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Remembering the Vatican's Victims

On those rare occasions when the history channel isn't flashing images of the Holocaust for everyone to memorize, Hollywood is busy filming new Holocaust motion pictures for modern audiences. These movies feature major stars and usually win plenty of Oscars. "Never Forget" is the chorus repeated over and over again. Holocaust museums are built across the globe, even in our own nation where the Holocaust never occurred! But while every school child in Florida (as well as most states with significant Jewish populations) is required by law to study the Holocaust, few if any states with majority Protestant populations ever teach about the very first holocaust: The Catholic Inquisitions. Religious persecutions of Protestants and other minorities by the Catholic church occurred on and off for centuries. The grand total of dead is several million, but millions more were tortured and released after they converted to the "one true church". Their property was usually confiscated, however, and went on to help make the Pope the wealthiest man on Earth.

Many Protestants (like myself) consider this ancient history. What's done is done. Unlike other groups, we're taught to forgive and forget, and not to sue every nation or organization that we can for reparations. But Jack Chick and many fundamentalists believe the Catholic Church will bring back the Inquisitions whenever it thinks it can get away with it. There is some merit to this concern. The Vatican has never been punished for previous Inquisitions or returned any of the loot it stole in the process. The "Holy Office" (previously named "Office of the Inquisition") still exists and has never been abolished. The Vatican still maintains that non-Catholics are heretics. And of course, many fundamentalists claim the Bible prophesies "The Whore of Babylon" will lead the world to war in the Book of Revelation. (Three guesses who they think "The Whore" is.)

There is no way of knowing the future until it happens. But one thing should not be in dispute, and that's the clear historical record of the past. Recent e-mails from various Inquisition Revisionists have insisted the Inquisition killed only 2,000 people (instead of millions), and that conditions under the inquisition were so favorable, that common criminals "begged to go before the Inquisition" instead of regular courts. It is true that Jack Chick exaggerates the number of dead from the Inquisition(s). The 68 million he sites is probably ten times the number who actually died. But considering how small the population was when it occurred, and how vast the power (and abuse of power) the Vatican wielded in its day, it is difficult for any of us to comprehend how wide spread and brutal the persecutions really were.

Lucky for the Vatican PR department, no photographs exist from back then. There are no "Rodney King" videos to play and replay. But the murderous history of the Inquisition(s) was recorded by none other than the Catholic Church itself, and to deny or downplay its wide spread terror is absurd.

Ridiculous or not, some still deny it. There are plenty of history books by non-Catholic and non-Protestant sources that document the truth. A search on the web yields similar information and proof. (Here's one example.) Here's also a hardcore Fundamentalist site on the inquisition, but with detailed sources. What else do they need to do? Draw a picture?

Fortunately, witnesses did just that. Here are a few medieval woodcuts of what agents of the Vatican did to Protestants during the catholic "golden age" (when it was the only official church allowed). These were originally published in General Martyrology by Samuel Clarke (1675-1729). The title heading: "Tortures used to extract confessions from heretics."

This presentation is not intended to whip up old animosities, but to help prevent anyone who seeks to deny the past from successfully doing do. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Since none of us are anxious to have these things happen again with improved technology and efficiency, we'll risk offending a few deniers who might otherwise pooh-pooh the past by showing them a graphic record of what the "Holy Office" did to Christian heretics. Have a look, and please, never forget...

Top row left: Madur bound about a globe and his skin flaked off the head and face. Middle of top row: A believer and his skin flaked off. Top row right: The mother whipped and her duggs (nipples) pulled off.

2nd row left: Archas broken in a mortar. Middle of 2nd row: Jacob fried in a pan. Top row right: Arceth bound to a pillar his head downward and roasted.

3rd row left: Some had their mouth slit to their ears. Middle of 3rd row: Christians crucified, their heads downwards. 3rd row right: John put into a cauldron of boiling oil.

Bottom row left: Some were thrown out of windows upon spears. Middle of bottom row: Christians gored upon a pike, one end fastened in the ground, the other coming out of their mouth. Bottom row right: Some had their arms cut off.


Top row left: Some (had) their bellies burnt till their bowels fell out. Middle of top row: Some had their faces plaing. Top row right: Women stripped, hung up by the hair of the head and whipped.

2nd row left: Some had their heads twisted out with cords. Middle of 2nd row: Machabous racked upon a wheel and beaten with a bull pizle. 2nd row right: Some their ears cut out.

3rd row left: A minister tortured with a cut on his belly. Middle of 3rd row: Judas his tongue cut out. 3rd row right: Christians thrown to lions, bears and tigers.

Bottom row left: Christians tossed upon the horns of wild bulls. Middle of bottom row: Some were set down a pulley into fire by degrees. Bottom row right: Christians thrown upon to wild beasts and worried with great dogs.

For more on the misinformation used by Inquisition Revisionists, go here.

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