Skip to comments.The American Taliban
Posted on 07/22/2012 10:08:58 PM PDT by stfassisi
At first glance a reader might think I was writing about the so-called religious right, or maybe even the Muslim push to rule America by its repressive Sharia laws.
No, I am writing about liberalisms 100 years war against the traditional culture of the United States that is as repressive and destructive to the American way of freedom as either of the other two other religious extremes.
Firstly, I must point out that liberalism is not just the anti-religion but a religion unto itself.
The reason I say that is because the basic definition of religion is man and his relationship to a Superior being.
Even the pagan religions bowed to the natural gods of the sun, the moon, the forces of weather and sometimes natural rock formations.
Though primitive in form, they all recognized that they had to show respect for the power and the majesty of nature.
With the coming of Jesus Christ and the foundation of the Christian Church with its long history of schism, separation and fragmentation, by the 19th century the religious instinct had submerged itself in doubt, skepticism and virtual denial.
These organizational traumas gave rise to an atheistic way of thinking that not only denied God of the Jews and the Christians but sought to replace Him with a new religion of man.
For want of a better name, Marxism is that new religion of man, replete with its own orthodoxy, rules, regulations and superior attitude.
And what has been the cost to mankind?
It was Marxism, whose philosophy had emanated from the ashes of 18th century French society, that led to a century of human destruction, unparalleled in the history mankind.
Ever since the proponents of the universal idea of a progressive evolving state that will eventually fade away when the human and secular utopia finally becomes a reality.
The late Father John Hardon, S. J. was a self-taught expert on Marxism.
He first began reading Marx when he was 14 years old.
Members of his family have died under Communism in the profession of their Catholic faith.
He says that the best single source in understanding Communism is the Marx and Engels the Communist Manifesto.
When President Obama is attacking the rich, the wealthy and all those who earn more than $250,000 a years, people should be aware that it was Karl Marx speaking through the president.
The Manifesto helped to establish governmental policies that undermine and reduce the human freedom to acquire and retain private property, through the Estate Tax and the Progressive Income tax.
Father Hardon has reduced the collective effect that Marxist thinking to 15 different sections.
Since not all of them relate to the concept of a Marxist religion, I will limit my post to those that fit my Taliban theme.
The best single analysis of Marxism is the encyclical on Atheistic Communism by Pope Pius XI, in which he identifies Marxism as a Utopian Messianism.
According to Marx mankind should look forward to arrival of a Messianic society in this world, which they believe is the highest ideal that mankind can work toward.
In the wake of the election of Barack Obama in 2008, this idea seems to have materialized for commentators like Chris Matthews, and others, who spoke of Obama as being the Messiah who would carry them into their secular Utopia of universal equality and fair play.
But their Marxist Messiah had no connection to God or and after life.
This Messiah had the religious trimmings of a secular saint, who miraculously appeared to lead his Party to the Promised Land of eternal electoral power.
Our time has come cried president-elect Obama.
The lefts messiah had arrived to complete the dismissal of organized religions from the public marketplace and replace them with an autocratic secular philosophy that has no need or want for a God above.
With religious superstitions out-of-the-way, the left was free to speed ahead with their utopian goal of insuring mans perfectibility on earth.
In truth their thinking is based on the perversion of the religious principle that mans desire for happiness will be fulfilled on earth in some future generation of history.
Whereas Christianity has taught individual salvation for nearly 2000 years, Marxism teaches the primacy of the group and a more collective idea of humanity than any sort of individualism, which mitigates against the true spirit of Marxist salvation.
With a community organizer in the White House the left has its catalyst for a Marxist praxis and collective unity.
It is no surprise that President Obama cut his bones with the Saul Alinsky machine in Chicago and has tried to apply that thinking to the United States government.
Instead of the pie in the sky, Obamas Marxism is offering a cake on earth.
The final religious tenet for my purposes has to do with Father Hardons 11th principle, which is the Emancipation of Women.
Women have always been the target of any kind of Talibanic faith because they are often more closely identified with religion than men.
Religion supplication flows from their motherly instinct to nurture and serve others.
It was Antonio Gramsci who argued from his Italian jail cell that the most direct way to undermine Christianity and with itWestern Civilization was through its women.
Strip them of their Catholic faith, mostly through early and promiscuous sex and the Marxists can bring down the entire edifice of Western society.
His ideas have been working their toxic magic for over 80 years.
A main result has been the Feminist Movement, which has risen out of the Marxist ashes of hearth and home to give us an angry and destructive way of thinking that has deprived millions of families of two parents, as well as giving rise to a multi-billion dollar abortion industry over the last 40 years.
Women has not only heeded the Marxist clarion cry to leap off their respective pedestals of dignity and maternal respect, they have outdone their male counterparts in their determined crusade to lower the moral standards of our culture.
Couple the ungodly rage of Feminism with its politically correct storm troopers and you get an English language, so deprived of a fair and honest right of self-expression that is as controlling and a betrayal of freedom as anything found in Afghanistan.
While the American people will never bend to any national dogmatic religion, such as the kind that ruled the Massachusetts Bay Company in the 17th century, it has been primed and readied to accept a secular religion based on a culture that does not just separate religion from state but subjugated it in such a way that its traditional morality has no mooring or anchor in the entire culture.
Americas new Taliban of the left proclaims that Americans should never impose their morality on others while doing the same with their moral prescription.
In rejecting Americas traditional morality its citizens must paradoxically embrace a morality that is even more imposing than anything proposed in this country since the 17th century.
This is the state we are fast approaching and the new liberal American Taliban with its dogmatic Marxism are the ones preparing the cultural chains that will bind us to Karl Marx than any Sharia law could ever do.
The author makes some good points but should not be afraid to make note that true freedom is freedom from error and our american idea of freedom is pluralistic, thus, there is no absolute truths that can be clearly defined without being politically correct to those in error like homosexuality and pornographers ,etc...which make up this pluralistic country and call this freedom. It’s not freedom at all!
Couple the ungodly rage of Feminism with its politically correct storm troopers and you get an English language, so deprived of a fair and honest right of self-expression that is as controlling and a betrayal of freedom as anything found in Afghanistan.
The picture of Hillary is perfect.
Future historians will conclude - easily and unanimously - that no one in the history of the human race harmed women as much as Hillary Clinton.
In fact, no one has even come close, nor ever will.
Hillary hates women so hard, it's all she can do to keep from exploding when she's around them. She loathes them - and they worship her.
And then she eats their souls.
To mention in advance one critical point of difference, the colonists assumed that there was a right way of doing things. Any modern reader who lingers on the passage I quote in the Introduction in which John Cotton evokes the colonists' determination to establish "purity" is abruptly confronted with this assumption. Purity is purity, and purity is God's law, a premise Cotton translated into the argument that Scripture mandated how the true church should be organized and religion practiced....The Pilgrims and the founding of America
....As I have learned from trying out some of this book on other historians, the Puritanism in these pages does not coincide with the entrenched opinion that the movement was authoritarian or "theocratic." For persons of this mind-set, the most "Puritan" aspect of my story may be the migrants' confidence in the "saints" and the attempts to establish "godly rule" (Chapter Three). But in contrast to interpretations that focus on social discipline or the suppressing of dissent, I bring other aspects of Puritanism as we now understand it into the story, including the currents of popular or insurgent religion that can be discerned in fears of "arbitrary" rule and ecclesiastical "tyranny," the emphasis on participation, and the importance given to consent. Nowhere do I presume that Puritanism embodied a particular political ideology, and nowhere is it translated into social control or top-down authoritarianism, for reasons I spell out in the Introduction and in more detail in succeeding chapters....
.......the Puritans had "a more elevated and complete view" of our social duties than the Europeans of that time. They took care of the poor, maintained their highways, kept careful records and registries, secured law and order, and, most of all, provided education for everyone through high school. The purpose of universal education was that everyone should be able to read the Bible to know what's most important his or her duties to their Creator for themselves. Everyone must read in order that no one be deceived or suckered by others. This noncondescending egalitarianism was the first source of the American popular enlightenment that had so many practical benefits. "Puritan civilization in North American," our outstanding novelist/essayist Marilynne Robinson observes, "quickly achieved unprecedented levels of literacy, longevity, and mass prosperity, or happiness, as it was called in those days"....
....In Robinson's Calvinist view, generosity, liberality, and nobility are all synonyms in the Bible, and they express even better than charity the virtue that distinguishes who we are. What's left our culture, with our surrender of the common celebration of Sunday what impressed Tocqueville as our most precious inheritance from the Puritans is the respect, and so the time, for the disciplined reading and reflection required for us to practice the social, civilized virtues that are the truest source of our happiness.
-- David D. Hall, Preface, A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New EnglandAfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011.
Thanks. Bookmarked. And rather than the “easy believism” so often ascribed by the straw man of sola fide,
As noted in an account (http://www.the-highway.com/Early_American_Bauckham.html) of Puritans during the early American period , as soon as one attempts to present in any detail a normative sequence of experience or even a normative set of ingredients to true conversion there is a strong temptation to go beyond the scriptural data and prescribe rules by which the grace of God is bound.
My own impression, however, is that differences have been rather exaggerated and that the essential unanimity of the New England preachers about the experience of true conversion is much more impressive than their disagreement over related issues. They had, like most preachers of the Gospel, a certain difficulty in determining what we might call the conversion level, the level of difficulty above which the preacher may be said to be erecting barriers to the Gospel and below which he may be said to be encouraging men to enter too easily into a mere delusion of salvation. Contemporary critics, however, agree that the New England pastors set the level high.
Nathaniel Ward, who was step-son to Richard Rogers and a distinguished Puritan preacher himself, is recorded as responding to Thomas Hookers sermons on preparation for receiving Christ in conversion with, Mr. Hooker, you make as good Christians before men are in Christ as ever they are after, and wishing, Would I were but as good a Christian now as you make men while they are preparing for Christ.
As regards the victim-entitlement mentality liberalism inculcates, they see the have nots as victims of a system that requires adherence to principals of earning, responsibility, stewardship, and rewards or penalization based upon these. And their help is that of taking from those who represent support of these principles to give those who are victims, in order to foster the overthrow of that system of rewards, and promote their own exaltation as elites who are not to be questioned.
This began with the devil seeking to climb up some other way (Jn. 10:1) and occupy the seat of power, (Is. 14) not as one worthy (cf. Rv. 3:21), but as a right, and thus he later sought to instill a victim-entitlement mentality in Eve, that she was being treated unfairly, and that God should share the wealth of His knowledge and thus power. (Gn. 3) And therefore her rebellion, was justified, as the devil thinks his was.
Besides Communism, the hippie rebellion of the 60s, in which students would take over seats of power (administration buildings) and reject Gods laws, and attain paradise via drugs, is the modern expression of this (although unlike in Eden, there was some failures of the landowners which failures the rebels would use and magnify in order to sell their rebellious fantasy and justify their lustful self exaltation).
Yet the ideology of the hippies was/is even arguably more fantastical than the Communism in the degree of its imagination that goods and services will flow without adherence to Divinely established principles. And actually on one level it more radically rejects many basic laws of social behavior (no marriage,sexual mores, child discipline, etc.). They seek a perpetual Woodstock, but it turns into Haight Asbury. They seek a Garden of Eden but without God, and the laws of God, esp. those which are necessary because of the Fall.
It is a demonic delusion, fostered by drugs, but (as this is transitory) which they now seek implement by legislation, as
many of those who bought that deception actually became part of the establishment, and now deceptively sell their fantasy to a post-Christian America (in which blindness in part has happened).
But as in reality this mythical paradise of free goods, sex, drugs, etc. and unmerited rewards, not only empowers the sinful nature of man with its implacable lusts, but it must be funded, which results in the deification of government, and a government that is not governed by God, being elected by a people who largely look to it as unto God.
And as in Communism, the leadership that ends up replacing that which once represented (even with its faulty men) adherence to Gods principles is far worse than whatever it replaced. And as it is a reflection of seeking the devils will to be done on earth, so it increasingly becomes a nation under satan, being under condom-nation for legalizing and promoting abominations, and is heading to damnation. (Ps. 9:17).
For such pray and preach in dependence upon God..
Seriously ,dear brother. The puritans were nothing more than a bunch of Theocratic dictators who did more to scare people away from their version of Christianity and embrace athiesm and socialist idea’s away from the natural law because they were extremest in the same way the JW’s are today.
John calvin was a type of anti Christ as the so called king of these idea’s.
The puritans were nothing more than a bunch of Theocratic dictators who did more to scare people away from their version of Christianity and embrace athiesm and socialist ideas away from the natural law because they were extremest in the same way the JWs are today.
John calvin was a type of anti Christ as the so called king of these ideas.
