Hollywood has usually been fearful on tackling the Roman Catholic Church. Frequently, Hollywood has made motion pictures favorable to Catholicism with such films as "Going My Way" and "Boy's Town." This should come as no surprise, since Hollywood had a powerful Catholic lobby.

In recent years, such sanitized views of the Catholic faith have come into question. The motion picture "Elizabeth" (1998) provides a shocking, yet historically accurate depiction of the Inquisition. The film begins with a grim historical statement:


"England 1554, Henry VIII is dead. The country is divided. Catholic against Protestant. Henry's eldest daughter Mary, a fervent Catholic is queen.

She is childless. The Catholics' greatest fear is the succession of Mary's Protestant half-sister."


Then it shows a Catholic execution of Protestant "heretics". It opens with a dungeon sequence revealing a handful of devout men and women are being prepared for their deaths. As the women weep, the guards brutally shave their heads, leaving razor gashes where blood pours out. The clerics quote Scripture as the condemned are being led to their deaths. The Inquisitor pronounces sentence. "By order of their gracious majesties Queen Mary and King Philip, we are come to witness the burning of these Protestant heretics who have denied the authority of the one, true Catholic church and of His Holiness the Pope. Let them burn for all eternity in the flames of Hell." They are then tied to posts with dried brush up to their midsections and set ablaze. As the scream in torment, friends attempt to toss additional wood on the fire to help end their misery sooner, but the guards prevent any efforts to shorten their agony.


A very chilling depiction of what really happened. As Jack Chick warns, this can happen again. As the Jews have sworn to never forget the Holocaust lest it be repeated, likewise Protestant Christians must never forget what will happen if the Roman Catholic system attains the monolithic power it once held in the Middle Ages. God help Protestant minorities who exist and labor in predominantly Roman Catholic countries in current times.

Revised: 4.13.01