To whom, and for what, did he apologize, specifically? The list includes:
- sins that caused division among Christians
- sins against the Jews
- sins committed against love, peace, the rights of peoples, respect of cultures and religions
- the sin of the Crusades
- sins committed in the use of "non-evangelical methods," as for example, the burning of heretics in the Inquisition
If this wasn't bad enough, things have degenerated under Bergoglio to the point where one Vatican II sect parish here in New York City has its members take A Pledge for Racial Justice, in which the members must say "yes" to the following:
DO YOU AFFIRM that white privilege is unfair and harmful to those who have it and to those who do not?
WILL YOU strive to understand more deeply the injustice and suffering white privilege and white supremacy cause? Among other nonsensical and ludicrous statements. (See https://sfxavier.org/news/a-pledge-for-racial-justice; Emphasis in original). I get a real laugh when there is talk of "reparations" to be paid to African-Americans. I'm supposed to feel sorry and pay money to people for something I never did, in order to make up for something they never experienced? Leaving the lunacy of the Vatican II sect "Jesuits" in Manhattan behind, I wish to focus this post on the alleged "sin" of the Inquisition and burning heretics.
That there were individual abuses and sins by certain clerics conceded; that the Inquisition and the burning of heretics is bad in principle, denied. I know this will seem shocking to the Modernist mind, and even to some Traditionalists who must live in this world full of warped notions of equity and justice, but the Inquisition, like the Crusades, was good and holy in principle. Wojtyla was not asking forgiveness for those clerics who crossed lines in opposition of Church teaching, but for the very practice itself. This is a tacit denial of the Indefectibility of the Church, for She cannot give that which is evil or erroneous to Her members. Most members of the Vatican II sect, and many other non-Catholics, use the Inquisition as "proof" that the Church can be wrong (hence Vatican II is exonerated as "correcting and tempering" past teaching and practices) or it is an evil proving the Church a false religion as Protestants are wont to do. How should a Traditionalist respond to the "problem" of the Inquisition?
This post will address three points: (1) What was the Inquisition, (2) How it was subjected to historical revisionism by the enemies of the Church, and (3) What Church teaching is regarding the punishment of heretics. My sources for the Inquisition are primarily as follows:
1. Church History (2 volumes) by Poulet and Raemers 
2. The History of the Catholic Church by Neill and Schmandt 
3. The Spanish Inquisition by Henry Kamen [4th edition, 2014]
Inquiries About the Inquisition
The Inquisition may be divided into two separate attempts to suppress heresy. There was the Medieval Inquisition and the Spanish Inquisition. The Medieval Inquisition (1233-circa early 1700s), was brought about to combat the Albigensian heretics. The Albigensians began to expand considerably towards the end of the 1100s. They were so named after the French city of Albi, where they derived their popular name, but they referred to themselves as "Cathars," from the Greek word for "pure." They organized themselves as a "Counter-church" which threatened not only the One True Church, but all of civilization. According to theologian Parente, the Albigensians adopted a false Manichean dualism; i.e., two eternal principles divided the universe, a "Good God" of the New Testament, and an "Evil God" of the Old Testament. The good had created the world of the spirits, and the bad created the material world. Man was at the junction of the two principles. He was a fallen angel imprisoned in a body. His soul originated in the good principle, but his body was from the bad.
Neither God was triune. The Good God sends one of his angels, Jesus, to Earth with an apparent body. He does not suffer, die and rise from the dead, but merely preaches. Men must escape evil matter by going through a number of reincarnations. The message of Christ was corrupted and obscured by the Catholic Church, thus the Albigensians also possess "secret knowledge" like the Gnostic heretics. (See Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, , pgs. 5-6). As a consequence of their perverse doctrines, Holy Matrimony and procreation were forbidden because one must not collaborate in the work of the Evil God (also called Satan), who sought to imprison souls in their bodies. Since death constituted a liberation, suicide was encouraged. They applied the "endura," a withdrawal of nourishment, from the sick and even sometimes from infants, to accelerate the return of the soul to the spirit world.
In order to be completely free of matter, some became severe ascetics, but most became libertines; they were freed of all moral obligations, in sexual matters and in commercial matters. Usury, debauchery, and even murder when convenient, became the mark of the Albigensians.
They held that as long as you believed and received an ersatz kind of "baptism" called the consolamentum (which was conferred by an imposition of hands), it guaranteed salvation. "Liberty to act," resulting in suicide, euthanasia, sexual perversion, and everyone goes to Heaven. Sounds like the Vatican II sect. Our Lady gave St. Dominic the Rosary to defeat these heretical monsters. They provoked social disorder throughout all of Europe.
