> > We know as a matter of historical fact, the Spanish Inquisition
> > was originally conceived as an anti-Semitic pogrom, conceived of by a monk
> > named Torquemada, with the full backing and support of Queen Isabel. Like
> > all witch hunts, it soon took a life of it's own and others became targeted
> > as well. Midwives were one of these groups, as doctors sought to expand
> > their practices. (I know it sounds bizarre, but it's true.) The Inquisition
> > was also used as tool to weed out political dissidents, and even more
> > importantly religious dissidents. (i.e. Protestants)
The Columbia Encylopedia, Columbia University Press, NY, 1963,
Library of Congress Number 63-20205, states that;
"The medieval Inquisition began in 1233, when Pope Gregory IX
commissioned certain Dominicans to investigate heresy in the secret
religious of the Albigenses in southern France. The pope assumed a
duty in which the local bishops failed."
[Pope]"Inocent IV ultimately permitted torture in cases of heresy.
Most trials resulted in the verdict of guilty. The verdict and
sentence of the inquisitor were enforced by the local ruler only;
heresy was considered a civil as well as spiritual revolt. Burning at
the stake became the fitting punishment for unrecanted heresy,..."
"A verdict of guilty also meant the confiscation of property by
the civil ruler, who might turn part of it over to the church. This
practice led to graft, blackmail, and simony and also created
suspicion of some of the inquests."
"The Spanish Inquisition was independent of the medieval Inquisition.
It was established (1478) by [King] Ferdinand V and [Queen] Isabella
with the reluctant approval of [Pope] Sixtus IV. One of the first and
most notorious heads was Tomas de Torquemada."
"The purpose of the Spanish Inquisition was to discover and to punish
converted Jews (and later Moslems) who were insincere. However, soon
no Spaniard could feel safe; thus St. Ignatious Loyola and St. Theresa
were investigated for heresy. The censorship policy even condemned
books approved by the Holy See."
"The Spanish Inquisition was finally abolished in 1820"
"In 1542, [Pope] Paul III assigned the medieval Inquisition to the
Congregation of the Inquisition of the Holy Office. Now known only as
the Congregation of the Holy Office, this department governs
vigilance in matters of faith."
Bibliography listed; Elphege Vacandard, The Inquisition, 1908
A.S. Tuberville, Mediaeval Heresy and the Inquisition, 1920
G.G. Coulton, Inquisition and Liberty, 1938
Spanish Inquisition, A.S. Tuberville, 1932, and Cecil Roth, 1938.
Lowell McFarland [log in to unmask]