The Vatican is preparing for fresh controversy over the Inquisition after allowing an official to appear in a television documentary to offer a defence of the "Holy Terror".I had a mentor once who told me that it was possible to be absolutely right yet totally and unforgivably wrong at the same time. This was following an in-house fracas in a church I pastored ... long ago.
He was right of course! When you're right but people disagree with you, the means you choose in reaching your end is far more important to your objective than it is merely to be right. And that is not an effort to set the stage for an apologetic in support of the Inquisitions.
The Rev Joseph Di Noia, the Under-secretary of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, admits in a television series starting tonight that the use of torture and public burnings were "mistakes". But the American-born cleric argues that these methods of suppressing heresy were explicable in the context of the times, when people believed passionately in heaven and hell.I see! So we can expect another Popish inquisition soon? After all, people today believe "passionately in heaven and hell."
We must all remember the inquisitions were plural in number; four major and several minor to be accurate. We can't paint with a broad brush the Roman Catholic church's involvement in them; their's was just one; and that one was not as bloody as all. In fairness we must place them in context.
Interviewed in the documentary, The Secret Files of the Inquisition, Fr Di Noia says: "It was a mistake to torture people. "However, torture was regarded as a perfectly justified, legitimate way of producing evidence and it was therefore legally justified."Now there is context for you! There is no justification for torture of anyone in the Name of Christ during the Inquisition, none, period!
Since PBXVI's current views are in opposition to those stated by PJP in 2002, I wonder if these two great Catholic minds have other likewise significant bifurcations of philosophy or theology?
What do you think?
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HT: Wren's Nest (Lot's of comments/feedback there)