Pope Innocent III (reigned 1198-1216) called for a Crusade against the Albigensians in 1208 which contributed to the creation of the Inquisition. The bloody war lasted twenty years, ending with the Peace of Paris Treaty in 1229. The Church then realized it could not rely exclusively on on secular rulers to stamp out heresy. The Inquisition had its beginnings under Pope Lucius III (reigned 1181-1185) when, in 1184, he sent a list of heresies to the bishops of the world, and ordered them to determine the guilt of heretics using trained theologians and employing the Roman legal procedures. An inquisitor was required to be at least forty (40) years old, a theologian or canonist, and morally upright to a high degree. Pope Innocent III expanded the Inquisition, and Pope Gregory IX formalized the procedures of the Inquisition in 1231. Slowly and methodically, the Albigensian heresy was eradicated by 1350 AD.
The Spanish Inquisition.
Denigrated for being "antisemitic" and lampooned by Jewish movie producer Mel Brooks (as well as the Anglican heretics/blasphemers at Monty Python's Flying Circus TV show), the Spanish Inquisition is one of the most misunderstood and purposely distorted events in Church history. Since the beginning of the Middle Ages in Spain, there was a considerable Jewish population. The Jewish, Christian and Moslem societies were not partitioned in Spain, even though their relations were not always harmonious. A large number of Jews had converted to Catholicism but continued to practice Judaism in secret. These pseudo-Christian Jews were called Marranos (from the Spanish word for "pig" used in reference to the Jewish prohibition on eating the flesh of pigs).
The evil and blasphemy-ridden Talmud allows Jews to pretend conversion in order to avoid persecution. The Marranos were seeking to infiltrate Christian society in order to control it. Moreover, they wanted to infiltrate and destroy the Church, much like the Communists and Modernists in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some Marrano priests actually taught the Talmud in their churches. The bishop of Segovia, Juan Arias of Avila, gave a Jewish burial to his parents who had abjured Christianity. The bishop of Calahorra, Pedro d’Aranda, denied the Trinity and the Redemptive death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Marranos had purchased for cash the public offices of several Spanish cities, crushing the old-Christian people under the weight of taxes and usury. There were some popular uprisings against the Marrano power at Toledo and Cuidad Real in 1449. The Marranos regained control of these cities in 1467 and massacred a great number of old-Christians. There were other bloodbaths in Castile (1468) and in Andalusia (1473). Spain was then on the threshold of a racial and religious civil war. This war, which would have been appalling, was avoided, thanks to the Inquisition. Not all Jewish converts were Marranos; many among them were sincerely Catholic. Most famously, St. Teresa of Avila was the granddaughter of a Marrano who, moreover, had been condemned by the Inquisition. Although descended from a Marrano, St. Teresa is one of the greatest saints of all time.
The historian Henry Kamen (cited above in my sources) notes that the principal anti-Judaic polemicists were themselves ex-Jews. It was they who clamored for a tribunal of the Inquisition to distinguish between the false Jewish converts to Catholicism and the sincere new Catholics. The first Spanish Grand Inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada, was himself a Jewish convert. In addition, it must be noted that many Marranos judaized simply through family tradition or by misunderstanding the Catholic faith. The Inquisition thus had to establish another distinction between the Marranos who willfully altered the integrity of the faith and those who were the victims of an insufficient instruction in the One True Church. In 1478, Pope Sixtus IV issued a bull authorizing the Catholic Monarch of Spain to name inquisitors who would address the issue.
In face of the Marranos peril, as before in the case of the Albigensian danger, the Inquisition sought to neutralize the leaders of the heresy in order to spare and retrieve the majority of the heretics. It was successful and continued until deemed no longer required when disbanded in 1834.
The Historical Revision of the Inquisition
The enemies of the Church have long disseminated lies about the Inquisition. There were abuses, as even Catholic historians have noted. "...the Inquisition functioned in Spain with a severity that was sometimes extreme." (See historians Poulet and Raemers cited in my sources above, 2:75; Emphasis mine). That Protestants and others who hate the Church write much popular history is amply demonstrated in the United States, where Queen Elizabeth I is known as "Good Queen Bess." This is in spite of the fact that, "Being a Catholic priest in England, or providing shelter to one, was treason, and punishable by death. Elizabeth certainly did put people to death when they threatened her reign; some 450 were executed after an uprising in the North... During her reign, some 130 priests were executed solely for being priests, along with around 60 of their supporters." (See https://historycollection.com/seven-bloodiest-queens/6/).
