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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Christianity & Science  > Copernicus Reburied

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  #1  
Old 05-31-2010, 12:00 AM
Giuliano
 
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Default Copernicus Reburied

That's right. Copernicus had been buried in an unmarked spot in the cathedral at Frombork. Somehow his remains were identified using DNA compared to hair samples, and he was reburied earlier this month by the Polish church.

Catholic Church reburies ‘heretic’ Nicolaus Copernicus with honour - Times Online

Monsignor Wojciech Ziemba, the local archbishop, said Copernicus had left a legacy of “hard work, devotion and above all scientific genius.” Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, the Primate of Poland, said at the ceremony that he deplored the “excesses of zeal” which had led to Copernicus being branded a heretic.

And this from AP on YouTube:


Another article at: Poland: Church reburies Copernicus with honours on Independent Catholic News
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2010, 12:28 AM
CatholicCrusader
 
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Default Re: Copernicus Reburied

If you want to get the WRONG spin on any story, you are guaranteed to get it when you read the The Times.

I will look into this story a little more from other sources

Last edited by CatholicCrusader : 05-31-2010 at 12:40 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-18-2010, 06:03 AM
CatholicCrusader
 
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Default Re: Copernicus Reburied

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Originally Posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
If you want to get the WRONG spin on any story, you are guaranteed to get it when you read the The Times.

I will look into this story a little more from other sources
VATICAN LETTER May-14-2010 (890 words) Backgrounder. With photos. xxxi

The Inquisition and Index: Vatican records shed light on dark legend


By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service



VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Roman Inquisition and the Index of Forbidden Books obviously do not represent the brightest chapters in Catholic history, but newly published documents from Vatican archives should help scholars distinguish between the truth and the dark legends.

Hundreds of documents detailing the church's investigations of individuals and of written works during the Roman Inquisition have been published -- most of them for the first time -- in a new series released by the Vatican.

Reproducing records from the Inquisition's activities -- records held in the formerly secret archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- the series hopes to shed light on how the Roman Inquisition really worked and to dispel age-old biases.

A lack of access to the archives, which were opened to the public only in 1998, meant some scholars and historians made "sweeping generalizations without sufficient foundation" about the church's aims during the Inquisition, a former papal theologian wrote in the volume's preface.

Cardinal Georges Cottier, theologian of the papal household under Pope John Paul II, wrote that by focusing only on cases in which the church acted extremely harshly -- such as the condemnation of Galileo Galilei and the burning at the stake of Giordano Bruno, some historians concluded the church was engaged in a vicious war against science.

It is "misleading to see the activity ... as a struggle against science undertaken in the name of faith" when the Roman Inquisition actually was concerned more with preventing Protestant ideas from spreading, he wrote.

Released at the Vatican May 12, the first volume represents 13 years of organizing, studying, cataloguing, and then transcribing thousands of documents from the Roman Congregation of the Holy Office, which dealt with individuals suspected of heresy, and the Congregation of the Index of forbidden books, which handled the suppression or correction of written works.

Titled "Catholic Church and Modern Science: Documents from the Archives of the Roman Congregations of the Holy Office and the Index," the series' first volume reproduced all the doctrinal congregation's documents concerning science and natural philosophy from 1542 to 1600.

The volume contains the documents in their original language -- Latin -- but offers extensive footnotes, summaries and commentary in English by co-authors Ugo Baldini -- a history professor at Italy's Padua University and an expert on Galileo Galilei -- and Leen Spruit -- an expert on the censorship of science in early modern history.

Spruit told
Catholic News Service that the Roman Inquisition did not target science and natural philosophy. Rather, he said, certain individuals and authors were condemned "often for their faith or religious creed."

A perfect example, he said, is Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century Polish scientist who first proposed in 1543 that the earth revolved around the sun -- a theory that would get Galileo in trouble a century later.

Copernicus was virtually ignored by censors until a Protestant wrote about his work and that author was put on the Index, not for supporting heliocentrism, but for being a Protestant, the book said.

