Friday, June 7, 2013

Roman Catholic use of the sword of men (Inquisitions)

The New Testament church did not wage war “after the flesh” to combat theologically aberrant souls or seek to rule over those without. Instead, apart from the passive discipline of disfellowship, it relied upon spiritual power to discipline those within. While for those without prayer was enjoined, rather than raising up armies to subdue them, while also calling the civil authorizes to uphold their own just laws that would protect them from unjust treatment. (click on reference to view: Jn. 18:36; 1Cor. 4:19-21; 5:4,5,12,13; 1Tim. 1:20; 2Cor. 6:4-10; 10:3,4; Eph. 6:12 ; Acts 22:25)

However, basically following the "edit of Toleration" (AD 313) and the declaration of Theodosius I (AD 380) which made Nicene Christianity the State church, the latter progressively took upon aspects of the State, including reliance on the arm of the flesh to fight its spiritual battles. And which was one of the many things Protestantism (which also has its faults, but see evangelicals vs. Catholics here) had to unlearn from Catholicism, as we are not be to conformed to this world, but surrender our bodies to God and be renewed in our mind according to the Scriptures, so we will use our bodes according. In contrast, below is some of the documentation of the use of the sword of men by Rome. 

Pope Innocent III, Cum ex Officii Nostri of 1207: In order altogether to remove the patrimony of St. Peter from heretics, we decree as a perpetual law, that whatsoever heretic, especially if he be a Patarene, shall be found therein, shall immediately be taken and delivered to the secular court to be punished according to the law. All his goods also shall be sold, so that he who took him shall receive one part; another shall go the court which convicted him, and the third shall be applied to the building of prisons in the country wherein he was taken. The house, however, in which a heretic has been received shall be altogether destroyed, nor shall anyone presume to rebuild it; but let that which was a den of iniquity become a receptacle of filth. Moreover, their believers and defenders shall be fined one fourth part of their goods, which shall be applied to the service of the public. — Cum ex Officii Nostri Pope Innocent III, 1207, Inquisition, by Edward Peters, p. 49,  review Living Tradition, Organ of the Roman Theological Forum
 • Canons of the Ecumenical Fourth Lateran Council (canon 3), 1215:
Secular authorities, whatever office they may hold, shall be admonished and induced and if necessary compelled by ecclesiastical censure, that as they wish to be esteemed and numbered among the faithful, so for the defense of the faith they ought publicly to take an oath that they will strive in good faith and to the best of their ability to exterminate in the territories subject to their jurisdiction all heretics pointed out by the Church; so that whenever anyone shall have assumed authority, whether spiritual or temporal, let him be bound to confirm this decree by oath.
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 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.
The same law is to be observed in regard to those who have no chief rulers (that is, are independent). Catholics who have girded themselves with the cross for the extermination of the heretics, shall enjoy the indulgences and privileges granted to those who go in defense of the Holy Land. (
 • Pope Innocent IV, Ad extirpanda,1252:

(25) 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.{7}
(26) The head of state or ruler must force all the heretics whom he has in custody,{8} provided he does so without killing them or breaking their arms or legs, as actual robbers and murderers of souls and thieves of the sacraments of God and Christian faith, to confess their errors and accuse other heretics whom they know, and specify their motives, {9} and those whom they have seduced, and those who have lodged them and defended them,as thieves and robbers of material goods are made to accuse their accomplices and confess the crimes they have committed.
(29) The head of state or ruler must cause the names of all men rendered infamous by heresy, or under a statute of outlawry for it, to be written in a consistent form and manner in four books, of which one shall go to the state or local government, another to the Diocesan bishop, the third to the Dominican friars, and the fourth to the Franciscans, and the names of these persons are to be read aloud three times a year in a solemn public ceremony.
(30) The head of state or ruler must carefully investigate the sons and grandsons of heretics and those who have lodged them, defended them, and given them aid, and in the future admit them to no public affairs or public office.

