Violent/Dastardly Protestants

Protestants are always accusing the Western Church of committing horrid acts, such as the Inquisition, the Crusades, and what have you. Many people on these forums say that Protestants have done many similar things. What exactly have Protestants done? How about the Orthodox?

[quote=Juxtaposer]Protestants are always accusing the Western Church of committing horrid acts, such as the Inquisition, the Crusades, and what have you. Many people on these forums say that Protestants have done many similar things. What exactly have Protestants done? How about the Orthodox?
[/quote]

All three have done bad things, though the Orthodox usually do not like to acknowledge that they have too. :wink:

But honestly what’s the point? How is going down this rabbit hole helpful to anyone? Any fair minded person can agree that bad things and great things were done by all three branches of Christendom at one point or another.

Mel

Jux, do we really want to go here? Witch trials are the main item – but counterattacking doesn’t get anybody nearer to heaven, does it? Whatever was done 400 years ago needs to be dropped. If we’re doing anything like that today, it needs to be stopped.

First of all I agree with Mel,

Second of all there was no 1 single thing called the Inquisition. There were inquisitorial tribunals in different countries, but for purposes of arguement I’ll assume you are referring to the Inquistion that took place in Spain. Have you any idea of the best estimates (by non Catholic historians even) as to the total number of those executed over several CENTURIES by the ECCLESIASTIC court? The highest estimates are around 10,000 over nearly 4 centuries! This may seem like a large number, but when compared to the state run courts it pales in comparison. At least 5000 “witches” were burned at the stake per YEAR during the witch hunts in New England. Many more were killed by state governments for things like theft, treason or less. This is one reason that many people accused of non-ecclesiastic crimes would purposefully blaspheme so that they would be transferred to the ecclesiastic court where there was known to be more merciful proceedings. Also, from available records it is estimated that only about 1% of those in front of the Inquisitorial tribunal were ever tortured, and then usually less than 15 minutes. The horriffic devices you may have seen (such as the iron maiden) were not used by Inquisitorial tribunals but rather they were used in Germany often against Catholics. That has been one of the most effective and long lasting “spin jobs” ever. In England alone, after Henry VIII thousands of Catholics were, especially priests and nuns, were tortured, burned, drawn and quartered and/or executed unless the renounced their Catholic faith. You don’t hear it in America because it is a Protestant country and anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable American prejudice (there are 2 good books by non Catholic historians on the subject, by Philip Jenkins though I can’t recall the title) and the way our history is taught is loath to say anything positive about the Church. But again, I agree with Mel, I don’t think this subject will help anyone find the truth of Christ they are searching for.

Peace in Christ,
Greg

As a Lutheran I can tell you that protestants have done many bad things.

Everyone is correct here in what they are telling you. Turn the other cheek.

I apologize for any poor behavior that has come from my fellow protestants.

[quote=Juxtaposer]Protestants are always accusing the Western Church of committing horrid acts, such as the Inquisition, the Crusades, and what have you. Many people on these forums say that Protestants have done many similar things. What exactly have Protestants done? How about the Orthodox?
[/quote]

I agree that shroud-waving is not a good thing, but if you really need some pointers then try:

Protestants: The English Martyrs

Orthodox: The Paulicians"From the Imperial government the Paulicians met with alternate protection and persecution. Constantine IV, and still more Justinian II, persecuted them cruelly." There was also a fair amount of violence involved in the controversy over Iconoclasm.

rossum

So, is it really useful to prove that human’s, in any given situation/organization, can make the wrong choice with their free will?

John

Obviously this won’t help me find the truth of Christ. That’s not why I wanted to know. My mom has me talking to Protestant theologians (one in particular) who sometimes speak of the atrocities the Catholic Church has committed. They say that these things were socially acceptable because Catholic theology allows for the killing of heretics. I know this isn’t true, but I don’t just want to tell them that. I want to shock them with truth. I want them to talk about issues that are actually relevant. If I show them that by their own logic Protestantism allows for horrid acts of violence, they might not be so quick to say such things. Also, I’ve grown up thinking that the Catholic Church was terrible, so this information could break some walls for me as well. I don’t want to bash anyone.