What an objective view by one whose church has far more blood on her hands due to her unScriptural Theocratic rule over those without, (1Cor. 5:12,13) and official but unScriptural advocation and use of torture and death in order to deal with theological dissent (in dramatic contrast with today), while historically restricting free access to Scripture and religious liberty, and declaring herself the one true Church, and (also like cults), requiring implicit assent of faith in her autocratic infallible decrees.
“”by one whose church has far more blood on her hands””
Church teaching does not allow for killing anyone except in self defense, so whatever people did in the name of the Church outside of this has no bearing on the dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church.
The puritans had no concrete teaching on things other than how they interpreted the flawed KJV which allowed them to ravage black families as enslave them on their flawed Biblical beliefs
2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor.... The one is intended, the other is not.”
2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.... Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life. Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate authority have the right to repel by armed force aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their charge.
by one whose church has far more blood on her hands due to her unScriptural Theocratic rule over those without, (1Cor. 5:12,13) and official but unScriptural advocation and use of torture and death in order to deal with theological dissent.
Church teaching does not allow for killing anyone except in self defense, so whatever people did in the name of the Church outside of this has no bearing on the dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church.
2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing.
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for anothers life. Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate authority have the right to repel by armed force aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their charge.
Here you have restricted my complaint to simply killing, ignoring torture and the use of force, and which certainly relates to the dogmatic teachings of Rome, as for you to relegate hundreds of years of sanction of such, even by popes, as that of men walking in disobedience is to make a mockery of the magisterium to which Catholics look to (in its various levels and interpretation), and under which guidance this was done, but which can sometimes be reformable, as need be, in response to circumstances. And the issue here is core principles behind teaching.
For the reality is that rather than popes (and those in obedience to him) acting contrary to the Roman Catholic principle under which using force is now allowed for the legitimate defense of persons and societies, this was used to justify dealing with theological heretics (according to Rome's definition) by the sword of men in her various inquisitions, and not simply against unjust physical aggressors.
For while the modern Catholic interpretation of the principle of self-defense may now reject that principle as allowing the papal sanction of torture and killing, this is manifestly open to some interpretation. The current interpretation sanctions that Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. And, Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.[2266, 2267] (http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a5.htm)
Yet in principal this is easily applied to dealing with theological disobedience after the manner seen in times past under Rome's claim of coercive jurisdiction, and some Catholics today defend it, advocating a Catholic monarchy that would (among other things) deal with all us former Catholics and all non-Catholic movements by the sword of men for our dissent, as need be, as well as the liberal Catholic politicians (rather than relying on the Scriptural means of ecclesiastical discipline).
The Roman church having progressively become more like the State in its means of dealing with doctrinal deviation, Pope Innocent IV promulgated on May 15, 1252 the bull Ad extirpanda, (as part of the medieval Papal Inquisition), in which he ordered the civil magistrates to extort from all heretics by torture a confession of their own guilt and a betrayal of all their accomplices. It prescribes that captured heretics, being "murderers of souls as well as robbers of Gods sacraments and of the Christian faith, . . . are to be coerced as are thieves and bandits into confessing their errors and accusing others, although one must stop short of danger to life or limb." Bull Ad Extirpanda (Bullarium Romanorum Pontificum, vol. 3 [Turin: Franco, Fory & Dalmazzo, 1858], Lex 25, p. 556a.)
The bull gave to the State a portion of the property to be confiscated from convicted heretics, and they in return assumed the burden of carrying out the penalty: Those convicted of heresy by the aforesaid Diocesan Bishop,surrogate or inquisitors, shall be taken in shackles to the head of state or ruler or his special representative, instantly,or at least within five days, and the latter shall apply the regulations promulgated against such persons (which usually meant burning alive: See Introduction)
Pope Leo X 33 condemned as false the proposition regarding capital punishment for heretics, That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit. (Exsurge Domine, Bull of Pope Leo X , against Luther, issued June 15, 1520; http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo10/l10exdom.htm)
Reflecting this teaching, St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century) acknowledges that those who have never been Christians (i.e., Jews, pagans and Muslims) may not be forced to embrace the faith, but then continues: "On the other hand, there are unbelievers who at some time have accepted the faith, and professed it, such as heretics and all apostates: such should be submitted even to bodily compulsion, that they may fulfil what they have promised, and hold what they, at one time, received". Living Tradition, Organ of the Roman Theological Forum, http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt119.html
If counterfeiters of money or other criminals are justly delivered over to death much
more can heretics, after they are convicted of heresy, be not only forthwith excommunicated, but as surely put to death. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 2a, 2ae, qu. Xi, art. III.
Like the Jews did in dealing with the Itinerant Preacher who did not have the sanction of the their magisterium, and who reproved them by Scripture, in her exercise of her autocratic claim to universal jurisdiction Rome enlisted the powers of Catholic states to punish doctrinal disobedience. One example of this is the Canons of the Ecumenical Fourth Lateran Council (12th ecumenical council, 1215, called by Pope Innocent III), which goes so far as to absolve the subjects of a state from obedience to their Catholic secular ruler if he refuses to submit to Rome's orders on dealing with heretics:
But if a temporal ruler, after having been requested and admonished by the Church, should neglect to cleanse his territory of this heretical foulness, let him be excommunicated by the metropolitan and the other bishops of the province. If he refuses to make satisfaction within a year, let the matter be made known to the supreme pontiff, that he may declare the ruler's vassals absolved from their allegiance and may offer the territory to be ruled by lay Catholics, who on the extermination of the heretics may possess it without hindrance and preserve it in the purity of faith; the right, however, of the chief ruler is to be respected as long as he offers no obstacle in this matter and permits freedom of action. (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/lateran4.asp)
See also Pope Paul IV, in Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio of 1559 (http://www.dailycatholic.org/cumexapo.htm), and Pope Innocent III, Cum ex Officii Nostri of 1207, in Inquisition, by Edward Peters, p. 49.
The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 also affirms,
The Church has the right, as a perfect and independent society provided with all the means for attaining its end, to decide according to its laws disputes arising concerning its internal affairs, epecially as to the ecclesiastical rights of its members, also to carry out its decision, if necessary, by suitable means of compulsion, contentious or civil jurisdiction. It has, therefore, the right to admonish or warn its members, ecclesiastical or lay, who have not conformed to its laws and also, if needful to punish them by physical means, that is, coercive jurisdiction. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08567a.htm
Consistent with the above, but again inconsistent with Vatican Two, is Rome's past position on freedom of religion:
While you may argue that papal allocutions and bulls are not all binding, that is a matter requiring interpretation of each one and their doctrinal or disciplinary parts, but it cannot be argued that they were not binding when they were written. And that popes etc. were acting contrary to the dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church.
As regards the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX, one voice of the Catholic Encyclopedia states, Even should the condemnation of many propositions not possess that unchangeableness peculiar to infallible decisions, nevertheless the binding force of the condemnation in regard to all the propositions is beyond doubt. For the Syllabus, as appears from the official communication of Cardinal Antonelli, is a decision given by the pope speaking as universal teacher and judge to Catholics the world over. All Catholics, therefore, are bound to accept the Syllabus. Exteriorly they may neither in word nor in writing oppose its contents; they must also assent to it interiorly. Catholic Encyclopedia>Syllabus, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14368b.htm
One would never know popes themselves sanctioned this use of torture and death from the Catechism (which itself is not infallible, though it can express such), which avoids mentioning popes, and instead lays the blame for cruel practices on legitimate governments who did so to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. 
And as with extra Ecclesiam nulla salus and others things, it is an example of how Rome can change in adaptation to the times.
The puritans had no concrete teaching on things other than how they interpreted the flawed KJV which allowed them to ravage black families as enslave them on their flawed Biblical beliefs.
That is an unrealistic overreach as is arguing that Rome has been consistent in the aforementioned subject, as the reality is that while the Puritans were a movement or class of Protestants, versus one church body, the reason they were called Puritans was because they were identified, as primitive Christians were, by their holding to certain general faith distinctives, and rather than being Unitarians or modern Quakers which you seem to make them as, the Puritans held to certain Scriptural core beliefs, including ones they shared with Rome, while opposing those who deviated from them, as well as unwarranted traditions of Rome.
Of course, they also shared with Rome some things they needed to unlearn, that being the use of force against doctrinal nonconformity .
Meanwhile, besides widespread assent to core truths which also is evident among SS-type churches, despite the assertions of those who see only the surface, there are many things Catholics under sola ecclesia can disagree on, partly due to the limited nature of magisterial teaching, and lack of clarity (including which level every teaching belongs to), and the complexity doctrine can entail, along with the possibility of error in lower levels of magisterial teaching, while formal divisions also exist, and abundant dissent is effectively allowed.
Like self defense of their man made teachings? Run, Luther, run!
The criticisms we find today about the Inquisition put Catholics in a difficult position. There are incredible exaggerations floating around in the secular media and among Evangelicals, yet if a Catholic corrects the exaggerations then he is accused of making excuses for the Inquisition.
One of the drawbacks of being 2000 years old is that there are incidents throughout history that people can point at and hold against the Catholic Church. I expect that two thousand years from now, if the Evangelical Church remains (and if the Lord hasn't come back yet), there may be some shameful bits of history that people who want to criticize the Evangelical Church will be able to seize upon.
For instance, many Evangelical/Baptist Christians defended and participated in the slave trade which was responsible for thousands of beatings, tortures and deaths on slave ships. They did this with Bible in hand. The Vatican (Catholic Church) always condemned of the slave trade.
By the end of the Inquisition, the Reformation was in full swing. The followers of Martin Luther, Calvin, the Church of England, other Protestant Churches and their followers were quoting Scripture while advocating the burning of witches throughout England, Scotland, America, Germany and elsewhere.
From the years 1305-1750A.D. there were 52 Popes. Of all of them, only two are being considered for Canonization by the Church. Blessed Urban V (1362-70) and Blessed Innocent XI (1676-89). Compare that with other periods of history where every century provided two or three Saints from among the Popes. This gives us a bit of a sense that it was a dark time in history.
During 900-1000 AD the Germanic tribes ran Europe and it was a very dark and violent period. There were virtually no heresies because there was no education and very little communication. Germanic law displaced the Roman law of several centuries earlier. Christianity was trying to convert the Germanic tribes and they had no help from the authorities. The Germanic law was actually quite a bit more barbaric than the ancient Roman law. Germanic law basically said, "If you have a beef with a person, or group of people, fight it out and God will choose the winner." The Germanic law was very violent. Those of us who have seen movies about the middle ages are well aware of how violent it was. It was a different reality. Of course modern "all star wrestling" and reality TV shows with live murders aren't much better. But somehow we justify violence today.
Roman law was reintroduced in Europe during the Middle Ages when Germanic law failed and the Germanic tribes were conquered. In Roman law, anyone who opposed the beliefs of the emperor was an enemy of the state. There was no separation of Church and State. Communication became more unified and there was more education, thus heresies sprung up. Heresy was something that contradicted sacred Scripture, the teaching of the church and was taught publicly. Professor Thomas F. Madden writes:
To understand the Inquisition we have to remember that the Middle Ages were, well, medieval. We should not expect people in the past to view the world and their place in it the way we do today. (You try living through the Black Death and see how it changes your attitude.) For people who lived during those times, religion was not something one did just at church. It was science, philosophy, politics, identity, and hope for salvation. It was not a personal preference but an abiding and universal truth. Heresy, then, struck at the heart of that truth. It doomed the heretic, endangered those near him, and tore apart the fabric of community.
Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University and a self-professed Episcopalian, remarked on the Inquisition in his book, The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice (2003). Below are a couple of pertinent quotes:
"There never was such a thing as a Church-wide inquisition, a terrifying monolith comparable to the NKVD or the Gestapo. It is more accurate to think of inquisitions that operated extensively in some areas in a highly decentralized way, although they notionally acted under papal authority. Inquisitions were important at certain times and places but never existed in other areas."
"The main problem about speaking of 'the Inquisition' is that it suggests that religious repression of this sort was a Catholic prerogative. In fact, before the Enlightenment, virtually all religious traditions on occasion acted similarly when they had the power to do so..This indictment of religious savagery and intolerance applies to.all the Protestant nations, even relatively liberal ones such as England and the Netherlands..Equally blameworthy would be Muslims, Hindus, and even Buddhists. After all, in the seventeenth century, when Catholic inquisitions were at their height, the Buddhist/Shinto nation of Japan was engaged in a ferocious attempt to stamp out the deviant faith of Christianity through torture and massacre. In just forty years, these Japanese religious persecutions killed far more victims than the Spanish Inquisition would in all the centuries of its existence."
