Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Goya, Inquisition Scene, 1816

"Si bene calculum ponas, ubique naufragium est."-Petronius (All in all, an objective consideration of life leads one to conclude that shipwreck is everywhere. -My translation)

"Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it."-- John Adams, letter to his son, John Quincy Adams, November 13, 1816

Real Rules of the Inquisition

...a list I prepared mostly using the article "The Inquisition", from the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition

  1. The Inquisition is not bound by ordinary rules.
  2. Acts of piety and professions of faith have no value as evidence.
  3. Suspicion is enough for imprisonment.
  4. The accuser is the judge.
  5. The accused are presumed guilty.
  6. Contumacy is expressed by flight and increases presumption of guilt.
  7. Names of witnesses against the accused are withheld from him. (Bulls of Innocent IV: Cumnegocium & Licet Sicut Accepimus)
  8. The accused is kept in ignorance of who denounced him.
  9. Heretics or infames are admitted as witnesses.
  10. Women, children & slaves could be witnesses.
  11. If a witness retracted hostile evidence he could be punished for false witness, but his evidence should be retained with full effect.
  12. A witness who refuses to give evidence is guilty of heresy.
  13. Prosecution is carried out in secrecy.
  14. The accused must swear to tell the truth and denounce all partners in heresy or any other heretics known to him. [I would denounce my Inquisitor.]
  15. The accused may be "reconciled" to the Church only by so denouncing others.
  16. Further "examination" is continued by various methods including moral subterfuge. (The Dominican Bernardus Guidonis enumerates weakening physical strength, perhaps through withholding water or food, and as a last resort, torture.)
  17. Canon Law condemned torture but Innocent IV in his Bull, Ad Extirpanda, May 15, 1252, allowed its use to discover heresy. (This was later confirmed by Urban IV. Remember, the Inquisition is not bound by ordinary rules.)
  18. At the discretion of the Inquisitor, torture of witnesses is allowed.
  19. All evidence or confessions obtained in the torture chamber must be freely confirmed. (How liberal! But one would remember that the torture chamber is still there.)
  20. Any lawyer defending the accused is guilty of heresy.
  21. The inquiry may last as long as necessary.
  22. Those who confess as minor heretics are punished by penance, fasting, scourges, markings or fines, but full acquittal should never be allowed. More serious punishments are imprisonments of various degrees of severity. Obstinate heretics are turned over to the secular arm for punishment debita animadversione usually death by fire. Such property of heretics so remanded is turned over to the ecclesiastic and secular authorities. (In Spain all went to the Church, in France, Italy and Germany church and state divided the spoils.)
  23. Sorcery and magic as well as doctrinal heresy are objects of inquisition.
  24. Confiscation of the property of an 'enemy of the state' (hostis) was found in ancient Roman Law. The dictator Sulla, his early mentor and later opponent Marius, and the Second Triumvirate were infamous for long proscription lists. Julius Caesar famously disapproved proscription, perhaps to his ultimate regret. The Church and the Princes of the Inquisition could not resist the temptation to apply the precedent of this law to enemies of God. Today, enemies of the state in the "War On Drugs" can expect to lose their property in a modern variation of proscription. I predict that the state will find new innovations implementing this concept as its various forms tumble into bankruptcy in our brave new world.
  25. Thus church and state happily colluded to rid the world of "heretics" and pocket their wealth and property.

No comments: