Friday, August 1, 2008

The Inquisition Unmasked by Antonio Puigblanch

In recent drafts of Red Tape's adaptation of The Dog in the Manger the Countess Diana is persecuted for writing inflammatory pamphlets about the Spanish Inquisition. I've been exploring Historian Henry Kamen's wonderful books on the Inquisition and thought I'd share his citation from the pamphlets of Antonio Puigblanch, published in 1811.

  1. The Inquisition being an ecclesiastical tribunal, its rigour is incompatible with the spirit of meekness which ought to distinguish the ministers of the Gospel.
  2. The system of rigour adopted by this tribunal is opposed to the doctrine of the Holy Fathers and the discipline of the Church in its most happy times.
  3. The Inquisition, far from contributing to the preservation of the true belief, is only suited to encourage hypocrisy and excite the people to rebellion.
  4. The form of trial used in this tribunal tramples on all the rights of the citizen.
  5. The Inquisition has not only obstructed the progress of science in the countries wherein it has been established, but has also propagated pernicious errors.
  6. The tribunal has supported the despotism of kings, and has itself exercised it.
  7. As the Inquisition owes its origin to the decline of the discipline and remissness of the clergy, it opposes obstacles to their reform, which is indispensably necessary if the nation is to prosper.

(Kamen, Henry, The Spanish Inquisition, New American Library, 1965).

Paul G. Miller
Season Dramaturge
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