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WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE INQUISITION

WHAT IS THE INQUISITION?

SHADOW OF THE INQUISITION

The Spanish and Portuguese Empires on the American Continent

Spanish and Portuguese Immigration Policy - New Christians

Clandestine Jewish Communal Life
Marrano Camouflage Methods

Where the Term ‘Sephardim’
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Festivals and Customs in the Shadow of the Inquisition

Disintegration of Jewish Communities

 THE MEDIEVAL, SPANISH, PORTUGUESE AND ROMAN INQUISITIONS

The Inquisitions Lasted for Almpst 600 Years

The Medieval, Spanish, Portuguese, Goa
 and Roman  Inquisition’s

An Economic Analysis of the Spanish Inquisition’s Motivations and Consequences

 inquisitions
in the Americas

CHARGES
  BROUGHT BY THE
 INQUISITION

 

HOW  WAS THE INQUISITION   ORGANISED?

Going to a New Community

Accusation

Detention

The Trial

ENFORCOMG A SENTENCE

Proclamations

Procession and Ceremony

Punishments

Executuion of Sentence

Where Held

INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE AND PROCEDURE

AUTOS DE LA FE (Spanish),
AUTO DA FE (Portuguese)


FINANCING THE INQUISITION

EDGARDO MORTARO,
THE LAST ARREST
 OF THE
 INQUISITION


THE INQUISITION AND THE
ECONOMIC LIFE
OF EUROPE


 WHY  DID  THE

INQUISITION
DECLINE?


JUSTIFICATION OF THE INQUISITION BY THE
CATHOLIC CHURCH


THE INQUISITION ARCHIVES

JEWISH FAITH AND TRADITION AFTER THE INQUISITION

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HOW DID THE INQUISITION ENFORCE A SENTENCE?  

_______________________________________

PROCLAMATIONS             
(from JewishEncyclopedia)                                                           
     

Portuguese form of the Spanish ‘auto de fé’ (in French, ‘acte de foi’, from the Latin "actus fidei"), the solemn proclamation and subsequent execution of a judgment rendered by the Court of the Inquisition on "reos," or persons condemned by it; though in the ordinary acceptance of the term it is applied to the carrying out of the sentence only. The expression is also erroneously, or perhaps metaphorically, applied to the burning of books (the Talmud, etc.) in the early Middle Ages.

The solemn proclamation was ordinarily made in a church and on the first Sunday in Advent; because on that day the Section from the Gospel (Luke xxi.) deals with the last judgment. Some authorities held that such sentences should not be publicly read in a church because of the death-penalty connected with many of them. Where this view was held, as in Spain, some public place in the city was chosen where a large estrade was erected so that a great concourse of people could gather and witness the ceremony; "for," says Nicolas Eymeric ("Manuel des Inquisiteurs," p. 143), "it is a sight which fills the spectators with terror and is an awful picture of the last judgment. Such fear and such sentiments ought to be inspired, and are fraught with the greatest advantages."

Some time previous to the auto a formal proclamation was made before the public buildings and in the public squares of the city, which proclamation, in the case of the auto held at Madrid in 1680, was worded as follows:

"The inhabitants of the town of Madrid are hereby informed that the Holy Office of the Inquisition of the city and kingdom of Toledo will celebrate a general Auto da Fé on Sunday, the 30th of June of the present year, and that all those who shall in any way contribute to the promotion of or be present at the said auto will be made partakers of all the spiritual graces granted by the Roman Pontiff."                                                 

There were various kinds of autos:

the "Auto Publico General,"

which was surrounded with much pomp and was held in the presence of all the magistrates of the city, often in celebration of the birth or marriage of a prince;

the "Auto Particular,"

at which the inquisitors and the criminal judges alone were present;

the "Autillo" (little auto),

which was held in the precincts of the palace of the Inquisition in the presence of the ministers of the tribunal and some invited guests; and lastly

the "Auto Singular,"

held in the case of a single individual.

PROCESSION AND CEREMONY.   