Scientific ideas and proposals never mattered to inquisitors unless those theories negatively impacted the church's religious view of mankind, he said. And then it was the unorthodox anthropology that received condemnation, not the science, he added.

The first and only purely scientific trial the Roman Inquisition pursued was against Galileo, "and I think they consider that now as a very big mistake," said Spruit.

In addition, scientific works like those written by Copernicus and Galileo were not condemned until they were published in the vernacular rather than in Latin, he said, "because then they could be more dangerous for a broader audience."

New documents pertaining to Galileo's trial are to appear in the series' next volume dealing with the 17th century, which is expected to come out in 2014.

The authors asked what kind of impact the Inquisition had on the scientific community and if it hampered scientific progress.

While the authors didn't claim to have the answers, they did suggest historians will now be able to make a more honest assessment based on the series' full reproduction of the archives.

The authors wrote that of the 86 cases handled in the 16th century, the majority of individuals involved were given very lenient sentences and their careers most often continued to thrive.

Baldini said authors in some disciplines, particularly astrology, became "more cautious" and censored more "risky" ideas themselves before publication.

The Inquisition certainly produced a climate of fear and intimidation, they wrote, but any claim that it was so oppressive that science was stunted "is enormously exaggerated," Baldini said.

In the authors' opinion, scientific advancement depends greatly upon economic development and available technology, not just religious or cultural approval.

Also, it was fairly easy to get permission to read a banned book, they wrote, and forbidden books were in wide circulation.

Even though the Roman Inquisition obviously violated many of today's basic human rights, the inquisitors actually introduced novel juridical procedures that are now fundamental in modern democracies, they wrote.

According to the book's authors, the Inquisition's juridical innovations included "the defense attorney, testimony under oath, appeals to a higher court, the adoption of the principle 'unus testis nullus testis,'" in which uncorroborated testimony is inadmissible, as well as reducing life sentences to a few years of incarceration and offering a public defender for the poor.

END
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2010, 12:45 PM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: Copernicus Reburied

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatholicCrusader View Post
Reproducing records from the Inquisition's activities -- records held in the formerly secret archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- the series hopes to shed light on how the Roman Inquisition really worked and to dispel age-old biases.

A lack of access to the archives, which were opened to the public only in 1998, meant some scholars and historians made "sweeping generalizations without sufficient foundation" about the church's aims during the Inquisition, a former papal theologian wrote in the volume's preface.
So why keep the records locked up for centuries? It's one of the mysteries of how the Roman Church works. It's been known for a long time that many of the huge distortions about the Spanish Inquisition were the result of Dutch propaganda by Protestants against Spanish rule when Charles V and Philip II tried to fight Protestantism in the Netherlands.

It's also known that many of the worst abuses in Spain were the result of politics, antisemitism and greed with the government of Spain often having more power than the Church over the Inquisition. Even St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross found themselves looked at with suspicion because they came from converso families. The Jesuits' antisemitism was particularly a problem for Rome; and they even defied at times the Popes at times who told them to treat Gentile and converted Jew equally.

I have to wonder why the Vatican sat on these documents so long. Time will tell, I guess.
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2010, 01:23 PM
CatholicCrusader
 
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Default Re: Copernicus Reburied

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Originally Posted by Giuliano View Post
So why keep the records locked up for centuries? It's one of the mysteries of how the Roman Church works......
Whats the mystery? We view centuries as you view years. We are here forever, not to satisfy the whims of the local newspaper, but to preserve the things of God.
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2010, 01:39 PM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: Copernicus Reburied

Don't complain then when people still bring up distortions of the Inquisition. If Rome has information that would clear up these distortions and didn't present it, they gave the field to the opposition.