People thought differently in those days. Human rights, freedom of conscience, religious freedom and pluralism were concepts that grew out of experience and maturity of society and through doctrinal maturity. These concepts did not come into being until the last hundred years or so. It was as a result of all of the wars of the middle ages, that Catholic theologians studied and developed the concept of human rights which was picked up by enlightenment thinkers in the 18 century and has advanced to what we know now. Public order was understood differently than today. Christianity of the time was a political religious system. Theologians of the time thought that society should be ordered in unison with local authorities. The Church and State banded together. Attempts to corrupt Christianity were considered treason to the state. It was like the Moslem countries of today (i.e., Turkey, Indonesia). Christianity broke out of that head space several hundred years after the Middle Ages, but it took a long time. Ironically, today the State is beginning to silence the Church on things like homosexual marriage. Things have turned 180 degrees and Christianity has become more and more an underground society.
An "Inquisition" is a legal inquiry. Historically there were three major Catholic Inquisitions. The Medieval Inquisition started around 1184 in response to the appearance of popular heretical movements throughout Europe, in particular Catharism and Waldensians in southern France and northern Italy. In 1478 Pope Sixtus IV reluctantly authorized the Spanish Inquisition under pressure from King Ferdinand of Aragon. Initially it investigated charges against Jewish and Muslim converts to Christianity of secretly practicing their former religions. It acted under the control of the kings of Spain. The early excesses of the Spanish Inquisition were condemned by Popes Sixtus IV, Leo X, Paul III and Paul IV. The Roman Inquisition began in 1542 when Pope Paul III established the Holy Office as the final court of appeal in trials of heresy and served as an important part of the Counter-Reformation. It was tightly controlled by strict procedural rules but was made infamous by the trial of Galileo. More on why the Church is so slow to change here.
Most Evangelical congregations have councils to protect their vision and Statement of Faith. In medieval times Protestant Church councils often performed "inquisitions" where there was torture. (more on that below). Today these Evangelical councils do not do that at all. They simply try to promote and protect their vision. Just as most Evangelical congregations have councils to protect their vision and statement of faith, the Inquisition as an institution still functions in the Vatican as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Today of course it has nothing to do with torture. Although the Church still does reserve the right to ask people to leave if they are spreading information contrary to the Church's teaching. Every Evangelical institution also has a similar mechanism (formal or informal). Just try walking into an Evangelical church and hand out Rosary pamphlets. You will quickly be ushered out.
This is what the Vatican says about the council:
The duty proper to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world: for this reason everything which in any way touches such matter falls within its competence.
The congregation is now headed by Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, ...a staff of 33, and 25 members - cardinals, archbishops and bishops - and 28 consulters. Given the nature of its task, congregation work is divided into four distinct sections: the doctrinal office, the disciplinary office, the matrimonial office and that for priests.
The congregation, says the "Activity of the Holy See," in conformity with its raison d'etre, promotes in a collegial fashion encounters and initiatives to spread sound doctrine and defend those points of Christian tradition which seem in danger because of new and unacceptable doctrines.(4)
The Church believes it was granted teaching authority (Magisterium) by Christ. (Mat 16:18-19, 18:18, 28:20; Jn 14:16, 25, 16:13) What she teaches, she defends; whom she has accepted through baptism, she teaches, nurtures and occasionally chastises. (Eph 6:4) In order to defend the flock, the Church grants any believer the right and duty to report heresy, whereupon there can be a formal investigation and inquiry (hence the word inquisition). Inquisition allows the accused heretic to present his case and to hear the Church's doctrine on the matter, all for the purpose of bringing the Catholic back into alignment with the teachings of the Church that he/she claims to be a part of; if he/she refuses to recant, the Church may refuse the heretic the Sacraments because that individual has rejected the Magisterium.
What we now reject is the idea of imposing pain, suffering or death as punishment for heresy or to extract a confession - that is what JPII says we must "never again" allow.
In 1208, there was the "Cathars" heresy in southern France. The teachers of this heresy abandoned their Christian faith for multi-gods, good gods and bad gods. Those of us who are Christian can understand the concern of the Church. I want to cry every time I think about what the New Age is doing to North American Christianity.
The Cathars had a disdain for scientific innovation and were a serious stumbling block to economic development in the region. The northern Lords also had a bone to pick with the Lords of southern France who were harbouring the heresy. They wanted to assert their authority and expand their empire. They felt that religious unity was the only way to maintain the political unity of a country. They were wrong. This was 700 years before today's religious pluralism.
The Cathars were waging war on Christians and many were killed in sourthern France. A legate to the Pope was sent to southern France to assess the situation with the Cathar heresy. The Cathars made the mistake of killing him. The Pope talked to the King in northern France and asked what could be done. The King launched a crusade in 1209 that destroyed the Cathar's military might in southern France. It was a brutal invasion where many men women and children died, about 6,000. The Cathars went underground and continued to pull many from the Faith.
The first Inquisition was instituted in 1231 as a response to the Cathars influence in southern France. An Inquisition consisted of two religious judges who would go into an area where a heresy was being spread. They would interview people and find out who was propagating the heresy. Then they would contact the heretics, and give them a grace period of 48 hours to cease their teaching and retract. After that time, if the heretic didn't stop, they would hold court. At this session the two inquisitors would be present, along with the Lord of the region, and some community leaders etc. They would bring forth evidence and seek a confession. Then the heretic would be handed over to the local authorities. Under Roman law, an offense against the faith was considered an offense against the state, so the state would do the discipline. The Church only passed the verdict, not the sentence. The Inquisition could not have happened without collaboration and alliance with the civil power of the time.
The Inquisition was also an attempt to stop Catholic lynch mobs that went around punishing heretics. If the Church didn't step in, the Catholic lay people would gather together in search of heretics and they sometimes got the wrong guy. It was a mess. These mobs would go around doing violence to people who were teaching heresy. For example, a Cathar preacher made a bonfire and drew a large crowd. He preached against Jesus and threw a crucifix on the bonfire. This enraged the townsfolk and they rushed the Cathar preacher and threw him on the bonfire.
Today, in our culture, people speak out against Christianity all the time in public (media) and do the equivalent of burning crosses. We stand silent. Perhaps there is a medium ground between burning someone (middle ages) and standing in silence (now) as critics tear apart the Faith.
Strange as it may seem, in a very wrong way, the Inquisition brought some order to communities who were glad to see the Inquisitors because it meant that lynch mobs stopped. The Inquisition was actually much more civilized than the uncontrolled lynch mobs. Another thing that is exaggerated by the press is the use of "torture" (1) to bring about a confession. Torture was never used more than once on an accused and it was quite rare among Church inquisitors. Secular Inquisitors on the other hand were quite harsh. Torture was a standard practice in the secular courts of the time.
There are stories of secular criminals "convicting themselves" of heresy so they could be moved from the harsh secular prisons to the Inquisition prisons that had better food and better living conditions. Most Inquisition convictions of the time ended in jail terms. Although it was a life term, the prisoners usually got out after 1-2 years because the prison would become full. The prisoners would often be set free and would return to jail only to sleep. Despite popular belief, executions were not very common.
The inquisition was never used as a way to "force people to convert" to Christianity, but rather it was a way to deal with heresy that was being taught by baptised Christians. In general, "forced conversion" was not the way that the Church evangelized, even though other religions of the time used forced conversion, and still do.
Christians of the Middle Ages were genuinely afraid that souls were going to go to hell if they were lured from Christianity. They thought it was worth it that some teachers of heresy died so that thousands would not be led astray by heretics who were preaching and drawing many from Christianity towards an eternity of darkness. Unfortunately, they were wrong. The ends does NOT justify the means. Lord forgive us.
The medieval Inquisition flushed out the Cathar heresy. It is where we got the word "Catharsis".
This section is based on excerpts from the paper: The Real Inquisition, Investigating the popular myth by professor Thomas F. Madden with footnotes by Fr. Lindsay Harrison.
By the mid 16th century, Spain was the wealthiest and most powerful country in Europe. Europe's Protestant areas, including the Netherlands, northern Germany, and England, may not have been as militarily mighty, but they did have a potent new weapon: the printing press. Although the Spanish defeated Protestants on the battlefield, they would lose the propaganda war. These were the years when the famous "Black Legend" of Spain was forged. The "The Black Legend," did not arise until after the Protestant defeat at the Battle of Muhlberg at the hands of Ferdinand's grandson, the Emperor Charles V. A fierce propaganda campaign ensued. Two important Protestant publications in it were John Foxe's Book of Martyrs (1554) and a leaflet published in 1567 penned by a supposed Inquisition victim named Montanus. He painted Catholic Spaniards as barbarians who ravished women and sodomized young boys. The propagandists soon created "hooded fiends" who tortured their victims in horrible devices like the knife-filled Iron Maiden. The number of victims was exaggerated. Foxe claimed 32,000 were burned at the stake. The myth became the accepted stereotype, as seen in Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov and in Edgar Allan Poe's tale of The Pit and the Pendulum. Innumerable books and pamphlets poured from northern presses accusing the Spanish Empire of inhuman depravity and horrible atrocities in the New World. Opulent Spain was cast as a place of darkness, ignorance, and evil.
Protestant tracts that took aim at the Spanish Inquisition drew liberally from the Black Legend. But it had other sources as well. From the beginning of the Reformation, Protestants had difficulty explaining the 15-century gap between Christ's institution of His Church and the founding of the Protestant churches. Catholics pointed out this problem, accusing Protestants of having created a new church separate from that of Christ. Protestants countered that their church was the one created by Christ, but that it had been forced underground by the Catholic Church. Thus, just as the Roman Empire had persecuted Christians, so its successor, the Roman Catholic Church, continued to persecute them throughout the Middle Ages. Inconveniently, there were no Protestants in the Middle Ages, yet Protestant authors found them there anyway in the guise of various medieval heretics. In this light, the medieval Inquisition was nothing more than an attempt to crush the hidden, true church. The Spanish Inquisition, still active and extremely efficient at keeping Protestants out of Spain, was for Protestant writers merely the latest version of this persecution. Mix liberally with the Black Legend and you have everything you need to produce tract after tract about the hideous and cruel Spanish Inquisition. And so they did.
In time, Spain's empire would fade away. Wealth and power shifted to the north, in particular to France and England. By the late 17th century new ideas of religious tolerance were bubbling across the coffeehouses and salons of Europe. Inquisitions, both Catholic and Protestant, withered. The Spanish stubbornly held on to theirs, and for that they were ridiculed. French philosophers like Voltaire saw in Spain a model of the Middle Ages: weak, barbaric, superstitious. The Spanish Inquisition, already established as a bloodthirsty tool of religious persecution, was derided by Enlightenment thinkers as a brutal weapon of intolerance and ignorance. A new, fictional Spanish Inquisition had been constructed, designed by the enemies of Spain and the Catholic Church.
There were two major Inquisitions, the Medieval Inquisition and Spanish Inquisition. Although there are no exact numbers, scholars believe they have estimated Inquisition deaths reasonably accurately. There were not as many deaths as the popular press claims. Numbers have often been inflated to as high as 9 million by the popular press, with absolutely no scholarly research. This figure is completely erroneous. A broad range of scholars, many of whom were not Catholic, have carefully studied the Inquisitions. They looked at all the existing records and were able to extrapolate. In the Medieval Inquisition, Bernard Gui was one of the most notorious of the medieval inquisitors. (so much so that the sick modern pornography industry has turned him into a hero). He tried 930 people out of which 42 were executed (4.5%). Another famous Inquisitor was Jacques Fournier who tried 114 cases of which 5 were executed (4.3%). Using numbers that are known, scholars have been able to surmise that approximately 2,000 people died in the Medieval Inquisition. (1231-1400 AD)
According to public news reports the book's editor, Prof. Agostino Borromeo, stated that about 125,000 persons were investigated by the Spanish Inquisition, of which 1.8% were executed (2,250 people). Most of these deaths occurred in the first decade and a half of the Inquisition's 350 year history. In Portugal of the 13,000 tried in the 16th and early 17th century 5.7% were said to have been condemned to death. News articles did not report if Portugal's higher percentage included those sentenced to death in effigy (i.e. an image burnt instead of the actual person). For example, historian Gustav Henningsen reported that statistical tabulations of 50,000 recorded cases tried by nineteen Spanish tribunals between 1540-1700 found 775 people (1.7%) were actually executed while another 700 (1.4%) were sentenced to death in effigy ("El 'banco de datos' del Santo Oficio: Las relaciones de causas de la Inquisici�n espa�ola, 1550-1700", BRAH, 174, 1977). Jewish historian Steven Katz remarked on the Medieval Inquisition that "in its entirety, the thirteenth and fourteenth century Inquisition put very few people to death and sent few people to prison; 90 percent of its sentences were canonical penances" (The Holocaust in Historical Context, 1994).
During the high point of the Spanish Inquisition from 1478-1530 AD, scholars found that approximately 1,500-2,000 people were found guilty. From that point forward, there are exact records available of all "guilty" sentences which amounted to 775 executions. In the full 200 years of the Spanish Inquisition, less than 1% of the population had any contact with it, people outside of the major cities didn't even know about it. The Inquisition was not applied to Jews or Moslems, unless they were baptised as Christians.
