This is a re-post of an article of Theodotus blog (translation posted here)
To defend and justify the Holy Inquisition is the exact opposite of Political Correctness. But as I have nothing to do with PC, I am happy to present the real history of this medieval institution. Even the biggest critic of the Holy Inquisition, the American Quaker historian Henry C. Lea (1825 – 1909), was forced to admit that “The aim of the Holy Inquisition was the same as the aim of Civilization.” Indeed, even the most fanatical anti-Catholics, agree that the Holy Inquisition effectively countered the suicidal beliefs of the Cathars (who were against childbirth), the vandalism of the Anabaptists (who believed in destroying all art works), the murderous tendencies of Fra Dolcino, (who wished to kill every sinner), the "Brothers of the Free Spirit" )who wished to remove from public office everyone who was not "enlightened").
All these victories for sanity were due to the Holy Inquisition. Today, no-one would be crazy enough to believe that God created some just to damn them for eternity. But, that was for centuries, the protestant dogma, and the cause of terrible wars that bled Europe. It is due to the Holy Inquisition, that Spain wasn’t touched by such have religious wars.
We should also remember that the famed University of Salamanca (one of the best and oldest in Europe), was created by an Inquisitor, and that the conversation about the rights of American Indians took place under the aegis of the Spanish Holy Inquisition. In this, we could even say that the Holy Inquisition was one of sources of modern day international human rights.
To understand how the Spanish Inquisition developed we have to understand Spanish history. In 1492 that country had just completed its national Reconquista, after eight centuries of occupation of a large part of its territory by the Moors. It thus had two really powerful national minorities in it: one of the biggest Jewish communities in the world as well as the Muslims.
See the rest of this interesting article here. Original Greek post can be found here.
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