It would be like having a defense attorney who let the prosecution say whatever he wanted and your attorney told you he wasn't going to present the facts that might help your side.
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  #7  
Old 06-19-2010, 02:33 AM
CatholicCrusader
 
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Default Re: Copernicus Reburied

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Originally Posted by Giuliano View Post
Don't complain then when people still bring up distortions of the Inquisition. If Rome has information that would clear up these distortions and didn't present it, they gave the field to the opposition. ......
The information is out there. Its just that many people prefer bigotry to facts
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  #8  
Old 06-19-2010, 02:35 AM
CatholicCrusader
 
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Default Re: Copernicus Reburied

The Inquisition

source: The Inquisition


Sooner or later, any discussion of apologetics with Fundamentalists will address the Inquisition. To non-Catholics it is a scandal; to Catholics, an embarrassment; to both, a confusion. It is a handy stick for Catholic-bashing, simply because most Catholics seem at a loss for a sensible reply. This tract will set the record straight.

There have actually been several different inquisitions. The first was established in 1184 in southern France as a response to the Catharist heresy. This was known as the Medieval Inquisition, and it was phased out as Catharism disappeared.

Quite separate was the Roman Inquisition, begun in 1542. It was the least active and most benign of the three variations.

Separate again was the infamous Spanish Inquisition, started in 1478, a state institution used to identify conversos—Jews and Moors (Muslims) who pretended to convert to Christianity for purposes of political or social advantage and secretly practiced their former religion. More importantly, its job was also to clear the good names of many people who were falsely accused of being heretics. It was the Spanish Inquisition that, at least in the popular imagination, had the worst record of fulfilling these duties.

The various inquisitions stretched through the better part of a millennia, and can collectively be called "the Inquisition."


The Main Sources


Fundamentalists writing about the Inquisition rely on books by Henry C. Lea (1825–1909) and G. G. Coulton (1858–1947). Each man got most of the facts right, and each made progress in basic research, so proper credit should not be denied them. The problem is that they did not weigh facts well, because they harbored fierce animosity toward the Church—animosity that had little to do with the Inquisition itself.

The contrary problem has not been unknown. A few Catholic writers, particularly those less interested in digging for truth than in diffusing a criticism of the Church, have glossed over incontrovertible facts and tried to whitewash the Inquisition. This is as much a disservice to the truth as an exaggeration of the Inquisition’s bad points. These well-intentioned, but misguided, apologists are, in one respect, much like Lea, Coulton, and contemporary Fundamentalist writers. They fear, while the others hope, that the facts about the Inquisition might prove the illegitimacy of the Catholic Church.


Don’t Fear the Facts


But the facts fail to do that. The Church has nothing to fear from the truth. No account of foolishness, misguided zeal, or cruelty by Catholics can undo the divine foundation of the Church, though, admittedly, these things are stumbling blocks to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

What must be g.asped is that the Church contains within itself all sorts of sinners and knaves, and some of them obtain positions of responsibility. Paul and Christ himself warned us that there would be a few ravenous wolves among Church leaders (Acts 20:29; Matt. 7:15).

Fundamentalists suffer from the mistaken notion that the Church includes only the elect. For them, sinners are outside the doors. Locate sinners, and you locate another place where the Church is not.

Thinking that Fundamentalists might have a point in their attacks on the Inquisition, Catholics tend to be defensive. This is the wrong attitude; rather, we should learn what really happened, understand events in light of the times, and then explain to anti-Catholics why the sorry tale does not prove what they think it proves.


Phony Statistics


Many Fundamentalists believe, for instance, that more people died under the Inquisition than in any war or plague; but in this they rely on phony "statistics" generated by one-upmanship among anti-Catholics, each of whom, it seems, tries to come up with the largest number of casualties.

But trying to straighten out such historical confusions can take one only so far. As Ronald Knox put it, we should be cautious, "lest we should wander interminably in a wilderness of comparative atrocity statistics." In fact, no one knows exactly how many people perished through the various Inquisitions. We can determine for certain, though, one thing about numbers given by Fundamentalists: They are far too large. One book popular with Fundamentalists claims that 95 million people died under the Inquisition.

