Can a Pro-Life Activist Defend The Inquisition?
By Julio Severo
The answer to the title of this article is: Of course not! I, for example, have never defended any kind of Inquisition, and if I ever do it, obviously I will have to abandon the pro-life fight, because it makes no sense selectively to condemn a genocide and support another.
Pope John Paul II, author of the encyclical “The Gospel of Life,” was a pro-life champion and he did not defend the Inquisition. On the contrary, he had the honesty to ask forgiveness for what the Inquisition and its agents did.
The defense of the Inquisition, for any Christian who considers himself pro-life, is so shameful that the only option left to its defenders is to deflect the debate to other details that flee from the essential question.
Three hundred years ago, Jonathan Swift, in his “Gulliver’s Travels,” used the example of a cow, and how a malicious neighbor might, with the help of a dishonest lawyer, say that the animal belonged to him, not to Gulliver. The method is simple: instead of focusing on the central topic of who the cow really belongs to, the lawyer will make the judge digress into details consuming time and energy: the cow’s age, the nature of its pasture is, its size is, etc.
In the end, victory comes by fatigue and a heap of digressions.
There have been a number of digressions in response to my Portuguese article “A inquisição, o papa e o suspiro de alguns católicos conservadores” (The Inquisition, the Pope and the Yearn of Some Conservative Catholics).
The major digression in the issue of the Inquisition and a pro-life identity came with this comment:
In the subject of the history of the Inquisition, Julio is completely illiterate. The Protestant Reformation, in England, killed in a few months more people than the Inquisition did in four centuries.
Obviously, this comment did not respond to the main question in my article: How can those who defend the Inquisition fight against abortion?
Or, to be more precise: How do they want to fight the culture of death of socialism, homosexuality and feminism when they feel comfortable with the culture of torture and death of the Inquisition?
I do not mention the identity of the comment author in order to make it clear that I am attacking stances and ideas, not people. Moreover, the author is a man I respect, in spite of differences. I respect greatly his wife too, a very considerate woman. Yet, for literary convenience, I will call him in this text just Jack Man.
Sometimes, it is preferable not to mention real names to avoid embarrassment and personal attacks. In the case of his comment, Jack Man did not show this consideration, and many of his followers have interpreted his comment as a carte blanche to post aggressive messages both in my Facebook and in other forums, not sparing expletives and names such as “antichrist.” Some said, “The master has spoken, so shut up!” At least, the axes, sickles and hammers were only in very heavy and ugly words. (I’m already accustomed to this, coming from the Protestant Left, whose more frequent weapons are expletives.)
It is in a moment such as this that I give thanks to God that there is no more the Inquisition, because if there were, this rabid pro-Inquisition mob would come up to me with real axes, sickles and hammers to lynch me much before the tribunal of the holy office were able to pick me, judge me and condemn me to death by burning.
One of the strong Catholic reactions to my questioning if the pro-life identity can join the defense of the Inquisition was:
Seeing Julio Severo defaming and denigrating the Inquisition, I notice that he is an ignorant or acts in bad faith. If he is ignorant, he may still learn. If he acts in bad faith, he deserves to be execrated. Anyway, what he said does not offend me. I think that what is much more serious is that those who have an obligation to defend the Inquisition are shamed of it.
This explicitly pro-Inquisition Facebook comment could be seen as an isolated case, but it was “liked” (or signed) by some Midia Sem Mascara columnists.
If they want to accuse me of “defaming” and “denigrating” communism and its atrocities, I humbly accept this “shame” — which for me is a great joy.
If they want to accuse me of “defaming” and “denigrating” Nazism and its crime of the Holocaust, I humbly accept this “shame” — which for me is a great joy.
In a similar way, if they want to accuse me of “defaming” and “denigrating” the Inquisition, I humbly accept this “shame” — which for me is a great joy.
They can also add that I “defame” and “denigrate” the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). This is the largest organization of contraception, abortion and sex education in the world. Its founder, Margaret Sanger, came from an Irish Catholic family, and before the rise of the Soviet Union, she already preached feminism, socialism, abortion and anarchy. Her strongest opponent was evangelical Anthony Comstock.
There is a parallel between the Inquisition and IPPF. Both have varied torture tools. While the Catholic Inquisition tortured and killed presumably only adults, IPPF uses medical instruments to torture and kill babies: saline injection, partial abortion, dismemberment and decapitation.
