Accordingly, you can imagine my dismay and amazement when I found that, according to a Catholic Web site, the Spanish Inquisition never took place. It was a myth. We are led to believe that Baruch de Espinoza and his friends were never forced to either convert to Catholicism or flee first Spain and then Portugal. The entire civilization of Iberian Jews, as well as that of Iberian Muslims was not destroyed. The Inquisition is a myth.
Denial of genocide and similar misdeeds is all the vogue. By rewriting history, various institutions and governments can clear their names. After all, what is important in history is what people believe happened, right? Nazi supporters and the Iranian government deny the Holocaust, the Turks are trying to wipe out the Armenian genocide. Each inconvenient or unpleasant episode in its turn is due to be effaced.
Along with the Holocaust Myth, we now have the Myth of the Spanish Inquisition. In an article that hypes the upcoming rerun of a BBC/A&E documentary about the Inquisition, Catholic Net Web site announces:
The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition
by Ellen Rice
The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition," a 1994 BBC/A&E production, will re-air on the History Channel this December 3 at 10 p.m. It is a definite must-see for anyone who wishes to know how historians now evaluate the Spanish Inquisition since the opening of an investigation into the Inquisition's
archives. The special includes commentary from historians whose studies verify that the tale of the darkest hour of the Church was greatly fabricated.
In its brief sixty-minute presentation, "The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition" provides only an overview of the origins and debunking of the myths of torture and genocide. The documentary definitely succeeds in leaving the viewer hungry to know more. The long-held beliefs of the audience are sufficiently weakened by the testimony of experts and the expose of the making of the myth.
The Inquisition had a secular character, although the crime was heresy. Inquisitors did not have to be clerics, but they did have to be lawyers. The investigation was rule-based and carefully kept in check. And most significantly, historians have declared fraudulent a supposed Inquisition document claiming the genocide of millions of heretics.
What is documented is that 3000 to 5000 people died during the Inquisition's 350 year history.
*** END QUOTE ***
Who might these experts be, who give "testimony" (as if they were eye-witnesses) that erases the history of Spanish Jewry in 60 minutes? There was no genocide! The tortures of the inquisition were a myth!
The words "Jew" or "Muslim" are hardly mentioned anywhere in the entire article. Marranos are a myth invented by wicked Jews. In the article, there is a brief allusion to the "problem" that sparked the Inquisition, in the Catholic version of history:
Afraid that laws commanding the exile or conversion of Jews were
thwarted by conversos, i.e. synagogue-going "Catholics," Ferdinand and Isabella commissioned an investigation or Inquisition.
Ostensibly because of this fear of "synagogue-going Catholics," we are told that they killed 5,000 people. What hurts perhaps more than anything else is that we are informed that: "The investigation was rule-based and carefully kept in check."
This is how the rules were applied: "We caught you eating Matzot and not eating pork, Don Diego, so we have to burn you at the stake unless you promise not to do so again." Unfortunately, it is not a joke by any means. People were murdered for those reasons. It was not synagogue - going Catholics whom the Church executed, so much as Jews who refrained from eating pork or from eating leavened bread on Passover.
The Church also punished other "infringements." The rule-based justice of the church was not so infallible, for the Holy Inquisitors and their informants invented many "facts," and the mythical tortures of the inquisition extracted all-too-real confessions from the victims, as they were literally torn to pieces alive by the ingenious inventions of medieval mechanics.
For example, in the year 1491, the Inquisition prosecuted a number of Jews for the supposed murder of one Christopher of Toledo, a Christian child whose blood was supposedly used to bake Matzoth. Jews "confessed" to this non-existent crime. We can imagine what turtures were used to extract these confessions. Nobody could ever find this Christopher of Toledo, because of course, he never existed. Nonetheless, he became a Saint of the Catholic Church. Along with Christopher, a number of inquisitors, who did exist, were also awarded sainthood for their role in the "mythical" inquisition.
Nor can it truthfully be claimed that the Spanish Inquisition acted independently of the Catholic Church. Ferdinand and Isabella commissioned the Inquisition, but they had the blessing of the Pope. For on November 1, 1478, Pope Sixtus IV issued the Bull Exigit sincere devotionis. This authorized the Catholic kings to appoint inquisitors in Castile in order to expunge heresy. Specifically, it pointed out that Jews who had been baptized had secretly reverted to the Jewish "superstition." For mere trifles like murdering people, Catholics could confess and be absolved, no matter how many times they "reverted." Eating Matzot on Passover or keeping the Sabbath was a different matter. It could not be tolerated. A second offence and a third offence would would the perpetrator in the gravest peril.
As for how "historians" evaluate the Inquisition, that must depend on which historians are doing the evaluation. There are certainly fashions in historical interpretation, but they must not obscure the truth. A popular history of the Inquisition was written after the documentary in question was produced. It is "Dogs of God," by James Reston Jr. It takes a much less sympathetic view of the Spanish Inquisition than does Ms. Rice or the documentary in question and its supposedly expert historians, as reported by Ms. Rice.
But regardless of fashions in historical interpretation, the horrors of the Inquisition were not a "myth," but a fact.
If there is a heaven and a hell and a last judgement, what will the Catholic Church say for itself on that day?
"We only killed 5,000 people.""We killed them in justice, based on rule-based judgement. They had reverted to the superstition of Judaism."
Surely, if there is a last judgement, this argument will go over well in that court, which would also have rule - based judgement. Remember, Ellen Rice, that Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew. He kept the Passover. He said,
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.
If Jesus Christ had been in Spain, would he not have been burnt at the stake by the "mythical" Inquisition?
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