The figure is so grotesquely off that one immediately doubts the writer’s sanity, or at least his g.asp of demographics. Not until modern times did the population of those countries where the Inquisitions existed approach 95 million.

Inquisitions did not exist in Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, or England, being confined mainly to southern France, Italy, Spain, and a few parts of the Holy Roman Empire. The Inquisition could not have killed that many people because those parts of Europe did not have that many people to kill!

Furthermore, the plague, which killed a third of Europe’s population, is credited by historians with major changes in the social structure. The Inquisition is credited with few—precisely because the number of its victims was comparitively small. In fact, recent studies indicate that at most there were only a few thousand capital sentences carried out for heresy in Spain, and these were over the course of several centuries.


What’s the Point?


Ultimately, it may be a waste of time arguing about statistics. Instead, ask Fundamentalists just what they think the existence of the Inquisition demonstrates. They would not bring it up in the first place unless they thought it proves something about the Catholic Church. And what is that something? That Catholics are sinners? Guilty as charged. That at times people in positions of authority have used poor judgment? Ditto. That otherwise good Catholics, afire with zeal, sometimes lose their balance? All true, but such charges could be made even if the Inquisition had never existed and perhaps could be made of some Fundamentalists.

Fundamentalist writers claim the existence of the Inquisition proves the Catholic Church could not be the Church founded by our Lord. They use the Inquisition as a good—perhaps their best—bad example. They think this shows that the Catholic Church is illegitimate. At first blush it might seem so, but there is only so much mileage in a ploy like that; most people see at once that the argument is weak. One reason Fundamentalists talk about the Inquisition is that they take it as a personal attack, imagining it was established to eliminate (yes, you guessed it) the Fundamentalists themselves.


Not "Bible Christians"


They identify themselves with the Catharists (also known as the Albigensians), or perhaps it is better to say they identify the Catharists with themselves. They think the Catharists were twelfth-century Fundamentalists and that Catholics did to them what they would do to Fundamentalists today if they had the political strength they once had.

This is a fantasy. Fundamentalist writers take one point—that Catharists used a vernacular version of the Bible—and conclude from it that these people were "Bible Christians." In fact, theirs was a curious religion that apparently (no one knows for certain) came to France from what is now Bulgaria. Catharism was a blend of Gnosticism, which claimed to have access to a secret source of religious knowledge, and of Manichaeism, which said matter is evil. The Catharists believed in two gods: the "good" God of the New Testament, who sent Jesus to save our souls from being trapped in matter; and the "evil" God of the Old Testament, who created the material world in the first place. The Catharists’ beliefs entailed serious—truly civilization-destroying—social consequences.

Marriage was scorned because it legitimized sexual relations, which Catharists identified as the Original Sin. But fornication was permitted because it was temporary, secret, and was not generally approved of; while marriage was permanent, open, and publicly sanctioned.

The ramifications of such theories are not hard to imagine. In addition, ritualistic suicide was encouraged (those who would not take their own lives were frequently "helped" along), and Catharists refused to take oaths, which, in a feudal society, meant they opposed all governmental authority. Thus, Catharism was both a moral and a political danger.

Even Lea, so strongly opposed to the Catholic Church, admitted: "The cause of orthodoxy was the cause of progress and civilization. Had Catharism become dominant, or even had it been allowed to exist on equal terms, its influence could not have failed to become disastrous." Whatever else might be said about Catharism, it was certainly not the same as modern Fundamentalism, and Fundamentalist sympathy for this destructive belief system is sadly misplaced.


The Real Point


Many discussions about the Inquisition get bogged down in numbers and many Catholics fail to understand what Fundamentalists are really driving at. As a result, Catholics restrict themselves to secondary matters. Instead, they should force the Fundamentalists to say explicitly what they are trying to prove.