[quote=Juxtaposer]Obviously this won’t help me find the truth of Christ. That’s not why I wanted to know. My mom has me talking to Protestant theologians (one in particular) who sometimes speak of the atrocities the Catholic Church has committed. They say that these things were socially acceptable because Catholic theology allows for the killing of heretics. I know this isn’t true, but I don’t just want to tell them that. I want to shock them with truth. I want them to talk about issues that are actually relevant. If I show them that by their own logic Protestantism allows for horrid acts of violence, they might not be so quick to say such things. Also, I’ve grown up thinking that the Catholic Church was terrible, so this information could break some walls for me as well. I don’t want to bash anyone.
[/quote]

Okay, now that makes more sense. Thanks for the background! I think you should turn the tables on the person that says Catholic theology allows for the killing of heretics. Where did they get that from, ask them for sources, otherwise it is probably just hearsay. While it is true that abuse has occurred in the past, I’m not sure that pointing out a bad apple in the protestant circles will guarentee you a win, but it could put a dent in their armour.

do a google search on "protestant war torture"
I looked at one site quickly, they were anti-christian in general and pointed to terrible things done by both protestants and Catholics alike.

geocities.com/paulntobin/war.html

Terrible things can be done in war in general.

John

Forgive my referring you to another source, but the post above with the link to the English Martyrs is helpful.

For a really great history book from the (Catholic) Christian perspective, pick up the first few volumes of
"The History of Christendom" by Warren H. Carroll, they are extremely well done! :slight_smile:

Here’s one: Baptists were the largest supporters and owners of human slaves before the civil war. This even contributed to the division between “Baptists” and “Southern Baptists”. They Biblically supported and fought to maintain human slavery. Thank goodness the northerners had more sense than that.

I don’t mean to pile on, but Catholics were forbidden in many Universities/colleges early on in our country. Notre Dame was begun to counteract some of the discrimination that took place. Most county clubs kept out Catholics, Jews, and minorities. It wasn’t until John Kennedy in the 1960’s that a Catholic was ever voted president, not because of a law, but because of discrimination (by Protestants). I don’t want to dredge up bad things either, but they exist.

My memory on this may be wrong, but somewhere my brain is telling me that at one time there WAS a law preventing Catholics from holding some political offices. I’m more confident that for a very long time in England there were laws forbidding Catholics from holding parlimentary seats and of course the Prime Minister or other posts.

[quote=Melchior]All three have done bad things, though the Orthodox usually do not like to acknowledge that they have too. :wink:

But honestly what’s the point? How is going down this rabbit hole helpful to anyone? Any fair minded person can agree that bad things and great things were done by all three branches of Christendom at one point or another.

Mel
[/quote]

Some thing to agrre on LOL

[quote=gsaccone]First of all I agree with Mel,

Second of all there was no 1 single thing called the Inquisition. There were inquisitorial tribunals in different countries, but for purposes of arguement I’ll assume you are referring to the Inquistion that took place in Spain. Have you any idea of the best estimates (by non Catholic historians even) as to the total number of those executed over several CENTURIES by the ECCLESIASTIC court? The highest estimates are around 10,000 over nearly 4 centuries! This may seem like a large number, but when compared to the state run courts it pales in comparison. At least 5000 “witches” were burned at the stake per YEAR during the witch hunts in New England. Many more were killed by state governments for things like theft, treason or less. This is one reason that many people accused of non-ecclesiastic crimes would purposefully blaspheme so that they would be transferred to the ecclesiastic court where there was known to be more merciful proceedings. Also, from available records it is estimated that only about 1% of those in front of the Inquisitorial tribunal were ever tortured, and then usually less than 15 minutes. The horriffic devices you may have seen (such as the iron maiden) were not used by Inquisitorial tribunals but rather they were used in Germany often against Catholics. That has been one of the most effective and long lasting “spin jobs” ever. In England alone, after Henry VIII thousands of Catholics were, especially priests and nuns, were tortured, burned, drawn and quartered and/or executed unless the renounced their Catholic faith.
[/quote]

That last sentence [my emphasis] is untrue. If one stretches the evidence a bit, there are about 860 Catholics in the entire United Kingdom - England, Wales, Scotland, & all Ireland - for whom canonisation has been considered.

