Question (from an anonymous “concerned” Catholic): I have noticed with a great deal of growing alarm your singular obsession with the Spanish branch of the Inquisition…and this most especially in your debates. It is my fondest and most ardent prayer that the information enclosed herein you will actually read with an OPEN MIND. I also pray that it will cure you of your obsession once and for all. [Enclosed were seven pages by Phil Porvaznik, well-written, with the air of expertise and authority denying my A Woman Rides the Beast quote of Canon Llorente, Secretary to the Inquisition in Madrid, that “in Spain alone the number of condemned exceeded 3 million, with about 300,000 burned at the stake.” He then quotes me as responding that “Instead of trying to discredit my figures, these critics ought rather to admit that the Spanish Inquisition swallowed up far more than 300,000, whether Llorente said it or not.” Then follows a series of quotes from a number of authors criticizing Llorente’s figures and defending the Inquisition as not as bad as commonly reported, one author even calculating that less than 2,000 were burned. Porvaznik adds an impressive bibliography. Especially criticized is my statement that millions of true Christians were killed by Rome in the 1,000 years before the Reformation.]
Answer: You refer to “the Spanish branch of the Inquisition”—an admission that there were other inquisitions also. In all, the various inquisitions lasted about 600 years—and I didn’t even deal with them. You don’t like my figures for Spain. I didn’t even mention the 30,000 “secret Jews” (i.e., Jews accused of only pretending to convert) killed in Spain (See The International Jerusalem Post, April 16, 2004). The Spanish Inquisition went as far as Holland, where more than 30,000 were killed. My wife’s ancestors were Dutch Mennonites who fled the Inquisition in Holland. In France, 70,000-100,000 Huguenots were slaughtered in one event known as St. Bartholomew’s massacre, beginning the night of August 24, 1572, and lasting about a week. The Pope (Gregory XIII) had a medal struck of an angel exterminating the Huguenots with a sword and commissioned the Italian artist Vasari to paint a mural in commemoration, a painting that still exists in the Vatican. Another 200,000 or more Huguenots were killed in other massacres, and from 500,000-1,000,000 fled France. We have found their descendants as far away as South Africa.
The “Inquisition” would have to include even the Crusades, during which many thousands of Jews were killed all across Europe and on into the “holy land.”
The first pope to inaugurate the Inquisition (at one stretch, 80 popes in a row continued to sponsor it) was Innocent III, who, in what he called “the crowning achievement” of his papacy, wiped out the city of Beziers, France. Estimated fatalities range from 20,000 to 60,000. It took the popes about a century to exterminate the Albigenses, of whom Peter de Rosa, a Catholic (Vicars of Christ, p. 73), says that “hundreds of thousands” were put to death in southern France—to say nothing of the Waldensians of northern Italy, the extermination of the Hussites—and on and on it goes.
I’m surprised at the time and effort exerted in selective research by Porvaznik to bring the figures of those killed in the Inquisitions down to a few thousand, when there are single events such as the slaughter of Beziers or St. Bartholomew’s massacre, etc., that are so well established and involve hundreds of thousands. What is your point?
It is disappointing that neither from you nor from Porvaznik have I heard a word of remorse for the horrors perpetrated by your Church down through the ages, to say nothing of the innocent lives destroyed by the thousands through the pedophilia presently in the news. You ought rather to mourn its wicked record than to persist in defending a church that is “drunk with the blood of the saints”!