Crusades, Inquisitions and Witch Hunts

"Pope John Paul II asked for the descendants of the multitudes who were hurt, enslaved, subjugated, stolen from, and killed by Catholics to please forgive the Catholic Church, i.e., after two thousand years of stepping on peoples' toes had helped produce the biggest church the world has ever seen. A joke by comedian Emo Philips provides the most apt analogy to the Pope's "forgive us" speech. Emo said, "When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his wisdom, didn't work that way. So I just stole one and asked him to forgive me."

E.T.B.

Continued...



Name: Catia
Title of Article: Christian Reconstructionism and Christian persecutions of others
Religious Belief: Deist
Age: 26-50

comments: Hello,

I am a writer currently working on a novel where the atrocities of the church and the growing threat of the reconstructionists will be the subject. I wish to make the horrors of the inquisition, the crusades and the witch trials more than a statistic. To that end I have been searching the net looking for a list of the names of the people murdered by the church, but without success. If you have any links that would be helpful it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your wonderful articles,I think I have read almost all of them.

Catia

From: Edward T. Babinski
To: Catia

Dear Catia,

I wish you success on the completion of your novel (have you read Sinclair Lewis's classic novel about the fascist take over of America, "It Can't Happen Here?") Per your inquiry, I do not have a list of the most famous people whom Catholics and/or Protestants persecuted or murdered throughout history, but rest assured most of them were fellow Christians of whose beliefs other Christians (those in power) did not approve.

I do have a LENGTHY list of quotations concerning major "embarrassing" events in Christian history that I continue to update as time allows, and that I can share with you, beginning with the Age of Costantine, to the Thirty Years War in Europe, right up to the Civil War which was America's "Holy War" as even evangelical historians like Mark Noll of Wheaton College in his most recent book, have recognized. If you wish me to send you that list of quotations as an attachment, please let me know.

Also, I like to view things in an even larger perspective and note that diseases and natural disasters continue to kill far more people than all human wars combined, whether religiously based or politically based (not to mention the effects of future climate changes when the oceans may rise and flood out hundreds of millions of people living along the world's coastlines). I would like people to view things in that perspective, and perhaps bring us all a bit closer together fighting diseases and trying to foresee and prepare in advance for natural disasters, including "big ones" from space. Of course a very big disaster from space like a nearby nova, or black hole, or star passing near our own, or flare from the sun, could be unpreventable and wipe out all life on earth since we're all still stuck on our cradle planet, sitting ducks in space.

Seeking names of victims of crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts?
Any list of names concerning the Catholic atrocities you mentioned, Crusades, Inquisition, witch hunts, would probably be in Latin, and probably be in the Vatican archives. John Paul II had assigned a commission I believe, near the end of his pontificate, to list all of the church's atrocities over the centuries. Too bad you don't have access to that information, though I believe that project was eventually scrapped as the pontiff's health declined:

POPE JOHN PAUL II APOLOGIZES AFTER TWO THOUSAND YEARS OF CATHOLIC ATROCITIES
The Catholic Church is the single largest Christian denomination in the world, equal to (or larger than) all Protestant denominations combined. Not surprising considering the Catholic Church's two millennia of political power brokering, heresy snuffing, book banning, Jew hating, witch burning, female subjugating, gay bashing, war mongering, divine-right-of-kings-defending, slave owning, serf commanding, wealth stealing vigor.

But the real topper came in March of the year 2000 when Pope John Paul II asked for the descendants of the multitudes who were hurt, enslaved, subjugated, stolen from, and killed by Catholics to please forgive the Catholic Church, i.e., after two thousand years of stepping on peoples' toes had helped produce the biggest church the world has ever seen. A joke by comedian Emo Philips provides the most apt analogy to the Pope's "forgive us" speech. Emo said, "When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his wisdom, didn't work that way. So I just stole one and asked him to forgive me."
Yes, two thousand years later.

E.T.B.
____________________________

POPE'S MEA CULPA
Over two years have passed since Pope John Paul II launched his great apology drive for the past "errors" of the Roman Catholic Church. One more reconfirmation of the new course took place in March 2000, when he celebrated public penitence in St. Peter's Basilica. Meeting with harsh criticism since the beginning, the papal apology has meantime developed somewhat more precise outlines. "We ask forgiveness for divisions between Christians," the Pope said, "for the use of violence in the name of truth, and for the diffidence and hostility against followers of other religions." According to a document by the Vatican's international theological commission, the historical sins are classified into seven categories, including divisions within Christianity, proselytizing by force, the inquisition, anti-Jewish prejudices, sins against minorities, women and human rights.

The Pope's Mea Culpa successfully avoids too close contact with the historical truth. Nothing was for example heard again of the conference, scheduled for October 1999, and proudly announced by the historical-theological commission of the Vatican, for which allegedly 50 renowned historians had been invited to scrutinize the bloody work of the Inquisition in Spain. But the Pope's project to square accounts with history before the new millennium dawns is not just superficial, it is pure hypocrisy. While crocodile tears are shed about the victims of the Holocaust, John Paul does not hesitate to beatify his predecessor Pius XII who collaborated with German, Italian and Croatian fascists during World War II and rescued them after their defeat.

But the Vatican's soft spot for mass murderers does not end there. The recent case of Father Athanase Seroma, shows how little the papal Mea Culpa is worth. Father Athanase Seroma played a leading role in the 1994 genocide that devastated Rwanda and is currently hiding under the name Don Anastasio Sumba Bura in northern Italy. According to many eyewitnesses, he organized the Nyange genocide. The African Human Rights group that produced a 22-page report about the events in Nyange in which Father Seroma, among other priests, had been involved, found that several of them are now living in Italy. The African Human Rights group asked the Pope more than half a year ago to launch an inquiry into the matter, but never received a reply. Maybe, decades later, a new pope may appear with a new apology!

Sanal Edamaruku, ed., Rationalist International, Bulletin #33, March 16, 2000

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Another suggestion, if you can't track down the Vatican folks who were involved in the above project...

Go to amazon.com and find some scholars who have books published by university presses like Oxford and Cambridge, Yale, and Harvard, or check the websites of each unviersity press, and search it for the above events you listed, Crusades, Inquisition, Witch Hunts, then plug in the name of the professor who wrote each book into google (put their name in quotation marks for an exact match of both first and last names in that order) followed by the word: university, and you should be able to find their university home pages with their email addresses. Then ask them about where to find a list of names.

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