Not “thousands” of Catholics executed for that reason given.

FWIW, only one was burned - Blessed John Forest O.S.F., in 1538.

The others were either hanged, decapitated, died in prison, shot, or, as you point out, hanged drawn and quartered. On a wide variety of charges - mostly treason. It is worth pointing out, that the hanging drawing and quartering of male traitors - women (but none of the English woman martyrs) were burned, this being considered more decent - was (though undoubtedly unpleasant) simply the use of a punishment for treason which had been legal before the Reformation.

Measures against Catholicism were very various, and undoubtedly caused much suffering - but then, so did Catholic measures against Protestants. And others. As others have already pointed out, no one body has clean hands: not if it is in a position to coerce dissenters. ##

You don’t hear it in America because it is a Protestant country

In general culture and mind, perhaps :slight_smile: - but it’s a Protestant country with a very large Catholic population

and anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable American prejudice (there are 2 good books by non Catholic historians on the subject, by Philip Jenkins though I can’t recall the title) and the way our history is taught is loath to say anything positive about the Church. But again, I agree with Mel, I don’t think this subject will help anyone find the truth of Christ they are searching for.

Peace in Christ,
Greg

[quote=Gottle of Geer]## Some thing to agrre on LOL ##
[/quote]

Amen! :smiley:

[quote=gsaccone]My memory on this may be wrong, but somewhere my brain is telling me that at one time there WAS a law preventing Catholics from holding some political offices. I’m more confident that for a very long time in England there were laws forbidding Catholics from holding parlimentary seats and of course the Prime Minister or other posts.
[/quote]

Correct on both accounts. When George Calvert (Lord Baltimore) converted to Catholicism, he had to step down from his position as Secretary of State to King James (of the King James Bible). He soon thereafter founded the colony of Maryland.

As for the colonies, all of them had laws prohibiting Catholics from holding office (except Pennsylvania, I think). Some of these laws lasted well into the 1800’s, with New Hamshire being the last to overturn theirs in 1877.

For a good discussion of this, as well as the persecution of Catholics in America, check out this site:

cyberfaith.com/examining/examining.html

The section “The English Contribution Pt. 2” details how the persecutions began.

Here’s a couple more for you:
The Catholic Martyrs of Wales
yassoo.vispa.com/welshmartyrs/index.html

The Martyrs of Gorkum
newadvent.org/cathen/06651c.htm

Unfortunately, there is no Catholic equivalent of the infamous *Foxe’s Book of Martyrs * where most Protestants find fuel for their charges of Catholic persecution against Protestants. Most of the misinformation about the Inquisition as well is part of the same “Black Legend” which (especially English) Protestantism created as part of the wider post-Reformation polemics.Since our culture is mostly English speaking, the anti-Catholic version is the side we have mostly heard. Catholics don’t seem to have been overly zealous to tell the other side of the story until lately. There are some excellent new books on the Inquisition, for example, that using the actual records and contemporary accounts (rather than legend) that show that period, while still guilty of excesses, was not the bloodthirsty, maniacal period we have been led to believe.

My mom has me talking to Protestant theologians (one in particular) who sometimes speak of the atrocities the Catholic Church has committed. They say that these things were socially acceptable because Catholic theology allows for the killing of heretics.

While you are getting up to speed on gaining a more balanced view of history, perhaps you can press your theologian friends on the above point: Where does Catholic theology teach this? Ask them for references and specifics. If they can’t produce any, advise them you are unconvinced. If they come up with something that looks damning, be sure to read it in it’s original context to make sure it says what they think it does, or they are not quoting some saint or theologian who does not speak for the Church. If it were me, I would save them the trouble and tell them not to bother, because such official Church teaching does not exist. But that’s just me. :slight_smile:

Below is an account by Alexander Dumas of the Michelaude, which was a direct predecessor to the St. Bartholomew’s day massacre (in which Catholics murdered French Calvinsts)

"On the morrow of Michaelmas Day–that is, on the 31st September1567–a number of conspirators might have been seen issuing from ahouse and spreading themselves through the streets, crying “To arms!Down with the Papists!” Captain Bouillargues was taking his revenge.

