Many believe the Inquisitions were an indelible stain on Christianity, namely Catholics, during the Middle Ages. The Spanish Inquisition was the most denigrated, with alleged horror stories conducted by deranged Catholics. In 1492, Spain ended the rule of Boabdil, the last Muslim leader (Lord of History /Anne Carroll), by a Crusade.
A true Christian and loyal Spaniard was Queen Isabella, who was determined to reform the Church in Spain. She decided to use the Inquisition in as a way to determine if the Moriscos (converted Moors) were a faithful Christian, or an enemy the country.
Not all, but some Moors/Islamics had been baptized Catholics and had risen to high positions in the government and Church. Their reactionary ideas and eventual plans to conquer proved a major threat to the Church, and to Spain.
In the beginning there were many abuses of torture, and executions of the guilty. The pope found out, stepped in, and appointed new Inquisitors. The head Inquisitor was a Dominican monk called Thomas de Torquemada. He reformed the Spanish Inquisition, made its procedures more lenient, and improved conditions in the prisons. He personally examined appeals of the accused and gave money to help the families of those on trial.
Physical torture was wrong and is condemned by the Church. However, abuses still took place without papal authority. Church officials actually executed no one. The guilty were tuned over to civil officials who carried out their own punishments.
Treason in the Middle Ages was almost always recognized as a crime justifying capital punishment. In the Spanish Inquisition the guilty were always given a chance to repent. It’s interesting to note the treasonous guilty were also executed here in the United States until just a few decades ago. Now, treason should never mandate the punishment of death, but there were 2,000 executions out of 100,000 tried in the Spanish Inquisition (Patrick Madrid/Pope Fiction).
The Spanish Inquisition was mainly a state affair, ruled by the sovereigns of that nation. The pope was actually only a distant overseer, ruling only on serious disputes. Records show repeated interventions of Church officials after learning of excesses or cruelty in interrogations.
The Inquisitions did result in some good effects. Opportunities for Muslim invasion and takeover were significantly reduced (Madrid). But as Warren Carroll (Reasons for Faith) states, “…the Inquisition was one of the fairest, most honest courts in Spain.”
There is no question about the pope’s infallibility, which includes only two categories: doctrine and morals. The Inquisition was concerned with discipline: the civil and legal issues revolved around heresy. Even though the Inquisition was a truthful and legitimate tool, it was sometimes misused.
Spain has over 1 million Muslims today (over 10% of population), but is in direct danger of being overrun by Muslim customs and beliefs. In fact, most of Europe is growing rapidly with Muslims. World Muslim population (InvestEast) is 24.5% and accelerating.
The real threat is Islamic radicals—not peaceful Muslims. The Crusades held radical Islam at bay for hundreds of years. The Inquisitions helped to temporarily quell insurrections and takeovers by radical Islam. But violent and non-violent incursions of radical Islam have continued to usurp land and countries--many very recently.
Then 9/11 occurred.
The writing is on the wall. Can we see what it says?
Kevin Roeten can be reached at [email protected] .