Pope Sixtus IV And the Spanish Inquisition


I’m really trying to understand the spanish Inquisition.

Was the spanish inquisition influenced by Greed or by bigotry?

I finally learned that the King of Spain asked for permission for a Inquisition in Spain, telling the Pope that these undercover Jews were seducing christians away from christianity in a letter, so in this case the Pope allowed him to have an Inquisition.

but my question is, Did the Pope know that the Inquisition got out of hand?. and if he did, did he try to stop it?


A good question.


There were 2 kinds of inquistions. One run locally by the bishop and then later the Pope began to run his own inquisitions in the Early 13th Century. Not only did the pope know he ran them so to speak. However, the Spanish Inquisition was run by the monarchy after requesting (demanding) contol of them.

Remember in the Middle Ages right of conscience was unknown. A good society was meant to educate its members. (See Plato’s Republic.) Society took the care of ones immortal soul very carefully. Today’s society does little to impart any moral imperatives; virtual all education is technology/job related. Dissent in religion was closely tied to social and political dissent. (See Peasant Revolt of 1520’s, the larget revolt before the French Revolution, inspired by Luther’s writings against the Church.) The Inquisition was an examination of conscience and only a tiny minority burned for their beliefs as an example to others. Is it wrong to burn people for their conscience? I would EMPHATICALLY say YES. But in contrast to the mass murder of the 20th century they begin to pale. Especially in light of the 37 MILLION unborn killed/murdered in the last 30 years for convenience.

As a foot note to emphasize the ill effects of burning at the stake, much of the prejudice against Catholics in the English speaking world could be drawn from “Bloody Mary” reign in the 1500’s when she tried to re-estblish the RCC: 300 burnings at the stake. This left a horrendous legacy.



I think you will find the following article helpful:


Jeff S.



yes and yes… the Holy Father allowed Spain to have their own inquisition (the crown, not the Church, was in charge). the Spanish authorities were abusive and when the Holy Father found out he sent a letter to Ferdinand demanding that he stop the atrocities. he wrote

"in Aragon, Valencia, Mallorca and Catalonia the Inquisition has for some time been moved not by zeal for the faith and the salvation of souls, but by lust for wealth, and that many true and faithful Christians, on the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves and other lower and even less proper persons, have without any legitimate proof been thrust into secular prisons, tortured and condemned as relapsed heretics, deprived of their goods and property and handed over to the secular arm to be executed, to the peril of souls, setting a pernicious example, and causing disgust to many "

but it was too late, the Spanish authorities did whatever they pleased because the Church was not in charge.

que Dios te bendiga


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