Tuesday, May 29, 2007

All done in the name of Christ

I passed by Cyberbretheren and I saw him discussing The Secret Files of the Inquisition on DVD. I so happened to pass by too in one of our suburb's DVD rent shop, and I browsed at the DVDs for sale, and guess what, I saw on the rack the DVD for A$26.95. It was good buy so I took it home.

What made me more curious of this documentary on the Inquisition was the event that happened to Jews and to a couple of Venecian Lutherans. Firstly there was the case of Fr. Baldo Lupitino, a Franciscan monk who became Lutheran. He was supposed to be publicly executed - the plan was to behead him and his body burned on the spot, but this was bad for "business". Instead he was indefinitely imprisoned and after 14 years of ordeal, he was executed in secret. He was drowned.

Then there was Pomponio Algerio, a university student. He was given time to re-consider his Lutheran convictions and sent to jail. But in the jail, his conviction all the more grew. He wrote

To my most beloved brothers, fellow servants of Christ, I must tell you that I found comfort in a dark cave, serenity and hope in the place of bitterness and death. For he who had been far away is with me now, and offers me his hand. I am in the company of those who have been crucified, stoned, hunted, beheaded or sent to the flames. It has been written, if we are accused in the name of Christ we will be blessed for the honor and virtue of God rest on ye. Goodbye fellow servants of God, be strong and pray for me unceasingly.

He was spoken to and asked to recant and in exchange, as a act of mercy, he will be strangled instead so that he does not have to go through the agonizing process of execution. The Venecian authorities refused to carry out the excution order of Paul IV, so he was extracted to Rome where he was boiled alive, in oil, tar and turpentine, a new technique devised by the Inquisition.

What is also interesting is the comment made by the Vatican Undersecretary interviewed in this documentary. He insinuated that one should understand the Inquisition in the context of its time. Killing people because of their ideas may be horrible to us today, that might be true, but he said that it is possible to understand it in context of sociology of religion. Hmmm.

But you see, the Inquisition of the RCC, killed people because of their ideas. This is bad in our time. I agree. However, the RCC with its Inquisition did not kill people simply because they have bad or oppossing ideas - they tortured and killed people in the name of Christ! The Magisterium who claimed to be the True Church, the one "founded" by Christ, ordered the killings and even divised torture chambers in the name of Christ! So they killed for Jesus. I know of another group that does that, kill in the name of their faith.


Steve said...

Throughout the history of the Church, we see the Church and society engaging in actions in the "name of Christ" where Holy Scripture does not give either the Church or society the authority to engage in such action in the “name of Christ”. While it's easy to through stones at the Roman Church, protestant history is also filled with un-Christian actions in the "name of Christ".

In addition we confuse actions that are of society (Kingdom of the Left Hand) with actions of the Christian Church (Kingdom of the Right Hand). We attribute actions of society as being "Christian" when in fact society is not the Church. For example, the use of Blue Laws in the United States, which prohibited or limited business being opened on Sunday, is a miss-use of the Commandment to keep the Sabbath Day Holy. Society put in place "Christian Laws" which the Church does not have the power to put in place. If fact, Paul wrote that for the Christian, one day is no different than another in terms of when we gather in worship.

I believe that we all do things "in the name of Christ" that Christ does not want his holy name associated with.

L P Cruz said...


Protestants did kill in the name of Christ - a few occassions I recall is that of Calvin.

I have no knowledge of direct involvement of Luther.

There was also the case of a Lutheran involvement in beheading a Calvinist prince.

Religion is a political tool. What is glaring to me is that the RCC, the "TRUE" Church, did something Christ did not do. He could have called legions of angels to kill those who opposed him, he did not.

The Roman Church did not just excommunicate, they exterminated and killed in the name of Jesus. In fact they would have killed Luther too, except they did not succeed.

The Inquisition should not be considered an act of war, for the people being killed had no arms to bear. It was a tool of persecution.

The number of those they burned is not that small. The hardship they placed on Jews was proto-typical. The ingenious devising of torture is incredible.

J. K. Jones said...

Church history shows that often "Christians" have acted against the wishes of Christ (Matthew 22:21, Luke 9:54-56).

Some other religions cannot point out that violent acts run against the teachings of their founders.

Steve said...

Yep, the Lutherans, Calvinists, and Anglicans all did the same things.

That doesn't make them right, but it should put an end to the stone-throwing.

The Fearsome Pirate said...

Yep, the Lutherans, Calvinists, and Anglicans all did the same things.

Corporate guilt is a pure fabrication and actually contrary to Scripture. I'm not guilty of anything anyone did who's not me. I share in another's guilt only when I embrace and defend another's sin. Protestants don't embrace sins committed by previous Protestants because we don't believe the church sinless or infallible. Since the Catholic Church continues to defend these crimes and evils as legitimate, we can justly continue to criticize them.

L P Cruz said...


Thanks for visiting.

You have a good point here, really stated well. Since we do not condone the sins of fellow Protestants then we should not condone it in anyone we see it, be it in ourselves or in others.


Mateo said...

What Catholic still condones these acts?!?! This blog is crazy!

L P Cruz said...

The point is that the church that claims to be the True Church did the tortures in the name of Christ. That is no mean small claim. This is a lesson in history and religion.

Today who believes in Germany that it is alright to gas Jews? Following your reasoning, are the Jews crazy for remembering the Holocust?

I end with an Aussie epitaph 'lest we forget'.