If we add the figures, we find that the entire Inquisition of 500 years, caused about 6,000 deaths. These atrocities are completely inexcusable. These numbers are however, a far cry from the those used in the popular press by people who are always looking to destroy the Church. This is about 20% of the number of war related deaths that have occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq in the 2 years since the US responded to 9/11.
Another thing to note is that the Spanish Inquisition, in a wrong way, may have saved some lives. In many European countries in the 16th century, religious wars were the cause of tens of thousands of deaths. But in Spain, there was political and religious unity as a result of the Inquisition, and there was no such war.
Nevertheless, the Inquisition tortures and death were inexcusable. I echo the voice of John Paul II "Forgive us Lord, Never Again"
I got an email that said:
Millions of women were murdered during the 300 years of Inquisition. Your site lies disastrously on this fundamental point. Jerk.
This is characteristic of the anger that the modern popular media has generated against the Church. I wrote back to this woman asking her what reputable historian she is citing. There was no response. The National Film Board produced a movie about 10 years back called "The Burning Times" which gave birth to the popular myth that the Inquisition was responsible for 9 million witch burnings in the middle ages.
Jenny Gibbons, a self-professed wiccan practitioner and wiccan historian, has written a very interesting article posted on a pagan web site called "Covenant of the Goddess." She is with a Masters in medieval history and minored in the Great Hunt. Her views about the nature of God and his plan for humans is completely different from my Catholic views, but I have a great respect for the integrity with which she reveals the truth about the Burning Times to her wiccan associates.
Here are a few quotes:
When the Church was at the height of its power (11th-14th centuries) very few witches died. Persecutions did not reach epidemic levels until after the Reformation, when the Catholic Church had lost its position as Europe's indisputable moral authority. Moreover most of the killing was done by secular courts. Church courts tried many witches but they usually imposed non-lethal penalties. A witch might be excommunicated, given penance, or imprisoned, but she was rarely killed. The Inquisition almost invariably pardoned any witch who confessed and repented...
For years, the responsibility for the Great Hunt has been dumped on the Catholic Church's door-step. 19th century historians ascribed the persecution to religious hysteria. And when Margaret Murray proposed that witches were members of a Pagan sect, popular writers trumpeted that the Great Hunt was not a mere panic, but rather a deliberate attempt to exterminate Christianity's rival religion. Today, we know that there is absolutely no evidence to support this theory...
For many, the "Inquisition" and the "Burning Times" are virtually synonymous. The myth of the witch-hunting inquisition was built on several assumptions and mistakes, all of which have been overturned in the last twenty-five years...
When the trials peaked in the 16th and 17th century, the Inquisition was only operating in two countries: Spain and Italy, and both had extremely low death tolls...
We Neopagans now face a crisis. As new data appeared, historians altered their theories to account for it. We have not. Therefore an enormous gap has opened between the academic and the "average" Pagan view of witchcraft. We continue to use of out-dated and poor writers, like Margaret Murray, Montague Summers, Gerald Gardner, and Jules Michelet. We avoid the somewhat dull academic texts that present solid research, preferring sensational writers who play to our emotions ...
We owe it to ourselves to study the Great Hunt more honestly, in more detail, and using the best data available. Dualistic fairy tales of noble witches and evil witch hunters have great emotional appeal, but they blind us to what happened. (8)
Jenny's academic integrity would not let her skew her findings because of her pagan beliefs. An article is here.
There is much speculation about the number of witches that died during those times. Among secular historians estimates range from 40,000 to 60,000. There are about 15,000 documented cases and the rest is achieved through extrapolation to areas that did not keep records. No serious historian exceeds those figures since the 1972 discovery that Lamothe-Langon forged many records in his book "Histoire de l'Inquisition en France" documenting the Inquisition in France.
In places where the Inquisition was the strongest there were the fewest numbers of witch burnings. For example, in Spain here were very few witch burnings, which was also true for Italy.
Before looking at numbers, I think it is important to understand that almost everyone back then believed in witchcraft. They believed witches were causing death and destruction. The educated theologians at the time scoffed at it, but the common people felt that someone practicing witchcraft was as dangerous to society as a serial murderer. People didn't know what caused the black plague, or the whooping cough which would kill infants in 2 weeks. People were looking for answers, sort of like modern society when it thinks unwanted babies (overpopulation) are the cause of our problems, so we murder them in the womb. Science was not developed.
Of witches who died, 95% were tried by secular tribunals rather than the Inquisition or Episcopal courts. Two inquisitors put out a manual called "Malleus Maleficarum" (the hammer of witches) in an attempt to squash witchcraft in Germany, but the Bishops stopped them, and they didn't get very far. The book however was a very unfortunate piece of work. The secular courts got hold of this manual and used it to prosecute witches.
Although the inquisition did put witches on trial, witch prosecutions were scattered and the Inquisition itself was responsible for less than 1000 deaths to witches. The main witch crazes were between 1580-1685 A.D. The reform was in full swing by then.
The Catholic Church had nothing to do with the Salem witch burnings in the US. That was a Protestant thing, as were witch burnings in Scotland, England, most of Germany. There were also many secular entities that burned witches. Often overlooked is that 20-25% of witch prosecution were men.
The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology by Rossel Hope Robbins (New York : Julian Press, Inc., 1958. Encyclopaedia Britanica. Third Edition, 1970) has been a major influence on modern thinking about witches and the Inquisition. It predates the 1972 secular discovery that the "historical" book by Lamothe-Langon called "Histoire de l'Inquisition en France" documenting the Inquisition in France, was a forgery. I've posted more information about that, from a secular "pagan" historian, here.
Although there were witches on trial during the Inquisition, there was no major "witch craze" before the Reformation. Martin Luther, Calvin and their followers cited the Bible as their reason for wanting witches burned. At any rate, it was an dark time for all of Christendom, Catholic and Protestant. It has been the cause of many people falling away from Christ. The Pope is right when he says the children of the Church must look upon that period with a spirit of repentance.
I have posted
The tortures and deaths of the Inquisition are inexcusable and the Church has paid a high price for it. The Church has been punished and is still being punished. Early reformers fueled much of their Reform movement by publicizing, and sometimes exaggerating, the injustices of the Spanish Inquisition.(3)
What many Evangelicals don't know is that there was also a Protestant Inquisition after the Reform. Protestants also fell into a similar myopic approach to silencing dissenting views. It was not a "warm fuzzy" Holy Spirit environment back in the early days of the Reform. Tens of thousands of non-Anglicans were killed in England. It was brutal. In America, the Puritans (Protestants) also conducted an Inquisition where people were burned at the stake.
People thought differently in those days. Human rights, freedom of conscience, religious freedom and pluralism were concepts that grew out of experience and maturity of society and through doctrinal maturity. These concepts did not come into being until the last hundred years or so. Even the early reformers were not into "freedom of religion" and "free speech". Martin Luther said:
There are others who teach in opposition to some recognized article of faith which is manifestly grounded on Scripture . . . Heretics of this sort must not be tolerated, but punished as open blasphemers . . . If anyone wishes to preach or to teach, let him make known the call or the command which impels him to do so, or else let him keep silence. If he will not keep quiet, then let the civil authorities command the scoundrel to his rightful master - namely, Master Hans [i.e., the hangman]. (Janssen, X, 222; EA, Bd. 39, 250-258; Commentary on 82nd Psalm, 1530; cf. Durant, 423, Grisar, VI, 26-27)
In Scotland in 1699, an 18 year old, Thomas Akin was hung (put to death) by the local authorities who were Presbyterians. The charge was blaspheme. I think we must be very careful when we look at history, to understand the thinking and the context of incidents.
I don't think Churches that have sprung up in the last hundred years can claim complete amnesty from these matters even though they weren't around in Medieval times and during the violent years of the Reform. In the early days of the Inquisition (1231 AD was the First Inquisition) there was only one Church in Europe, the Catholic Church. That's where we all come from historically. Evangelicals would not have a Bible today if the Vatican had not guarded the original documents over those years. The things that Catholicism did to protect the faith in those days are part of the reason we are able to have Scripture in modern Evangelical denominations. We must remember that historical context is difficult to understand for those who were not there. The Church is on a pilgrimage.
I am in no way trying to justify the Inquisition here. I simply want to dispel some myths. I hope this has been helpful.
It states at the start that:
One of the drawbacks of being 2000 years old is that there are incidents throughout history that people can point at and hold against the Catholic Church. I expect that two thousand years from now, if the Evangelical Church remains (and if the Lord hasn't come back yet), there may be some shameful bits of history that people who want to criticize the Evangelical Church will be able to seize upon.
May I suggest to the author that neither the Evangelical Churches, or Protestant ones claim to be the ONE, TRUE, ONLY Church Christ established on earth and acting in the "person of Christ". Nor do they claim to be infallible in all that their magesterium decides is "truth". Can you appreciate the difference?
The article also makes several blatantly false statements such as:
For instance, many Evangelical/Baptist Christians defended and participated in the slave trade which was responsible for thousands of beatings, tortures and deaths on slave ships. They did this with Bible in hand. The Vatican (Catholic Church) always condemned of the slave trade. Yet a little quick search brought this up:
Throughout most of human history, slavery has been practiced and accepted by many cultures and religions around the world. Certain passages in the Old Testament sanctioned slavery and the New Testament gave no clear teaching to indicate that slavery was now prohibited. Throughout Christian antiquity and the Middle Ages, theologians generally followed St. Augustine in holding that although slavery could not be justified under natural law it was not absolutely forbidden by that law. As a consequence the Roman Catholic Church, up until the modern era, came to accept certain types of slavery as a social consequence of the current human condition, connected by some with original sin, but teaching that slaves should be treated humanely and justly.
Between the 6th and 12th century there was a growing sentiment that slavery was not compatible with Christian conceptions of charity and justice; some argued against slavery whilst others, including the influential Thomas Aquinas, argued the case for slavery subject to certain restrictions. The church did succeed in almost entirely enforcing that a free Christian could not be enslaved, for example when a captive in war, but this was not consistently applied throughout history, as in the case of Pope Paul III who sanctioned the enslavement of baptised Christians in Rome.
Although some Catholic clergy, religious orders and Popes owned slaves, and the naval galleys of the Papal States were to use captured Muslim galley slaves, Roman Catholic teaching began to turn more strongly against unjust forms of slavery in general, beginning in 1435, prohibiting the enslavement of the recently baptised, culminating in pronouncements by Pope Paul III in 1537.
However when the Age of Discovery greatly increased the number of slaves owned by Christians, the response of the church, under strong political pressures, was confused and ineffective in preventing the establishment of slave societies in the colonies of Catholic countries. Papal bulls such as Dum Diversas, Romanus Pontifex and their derivatives, sanctioned slavery and were used to justify enslavement of natives and the appropriation of their lands during this era.
The depopulation of the Americas, and consequently the shortage of slaves, that came about through diseases brought over by the Europeans, and the harsh treatment of the native populations, inspired increasing debate during the 16th century over the morality of slavery. The first extensive shipment of black Africans to make good the shortage of native slaves, what would later become known as the Transatlantic slave trade, was initiated at the request of Bishop Las Casas and authorised by Charles V in 1517. La Casas would later reject all forms of slavery and became famous as the great protector of Indian rights. No Papal condemnation of Transatlantic slave trade was made at the time. La Casas in 1547 declared that the Spanish never waged a just war against the Indians since they did not have a just cause for doing so.
A number of Popes did issue papal bulls condemning "unjust" enslavement, ("just" enslavement was still accepted), and mistreatment of Native Americans by Spanish and Portuguese colonials; however, these were largely ignored. Nonetheless, Catholic missionaries such as the Jesuits, who also owned slaves, worked to alleviate the suffering of Native American slaves in the New World. Debate about the morality of slavery continued throughout this period, with some books critical of slavery being placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by the Holy Office between 1573-1826. Capuchin missionaries were excommunicated for calling for the emancipation of black slaves in the Americas.
In spite of a stronger condemnation of unjust types of slavery by Pope Gregory XVI in his bull In Supremo Apostolatus issued in 1839, some American bishops continued to support slave-holding interests until the abolition of slavery. In 1866 The Holy Office of Pope Pius IX affirmed that, subject to conditions, it was not against divine law for a slave to be sold, bought or exchanged. In 1995 Pope John Paul II repeated the condemnation of "infamies", including slavery, issued by the Second Vatican Council: "Thirty years later, taking up the words of the Council and with the same forcefulness I repeat that condemnation in the name of the whole Church, certain that I am interpreting the genuine sentiment of every upright conscience..(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_slavery)
So, it appears that the author falsely claimed "the Catholic Church ALWAYS condemned of the slave trade". Sure they do NOW, but that was not the point. The author claimed the Catholic Church NEVER condoned slavery.