Tony Man (not his real name, because he is a friend of Jack Man and wants to remain unnamed), calls IPPF “Planned Parenthood Inquisition.” He has this to ask to those who love and defend the Inquisition: They want babies Protestants to be aborted or merely tortured and killed after birth?
Following the excellent reasoning of Tony Man, I wonder: What about if IPPF had Vatican approval, as the Inquisition had, then it could kill only Protestant babies and other “heretical” babies?
For Tony Man and for me, it is very simple: if you can excuse or defend the Catholic Inquisition, what prevents you from condoning or defending the IPPF Inquisition?
The pro-abortion guy can coolly upbraid you: “Your Catholic Church had the Inquisition and we have IPPF. Leave us with our genocide and you stay with yours.” But, on both sides, there is denial, although on the Catholic side the pope has already asked for forgiveness. So the insistence of defending the Inquisition only exposes its defenders to ridicule.
The only difference between the Inquisition and IPPF is that one has a Catholic title and the other does not. Is this then the reason that those who defend the Inquisition condemn IPPF? But what moral ethics have the Inquisition defenders to attack IPPF?
The fact that there are Catholics today defending the Inquisition indicates only a reality: apostasy.
Tony Man brought to my knowledge that Malachi Martin, the well-known late Catholic theologian, was an adviser to two popes. Martin said in mid-1990s:
* The smoke of Satan is in the Vatican.
* The Catholic Church has come under the control of Satan.
* That the situation is irreversible.
* That both Pope Paul VI (in the mid-1970s!) and later John Paul II said that it cannot be reversed or even halted by anything man can do.
* That the only way to understand the Third Secret of Fatima, which Malachi Martin was allowed to read (most Catholics trust and revere that apparition) is to accept that the Vatican, the Roman Catholic hierarchy and almost all the Catholic laity in the world, are apostate.
* That Catholicism as we know it, as a religious institution, is spiritually dead and that this is God's will!
These comments by the late Rev. Malachi Martin, gathered by Tony Man through a Martin’s sermon, might explain perfectly why some Catholics who attack a genocide (abortion) are comfortable with another (the Inquisition).
According to Tony Man, looking carefully at the Protestant churches and their institutions in the Western countries, Rev. Martin also said that all of them are apostate. The exception is Protestant churches in the poorest nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
It is healthy to face reality, as Martin did. As an evangelical, I often go in the opposite direction of other Protestants, who see Vatican as the Great Babylon described in Revelation 17. Rev. David Wilkerson, an Assembly of God minister and the author of the best-selling “The Cross and the Switchblade,” said that Babylon the Great is America. I agree with him.
Encyclopedia Britannica, in its 11th edition which I used as the source for the Inquisition in my Portuguese article, is rejected by pro-Inquisition Catholics, because they prefer their own baseless books to an encyclopedia of one hundred years considered by pro-family groups as more reliable than modern encyclopedias. Even so, the pro-Inquisition Catholics close themselves in their denial, even after the pope had already asked for forgiveness. Encyclopedia Britannica also correctly describes the Holocaust. Do we have to accept the Nazi version only because the side guilty of crimes does not accept the official version?
Catholic denial, with its pro-Inquisition supporters, is no different from other historical denials, including Nazi and communist.
Is there a revolutionary mindset operating in these affinities? Deniers should answer it.
If I were an evangelical denier, I never would denounce what America, formerly a Protestant power, has been doing to impose abortion and the gay agenda on the world. In addition, I have also denounced the major role of America in the strengthening and funding of the persecution of Christians around the world. It is a sad reality, but truth is truth and it cannot be concealed. To deny, hide, varnish and cripple information about persecution of Christians is a practice of revisionists and other revolutionary mindset agents.
In the Catholic case, Pope John Paul II has already asked for forgiveness. Why then insist on denials and defense of religious genocide?
It makes no sense Catholics attacking a genocide (abortion) and being comfortable with another (the Inquisition).
Leone Lins, a Brazilian who read my original Portuguese article, understood this point. She said, “Until now, I don’t understand the fuss about this article. As I see it, Julio Severo says that those who defend the atrocities perpetrated by the Catholic Inquisition over the centuries have no moral ethics to say that they are against communist genocides. I agree with him.”