(31) The head of state or ruler must send one of his aides, chosen by the Diocesan if there is one,with the aforesaid inquisitors obtained from the Apostolic See, as often as they shall wish, into the jurisdiction of the state and the district. This aide,as the aforesaid inquisitors shall have determined, will compel three men or more, reliable witnesses,or, if it seem good to them, the whole neighborhood, to testify to the aforesaid inquisitors if they have detected any heretics, or want to expose their motives,{9} whether the heretics celebrate rites in secret gatherings, or scoff at the common life of the faithful, and their customs; or if the witnesses want to expose those the heretics have seduced, or their defenders, or those who lodge them, or those who give the heretics help. The head of state shall proceed against the accused according to the laws of the Emperor Frederick when he governed Padua.

(32) The head of state or ruler must, within ten days after the accusation, complete the following tasks: the destruction of the houses, the imposition of the fines, the consigning and dividing-up of the valuables that have been found or seized, all of which have already been described in this decree. He must obtain all fines in coin within three months, and divide them up in the manner to be set forth hereafter, and convict of crime those who cannot pay, and hold them in prison until they can. However, he shall be subject to investigation for all and each of these things, as it shall be described hereunder, and moreover he must designate one of the assistants, chosen by the Diocesan bishop or his surrogate and the aforesaid inquisitors, to carefully complete all these tasks; another assistant shall be substituted if they so decide.

(33) None of these sentences or punishments imposed on account of heresy, shall,either by the motion of any public gathering, the advice of counselors, or any kind of popular outcry,or the innate humanity {10}of those in authority,be in any way waived or pardoned.
(34)The head of state or ruler must divide up all the property of the heretics that is seized or discovered by the aforesaid officials, and the fines exacted from these heretics, in the form and manner following: one-third shall go to the government of the state or district. The second as a reward of the industry of the office shall go to the officials who handled this particular case. The third shall be deposited in some secure place to be kept by the aforesaid Diocesan bishop and inquisitors,and spent as they shall think fit to promote the faith and extirpate{11} heretics, this policy prevailing in spite of any statute that has been or shall be enacted against this dividing-up of the heretics' property.
Pope Paul IV, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio of 1559: Thus We will and decree that the aforementioned sentences, censures and penalties be incurred without exception by all members of the following categories:

(i) Anysoever who, before this date, shall have been detected to have deviated from the Catholic Faith, or fallen into any heresy, or incurred schism, or provoked or committed either or both of these, or who have confessed to have done any of these things, or who have been convicted of having done any of these things.

(ii) Anysoever who (which may God, in His clemency and goodness to all, deign to avert) shall in the future so deviate or fall into heresy, or incur schism, or shall provoke or commit either or both of these.

(iii) Anysoever who shall be detected to have so deviated, fallen, incurred, provoked or committed, or who shall confess to have done any of these things, or who shall be convicted of having done any of these things....

5. [By this Our Constitution,] moreover, [which is to remain valid in perpetuity, We] also [enact, determine, decree and define:] as follows concerning those who shall have presumed in any way knowingly to receive, defend, favour, believe or teach the teaching of those so apprehended, confessed or convicted:

(i) they shall automatically incur sentence of excommunication;

(ii) they shall be rendered infamous;

(iii) they shall be excluded on pain of invalidity from any public or private office, deliberation, Synod, general or provincial Council and any conclave of Cardinals or other congregation of the faithful, and from any election or function of witness, so that they cannot take part in any of these by vote, in person, by writings, representative or by any agent;

(iv) they shall be incapable of making a will;

(v) they shall not accede to the succession of heredity;

(vi) no one shall be forced to respond to them concerning any business;

(vii) if perchance they shall have been Judges, their judgements shall have no force, nor shall any cases be brought to their hearing;

(viii) if they shall have been Advocates, their pleading shall nowise be received;
(ix) if they shall have been Notaries, documents drafted by them shall be entirely without strength or weight;..