Just one more little issue I noticed and it is humorous because it seems the author wanted to slip a fast one by everyone. In his effort to make the Catholic Church not look so bad in the killing of "heretics" during the inquisitions, he summarizes that the "real" death count of all of Catholicism's inquisitions was If we add the figures, we find that the entire Inquisition of 500 years, caused about 6,000 deaths. But he then goes on the claim the "Protestant" inquisitions, "Tens of thousands of non-Anglicans were killed in England. It was brutal. In America, the Puritans (Protestants) also conducted an Inquisition where people were burned at the stake."
So, though he admits the Catholic Church was wrong to kill and torture people over religion and seeks to "correct" the numbers of actual deaths that the Catholic Church was responsible for for 500 years or more, he has to pile it on the Protestants and, in essence, say they were FAR worse than us. It is the same rationalization that we hear whenever a clergy sex scandal is in the news. "Yeah, well YOU guys do it too!", is the reply and, like I said, it totally misses the point that only the Roman Catholic Church proclaims that it alone is the ONLY TRUE CHURCH and no one can be saved outside her. Can you at least appreciate the irony in this?
I appreciate it because I know that NO institution is the ONLY church - the true Body of Christ, the CHURCH, is individuals who are part of a spiritual house - a priesthood of believers, each one being a member of the one body. And I do not believe genuine, spirit-filled and led believers would be guilty of the systematic and condoned atrocities done in the name of Christ over the two millennium. This is how I know that the Catholic Church is NOT what she claims to be and, really, NO religious organization has that right to lay sole claim to the title of Christian. It is and always will be people, one by one, having a personal relationship with our Savior and God, Jesus Christ. When we are led by the Holy Spirit we will NOT be found committing horrible systematic sins against others. It is against our new nature to do so. Only those who did not have that indwelling Holy Spirit could have participated and/or ordered the atrocities that were done - and that includes ALL of the various religious labels.
Here is a clearer view rather than your sources understanding
Slavery and Christianity
How numerous the slaves were in Roman society when Christianity made its appearance, how hard was their lot, and how the competition of slave labour crushed free labour is notorious. It is the scope of this article to show what Christianity has done for slaves and against slavery, first in the Roman world, next in that society which was the result of the barbarian invasions, and lastly in the modern world.
The Church and Roman slavery
The first missionaries of the Gospel, men of Jewish origin, came from a country where slavery existed. But it existed in Judea under a form very different from the Roman form. The Mosaic Law was merciful to the slave (Exodus 21; Leviticus 25; Deuteronomy 15:21) and carefully secured his fair wage to the labourer (Deuteronomy 24:15). In Jewish society the slave was not an object of contempt, because labour was not despised as it was elsewhere. No man thought it beneath him to ply a manual trade. These ideas and habits of life the Apostles brought into the new society which so rapidly grew up as the effect of their preaching. As this society included, from the first, faithful of all conditions rich and poor, slaves and freemen the Apostles were obliged to utter their beliefs as to the social inequalities which so profoundly divided the Roman world. “For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:27-28; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:13). From this principle St. Paul draws no political conclusions. It was not his wish, as it was not in his power, to realize Christian equality either by force or by revolt. Such revolutions are not effected of a sudden. Christianity accepts society as it is, influencing it for its transformation through, and only through, individual souls. What it demands in the first place from masters and from slaves is, to live as brethren commanding with equity, without threatening, remembering that God is the master of all - obeying with fear, but without servile flattery, in simplicity of heart, as they would obey Christ (cf. Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:22-4; 4:1).
This language was understood by masters and by slaves who became converts to Christianity. But many slaves who were Christians had pagan masters to whom this sentiment of fraternity was unknown, and who sometimes exhibited that cruelty of which moralists and poets so often speak. To such slaves St. Peter points out their duty: to be submissive “not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward”, not with a mere inert resignation, but to give a good example and to imitate Christ, Who also suffered unjustly (1 Peter 2:18, 23-4). In the eyes of the Apostles, a slave’s condition, peculiarly wretched, peculiarly exposed to temptations, bears all the more efficacious testimony to the new religion. St. Paul recommends slaves to seek in all things to please their masters, not to contradict them, to do them no wrong, to honour them, to be loyal to them, so as to make the teaching of God Our Saviour shine forth before the eyes of all, and to prevent that name and teaching from being blasphemed (cf. 1 Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:9, 10). The apostolic writings show how large a place slaves occupied in the Church. Nearly all the names of the Christians whom St. Paul salutes in his Epistles to the Romans are servile cognomina: the two groups whom he calls “those of the household of Aristobulus” and “those of the household of Narcissus” indicate Christian servitors of those two contemporaries of Nero. His Epistle, written from Rome to the Philippians (iv, 22) bears them greeting from the saints of Caesar’s household, i.e. converted slaves of the imperial palace.
One fact which, in the Church, relieved the condition of the slave was the absence among Christians of the ancient scorn of labour (Cicero, “De off.”, I, xlii; “Pro Flacco”, xviii; “pro domo”, xxxiii; Suetonius, “Claudius, xxii; Seneca, “De beneficiis”, xviii; Valerius Maximus, V, ii, 10). Converts to the new religion knew that Jesus had been a carpenter; they saw St. Paul exercise the occupation of a tentmaker (Acts 18:3; 1 Corinthians 4:12). “Neither did we eat any man’s bread”, said the Apostle, “for nothing, but in labour and in toil we worked night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of you” (2 Thessalonians 3:8; cf. Acts 20:33, 34). Such an example, given at a time when those who laboured were accounted “the dregs of the city”, and those who did not labour lived on the public bounty, constituted a very efficacious form of preaching. A new sentiment was thereby introduced into the Roman world, while at the same time a formal discipline was being established in the Church. It would have none of those who made a parade of their leisurely curiosity in the Greek and Roman cities (2 Thessalonians 3:11). It declared that those who do not labour do not deserve to be fed (ibid., 10). A Christian was not permitted to live without an occupation (Didache, xii).
Religious equality was the negation of slavery as it was practiced by pagan society. It must have been an exaggeration, no doubt, to say, as one author of the first century said, that “slaves had no religion, or had only foreign religions” (Tacitus, “Annals”, XIV, xliv): many were members of funerary collegia under the invocation of Roman divinities (Statutes of the College of Lanuvium, “Corp. Inscr. lat.”, XIV, 2112). But in many circumstances this haughty and formalist religion excluded slaves from its functions, which, it was held, their presence would have defiled. (Cicero, “Octavius”, xxiv). Absolute religious equality, as proclaimed by Christianity, was therefore a novelty. The Church made no account of the social condition of the faithful. Bond and free received the same sacraments. Clerics of servile origin were numerous (St. Jerome, Ep. lxxxii). The very Chair of St. Peter was occupied by men who had been slaves Pius in the second century, Callistus in the third. So complete one might almost say, so levelling was this Christian equality that St. Paul (1 Timothy 6:2), and, later, St. Ignatius (Polyc., iv), are obliged to admonish the slave and the handmaid not to contemn their masters, “believers like them and sharing in the same benefits”. In giving them a place in religious society, the Church restored to slaves the family and marriage. In Roman law, neither legitimate marriage, nor regular paternity, nor even impediment to the most unnatural unions had existed for the slave (Digest, XXXVIII, viii, i, (sect) 2; X, 10, (sect) 5). That slaves often endeavoured to override this abominable position is touchingly proved by innumerable mortuary inscriptions; but the name of uxor, which the slave woman takes in these inscriptions, is very precarious, for no law protects her honour, and with her there is no adultery (Digest, XLVIII, v, 6; Cod. Justin., IX, ix, 23). In the Church the marriage of slaves is a sacrament; it possesses “the solidity” of one (St. Basil, Ep. cxcix, 42). The Apostolic Constitutions impose upon the master the duty of making his slave contract “a legitimate marriage” (III, iv; VIII, xxxii). St. John Chrysostom declares that slaves have the marital power over their wives and the paternal over their children (”In Ep. ad Ephes.”, Hom. xxii, 2). He says that “he who has immoral relations with the wife of a slave is as culpable as he who has the like relations with the wife of the prince: both are adulterers, for it is not the condition of the parties that makes the crime” (”In I Thess.”, Hom. v, 2; “In II Thess.”, Hom. iii, 2).
In the Christian cemeteries there is no difference between the tombs of slaves and those of the free. The inscriptions on pagan sepulchres whether the columbarium common to all the servants of one household, or the burial plot of a funerary collegium of slaves or freedmen, or isolated tombs always indicate the servile condition. In Christian epitaphs it is hardly ever to be seen (”Bull. di archeol. christiana”, 1866, p. 24), though slaves formed a considerable part of the Christian population. Sometimes we find a slave honoured with a more pretentious sepulchre than others of the faithful, like that of Ampliatus in the cemetery of Domitilla (”Bull. di archeol. christ.”, 1881, pp. 57-54, and pl. III, IV). This is particularly so in the case of slaves who were martyrs: the ashes of two slaves, Protus and Hyacinthus, burned alive in the Valerian persecution, had been wrapped in a winding-sheet of gold tissue (ibid., 1894, p. 28). Martyrdom eloquently manifests the religious equality of the slave: he displays as much firmness before the menaces of the persecutor as does the free man. Sometimes it is not for the Faith alone that a slave woman dies, but for the faith and chastity equally threatened “pro fide et castitate occisa est” (”Acta S. Dulae” in Acta SS., III March, p. 552). Beautiful assertions of this moral freedom are found in the accounts of the martyrdoms of the slaves Ariadne, Blandina, Evelpistus, Potamienna, Felicitas, Sabina, Vitalis, Porphyrus, and many others (see Allard, “Dix leçons sur le martyre”, 4th ed., pp. 155— 64). The Church made the enfranchisement of the slave an act of disinterested charity. Pagan masters usually sold him his liberty for his market value, on receipt of his painfully amassed savings (Cicero, “Philipp. VIII”, xi; Seneca “Ep. lxxx”); true Christians gave it to him as an alms. Sometimes the Church redeemed slaves out of its common resources (St. Ignatius, “Polyc.”, 4; Apos. Const., IV, iii). Heroic Christians are known to have sold themselves into slavery to deliver slaves (St. Clement, “Cor.”, 4; “Vita S. Joannis Eleemosynarii” in Acts SS., Jan., II, p. 506). Many enfranchised all the slaves they had. In pagan antiquity wholesale enfranchisements are frequent, but they never include all the owner’s slaves, end they are always by testamentary disposition that is when the owner cannot be impoverished by his own bounty, (Justinian, “Inst.”, I, vii; “Cod. Just.”, VII, iii, 1). Only Christians enfranchised all their slaves in the owner’s lifetime, thus effectually despoiling themselves a considerable part of their fortune (see Allard, “Les esclaves chrétiens”, 4th ed., p. 338). At the beginning of the fifth century, a Roman millionaire, St. Melania, gratuitously granted liberty to so many thousand of slaves that her biographer declares himself unable to give their exact number (Vita S. Melaniae, xxxiv). Palladius mentions eight thousand slaves freed (Hist. Lausiaca, cxix), which, taking the average price of a slave as about $100, would represent a value of $800,000 [1913 dollars]. But Palladius wrote before 406, which was long before Melania had completely exhausted her immense fortune in acts of liberality of all kinds (Rampolla, “S. Melania Giuniore”, 1905, p. 221).
Primitive Christianity did not attack slavery directly; but it acted as though slavery did not exist. By inspiring the best of its children with this heroic charity, examples of which have been given above, it remotely prepared the way for the abolition of slavery. To reproach the Church of the first ages with not having condemned slavery in principle, and with having tolerated it in fact, is to blame it for not having let loose a frightful revolution, in which, perhaps, all civilization would have perished with Roman society. But to say, with Ciccotti (Il tramonto della schiavitù, Fr. tr., 1910, pp. 18, 20), that primitive Christianity had not even “an embryonic vision” of a society in which there should be no slavery, to say that the Fathers of the Church did not feel “the horror of slavery”, is to display either strange ignorance or singular unfairness. In St. Gregory of Nyssa (In Ecclesiastem, hom. iv) the most energetic and absolute reprobation of slavery may be found; and again in numerous passages of St. John Chrysostom’s discourse we have the picture of a society without slaves - a society composed only of free workers, an ideal portrait of which he traces with the most eloquent insistence (see the texts cited in Allard, ‘’Les esclaves chrétiens”, p. 416-23).
The Church and slavery after the barbarian invasions
It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the legislative movement which took place during the same period in regard to slaves. From Augustus to Constantine statutes and jurisprudence tended to afford them greater protection against ill-treatment and to facilitate enfranchisement. Under the Christian emperors this tendency, in spite of relapses at certain points, became daily more marked, and ended, in the sixth century, in Justinian’s very liberal legislation (see Wallon, “Hist. de l’esclavage dans l’antiquité”, III, ii and x). Although the civil law on slavery still lagged behind the demands of Christianity (”The laws of Caesar are one thing, the laws of Christ another”, St. Jerome writes in “Ep. lxxvii”), nevertheless very great progress had been made. It continued in the Eastern Empire (laws of Basil the Macedonian, of Leo the Wise, of Constantine Porphyrogenitus), but in the West it was abruptly checked by the barbarian invasions. Those invasions were calamitous for the slaves, increasing their numbers which had began to diminish, and subjecting them to legislation and to customs much harder than those which obtained under the Roman law of the period (see Allard, “Les origines du servage” in “Rev. des questions historiques”, April, 1911). Here again the Church intervened. It did so in three ways: redeeming slaves; legislating for their benefit in its councils; setting an example of kind treatment. Documents of the fifth to the seventh century are full of instances of captives carried off from conquered cities by the barbarians and doomed to slavery, whom bishops, priests, and monks, and pious laymen redeemed. Redeemed captives were sometimes sent back in thousands to their own country (ibid., p. 393-7, and Lesne, “Hist de la propriété ecclésiastique en France”, 1910, pp. 357-69).
The Churches of Gaul, Spain, Britain, and Italy were incessantly busy, in numerous councils, with the affairs of slaves; protection of the maltreated slave who has taken refuge in a church (Councils of Orléans, 511, 538, 549; Council of Epone, 517); those manumitted in ecclesiis, but also those freed by any other process (Council of Arles, 452; of Agde, 506; of Orléans, 549; of Mâcon, 585; of Toledo, 589, 633; of Paris, 615); validity of marriage contracted with full knowledge of the circumstances between free persons and slaves (Councils of Verberie, 752, of Compiègne, 759); rest for slaves on Sundays and feast days (Council of Auxerre, 578 or 585; of Châlon-sur-Saône, middle of the seventh century; of Rouen, 650; of Wessex, 691; of Berghamsted, 697); prohibition of Jews to possess Christian slaves (Council of Orléans, 541; of Mâcon, 581; of Clichy, 625; of Toledo, 589, 633, 656); suppression of traffic in slaves by forbidding their sale outside the kingdom (Council of Châlon-sur-Saône, between 644 and 650); prohibition against reducing a free man to slavery (Council of Clichy, 625). Less liberal in this respect than Justinian (Novella cxxiii, 17), who made tacit consent a sufficient condition, the Western discipline does not permit a slave to be raised to the priesthood without the formal consent of his master; nevertheless the councils held at Orléans in 511, 538, 549, while imposing canonical penalties upon the bishop who exceeded his authority in this matter, declare such an ordination to be valid. A council held at Rome in 595 under the presidency of St. Gregory the Great permits the slave to become a monk without any consent, express or tacit, of his master.
At this period the Church found itself becoming a great proprietor. Barbarian converts endowed it largely with real property. As these estates were furnished with serfs attached to the cultivation of the soil, the Church became by force of circumstances a proprietor of human beings, for whom, in these troublous times, the relation was a great blessing. The laws of the barbarians, amended through Christian influence, gave ecclesiastical serfs a privileged position: their rents were fixed; ordinarily, they were bound to give the proprietor half of their labour or half of its products, the remainder being left to them (Lex Alemannorum, xxii; Lex Bajuvariorum, I, xiv, 6). A council of the sixth century (Eauze, 551) enjoins upon bishops that they must exact of their serfs a lighter service than that performed by the serfs of lay proprietors, and must remit to them one-fourth of their rents.
Another advantage of ecclesiastical serfs was the permanency of their position. A Roman law of the middle of the fourth century (Cod. Just., XI, xlvii, 2) had forbidden rural slaves to be removed from the lands to which they belonged; this was the origin of serfdom, a much better condition than slavery properly so called. But the barbarians virtually suppressed this beneficent law (Gregory of Tours, “Hist. Franc.”, VI, 45); it was even formally abrogated among the Goths of Italy by the edict of Theodoric (sect. 142). Nevertheless, as an exceptional privilege, it remained in force for the serfs of the Church, who, like the Church itself remained under Roman law (Lex Burgondionum, LVIII, i; Louis I, “Add. ad legem Langobard.”, III, i). They shared besides, the inalienability of all ecclesiastical property which had been established by councils (Rome, 50; Orléans, 511, 538; Epone, 517; Clichy, 625; Toledo, 589); they were sheltered from the exactions of the royal officers by the immunity granted to almost all church lands (Kroell, “L’immunité franque”, 19110); thus their position was generally envied (Flodoard, “Hist eccl. Remensis”, I, xiv), and when the royal liberality assigned to a church a portion of land out of the state property, the serfs who cultivated were loud in their expression of joy (Vita S. Eligii, I, xv).
It has been asserted that the ecclesiastical serfs were less fortunately situated because the inalienability of church property prevented their being enfranchised. But this is inexact. St. Gregory the Great enfranchised serfs of the Roman Church (Ep. vi, 12), and there is frequent discussion in the councils in regard to ecclesiastical freedmen. The Council of Agde (506) gives the bishop the right to enfranchise those serfs “who shall have deserved it” and to leave them a small patrimony. A Council of Orléans (541) declares that even if the bishop has dissipated the property of his church, the serfs whom he has freed in reasonable number (numero competenti) are to remain free. A Merovingian formula shows a bishop enfranchising one-tenth of his serfs (Formulae Biturgenses, viii). The Spanish councils imposed greater restrictions, recognizing the right of a bishop to enfranchise the serfs of his church on condition of his indemnifying it out of his own private property (Council of Seville, 590; of Toledo, 633; of Mérida, 666). But they made it obligatory to enfranchise the serf in whom a serious vocation was discerned (Council of Saragossa, 593). An English council (Celchyte, 816) orders that at the death of a bishop all the other bishops and all the abbots shall enfranchise three slaves each for the repose of his soul. This last clause shows again the mistake of saying that the monks had not the right of manumission. The canon of the Council of Epone (517) which forbids abbots to enfranchise their serfs was enacted in order that the monks might not be left to work without assistance and has been taken too literally. It is inspired not only by agricultural prudence, but also by the consideration that the serfs belong to the community of monks, and not to the abbot individually. Moreover, the rule of St. Ferréol (sixth century) permits the abbot to free serfs with the consent of the monks, or without their consent, if, in the latter case, he replaces at his own expense those he has enfranchised. The statement that ecclesiastical freedmen were not as free as the freedmen of lay proprietors will not bear examination in the light of facts, which shows the situation of the two classes to have been identical, except that the freedman of the Church earned a higher wergheld than a lay freedman, and therefore his life was better protected. The “Polyptych of Irminon”, a detailed description of the abbey lands of Saint-Germain-des-Prés shows that in the ninth century the serfs of that domain were not numerous and led in every way the life of free peasants.
The Church and modern slavery
In the Middle Ages slavery, properly so called, no longer existed in Christian countries; it had been replaced by serfdom, an intermediate condition in which a man enjoyed all his personal rights except the right to leave the land he cultivated and the right to freely dispose of his property. Serfdom soon disappeared in Catholic countries, to last longer only where the Protestant Reformation prevailed. But while serfdom was becoming extinct, the course of events was bringing to pass a temporary revival of slavery. As a consequence of the wars against the Mussulmans and the commerce maintained with the East, the European countries bordering on the Mediterranean, particularly Spain and Italy, once more had slaves Turkish prisoners and also, unfortunately, captives imported by conscienceless traders. Though these slaves were generally well-treated, and set at liberty if they asked for baptism, this revival of slavery, lasting until the seventeenth century, is a blot on Christian civilization. But the number of these slaves was always very small in comparison with that of the Christian captives reduced to slavery in Mussulman countries, particularly in the Barbary states from Tripoli to the Atlantic coast of Morocco. These captives were cruelly treated and were in constant danger of losing their faith. Many actually did deny their faith, or, at least, were driven by despair to abandon all religion and all morality. Religious orders were founded to succour and redeem them.
The Trinitarians, founded in 1198 by St. John of Matha and St. Felix of Valois, established hospitals for slaves at Algiers and Tunis in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; and from its foundation until the year 1787 it redeemed 900,000 slaves. The Order of Our Lady of Ransom (Mercedarians), founded in the thirteenth century by St. Peter Nolasco, and established more especially in France and Spain, redeemed 490,736 slaves between the years 1218 and 1632. To the three regular vows its founder had added a fourth, “To become a hostage in the hands of the infidels, if that is necessary for the deliverance of Christ’s faithful.” Many Mercedarians kept this vow even to martyrdom. Another order undertook not only to redeem captives, but also to give them spiritual and material assistance. St. Vincent of Paul had been a slave at Algiers in 1605, and had witnessed the sufferings and perils of Christian slaves. At the request of Louis XIV, he sent them, in 1642, priests of the congregation which he had founded. Many of these priests, indeed, were invested with consular functions at Tunis and at Algiers. From 1642 to 1660 they redeemed about 1200 slaves at an expense of about 1,200,000 livres. But their greatest achievements were in teaching the Catechism and converting thousands, and in preparing many of the captives to suffer the most cruel martyrdom rather than deny the Faith. As a Protestant historian has recently said, none of the expeditions sent against the Barbary States by the Powers of Europe, or even America, equalled “the moral effect produced by the ministry of consolation, and abnegation, going even to the sacrifice of liberty and life, which was exercised by the humble sons of St. John of Matha, St. Peter Nolasco, and St. Vincent of Paul” (Bonet-Maury, “France, christianisme et civilisation”, 1907, p. 142).
A second revival of slavery took place after the discovery of the New World by the Spaniards in 1492. To give the history of it would be to exceed the limits of this article. It will be sufficient to recall the efforts of Las Casas in behalf of the aborigines of America and the protestations of popes against the enslavement of those aborigines and the traffic in negro slaves. England, France, Portugal, and Spain, all participated in this nefarious traffic. England only made amends for its transgressions when, in 1815, it took the initiative in the suppression of the slave trade. In 1871 a writer had the temerity to assert that the Papacy had not its mind to condemn slavery” (Ernest Havet, “Le christianisme et ses origines”, I, p. xxi). He forgot that, in 1462, Pius II declared slavery to be “a great crime” (magnum scelus); that, in 1537, Paul III forbade the enslavement of the Indians; that Urban VIII forbade it in 1639, and Benedict XIV in 1741; that Pius VII demanded of the Congress of Vienna, in 1815, the suppression of the slave trade and Gregory XVI condemned it in 1839; that, in the Bull of Canonization of the Jesuit Peter Claver, one of the most illustrious adversaries of slavery, Pius IX branded the “supreme villainy” (summum nefas) of the slave traders. Everyone knows of the beautiful letter which Leo XIII, in 1888, addressed to the Brazilian bishops, exhorting them to banish from their country the remnants of slavery a letter to which the bishops responded with their most energetic efforts, and some generous slave-owners by freeing their slaves in a body, as in the first ages of the Church.
In our own times the slave trade still continued to devastate Africa, no longer for the profit of Christian states, from which all slavery had disappeared, but for the Mussulman countries. But as European penetrations progresses in Africa, the missionaries, who are always its precursors Fathers of the Holy Ghost, Oblates, White Fathers, Franciscans, Jesuits, Priests of the Mission of Lyons labour in the Sudan, Guinea, on the Gabun, in the region of the Great Lakes, redeeming slaves and establishing “liberty villages.” At the head of this movement appear two men: Cardinal Lavigerie, who in 1888 founded the Société Antiesclavagiste and in 1889 promoted the Brussels conference; Leo XIII, who encouraged Lavigerie in all his projects, and, in 1890, by an Encyclical once more condemning the slave-traders and “the accursed pest of servitude”, ordered an annual collection to be made in all Catholic churches for the benefit of the anti-slavery work. Some modern writers, mostly of the Socialist School Karl Marx, Engel, Ciccotti, and, in a measure, Seligman attribute the now almost complete disappearance of slavery to the evolution of interests and to economic causes only. The foregoing exposition of the subject is an answer to their materialistic conception of history, as showing that, if not the only, at least the principal, cause of that disappearance is Christianity acting through the authority of its teaching and the influence of its charity.
Here , I can post longs posts from sources that refute your skewed view of history and lack of knowledge of dogmatic teaching...
If that substantiated what you needed to prove then such can be fitting, but you have neither refuted what i wrote or demonstrated a skewed view of history or lack of knowledge of dogmatic teaching on my part, and instead evasion and a lack of objectivity and knowledge on your part is what is still evidenced.
Rather than addressing official papal sanction of torture etc. and killing of heretics, and interacting with my response, you have simply pasted the work of one Roman Catholic apologist who explains the historical context of the Inquisitions, and how death tolls are often exaggerated, and that Protestants also engaged in such killing, all of which i was aware of, and i did not teach otherwise. (Paradoxically, many RCAs have no problem repeating the refuted 33,000 Protestant denominations assertion drawn from a famous Oxford reference work but which also marks the Roman Catholic Church as among the greatest persecutors, at an extreme 5 million over the centuries!)
