A collection of quotes from the leading international specialists of the Inquisition, united against the myth that prevents the results of modern historiography from reaching the general public. What is said of the Catholic inquisitorial courts is largely false: few sentences, no oppressive system, little use of torture.
The publication of our dossiers starts again.
This year will be particularly dedicated to the Inquisition or, better, to the inquisitions, the medieval (from the 12th to the 14th century), the Roman (from 1542 to 1965) and the Spanish Inquisition (from 1478 to 1834), the latter totally dependent on the Crown and often in antagonism to the Church of Rome.
The goal is to bring to light the results of decades of historical studies that openly contrast with the myth and anti-Catholic prejudice born in Enlightenment and Protestant circles with the aim of representing the inquisitorial court as a symbol of Roman religious obscurantism.
No to the black legend, but not even to the white one.
Today we publish the first dossier (link below), in which we have simply collected, and will continue to collect, the conclusive judgments of the main international specialists on the Inquisition and the black legend which even today prevents the results of modern historiography from leaving academic circles.
Attention, none of the dozens of historians cited (with relative bibliographic source, just click on the number at the end of the quotation) has the slightest intention of opposing a “white or pink legend”, indeed they all agree that it was of a left initiative, intolerant of forms of dissent and, as the historian Andrea Del Col writes, «the few killings of heretics, made in the name of God for reasons related to the defense of the Christian faith, even if carried out legally, we consider them aberrant»1Andrea Del Col, L’Inquisizione in Italia. Dal XI al XXI secolo, Mondadori 2021, p. 13, 14.
Click here to consult the new dossier:
The judgment of history on the Holy Inquisition.
These historians also conclude that «there was no organized and efficient persecutory institution»2Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane, A History of Medieval Heresy and Inquisition, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2011, p. 88, which is a «black legend» to think of the Holy Office as a «court of justice would have been governed by ruthless, cruel, always eager to set up trials and burn people»3Dennj Solera, La società dell’Inquisizione, Carocci 2021, p. 15-18, 27-28.
In Catholic countries «there was actually a very moderate judicial use of torture and a very low number of victims, if compared to central-northern Europe». The inquisitors «were reluctant to impose capital punishment, generally preferring milder sentences»4Marina Montesano, Superstizioni dell’età moderna, Il Manifesto, 31/12/2011.
If, in the light of modern studies, one tries to compare the work of the Catholic Inquisition to that of the secular courts of the time, to what happened in the Protestant countries , all epoch of Terror in which the French Revolution imploded, the crimes of scientist eugenics , the bloody dictatorships (largely atheist) of the twentieth century and as is happening still in various parts of the world, the image of those inquisitors concerned about the salvation of souls runs the risk of being illuminated with their own light.
In fact, there were not only the 1,250 people 5Andrea Del Col, L’Inquisizione in Italia. Dal XII al XXI secolo, Mondadori 2006, p. 772-784 6Christopher Black, Storia dell’Inquisizione in Italia, Carrocci Editore 2013, p. 345 condemned to the stake by the Roman Inquisition throughout its history (four centuries), but also protections for the accused , defense lawyers, protection from third party vendettas through anonymity, rescue hundreds of “witches” unjustly accused, attempts up to the last to save the lives of heretics with confession, maintenance at the expense of the inquisitors of the poorest families of the prisoners and an infinity of procedural reviews from a moderating point of view on the part of the popes.
Our new dossier on the Catholic Inquisition.
We will see all this in detail with the next dossiers, while it is possible to consult those already published on historical issues in general by going to at this link.
What most people know or have heard of the Inquisition is false .
We are victims of what Franco Cardini , full professor of History at the University of Florence, defined «an ocean of filthy, unmentionable junk in paper form , information technology-telematics, cinema »7Franco Cardini, preface by R. Camilleri, La vera storia dell’Inquisizione, Piemme 2001, p. 8.
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