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No one expects…

March 30, 2014

JanLuyken_AnnekinHendriks_1685Bill Donohue wants to convince us that the Catholic Church had nothing to do with the inquisition that burned Giordano Bruno at the stake. That would come as a surprise to Sixtus V, whose “zeal and severity in the capacity of inquisitor displeased the Venetian Government” prior to his being made Pope, and who, as Pope, established the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition. Which organization burned Bruno at the stake.

If Donohue wants to paint a cheerier face on the Catholic Church’s reputation regarding religious liberty, rather than trying to whitewash the nature of the medieval Church, he should convince modern day Catholics to steer clear of theocratic desires. Such as wanting to outlaw contraception. Oops. Well, at least he can point out that the Christians today who want to mete out corporal punishment for blasphemy are Protestant. The photo shows Annaken Hendriks, burned at the stake in 1571, illustrated by Jan Luyken, 1685.

Update: Andrew Sullivan is getting some pushback against early criticism of the “cartoon history” in Cosmos. Not having seen it, I can’t comment on the actual series. But… there’s not much escaping the historical realities of the Inquisition.

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