While the lower numbers are challenged by other research , and some defend the exaggerated numbers which the Catholic apologist rejects, i made no such claims of millions killed (even if including those who died while imprisoned, etc.) or even a number of how many were killed. Nor did i claim or infer that that Protestants (not only Puritans) did not engage in killing in order to deal with theological enemies as well.
But i responded to your original assertion was that the Puritans were nothing more than a bunch of [scary] Theocratic dictators (which scorn itself is hardly objective), and as having zero solid teachings, by expressing that Rome has acted the like in ruling over those without and killing theological dissidents, and is responsible for more such blood shed than the Puritans (and Catholics also are seen inflating its numbers). And in response to your attempt to anachronistically relegate those who did so as themselves walking in disobedience, i substantiated that torture and killing was officially sanctioned over a long period of time (though that extended beyond the Inquisitions).
And that rather than the Puritans having no solid teachings, that they did hold to core truths and were named Puritans due to being characterized by certain doctrinally-based distinctives.
I am in no way trying to justify the Inquisition here. I simply want to dispel some myths. I hope this has been helpful.
That was not the issue, but it is helpful in so far as it goes but this vast paste is basically irrelevant except to confirm that Rome used the means of the world to fight a spiritual battle, yet it avoids mentioning the papal sanction of torture and killing.
they interpreted the flawed KJV which allowed them to ravage black families as enslave them on their flawed Biblical beliefs.
The KJV is very similar to the Douay Rheims, and while some RCs hold to the latter, it has its Catholic critics, (http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=4300&CFID=45541857&CFTOKEN=30609021) and see my FR post here, while there is only one English text currently approved by the Church for use in the United States, (http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/bible_versions.htm) at least for liturgical use, that being the NAB, and if you want to talk about problems, which may be seen to negatively reflect the place Scripture holds in Roman Catholicism considering its centralized command, see here.
As for your high sounding condemnation of slavery, here again you ignore the skeletons in Rome's closet. You can also attempt to anachronistically relegate Roman Catholic support and use of slavery as being against church teaching, but which the words of a Roman Catholic apologist (on Akin's site) applies to:
Shane, your mistake is just what I noted. One Pope out of 265 Popes condemns slavery as intrinsically evil in the ordinary magisterium and you call it Church Teaching without ever using your own brain to see if he might have overstepped in his late years... and you are prepared to throw God Himself and His estimation of slavery overboard. The Prots are not 100% wrong when they fault us for Pope worship. You just did it.
Your thoughts on torture and saving Pope Leo X's reputation from an obvious cruel belief is absolutely the same syndrome.
I think you are important to the Church but you will spoil it if you think flattering Her when She really needs the opposite from you is the thing to do. Paul confronted Peter in Galatians and Peter grew....the Church now has no one with Paul's truthfulness.
The list of bulls against slavery occurred over a time span that included 44 Popes but only about 7 of them denounced slavery of sorts....one was against slavery in the Canaries but only of baptized natives....the next one by Paul III was against the enslavement of the Caribbean natives but not against that of blacks....another was against the trade, but not against the domestic slavery of blacks born to slave mothers and held by religious orders into the 19th century, with [the] Bishop [of] England who knew the Pope [was][ writing for domestic slavery after the bull and not being gainsaid by the Pope. The most complete one was finally at the end of the 19th century by a Pope...Leo XIII this time... who claimed that the Church was the great liberator from slavery, and he gave a papal list which left out the six Popes from 1452 til 1511 who literally turbocharged the slavery by Spain and Portugal that involved millions. And you can easily research the first words of that chain by going to Romanus Pontifex on line by Pope Nicholas V and go to the middle of the 4th paragraph. In the OT flattery was a sin. Why does no one say that anymore? Because Church speak is floating in it.
...Slavery was implicitly supported in Trent's catechism...read carefully the text on "other forms of stealing" as to the 7th commandment...it was supported in most major theologians until 1960 (Tommaso Iorio's 5th edition of Theologia Moralis 1960 and that was preceded by Merkelbach in 1936 and Vermeesch in 1904 and by St.Thomas in the Supplement to the ST in the section on marriage of a slave wherein Aquinas gives the cites for the decretals (canon law) supporting the slavery of a child born to a slave). And in every century a majority of theologians in the schools supported 4 just titles to slavery and birth to a slave was almost always included and now is banned by Vatican II's authroity. http://www.jimmyakin.org/2009/02/soups-reredux.html
Again, my protest was against your lack of objectivity in your wholesale denigration of the Puritans when Rome did like things, and while here Protestants also could and did support slavery, yet the fact also is that evangelical-type believers and churches (versus institutionalized bodies) were among the foremost opponents of slavery and advocates of abolitionism, casting off slavery as no longer justifiable. (Yet i dare say the non-racial, regulated form allowed in Scripture as it is not a monolithic institution and is a complex moral issue as an integral institution of the ancient economy and means of dealing with enemies, is better than the slavery of the welfare state and the debt and indolence it promotes).
Also provided by others:
Archdiocese of New Orleans Releases Catholic Records of Slaves
Abp. Dolan: American Catholic Leadership against Abortion Redeems Laxity against Slavery
Africa bishops speak of Obama in religious terms
Lecturer discusses Lincolns use of religion
Black History: The Slave Coast
New Professor Studies the Impact of Slavery on Religion
Statue of first Catholic Supreme Court justice may go [Chief Justice Taney/"Dred Scott" decision]
Scottish churches unite to confront legacy of slavery
The Jesuits Slaves
By now you must realize that entirely dismissing the Puritans as being “nothing more than a bunch of [scary] Theocratic dictators, who had no solid teachings is accepted, and documentation can be dismissed as a skewed view of history and lack of knowledge of dogmatic teaching when it substantiates Roman theocracy and papal sanction of torture and killing of theological threats - which refutes the spin that all such popes etc. were wrong because the modern Catechism disapproves, and that dogmatic teaching cannot be interpreted to allow such use of the sword.
And instead of establishing otherwise that we are given a long explanation of why Rome engaged in such means of physical warfare, and that Protestants did the same, neither of which needs contention.
But as regards minimizing the part Rome played in using the sword of men against theological threats as regards witches, while exaggerated numbers of the execution of alleged witches by Catholicism is to be avoided, and Protestantism is also rightly blamed for killing them, yet as an article on a Catholic site notes,
“This revised set of facts should not entirely comfort Catholics, however. Catholics have been misled at times deliberately misled about the Church’s role in the witch-hunts by apologists eager to present the Church as innocent of witches’ blood so as to refute the Enlightenment theory that witch-burning was almost entirely a Catholic phenomenon. Catholics should know that the thinking that set the great witch-hunt in motion was developed by Catholic clerics before the Reformation.” http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=4005
What is seen is that the maturity of the RCC, after hundreds of years under a papacy, was one that was much conformed to the world in raising up armies to fight holy wars and using its means of dealing with law breakers, in this case as regards the doctrinal realm, and had yet to effect a consistent abolition of slavery in the nations where she predominated. And for too long a time the Reformers did likewise.
Proper sentence structure and punctuation are your friends. Embrace them.
Can't refute the facts so go after grammar rules? Okay...
Hey, daniel, I understood exactly what you said and I agree with it.
I can't tell if there were or were not any facts hidden in that ink cloud. When anyone has to resort to torturing the language that badly it is usually because they are attempting to fabricate or hide something. It definitely is not the mark of good composition or scholarship to attempt to say in 100 words what could easily be said in 10. I would like to see anyone try to diagram that sentence. I would recommend daniel invest is a copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style or enroll in an English composition class at his local night school. When anyone transcends dialog and assumes an authoritative status they better be prepared to bring their "A game" when they deviate from the truth.
I have no way of knowing if you actually understood what was posted or if you simply topically agreed a priori. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for the effort it must have taken.
Peace be with you
daniel1212's posts reminds me of when the NY times attacks someone like Cardinal Dolan in the same fashion of taking things out of context without looking at the complexity of the situation of what is grounded in sincere love during the times of human history
it is usually because they are attempting to fabricate or hide something.
Critiquing coherence is one thing, inferring this was meant to deceive is another, and here it did not take long for you to return to your old form, once again making unsubstantiated inferences of deviating from the truth and impugning motives and finessing the forum rules by essentially calling one a liar, as the context of your remarks is in reference to my work. Bye.
Thanks. I seldom have a problem understanding what a poster is trying to get across, in context, even if it is messed up.
In addition, substantiating things - esp., as RCs usually evidence they will not look at linked pages (as some actually state) - and dealing with many aspects of an issue often requires longer discourse, while Rome herself often lacks clarity (esp. V2) or conciseness in her teachings.
Again, it is you who has been ignoring context, that of what this exchange was about, which was not about understanding the Inquisitions in their historical context and motive - of which i was aware and did not make an issue - but in this regard that of your unapologetic blithe dismissal of the Puritans as a bunch of scary Theocratic dictators while under Rome we see the like.
And which rejection of the Puritans indicates a lack of appreciation of historical context and motive on your part. As well as how the foundational principle of self defense can be interpreted to justify the church waging war after the flesh in disciplining doctrinal dissenters, and killing those who pose doctrinal threats, for that reason, even when they use their secular arm to do so. (contra Acts 5:1-10; 1Cor. 5:1-5; 12,13; 2Cor. 10:3,4; Eph. 6:12; 1Tim. 1:10)
God is the friend of one who doesn't focus on dangling participles but on Him ALONE. Embrace Him/Embrace TRUTH.
Catholicism, the land where worship isn't worship and remembrance isn't remembrance - the land of deception where a lie is wrapped in some Truth to entice.
God's WORD ALONE/Jesus/is The Final Authority. It's ALL about JESUS!
Also, do not finesse the guidelines to accuse another Freeper personally of dishonesty - that is flame baiting.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Daniel, if they did it to Jesus, they will do it to you.
They say it about Jesus, also, He didn't Write It ALL but gave it to the CC - for their oral tradition. Like Jesus is hiding something from mankind and only gave it to them. How's that for 'did God really say'? Step right up folks, come to the CC where we know what God really said.
God's WORD is the FINAL authority and they say 'No God, OUR man made teachings/doctrines are the final authority, nothing personal GOD but we know best.'
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall".
“”As well as how the foundational principle of self defense can be interpreted to justify the church waging war after the flesh in disciplining doctrinal dissenters, and killing those who pose doctrinal threats””
The Church never killed or tortured anyone. People kill and torture and there was never any DOGMATIC teaching that allowed to kill anyone other than in self defense regardless of how many things you try and call infallible teaching by Pope’s and others through the ages.
If there was DOGMATIC teaching that allowed torture it would still be in place since Dogmas never change even if a council or a Pope declares something contradictory to the original Dogma..
There have been Popes that have made bad decisions that people have followed but it does NOT stain the Church and only stains a Pope who made wrong decisions.
If a Pope came out today claiming a Papal Bull saying that Christ is not Divine it would NOT be valid because NO ONE has the Authority to overturn DOGMATIC teaching. It’s Final!
Of course you will try to bring up Vatican 2 which did not overturn but clarify some teachings.
I expect you will also ,of course, spin words from Vatican 2 and other Church teachings in a GOTCHA sort of way, but realize that those of us who live in the true faith are strengthened by your consistent trying to tear down the Catholic Church.You will fail and convert NO Catholic who lives the faith of even the simplest to the intellectual to leave the Church.
I believe you only have the ability to snare the weak and liberal Catholic, to which I pray for you to have A Saint Paul conversion for the damage you may have caused to the weak and that you repent of this error if this happened
I also pray you don’t end up like Cornelius Jansen (Jansenism) who was so impressed with Scholasticism that it is said figuratively that he choked and died on book dust but did nothing to build up Christ and help the weak.
I believe the talents you have been given would be better served in building up Christ rather than trying to tear down the Catholic Church that is wasting your time and will never happen
Remember,dear friend-Love builds up ,but pride puffs up. (we all can be guilty of pride at times)
FWIW- I won’t allow someone like you to distract me from the importance of Prayer and other Christian duties to allow Free Republic and other message boards to become a golden calf in my life. Perhaps you should evaluate if FR and other message boards are a golden calf in yours?
I wish you a Blessed Evening!
Yes, you DO have a way of knowing that I understood what was posted because I SAID I understood it. It seems that agreeing "a priori" is more the trait of those of your own religious persuasion. Anything BUT tacit agreement with the RCC magesterium is considered a sin, is it not?
I intended to just not say anything in reply to your post to Daniel1212, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew I HAD to. You worded a reply to me last week with many of the same words. Let me ask you this, in your criticism of what Daniel writes about the Catholic Church and the Holy Scriptures, has it occurred to you that he might have the exact same motives as you do? You talk about the "true faith" and resent criticism of it, but we also believe we have the "true faith".