That's 640 executions. However, Queen Mary Tudor (who re-established Catholicism in England from 1553-1558) executed less than 300 Protestants who plotted against her. To her is given the ignoble and unfair appellation of "Bloody Mary."
Here are some famous falsehoods about the Inquisition.
Falsehood: The Catholic Church used the Inquisition to kill Jews and Moslems and consolidate Church power.
Fact: The myth of a brutal, power-hungry Inquisition out to kill Jews and Moslems originated in the 16th century with Protestants trying to discredit the Church. The most influential writing was The Discovery and Plaine Declaration of Sundry Subtil Practices of the Holy Spanish Inquisition, (1567) authored by an exiled Spanish monk turned Lutheran named Reginaldus Montinus. The Inquisition was focused on saving souls, as well as protecting both Church and State from the ravages of heresy and immorality.
Falsehood: The Inquisition tortured and executed millions of people.
Fact: The Catholic Inquisition did not resemble the totalitarian inquisitions of the 20th century by the Communists and Nazis. The Inquisition was entrusted to the finest members of the clergy of the era. Unlike the revolutionary tribunals of 1793, the tribunals of the Inquisition were never presided over by corrupted and debauched fanatics.The Inquisitor did not render his judgment alone, but with "assessors" or assistant clergy, almost like a jury. The bishop audited the sentences and the accused could appeal to the pope. The Inquisition frequently acquitted. Bernard Gui exercised the functions of Inquisitor at Toulouse from 1308 to 1323. He pronounced 930 judgments, of which 139 were acquittals. The sick, the aged, and pregnant women were exempted from interrogation under torture. Furthermore, torture was rarely employed: in 1-2% of the processes according to historian Jean Dumont.
If someone confessed under torture they were not killed (unless guilty of something very serious), but in most cases allowed to abjure their spreading of heresy and were returned to society. Repeat offenders were executed. Among contemporary historians, Pierre Dominique asserts that the Spanish Inquisition condemned 178,382 persons of whom 16,376 were burned alive. (L’Inquisition., ); Henry Kamen puts it up to 341,021 the number of condemnations, of whom 31,912 were burned. It is nowhere near millions, and reputable historians are nearly unanimous that it was well under 100,000--below 50,000.
The Morality of the Inquisition
1. The Death Penalty is moral.According to theologian Prummer, Only the State has the right to put to death those who have committed most serious crimes. The State has this right since the penalty of death is sometimes necessary for safeguarding the common weal [good] and only the State has the duty of safeguarding society. Capital punishment must be reserved for the most serious of crimes and these must be fully proven...Since the State has the power to put the criminal to death, so it has the power for a sufficient reason to mutilate the criminal (e.g., by cutting off his hand) or to flog him. (See Handbook of Moral Theology, , pg. 126).
Theologians McHugh and Callan teach, Killing human beings is lawful in two cases. (a) It is lawful when when the common safety requires that the State inflict death for a crime (capital punishment) (See Moral Theology , 2: 100).
Theologian Jone writes, A criminal may be executed if juridical proof has established the moral certainty that he has committed a grave crime for which the State, in the interest of the common welfare, inflicts capital punishment, and if someone has been authorized by the State to execute the sentence. (See Moral Theology, , pg. 140).
Proposition required by Pope Innocent III as a condition to be readmitted to the Church: We declare that the secular power can without mortal sin impose a judgement of blood provided the punishment is carried out not in hatred but in good judgement, not inconsistently but after mature deliberation.
From the practice of the Church: From 1815, when the pope regained political control of Rome from Napoleon, until 1870, the popes ordered the executions of hundreds of malefactors. (See Norko, M., "The Death Penalty in Catholic Teaching and Medicine: Intersections and Places for Dialogue," Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 36 (2008): 470-481).
From the Holy Bible: Genesis 9:6, Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind. St. John 19:10, Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest Thou not to me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and I have power to release Thee? Romans 13: 4, For he is God's minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.
It is clear that the Church, in principle, allows for the execution of criminals who have committed "the most serious of crimes." This has always been the case.
2. Heresy is a crime deserving death.
The propagation of heresy is worse than murder. Our Lord said, And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in Hell. (St. Matthew 10: 28). Murder destroys the body. Heresy can bring eternal death in Hell. There is but One True Church, outside of which no one can be saved. It is the duty of the State to uphold the Rights of the Church as the sole and exclusive State religion. Error has no rights.
CONDEMNED Proposition # 77 from the Syllabus of Errors promulgated by Pope Pius IX (1864): 77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.
In the bull Exsurge Domine, excommunicating Martin Luther and condemning his heresies, CONDEMNED proposition # 33 states, That heretics be burned is against the will of the [Holy] Spirit.