As the Catholics were attacked unawares, they did not make even ashow of resistance: a number of Protestants–those who possessed the best arms–rushed to the house of Guy-Rochette, the first consul, and seized the keys of the city. Guy Rochette, startled by the cries of the crowds, had looked out of the window, and seeing a furious mobapproaching his house, and feeling that their rage was directedagainst himself, had taken refuge with his brother Gregoire. There, recovering his courage and presence of mind, he recalled theimportant responsibilities attached to his office, and resolving to fulfil them whatever might happen, hastened to consult with the other magistrates, but as they all gave him very excellent reasons for not meddling, he soon felt there was no dependence to be placed on suchcowards and traitors. He next repaired to the episcopal palace,where he found the bishop surrounded by the principal Catholics of the town, all on their knees offering up earnest prayers to Heaven,and awaiting martyrdom. Guy-Rochette joined them, and the prayers were continued.

A few instants later fresh noises were heard in the street, and the gates of the palace court groaned under blows of axe and crowbar.Hearing these alarming sounds, the bishop, forgetting that it was his duty to set a brave example, fled through a breach in the wall of the next house; but Guy-Rochette and his companions valiantly resolvednot to run away, but to await their fate with patience. …

Thus the entire day passed in murder and pillage: when night came thelarge number of prisoners so imprudently taken began to be felt as an encumbrance by the insurgent chiefs, who therefore resolved to take advantage of the darkness to get rid of them without causing too muchexcitement in the city. They were therefore gathered together fromthe various houses in which they had been confined, and were broughtto a large hall in the Hotel de Ville, capable of containing fromfour to five hundred persons, and which was soon full. An irregular tribunal arrogating to itself powers of life and death was formed,and a clerk was appointed to register its decrees. A list of all the prisoners was given him, a cross placed before a name indicating thatits bearer was condemned to death, and, list in hand, he went from group to group calling out the names distinguished by the fatal sign.Those thus sorted out were then conducted to a spot which had been chosen beforehand as the place of execution.This was the palace courtyard in the middle of which yawned a well twenty-four feet in circumference and fifty deep. The fanatics thus found a grave ready-digged as it were to their hand, and to savetime, made use of it.The unfortunate Catholics, led thither in groups, were either stabbed with daggers or mutilated with axes, and the bodies thrown down thewell. Guy-Rochette was one of the first to be dragged up. For himself he asked neither mercy nor favour, but he begged that thelife of his young brother might be spared, whose only crime was thebond of blood which united them; but the assassins, paying no heed to his prayers, struck down both man and boy and flung them into thewell. The corpse of the vicar-general, who had been killed the day before, was in its turn dragged thither by a rope and added to the others. All night the massacre went on, the crimsoned water rising in the well as corpse after corpse was thrown in, till, at break of day, it overflowed, one hundred and twenty bodies being then hidden in its depths"

I think any honest Christian would acknowledge that all three branches of the Catholic faith -Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant have their warts and at times not very Christian.

Of course many people are not that honest about their barnch of faith and ignore any warts. Of course its easy for some as thier church was founded like on the apsoltic days of the 1980’s Jesus Movements. Hey we didn’t do anything Midevil! WEll of course yuor church was founded by a falliable man like yesterday!

This strufff gets really nonsensical in a hurry anyway are white americans today responsible for slavery? how about the genocide of the Native Americans? NO they are not likely to want to admit that guilt but they want to make it like American Catholics are somehow connected to the excess of the midevil Catholic Church.
Ridiculous. Most Americans have forgiven the Japanees and Germans who commited inhumane attrocites a little over 50 years ago that took the life of millions of those around the whole world. But some of these same protestant americans bring up a in comparision small persecutions of a few thousand people over hundreds of years that happened in a handful of countries things that are now 500-700 years old. Get over it People.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.