You say that you pray that he uses his talents for "building up Christ" and you pray he has a "Saint Paul conversion" to the Roman Catholic faith. Yet he has already said, like I have, that we once WERE Roman Catholics and that we left because we learned the true Gospel was not found there. Why WOULD we want to return? The same zeal you have for your church moves us to speak out against the errors that have found their way into it and to win souls TO Christ. Neither of us has ever advocated for a different church. We aren't trying to "steal" Catholics away to join the Lutherans or the Baptists or Methodists, etc., but explaining the truth of the gospel that salvation comes to those who place their trust in Christ and receive Him as Savior. We believe in:
The true child of God is not under the Law but under grace; he is saved by grace and disciplined by grace.
CLARITY OF THE GOSPEL
Man is saved by undeserved mercy through faith and nothing of man enters into his salvation; it is a free gift. Mans efforts, regardless of how good or well intended, before or after salvation, have nothing to do with it. Salvation is by the finished work of Christ and nothing can be added to it. Every true child of God possesses eternal life and is, therefore, safe and secure for all eternity, being justified by faith, sanctified by God, and sealed by the Holy Spirit; he cannot lose his salvation. Salvation is not the result of what we do, but is by receiving what God has done for us. Man can be certain of his salvation now, and his salvation cannot be lost because eternal life is eternal.
It is every Christians privilege and duty to make clear Gods plan of salvation wherever and in whatever vocation he or she may be.
It is a tragedy that many Christians live shallow Christian lives. Christian men and women need to understand the importance of total dedication and making Jesus the Lord of their lives not to be saved but because they are saved.
This is what motivates us and many others on this forum. It is not for our own glory or for our "church" but for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Where the criticism of the Roman Catholic Church comes in is when it is assumed that everyone MUST follow what it claims and accept the authority the Roman Catholic magesterium asserts for itself in ALL the things it does. If that authority can be questioned, shouldn't it be? I understand the loyalty you have towards your church and the aversion against anything that can be taken as negative even in the face of historical facts. Sometimes people NEED to come face to face with the unpleasant truths about who and what they follow. In order to make an informed decision, all the facts must be laid out. Looking at things with "rose-colored" glasses can be dangerous - especially when it concerns our souls' destination in eternity.
As is often said to remind us, this forum can get "messy" and it is not pleasant to see what others think about our cherished beliefs, but that IS the nature of this forum. We should all be free to voice our thoughts and beliefs without being personally attacked or our motives brought into question. We cannot know the intents of other's hearts nor can we presume that their motives are sinister just because they don't agree with us. We cannot know the reasons why others come to this forum. We can only be respectful and try to understand the other side of arguments - putting ourselves in another's place, seeing their viewpoint so that we can speak as equals.
Whatever talents the Lord gives to His children should be used to win souls to Christ and to help each other to live for Him so that He is glorified in all things. That is the motive I have and I think it is Daniel's as well. Each one of us will give an account of ourselves to the Lord and we live as He leads us to live and speak as He leads us to speak. Those of us who came out of the Roman Catholic Church feel a special call to speak about what we know and have experienced. There are former Mormons that do the same thing on those threads. None of us knows how the Holy Spirit will move in anothers heart, we can only speak about what we have learned and trust in Him to open eyes and hearts. Love DOES build up. I hope you can accept this - it may help to quell any anger or bitterness that can stand in the way of mutual understanding. I bid you peace and hope you have a blessed weekend.
The Church never killed or tortured anyone. People kill and torture and there was never any DOGMATIC teaching that allowed to kill anyone other than in self defense regardless of how many things you try and call infallible teaching by Popes and others through the ages.
If there was DOGMATIC teaching that allowed torture it would still be in place since Dogmas never change even if a council or a Pope declares something contradictory to the original Dogma..
You can keep on repeating that till the cows come home, and relegate popes and learned churchmen as misinterpreting dogmatic teaching, which impugns the claims of Rome to be a sure guide for hundreds of years (see Catholic discussion on this further on) but besides how many statements are infallible out of potentially multitudes being a matter of interpretation, and which class of magisterial teachings many fall into, what you are missing is that dogmatic teaching can require some interpretation by the Ordinary magisterium, including how they translate into application. And the establishment and procedures of the Inquisition were a matter of discipline, as is clerical celibacy (which could change). As the church-approved teaching of the old Catholic Encyclopedia on the Inquisition states,
It is also essential to note that the Inquisition, in its establishment and procedure, pertained not to the sphere of belief, but to that of discipline. The dogmatic teaching of the Church is in no way affected by the question as to whether the Inquisition was justified in its scope, or wise in its methods, or extreme in its practice. The Church established by Christ, as a perfect society, is empowered to make laws and inflict penalties for their violation. Heresy not only violates her law but strikes at her very life, unity of belief; and from the beginning the heretic had incurred all the penalties of the ecclesiastical courts.
And against your presumption in judging church-sanction torture and killing of heretics as walking in disobedience to clear dogmatic teaching which disallows their sanction of coercive and or punitive power, it also states,
It may be that in modern times men judge more leniency the views of others, but does this forthwith make their opinions objectively more correct than those of their predecessors? Is there no longer any inclination to persecution? As late as 1871 Professor Friedberg wrote in Holtzendorff's "Jahrbuch fur Gesetzebung": "If a new religious society were to be established today with such principles as those which, according to the Vatican Council, the Catholic Church declares a matter of faith, we would undoubtedly consider it a duty of the state to suppress, destroy, and uproot it by force" (Kölnische Volkszeitung, no. 782, 15 Sept., 1909). Do these sentiments indicate an ability to appraise justly the institutions and opinions of former centuries, not according to modern feelings, but to the standards of their age?
And what you cannot show is any dogmatic teaching during that period that would actually forbid an interpretation that could allow church sanctioned torture and killing as described in the medieval period. For as explained, the fact that under dogmatic teaching we see sanctioned, Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense", even death if really necessary to be effective, then it is only a small step to sanctioning torture and killing of those who are theological threats. While the actual killing was done by (Catholic) secular authorities, like as it was in the case of Christ, this was approved and the ecclesiastical courts knew that would be the result of its convictions.
And as said, if popes etc. were wrong in sanctioning torture and killing of heretics, then it presents another problem. But rather than engage in your superficial view of dogmatic teaching which condemns popes etc. in trying to deal with some unpleasant facts, and absolve your church itself from any guilt, i respect the attempts by Roman Catholic apologists who try to honestly deal with church sanction of torture, which relates to burning of heretics as well. Dave Armstrong (a well known respected professional RCA) writes,
I argued that even if various Church pronouncements on this matter are not magisterial [which is not a conclusion: read on], it is still an implausible state of affairs for the Church to have offered widespread sanction for this sort of thing (some sense of the word "torture" or "interrogation" - definition is crucial here) in the days of the Inquisition (even by St. Thomas Aquinas, if I am not mistaken), if, in fact, it is intrinsically evil.
That would mean that the Church sanctioned (even if only "non-magisterially") intrinsic evil, which would be akin to its sanction today of, say, abortion, or infanticide...
I agree with what Fr. Brian W. Harrison wrote, in a letter to Crisis magazine, in September 2005. It's consistent with my argument. I quote in part:
. . . we will search Scripture, Tradition, and the pre-Vatican II Magisterium in vain for any condemnations of torture (e.g., flogging) as a punishment for duly convicted delinquents, or as a means of extracting life-saving information from terrorists or other known enemies.
Fellow Catholics, I submit that we have a problem here. For the development of Catholic doctrine over time is supposed to flow harmoniously from what was taught 'always, everywhere, and by all,' according to the classic criterion laid down by Vincent of Lérins. The Church is not supposed to be able to invent new doctrines out of whole cloth.
. . . our divinely authored Judeo-Christian constitution not only fails to prohibit the infliction of severe bodily pain, it explicitly invokes divine authority in mandating such practices: flogging, stoning, and even burning sinners to death (cf. Lv 20:1, 14; 21:1, 9).
. . . Also, if we are going to quote one ecumenical council (Vatican II) against torture, we cannot overlook the fact that another ecumenical council (Vienne, 1311-12) legitimized it...
Fr. Harrison provides copious biblical documentation sanctioning various forms of "torture" or infliction of pain, in a lengthier article. In Part II he presents the evidences from Catholic tradition. He sums up:
The fact is that in the course of nearly two millennia, no infallible teaching either for or against torture (for any purpose whatever) had ever been laid down by the Church in either her ordinary or extraordinary magisterium...
...20th-century Communist and Nazi regimes, along with many other petty dictatorships, especially in Latin America, Asia and Africa - not to mention any number of proscribed terrorist and criminal organizations...that, I suggest, is essentially the kind of torture contemplated and condemned by Vatican II...
Read all of this lengthy discourse here: http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2006/10/controversial-torture-issue-as-related.html
Of course you will try to bring up Vatican 2 which did not overturn but clarify some teachings. I expect you will also ,of course, spin words from Vatican 2
V2 does reveal how formal submission to Rome as being necessary for salvation can be rather clearly expressed in statements understood as being infallible, but which later can be understood more broadly, though interpretations of Lumen Gentium also vary among RCs, even here, as they do are regards the killing of heretics, etc. Thus once again is illustrated the interpretive disagreements that Catholics can and do engage in.
But actually it is many Traditional Catholics who argue that Vatican Two was hijacked by liberals, some of whom justify the Inquisition and its killing, and some seem to wish it and its means again could be implemented. And showing the problem with reconciling the clarifications of V2 (and its lack of clarity) with past magisterial teaching is a specialty of your Catholic brethren, especially in the SSPX and sedevacantists schisms.
I also pray you dont end up like Cornelius Jansen (Jansenism) who was so impressed with Scholasticism...
No, neither do i reject external helps as per the strawman of SS of many RCs, but i not impressed by a superficial treatment of Roman Catholic teaching in seeking to defend her in this matter.
Perhaps you should evaluate if FR and other message boards are a golden calf in yours?
Perhaps you should evaluate how devotion to defend Rome at all costs can effect objectivity, and resort to making such unjustified personal judgments of heart.
Of course I realize that you believe you're practicing the true faith, I just disagree with you based upon historical Christianity regarding the Sacraments and also because of the actual experiences I have seen through Eucharistic Prayer in The Presence of The Blessed Sacrament. You might also realize that I bought into the idea of Solo Scripture at one time in my life as a protestant in thinking I was following the faith correctly. So, I understand that life is a journey and I don't condemn anyone personally.It is the error that I pray for them to be led out of and to be set on the correct path of truth.
t is not for our own glory or for our "church" but for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I know that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist which is The Glory Of Christ in every way.
Looking at things with "rose-colored" glasses can be dangerous - especially when it concerns our souls' destination in eternity.
Rest assure, dear sister, I don't see through rose colored glasses. I see the pain that error causes through the cafeteria Catholics and others along with how the outside world uses Christianity sometimes that is opposite of genuine love of neighbor
None of us knows how the Holy Spirit will move in anothers heart, we can only speak about what we have learned and trust in Him to open eyes and hearts.
Of course, but you should also realize that the Holy Spirit moves people to help show others if they are in error as well.
it may help to quell any anger or bitterness that can stand in the way of mutual understanding.
I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that I am not angry or bitter in any way,in fact, I feel pain that has at times brought me tears by seeing some of the horrible things written and said about the Catholic Church(Not pointing fingers and I am not thin skinned either). I pray for the people who I feel are causing harm to themselves and others either out of ignorance or deliberate hatred.
I wish you well in your journey of Faith.
While sometime such judgmental remarks can be fitting, they can also be presumptuous.
I only said that I have no way of knowing so I have to give you the benefit of the doubt. I don't know how you or anyone else insist that your every utterance be accepted without question or doubt. I do not know who beyond your posting history. To me you are a faceless, engaging and intelligent, but obdurate internet avatar who has no problem calling the statements of others false or misinformed. Unless you can substantiate inerrancy in your every post you cannot fault anyone for reserving judgment.
Peace be with you
The thing is, NL, I wasn't insisting "every utterance be accepted without question or doubt", I was stating that I understood the SPECIFIC posting from Daniel1212, that's all. Yet, even that you called into question and injected the polemic that I could only be agreeing "a priori" or in a knee-jerk fashion simply because it was "anti-Catholic". Sometimes these threads devolve into what I call "pity parties" and there seems to be no want for attendees with their own persecution complexes to add to the festivities.
Like you, I can and do call into question statements made by others that can be proven to be false or misinformed and I have no expectation at all that others won't do the same for mine - in fact, I expect it. But this particular statement that you saw fit to interject your question was one only of my own personal understanding of another's - addressed to ME. You have no business at all for "reserving judgment" on such as that. Stubbornness towards what is right and true is not a bad trait to have. Obstinacy for obstinacy's sake, on the other hand, is.