However, there is a certain utility—though a decidedly limited one—in demonstrating that the kinds and degrees of punishments inflicted by the Spanish Inquisition were similar to (actually, even lighter than) those meted out by secular courts. It is equally true that, despite what we consider the Spanish Inquisition’s lamentable procedures, many people preferred to have their cases tried by ecclesiastical courts because the secular courts had even fewer safeguards. In fact, historians have found records of people b.aspheming in secular courts of the period so they could have their case transferred to an ecclesiastical court, where they would get a better hearing.

The crucial thing for Catholics, once they have obtained some appreciation of the history of the Inquisition, is to explain how such an institution could have been associated with a divinely established Church and why it is not proper to conclude, from the existence of the Inquisition, that the Catholic Church is not the Church of Christ. This is the real point at issue, and this is where any discussion should focus.

To that end, it is helpful to point out that it is easy to see how those who led the Inquisitions could think their actions were justified. The Bible itself records instances where God commanded that formal, legal inquiries—that is, inquisitions—be carried out to expose secret believers in false religions. In Deuteronomy 17:2–5 God said: "If there is found among you, within any of your towns which the Lord your God gives you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it; then you shall inquire diligently [note that phrase: "inquire diligently"], and if it is true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done in Israel, then you shall bring forth to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones."

It is clear that there were some Israelites who posed as believers in and keepers of the covenant with Yahweh, while inwardly they did not believe and secretly practiced false religions, and even tried to spread them (cf. Deut. 13:6–11). To protect the kingdom from such hidden heresy, these secret practitioners of false religions had to be rooted out and expelled from the community. This directive from the Lord applied even to whole cities that turned away from the true religion (Deut. 13:12–18). Like Israel, medieval Europe was a society of Christian kingdoms that were formally consecrated to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is therefore quite understandable that these Catholics would read their Bibles and conclude that for the good of their Christian society they, like the Israelites before them, "must purge the evil from the midst of you" (Deut. 13:5, 17:7, 12). Paul repeats this principle in 1 Corinthians 5:13.

These same texts were interpreted similarly by the first Protestants, who also tried to root out and punish those they regarded as heretics. Luther and Calvin both endorsed the right of the state to protect society by purging false religion. In fact, Calvin not only banished from Geneva those who did not share his views, he permitted and in some cases ordered others to be executed for "heresy" (e.g. Jacques Gouet, tortured and beheaded in 1547; and Michael Servetus, burned at the stake in 1553). In England and Ireland, Reformers engaged in their own ruthless inquisitions and executions. Conservative estimates indicate that thousands of English and Irish Catholics were put to death—many by being hanged, drawn, and quartered—for practicing the Catholic faith and refusing to become Protestant. An even greater number were forced to flee to the Continent for their safety. We point this out to show that the situation was a two-way street; and both sides easily understood the Bible to require the use of penal sanctions to root out false religion from Christian society.

The fact that the Protestant Reformers also created inquisitions to root out Catholics and others who did not fall into line with the doctrines of the local Protestant sect shows that the existence of an inquisition does not prove that a movement is not of God. Protestants cannot make this claim against Catholics without having it backfire on themselves. Neither can Catholics make such a charge against Protestants. The truth of a particular system of belief must be decided on other grounds.
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2010, 06:56 AM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: Copernicus Reburied

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Originally Posted by CatholicCrusader View Post

Separate again was the infamous Spanish Inquisition, started in 1478, a state institution used to identify conversos—Jews and Moors (Muslims) who pretended to convert to Christianity for purposes of political or social advantage and secretly practiced their former religion. More importantly, its job was also to clear the good names of many people who were falsely accused of being heretics. It was the Spanish Inquisition that, at least in the popular imagination, had the worst record of fulfilling these duties.
It may be worth noting that the problem began more serious when Ferdinand and Isabella passed a law requiring Jews to convert to Christianity. This was not Church policy. It was thought that Muslims and Jews might want to rebel and to overthrow the government. Many Jews fled to Turkey at the time where the Muslims gave them sanctuary, and some even fled to Rome in 1492. So the state required these conversions; and we should remember that many of the aristocratic families of Spain had intermarried with Jews. If they wanted to remain Jewish, they would have to abandon their property; and some did flee. Others, motivated by the desire to keep their property converted and some pretended to convert.

