Not a troll post, but a genuine inquiry.
The Papal Bull, ‘Exsurge Domine,’ of Jun 15, 1520, condemned the errors of Martin Luther and his followers. one of them in particular which drew special attention from Pope Leo X intrigues me:
#33. That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.
This proclamation by Pope Leo X proves the Catholic Church taught that the burning of heretics was acceptable to God. Not a secret by any means, the Church Fathers and Thomas Aquinas among other speak highly favorably about purging the heathen by sword or flame. Better to cut off a branch than to let the entire tree fester etc.
With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death. - St Thomas Aquinas.
Now, while I am quite happy that the Catholic Church seems to have abandoned this practice for the most part, on what basis does it do so? Both the scriptures and the Church Fathers/Doctors of the Faith make it very clear that the slaughter of heathens is a perfectly valid way of preserving and furthering a Catholic utopia. On what theological basis did killing non-believers become unacceptable?