(xii) finally, all Kingdoms, Duchies, Dominions, Fiefs and goods of this kind shall be confiscated, made public and shall remain so, and shall be made the rightful property of those who shall first occupy them if these shall be sincere in faith, in the unity of the Holy Roman Church and under obedience to Us and to Our successors the Roman Pontiffs canonically entering office. [Note: This Constitution was reinforced in his Papal Bull Inter multiplices [December 21, 1566] by Pope St. Pius V Note: Those words in brackets signify the Latin significance of the full authority of this Constitution above.]  
Pope Leo X, Exsurge Domine: [Error condemned] “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.” [consider infallible by some], — Bull of Pope Leo X issued June 15, 1520

Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus (of Errors): "[It is error to believe that] The (Catholic) Church has not the power of using force, nor has she any temporal power, direct or indirect." Section V, Errors Concerning the Church and Her Rights, #24.

"[It is error to believe that] In the case of conflicting laws enacted by the two powers (Church and civil), the civil law prevails." Section VI, Errors About Civil Society, Considered Both in Itself and in its Relation to the Church, # 42

The Church has the right, as a perfect and independent society provided with all the means for attaining its end,...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...

...with the formal recognition of the Church by the State and the increase of ecclesiastical penalties proportioned to the increase of ecclesiastical offences, came an appeal from the Church to the secular arm for aid in enforcing the said penalties, which aid was always willingly granted.... — Catholic Encyclopedia Jurisdiction

Pope Gregory I. denounced as worthless a confession extorted by incarceration and hunger.369369    Epist. VIII. 30. But at a later period, in dealing with heretics, the Roman church unfortunately gave the sanction of her highest authority to the use of the torture, and thus betrayed her noblest instincts and holiest mission. The fourth Lateran Council (1215) inspired the horrible crusades against the Albigenses and Waldenses, and the establishment of the infamous ecclesiastico-political courts of Inquisition. These courts found the torture the most effective means of punishing and exterminating heresy, and invented new forms of refined cruelty worse than those of the persecutors of heathen Rome.
Pope Innocent IV, in his instruction for the guidance of the Inquisition in Tuscany and Lombardy, ordered the civil magistrates to extort from all heretics by torture a confession of their own guilt and a betrayal of all their accomplices (1252).371371...
This was an ominous precedent, which did more harm to the reputation of the papacy than the extermination of any number of heretics could possibly do it good. Phillip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Volume IV: Mediaeval Christianity. A.D. 590-1073.The Torture

St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century). The Angelic Doctor never treats of torture in secular judicial inquiries. However, without mentioning the word, he does justify the contemporary Inquisition’s use of torture (recently introduced in 1252 by Pope Innocent IV... in considering whether unbelievers may be "compelled" to the faith, he first 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".

 11. St. Alphonsus Liguori (18th century). This saint and doctor of the Church – the "prince of moral theologians" – seems to have been the last noted Catholic moralist to defend judicial torture. In his Theologia Moralis, he does not so much argue for, but rather, takes for granted, the ethical legitimacy of the practice as such, and concerns himself only with the procedures and restrictions which he thinks should be followed as safeguards against excessive cruelty and injustice. After all, he is scarcely alone in endorsing torture, and cites a total of ten earlier approved Catholic authors (de Lugo and others) whose teachings he synthesizes in this section of his own classic work.

Catholicism has now [when Augustine's “The City of God” was published] been explicitly and emphatically the Roman state religion since the imperial edict of February 28, 380,6 but the laws remain to a great extent in fundamental continuity with the old pagan legislation – including its reliance on interrogatory torture (quaestio) as a standard part of judicial practice for serious crimes...he treatment of heretics and schismatics in this original Christian respublica was severe, but milder than in subsequent mediaeval times. They were not put to death, but were reduced to poverty by the confiscation of their property, and were subject to legal disabilities (incapable of making testaments)...