Earlier, Pope Sixtus IV was not impressed with how the king and queen of Spain were handling things and appointed a converso to be Grand Inquisitor probably in the hope that someone with a Jewish background himself would be more moderate; but Torquemada seemed bent on proving how Christian he was by pursuing his fellow conversos with a passion it is unlikely that someone from a Christian family would have.

There seems little doubt, when the records are studied, that greed motivated many of the trials since the crown confiscated the property of those convicted. The Church never executed anyone. No, the state did that since it was also the secular law to pretend to be a Christian since the king feared rebellions in theory; and the Inquisition turned people over to the state only after a second offense. On first offense, merely stating one was renouncing his heresy was enough to be set free; and the Church refused to turn anyone over for first time heresy if the individual recanted. If the individual relapsed into heresy again and was convicted again, he was then turned over to the state for execution.

A study of the records show that poor people were not the main targets. Money and property mattered.

Pope Innocent III tried to clamp down:

In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII attempted to allow appeals to Rome against the Inquisition, but Ferdinand in December 1484 and again in 1509 decreed death and confiscation for anyone trying to make use of such procedures without royal permission.

Thus, we see King Ferdinand did not allow religious freedom for either Jews or Muslims, and he did not even honor his own religion. He was content to use religion as a tool of his government. We see a later King of Spain, the Emperor Charles V sending in his forces to invade Italy, taking a Pope prisoner.

Quote:
To that end, it is helpful to point out that it is easy to see how those who led the Inquisitions could think their actions were justified. The Bible itself records instances where God commanded that formal, legal inquiries—that is, inquisitions—be carried out to expose secret believers in false religions. In Deuteronomy 17:2–5 God said: "If there is found among you, within any of your towns which the Lord your God gives you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it; then you shall inquire diligently [note that phrase: "inquire diligently"], and if it is true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done in Israel, then you shall bring forth to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones."

It is clear that there were some Israelites who posed as believers in and keepers of the covenant with Yahweh, while inwardly they did not believe and secretly practiced false religions, and even tried to spread them (cf. Deut. 13:6–11). To protect the kingdom from such hidden heresy, these secret practitioners of false religions had to be rooted out and expelled from the community. This directive from the Lord applied even to whole cities that turned away from the true religion (Deut. 13:12–18). Like Israel, medieval Europe was a society of Christian kingdoms that were formally consecrated to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is therefore quite understandable that these Catholics would read their Bibles and conclude that for the good of their Christian society they, like the Israelites before them, "must purge the evil from the midst of you" (Deut. 13:5, 17:7, 12). Paul repeats this principle in 1 Corinthians 5:13.
The situation in Spain would never have arisen if Ferdinand had tolerated Judiasm and Islam. When you threaten someone with the loss of his property if he chooses to remain either Jewish or a Muslim and force him to leave, you're asking for trouble on both secular and religious fronts. While there anti-semitic Popes at times, we need to remember too that many were not bigots. Some even tried to rein in the government of Spain's influence over the Inquisition. Even Alexander VI, one of the most infamous of Popes, was no bigot -- he welcomed with open arms the Jews who fled to Rome in 1492. How could it have been official Church policy then to force Jews to convert to Christianity when Alexander did not?
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  #10  
Old 06-19-2010, 08:19 AM
CatholicCrusader
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Copernicus Reburied

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Originally Posted by Giuliano View Post
......The situation in Spain would never have arisen if Ferdinand had tolerated Judiasm and Islam......
You think that tolerating Islam is a good idea? Ever heard of 9/11 ?

The English have tolerated them, and now they have pockets of London where Sharia law is practised out of control. Islam is a cancer in any civilized society.
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