The Spanish Inquisition: so what?


Muslims kicked out of Spain, inquisition launched, 2000 people burned at the stake/killed.

For such a massive societal shift, especially at that period in time, this is absoultely nothing.

“Taking into account all the tribunals of Spain up to about 1530, it is unlikely that more than two thousand people were executed for heresy by the Inquisition…for most of its existence that Inquisition was far from being a juggernaut of death either in intention or in capability.”

-Henry Kamen’s The Spanish Inquisition


The “history” of the Spanish Inquisition that we hear in the English speaking world is largely the “Black Legend”; Protestant propaganda meant to smear Catholicism and Spain. Since revisionist historians like Kamen have reported the cold facts, it has become apparent that the Spanish Inqusition was far milder than most early modern judicial efforts.

God Bless


Not to the 2000 people killed it wasn’t. Or do the Ten Commandments say:

Thou shalt not kill…much?


But that’s not the point, the point is it’s pointed out as a Catholic holocaust that Catholics should feel ashamed of in the same way Germans feel ashamed about the Nazis.

I’m just saying its irrelevant as compared to anything else.


The Ten Commandments also say “Thou shalt not bear false witness” and yet Protestant propagandists, even to this day, have inflated the death toll to as high as 100 million (!!!). So all the commandment-breaking isn’t on one side here. And the current commandment-breaking is actually all on one side, in the continued spreading of grotesque lies about the Inquistions intended to harm the Church.


I heard about the 95 million number as well, which is pretty funny because there wasn’t to be that many people in the entire continent until 100s of years in the future.


Hmm… 2,000 over the course of 358 years (1476-1834). That is a slower pace than Texas executions, fewer than 6 per year on average.

Also, isn’t that about the same number of Catholics executed during the 45 year reign of Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603)? Wasn’t Spain the archenemy of England during that time? Didn’t we, as English peaking people, get much of our history from English sources? Would it be so unusual for someone to say bad things about their enemy?


I’m with the above poster. Plus… just how many Catholics were killed by Muslims during the same period in other countries? This wasn’t a one-sided deal.


Approximately 20 million Catholics were killed in Spain, Sicily, Italy, North Africa, Egypt, the Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, Modern Turkey, Iraq, Iran Afghanistan, and Pakistan, Kazakhstan, etc. in the 485 (610 - 1095 AD) between the rise of Mohamedism and the beginning of the Crusades by followers of Mohamed.

It should be pointed out that most of these deaths occurred in conditions of war, attacks and raids Most were not the result of specific persecutions. However, the wars were explcitly for the spread of Islam and there were, and still are, serious persecutions and frequent martyrdom of (mostly Catholic) Christians

And because Spain was part of this invasion, the Spanish Inquisition was established to root out the (mostly Islamic) people who made false professions of faith for the purpose in infiltrating and subverting the people of Spain. The Inquisition had not authority over those who did not profess Catholic faith.


It matters because nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Their cheif weapon is surprise.

Surprise and fear, their two cheif weapons. Surprise and fear, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…

OK, you get the idea.


What are you referring to? Those very few inquisitors who soiled the reputation of the others certainly did not have a “fanatical devotion” to the Pope. If they did, they would not have done the excesses they did. (For which they were imprisoned, and, in at least one case, excommunicated and sentenced to life in prison.)


One o’t crossbeams 'as gone askew owt the treadle, I see.

I take it you’ve never seen the “Spanish Inquisition” skit - that entire post you’re responding to was a paraphrase of the said skit (from Monty Python’s Flying Circus episode 12 - along with Dead Parrot, one of the show’s most famous sketches). I came to this thread precisely to attempt to make a “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!” joke, but it appears that DL82 beat me to it. Damn.


Okay, there is humor here, but I am not seeing it. I have not seen much of Monty Python.


I’m guessing you’ve also never been to Camelot.
On second thought, don’t go to Camelot. It is a silly place.
It’s only a model, anyway.


OK, I didn’t want to do this, but now you’ve forced my hand.


Of course before that the Catholic queen, Mary Tudor, was burning Protestents at the stake as heretics.

It is said, “Those who don’t know history, are destined to repeat it”. Something like that :shrug: Doesn’t seem to matter either way. Religious wars will continue long after I die. It just keeps going round and round… “my religion is better than yours. Convert or die”.



No. According to the last figures I heard, about 600 Catholics were executed in England, period, not all of them in the reign of Elizabeth. Probably the majority were–but the majority of the victims of the Spanish Inquisition were killed toward the beginning of the period you cite, so the figure you gave was rather misleading.

These comparisons are not very helpful, I think. Both Anglicans and Catholics have been pretty murderous.



It wasn’t only Muslims that were targeted by the Inquisition. Greek Orthodox were also targeted and innocent people such as St. Joan of Arc were handed over to the state to be burned alive at the stake. I am opposed to burning people such as St. Joan of Arc alive at the stake on trumped up charges as were brought against her.
Also the Inquisition tortured people who were accused of things such as not eating pork.


That was because pork was a cheap and easy meat in Spain (like our chicken), and people had less room for personal preference in eating than they do now. If you weren’t eating pork, it looked kinda weird, like you were Jewish or Muslim. A bit silly, admittedly.

And Joan of Arc - different Inquisition (the Roman Inquisition set up in France which was a vestige of dealing with Albigensians), and highly influenced by the English, which, because Joan was winning battles against them and she’d been captured in Burgundian France (ATM Burgundy was a seperate nation allied with the English), of course wanted to see her dead, so entrapped her. A lot of the Inquisition’s abuses were done in places it was under state/political control, like Joan’s trial or like Spain.


It was a lot worse than silly if you were the one caught not eating a hot dog. If you were brought before the Inquisition, they could hang you by your wrists, slowly bring up up off the floor and then suddenly let you go to a point with a jerk and this oftentimes resulted in pulling your arms out of their sockets or dislocating them, leaving you crippled for life.
And people were tortured for other reasons also. Take for example, the case of Giordano Bruno, who taugh that the stars might be other suns with their own planetary systems. He was brought to the Campo de Fiori, a central Roman market square, tied naked to a pole, and burned alive at the stake on February 17, 1600.

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