What has the Church's position been on crime and justice throughout her existence?

Often I hear about burning people at the stake for heresy and so forth. Somebody said that because of the Enlightenment we have done away with the terrible methods that are what the Church truly calls for. Is there any proof that the Church was merciful in those times or was not as brutal when it came to issues such as these? Was there simple imprisonment? or fines?

Well, until the mid-1800’s there was an official executioner for the Papal States. His name was Bugatti, and you can look all that up. I suspect torture had gone out of style by then, but clearly capital punishment hadn’t.

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