In the subject of the history of The Inquisition, Julio is completely illiterate. The Protestant Reformation, in England, killed in a few months more people than The Inquisition did in four centuries.
I will not try to respond to this comment which fled from the vital subject, because Jack Man judged me “completely illiterate.” The answer then comes from my friend Michael Carl, an Anglican Episcopal priest and WND journalist. His response to me was as follows:
Your Catholic critic is confusing the English Reformation with the English Civil War, much of which was between the Protestant Roundheads (Parliamentarians) and the mostly Catholic Cavaliers who supported the king, mostly Catholic because the kings were the Scottish Catholic Stuarts.
There were more Anglicans killed during the brief reign of Catholic Mary Tudor, after the death of the puny Edward. This is the one nicknamed “Bloody Mary” (which is the origin of the cocktail of the same name) because she had Lady Jane Gray and other Protestant Anglicans executed.
There were also other deviations from the central topic. Some Catholics have tried to refute my Portuguese “A inquisição, o papa e o suspiro de alguns católicos conservadores” by appealing to a supposed “Protestant Inquisition.” Such “Protestant Inquisition” exists only in Catholic books. Searching Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition, I have found nothing on “Protestant Inquisition.” But I have found abundant material on the “Catholic Inquisition.” Anyway, even if there were a “Protestant Inquisition,” never in my blog or in my Facebook I have praised or suggested such Inquisition against Catholics.
This article was written in response to some Catholics who have for a long time, under my silence and the silence of many other evangelicals, been praising the Inquisition and, worse, implying that we, evangelicals, deserve it. Do these Catholics want to praise the Inquisition? They are free to do so. They want to say it publicly (as a Mídia Sem Máscara columnist did) that evangelicals are modern “Cathars,” who were considered by the Catholic Inquisition as worthy of torture and death? They are free to do so.
However, they can never say they are fighting the culture of death, because within the culture of death is not only communism. It is also, whether they accept or not, the Inquisition. Do they want to defend life? They cannot then defend the Inquisition. It is not impossible to do so. I have Catholic friends who do not defend the Inquisition. By defending the Inquisition, there is nothing that separates them from defenders of IPPF, the Holocaust and communism. What unites them — the slaughter of the innocents — is stronger than what divides them.
There is no difference between defending IPPF and the Holocaust and defending the Inquisition. But there is a vast difference between fighting against abortion and defending the Inquisition.
Having reaffirmed the main point of my anti-Inquisition and antiabortion stance, let me explain that the Catholic Church does not save. The Evangelical Church also does not save. Who saves? Only Jesus Christ.
But according to Tony Man, Jack Man thinks that the only salvation for Latin America is the Catholic Church. So his involvement in pro-life coalitions with Protestants has only one objective: to help the Catholic Church in a supreme role of spiritual and social salvation for all.
Unfortunately for Jack Man, the Catholic Church in Brazil and other Latin American nations is deeply involved in the Marxist Liberation Theology. Especially in Brazil, the largest Catholic nation in the world, no church has been so involved in the establishment of socialism than the Catholic Church has, because of massive apostasy through the Liberation Theology. So it has no salvation, even for itself, and you do not need to be a Malachi Martin to see it.
It is no wonder: any church, Catholic or Protestant, which thinks that it can bring salvation to this world, will commit atrocities. The Inquisition and pervasive socialism in Brazil are just two examples.
Don Hank has said, “This article points to an important reason why that is happening: sheer blind fanaticism. Any Catholic in this day and age who defends the Inquisition is helping to tear down what is left of the Church. I would also wonder if such a person is not a bit mentally unbalanced. I personally am thankful to God that I do not need a fallible human to intercede for me in the place of my personal Savior Jesus Christ.”
To save people, not apostate Catholic or Protestant institutions, God is pouring out His Spirit in these last days.
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:17-18 ESV)
With this Spirit, Jesus’ followers will be able to be victorious over the homosexualist, pro-abortion, socialist Beast, its image, and the number of its name (see Revelation 15:2).
Reviewed by Don Hank.
Portuguese version of this article: Um ativista pró-vida pode defender a Inquisição?
Source: Julio Severo in English: www.lastdayswatchman.blogspot.com
Recommended Reading:Anthony Comstock: the first pro-life activist in the modern history