Paul Johnson, English Roman Catholic researcher and author: 
Ever since the eleventh century, secular rulers had been burning those who obstinately refused to fit in with established Christian arrangements; the Church had opposed capital punishment, successive councils decreeing confiscation of property, excommunication, imprisonment or whipping, branding and exile. But in the 1180s, the Church began to panic at the spread of heresy, and thereafter it took the lead from the State, though it maintained the legal fiction that convicted and unrepentant heretics were merely 'deprived of the protection of the Church', which was (as they termed it) 'relaxed', the civil power then being free to burn them without committing mortal sin. Relaxation was accompanied by a formal plea for mercy; in fact this was meaningless, and the individual civil officer (sheriffs and so forth) had no choice but to burn, since otherwise he was denounced as a 'defender of heretics', and plunged into the perils of the system himself.

The codification of legislation against heresy took place over half a century, roughly 1180-1230, when it culminated in the creation of a permanent tribunal, staffed by Dominican friars, who worked from a fixed base in conjunction with the episcopate, and were endowed with generous authority. The permanent system was designed as a reform; in fact it incorporated all the abuses of earlier practice and added new ones. It had a certain vicious logic. Since a heretic was denied burial in consecrated ground, the corpses of those posthumously convicted (a very frequent occurrence) had to be disinterred, dragged through the streets and burnt on the refuse pit. The houses in which they lived had to be knocked down and turned into sewers or rubbish-dumps.

Convictions of thought-crimes being difficult to secure, the Inquisition used procedures banned in other courts, and so contravened town charters, written and customary laws, and virtually every aspect of established jurisprudence. The names of hostile witnesses were withheld, anonymous informers were used, the accusations of personal enemies were allowed, the accused were denied the right of defence, or of defending counsel; and there was no appeal. The object, quite simply, was to produce convictions at any cost; only thus, it was thought, could heresy be quenched. Hence depositors were not named; all a suspect could do was to produce a list of his enemies, and he was allowed to bring forward witnesses to testify that such enemies existed, but for no other purpose. On the other hand, the prosecution could use the evidence of criminals, heretics, children and accomplices, usually forbidden in other courts.

Once an area became infected by heresy, and the system moved in, large numbers of people became entangled in its toils. Children of heretics could not inherit, as the stain was vicarial; grandchildren could not hold ecclesiastical benefices unless they successfully denounced someone. Everyone from the age of fourteen (girls from twelve) were required to take public oaths every two years to remain good Catholics and denounce heretics. Failure to confess or receive communion at least three times a year aroused automatic suspicion; possession of the scriptures in any language, or of breviaries, hour-books and psalters in the vernacular, was forbidden. Torture was not employed regularly until near the end of the thirteenth century (except by secular officials without reference to the Inquisition) but suspects could be held in prison and summoned again and again until they yielded, the object of the operation being to obtain admissions or denunciations. When torture was adopted it was subjected to canonical restraints - if it produced nothing on the first occasion it was forbidden to repeat it. But such regulations were open to glosses; Francis Pegna, the leading Inquisition commentator, wrote:

'But if, having been tortured reasonably (decenter), he will not confess the truth, set other sorts of torments before him, saying that he must pass through all these unless he will confess the truth. If even this fails, a second or third day may be appointed to him, either in terrorem or even in truth, for the continuation (not repetition) of torture; for tortures may not be repeated unless fresh evidence emerges against him; then, indeed, they may, for against continuation there is no prohibition.'

Pegna said that pregnant women might not be tortured, for fear of abortions: 'we must wait until she is delivered of her child'; and children below the age of puberty, and old folk, were to be less severely tortured. The methods used were, on the whole, less horrific than those employed by various secular governments - though it should be added that English common lawyers, for instance, flatly denied that torture was legal, except in case of refusal to plead.

Once a victim was accused, escape from some kind of punishment was virtually impossible: the system would not allow it. But comparatively few were executed: less than ten per cent of those liable. Life-imprisonment was usual for those 'converted' by fear of death; this could be shortened by denunciations. Acts of sympathy or favour for heretics were punished by imprisonment or pilgrimage; there were also fines or floggings, and penance in some form was required of all those who came into contact with the infected, even though unknowingly and innocently. The smallest punishment was to wear yellow cloth crosses - an unpopular penalty since it prevented a man from getting employment; on the other hand, to cease to wear it was treated as a relapse into heresy. A spell in prison was virtually inevitable.

