Voice From the Womb
Copyright © Tim. All rights reserved.
Henry VIII and Queen Elisabeth I of England attempted to transform what once had been a Catholic nation for hundreds of years with many Saints overnight into a staunch Protestant nation. Elisabeth managed to declare the studying of Catholic priesthood an act of treason punishable by death. All one had to do is be Catholic in order to draw persecution. It was quite messy and bloody, with historic and prominent Abbeys and shrines destroyed, priests and abbots murdered, some in ghastly fashion such as disembowelment, quartering, boiling in oil, beheading, etc. Not satisfied with that, they exported their intolerant violence on innocent Northern Ireland, where Catholics to this day are still persecuted or discriminated against (although in a milder form). Definitely not from God.
In 1917 Marxist Atheism made its grand appearance in the bloody Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the same year that the Blessed Virgin Mary warned at Fatima that Russia would spread its errors around the world, resulting in the destruction of nations and the persecution of the true Church. Woe to anyone who stood in its way, as tens of millions of innocent victims were exiled, tortured or executed for practicing their traditions or beliefs over the years. True to Mary's warnings, this poison spread around the world such that China also purged tens of millions of its own people in the name of Atheism. To this day, China and other such nations are even destroying crosses on church property! Definitely not from God.
At the time of Queen Isabel and King Fernando there were a large number of Jews in Spain who lied about being Catholic converts (Conversos) so they could insinuate themselves into positions of power and intrigue. They were allowed to manage towns and take taxes (so exorbitant sometimes that it backfired in mob retaliations). What some of these Conversos practiced in secret could hardly be considered Christian, while on the other hand those who Queen Isabel considered trustworthy were appointed to powerful positions, proving that racial hatred of the Jews was not a motivating factor in the inquisition. Adding to that internal threat in case of war, was the threat of the Moslem Moors in Granada and the Moslem Turks threatening Europe from the sea. Isabel authorized Torquemada to lead the Inquisition to root out the impostors and force them to confess. Suspicious individuals were targeted if there were 2 or 3 witnesses (as Moses had laid out) to substantiate charges. The first reaction of the Conversos was a failed attempt to murder the inquisitors, to teach Isabel a lesson. Over the period of jurisdiction of Isabel and Torquemada less than 2,000 were put to death among 100,000 initially imprisoned, a very small percentage. For a sober and accurate account of the Spanish Inquisition, read "Characters of the Inquisition", by William Thomas Walsh, 1940, TAN Books. Among all the inquisitions this was the most prudent and cautious. At one point of exasperation, the Jews were told to be baptized or be expelled from the nation. Many left after selling their property for a reduced price, only to return to be baptized after the treatment they had received from the Moors to the south and other nations. This inquisition had a purifying effect so that the true Catholic Faith (and civilization) was spread to the Caribbean, Florida, the Latin American nations, and eventually through California. Considering the barbarity of the indigenous peoples at the time, the Americas should be eternally grateful to the Spanish.
Moses, on a mission from God to deliver the Jews from Egyptian slavery into the Promised Land, was the first Grand Inquisitor. Along the way he had to deal with rebellious Jews and barbaric nations who by their filthy practices polluted the land they lived on. Hundreds and thousands of Jews were slaughtered along the way for rebellion or worshipping false idols (remember Dathan, the seraph serpents, the quail that became a curse, punishment for intermarriage with foreigners,etc). Who knows how many tens of thousands of idolatrous pagans, men, women and children were slain on the spot who happened to be in their path (at least the Spanish gave the Jews a few weeks’ notice to leave Spain!). As ruthless as it was, Moses was following God’s will so it is possible that an inquisition can be good and holy, at least in Gods eyes if not in ours, but more often than not it’s inspired by the devil.
In the first century AD, the Jews in command had to deal with a growing movement that threatened their authority and status quo. Thousands of new converts to Christianity were then imprisoned, starved to death, or beheaded by the Jews simply because they believed that the risen Jesus, crucified by the Romans, was the Messiah. The Jews even went as far as to search and return victims from foreign cities (we all know what happened to Saul on his way to Damascus). It’s hard to think of this inquisition as inspired by God, especially if Jesus is the Son of God. Of course, Jews will say differently. True Christians still love the Jewish people and their history (Jesus, Mary and Joseph were Jewish, as was John the Baptist, David, etc.), and Jesus told his followers to love their enemies.
Since around 666 until now, the military arm of Islam flexed its muscle at various times to overcome lands and whole nations in the export of their religion. Those who would not convert to Islam were shown little mercy. The ancient Christian communities were destroyed. In Jerusalem during Easter time, the Christian pilgrims were in the habit of walking the steps of Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane, through the Golden Gate into the walled city, and along the path of the Cross to memorialize His Passion. To discourage that, the Muslims filled in the Golden Gate with cement (the only gate on the Eastern wall) and placed a cemetery on the outside so that the gate would never be opened again, to this day. They were on the verge of conquering Europe and Christianity completely until a miraculous intervention by the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Given the vast slaughter of innocent Christians and Jews who happened to disagree with them from ancient times until now, it’s easy to see this inquisition as not inspired by the true God.
So you won't become a Catholic because of the Spanish Inquisition? Don't let that stop you, for by that reasoning neither can you become a Protestant, Jew, Muslim nor Atheist! We usually don’t associate those groups with the term Inquisition, but an inquisition under any other name is still an inquisition. One group makes an inquiry of another if they will abide by their will – it’s basically their way or the highway!