It should be noted that there is a difference between:
(a) condemning a proposition that heretics being burned is always against the will of the Holy Ghost.
(b) endorsing a proposition that heretics being burned is the will of the Holy Ghost in all cases and at all times.
The first is merely asserting that it is possible that at some time and place burning of heretics may not have been against the will of the Holy Ghost, whereas the second proposition claims that the burning of heretics is always the active will of the Holy Ghost. The second statement is not implied by the first. This is where people make the error, and think it "wrong" or "scandalous" that God should permit the burning of heretics.
Let's look at a similar pair of propositions that might shed light on the subject. It is Church teaching that God may permit the capital punishment of some offenders and so to assert that "capital punishment is not against the will of God" is quite a different assertion than claiming that God simply wills capital punishment under all conditions or compels it. As theologians McHugh and Callan teach, "Though lawful, capital punishment is not always necessary; for it is a means to an end, and it may be omitted therefore, when the end can be obtained by the use of other and less severe means." (See Moral Theology, 2:101).
Again, the first statement says nothing about when or where the Holy Ghost may permit the burning of heretics, the second implies that the Holy Ghost wills or is never against the burning of heretics. They are not the same claim.
It is the case that proposition (a) is true, that there may be times when burning of certain heretics may not be contrary to the will of the Holy Ghost, but still insist that not every specific case of burning heretics, as these have occurred in history, have always been contrary to the will of the Holy Ghost. It may be that only a certain severity of heresy could result in the Holy Ghost permitting the burning of that individual; and that would be in the cases of the Inquisition dealing with notorious heretics bent on destroying both souls and society.
There is a difference between an "in principle" condemnation and a "de facto" one. In principle, burning heretics is a form of capital punishment, because their evil doctrines kill the soul, which is worse than killing the body (murder). But, just as you don't need to be in favor of capital punishment, as long as you don't condemn it in principle--the same applies here. If the taking of life is permitted to save souls, then methods of torture to obtain the truth and save souls (a lesser penalty) would also be permitted in severe cases.
It is rare that I communicate on Twitter except to announce my weekly post. A couple of weeks ago, I had a brief communication with a "recognize and resistor" (R&R--SSPX-type). I remarked that if my Patron Saint, King St. Louis IX, were alive, he would travel to Rome, put Bergoglio on trial and execute him. My Twitter interlocutor was aghast and indignant. He warned me I would get "banned from Twitter" for saying such awful things. Look who the bad guy is--me. Not Bergoglio for leading countless millions to Hell. This is the soft, non-Catholic mentality of today. It is Modernist.
Let me be clear: I am not now, nor have I ever, advocated violence against others. Executions (capital punishment) rightfully carried out by the State is a different story. If King St. Louis IX conquered Rome, as the Head of State, it would be within his right to execute Jorge Bergoglio for the crime of heresy.The Vatican II sect's heresy of religious liberty always invokes "forbearance" and "ecumenical charity" in opposition to the true doctrine of the Church on the duty of intolerance of false religions.
Isn’t eternal damnation, which is the retribution for not believing, an affliction far more dreadful than the worst punishment which a human tribunal could impose? Does not our fist pope, St. Peter, strike dead Ananias and Sapphira who stole from the community (Acts 5:1-11)?
Christ was patient and merciful with repentant sinners, but He never recognized any right of error and He exposed obstinate propagators of error to public condemnation. The Inquisition adopted an attitude toward heretics comparable to that of Our Lord. An individual is free to reject the True Faith, as God will not force Himself upon us against our free will. It does not, however, logically follow that the individual can propagate his errors and thus lead other souls to Hell. The Church denies in principle the right of public expression of false religions, but She may not necessarily persecute them in practice. To avoid a greater evil, such as a civil war, the Church can tolerate the sects.
All of this is lost on most people who believe this life is all we have, and there no objective religious and moral truths. Everyone, they argue, must be free to express "their truth," as if truth varies from person to person with no right or wrong. Now we are expected to apologize for being right. Say "I'm sorry" for being being born white, and for acts that took place years before we were born. Apologize to sexual perverts, illegal immigrants, and everybody else who "feels offended" for any perceived injustice. (No one has thus far been able to explain to me how anyone can be a victim of injustice if that which constitutes injustice is subjective to the individual).
I refuse to apologize for any of the above. For those who think I'm barbaric for defending the execution of heretics, here's what a real pope and real saint had to say about the proper attitude towards heretics: "They want them [Modernists] to be treated with oil, soap and caresses. But they should be beaten with fists. In a duel, you don't count or measure the blows, you strike as you can."---Pope St. Pius X (Emphasis mine).