Of course there was a shortage of prison-space, since solitary confinement was the rule. Once the Inquisition moved into an area, the bishop's prison was soon full; then the king's; then old buildings had to be converted, or new ones built. Food was the prisoner's own responsibility, though the bishop was supposed to provide bread and water in the case of poverty. The secular authorities did not like these crowded prisons, being terrified of gaol fever and plague, and thus burned many more people than the Church authorized. The system was saved from utter horror only by the usual medieval frailties: corruption, inertia, and sheer administrative incompetence...

In the Middle Ages, the ruthless and confident exercise of authority could nearly always swing a majority behind it. And the victims of the flames usually died screaming in pain and terror, thus appearing to confirm the justice of the proceedings. — Paul Johnson, History of Christianity, © 1976 Athenium, pgs. 253-255.

Pope Innocent IV, Ad extirpanda, papal bull, promulgated on May 15, 1252, by Pope Innocent IV, which explicitly authorized (and defined the appropriate circumstances for) the use of torture by the Inquisition for eliciting confessions from heretics.
The following parameters were placed on the use of torture:[1]
  • that it did not cause loss of life or limb (citra membri diminutionem et mortis periculum)
  • that it was used only once
  • that the Inquisitor deemed the evidence against the accused to be virtually certain.
The requirement that torture only be used once was effectively meaningless in practice as it was interpreted as authorizing torture with each new piece of evidence that was produced and by considering most practices to be a continuation (rather than repetition) of the torture session (non ad modum iterationis sed continuationis).[1]

The bull conceded to the State a portion of the property to be confiscated from convicted heretics.[3] The State in return assumed the burden of carrying out the penalty. The relevant portion of the bull read: "When those adjudged guilty of heresy have been given up to the civil power by the bishop or his representative, or the Inquisition, the podestà or chief magistrate of the city shall take them at once, and shall, within five days at the most, execute the laws made against them."[4]

Innocent’s Bull prescribes that captured heretics, being "murderers of souls as well as robbers of God’s 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.) —
Modernist change:
Pope Benedict XVI, in a speech of 6 September 2007.."In this regard, I reiterate that the prohibition against torture 'cannot be contravened under any circumstances'". — TORTURE AND CORPORAL PUNISHMENT AS A PROBLEM IN CATHOLIC THEOLOGY, September 2005: Living Tradition ORGAN OF THE ROMAN THEOLOGICAL FORUM, Editor: Msgr. John F. McCarthy, J.C.D., S.T.D., Living Tradition, Oblates of Wisdom, P.O. Box 13230, St. Louis, MO 63157, USA
Translation of Ad extirpanda

Pope John Paul II, Address to the International Red Cross (Geneva, June 15, 1982)... And as for torture, the Christian is confronted from infancy onward with the account of Christ’s Passion. The memory of Jesus – stripped, flogged, and derided right up until the sufferings of his final agony – should always make him resolve never to see analogous torments inflicted on any one of his brothers in humanity. Spontaneously, the disciple of Christ rejects every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify, and by which the dignity of man is as much debased in the torturer as in his victim. . . .

Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), on "Respect for bodily integrity".
#2298. In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments 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.
Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor (August 6, 1993). #80. Now, reason testifies that there are some human acts which are seen to be "non-ordainable" to God, since they are radically incompatible with the good of the person (omnino dissident a bono personae) created in His image. These are acts which in the Church’s moral tradition are called "intrinsically evil" (intrinsece malum)...TORTURE AND CORPORAL PUNISHMENT AS A PROBLEM IN CATHOLIC THEOLOGY, September 2005: Living Tradition ORGAN OF THE ROMAN THEOLOGICAL FORUM, Editor: Msgr. John F. McCarthy, J.C.D., S.T.D., Living Tradition, Oblates of Wisdom, P.O. Box 13230, St. Louis, MO 63157, USA