to carry out God’s will. So therefore if the Catholic Monarch is declared a saint (which could take years), then I will pray to her, as she will likey be the patron saint of women in leadership positions. Even if she is not declared a saint, she is still one of my favroite monarches in european history.


“Most estimates” are wrong. And something you may not understand is the unity between Church and State at those time. Heretical conduct was tantamount to treason.

From an article by Anne Carroll:

The Inquisition

…[Isabella] set about reforming the Church, raising the educational and moral standards of the clergy. **Many abuses were halted, including the practice of selling indulgences, which would cause much grief in the rest of Europe. **
One of the most serious problems the Church faced was the **number of Jews and Moors who had been baptized Catholics and risen to high positions in the government and the Church without really believing in Christian doctrine. **These false Conversos and Moriscos (converted Jews and Moors) were a threat to the Church and to Spain, and a way had to be found of determining who was a true Christian and loyal Spaniard and who was a traitor. Isabel knew that not all the Conversos and Moriscos were enemies — her own confessor was a Converso as was the husband of her best friend. But to protect the innocent, the guilty had to be found.
…At the beginning of the Inquisition, there were many abuses — some innocent people suffered and torture was used frequently. At this point the Pope stepped in and appointed new Inquisitors, with the Grand Inquisitor (head of the Inquisition) being a Dominican monk named Tomas de Torquemada. Torquemada reformed the procedure of the Inquisition to ensure that justice would he done. He made its procedures more lenient and improved conditions in the prisons. He personally examined appeals from the accused and gave money to help the families of those on trial.

**One criticism is that the Inquisition used torture. It did, though less so under Torquemada than before him. Torture is wrong, and the Church has since condemned any use of torture. But at the time, all governments routinely used torture as a means of extracting confessions. **the Inquisitors were most probably acting in good faith, and they should not be singled out as unusually evil.

A second attack is that the Inquisition’s judgments led to the execution of the guilty. People in modern times consider it wrong to execute people for not truly believing in the religion they professed, but that is not in fact why they were executed. Those found guilty were traitors to the state and to the Church, and treason has almost always been recognized as a crime justifying capital punishment. Furthermore, those found guilty were always given a chance to repent. Only if they refused to repent or if they relapsed into their crimes after promising repentance were they executed. Finally, only 2,000 were executed, a small percentage of the 100,000 put on trial. **
A final charge is that the method of execution, burning at the stake, was unusually barbaric. But the 16th century was a brutal time.
In England capital punishment consisted of being hanged, cut down while still alive, disembowelled, and then cut into four pieces (hanged, drawn and quartered); in France, it was to be boiled alive.** Again, Spain should not be singled out for condemnation.

The Inquisition, in fact, though not perfect, was a more just court than most. **Often, people charged with regular crimes would pretend to be heretics so that they could be transferred to the custody of the Inquisition, whose prisoners were better treated. **

Looking at the Inquisition historically, we see that it avoided more deaths than it caused. Because Spain was united religiously as well as politically, it did not suffer the religious wars which came when Protestantism began in other countries. Furthermore, **a few years later other parts of Europe went through a witchcraft hysteria, when many people were executed as witches on only the flimsiest of evidence, or no evidence at all (30,000 in England, 100,000 in Germany). In Spain, the Inquisition investigated charges of witchcraft and found them baseless, thus saving many innocent people from death. **

All the efforts of Ferdinand and lsabel — ending civil war, restoring order and justice, completing the Reconquista, reforming the Church — brought peace and prosperity to Spain. The latter years of their reign and the **years immediately following are known as Spain’s Golden Age, when art, literature, culture and science reached a high point. During the 16th century, Spain was the intellectual capital of the world, with scholars coming from all over Europe to study there. **


very happy that you are historically honest. wasn’t sure you would be by the content of your posts. good for you!

If I may, also, offer a small but important distinction: there is not just one protestant church. in the times to which we refer there were already more than just one: lutheran, calvin,etc.


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