In the church elaborate preparations had been made for the ceremony. The great altar was draped with black cloth, and upon it were placed two thrones, one for the Inquisitor-General, the other for the king or for some high dignitary. A large crucifix was also erected: those to whom its face was turned were to be spared; while those to whom its back was shown were to die. Before the actual ceremony took place the secular authorities had solemnly to swear to lend all their aid to the Inquisition and to carry out its behests. A long sermon was then preached for the purpose of exhorting those who still remained obdurate to confess, and of inciting the onlookers to the profession of faith which was made at various intervals. On this account the auto was sometimes called "sermo publicus," or "sermo general de fide "(Molinier, ib. p. 8). A good example of this preaching may be seen in the sermon of Don Diego Annunciazaro Justinianus, at one time archbishop of Craganor (translated by Moses Mocatta, and published in Philadelphia, 1860). A bibliography of such sermons preached at the autos in Portugal is given by I. F. da Silva ("Diccionario Bibliographico Portuguez," Lisbon, 1858 et seq., s.v. "Autos da fé").

A chance was also given to those so inclined to make abjuration of their heresies, this being done at a table on which lay several open missals. Two clerks then read the report of the trial and the punishment meted out, the reading of which often occupied a whole day. As each report was read, the culprit was led out by one of the familiars of the Inquisition into the middle of the gallery, where he remained until the sentence had been pronounced.

The same ceremony was gone through when the service was held in a public square. Here a large ampitheatre was erected with all the necessary appurtenances for the service, and with temporary dungeons beneath the platforms for the condemned.

PUNISHMENTS.  

The punishments meted out by the Inquisition were of four kinds according to the official enumeration:  

  1. Citation before the Inquisition;  
  2. The performance of pious deeds;  
  3. Public pilgrimages, flagellations, and the wearing of large crosses; and  
  4. Confiscation of goods, perpetual imprisonment, and death.

All those found guilty at the trial were led back again in the same solemn procession; the heretic penitent and relapsed, the heretic impenitent and not relapsed, the heretic "impenitent and relapsed," the heretic negative (who denied his crime), and the heretic contumacious, were all delivered over to the secular arm, as the Inquisition itself technically refused to carry out the death-sentence on the principle "ecclesia non sitit sanguinem" (the Church thirsts not for blood). The various sentences of death always ended with some such formula as

"For these reasons we declare you relapsed, we cast you out of the forum of the church, we deliver you over to the secular justices; praying them, however, energetically, to moderate the sentence in such wise that there be in your case no shedding of blood nor danger of death."

The doctors of the Church were merely divided on the question whether those convicted should be put to death by the sword or by fire (compare Julien Havet, "L'Heresie et le Bras Séculier au Moyen Age," Paris, 1881). Death by fire was preferred as more in keeping with John xv. 6,

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

Simanoas and Roias were even of opinion that the culprits ought to be burned alive; the only precaution necessary being that their tongues be bound, or their mouths stuffed, in order that they do not scandalize the audience. The custom seems to have been that the penitent were first strangled and then burned, while the impenitent were cast into the flames alive. It was also held that the secular arm should not delay too long in carrying out sentences of the Inquisition. Innocent IV., in his bull ’ad extirpanda’, fixes five days as the longest period of delay. In Spain it was customary to carry out the sentence immediately after its proclamation, which was so timed as to occur upon some feast-day, when the populace would be at liberty to witness the burning.

EXECUTION OF SENTENCE.  

The same pomp which marked the public reading of the sentence was observed at its execution; the imposing procession wending its way from the Inquisition dungeons to the "quemadero" the place where the scaffolds were erected. The dignitaries of both Church and state were present; and at the auto of June 30, 1680, in Madrid, which Charles II. held in honor of his newly married bride, the King himself lighted the first brand which set fire to the piles.

During the night preceding the carrying out of the sentence a commission sat continuously to hear the recantations of the prisoners, whenever they were minded to make them. The victims were carried on asses with escorts of soldiers, and accompanied by priests who exhorted them to take the last chance of becoming reconciled to the Church.

A full report—called in Spain ‘Relacion’, in Portugal ‘Relaçao’—of the auto was drawn up and often printed for the double purpose of inciting the faithful to greater zeal and of bringing order into the process of the ecclesiastical court (E. N. Adler, in ‘Jewish Quarterly Review’, xiii. 395). These reports were sent not only to the central organization of the Inquisition, but to other tribunals as well.

WHERE HELD    

The earliest record of the execution of Jews at an Auto da fé relates to that held in Troyes (L'Aube) on Saturday, April 24, 1288. Jewish accounts of this event are given in the Hebrew seliḥot (penitential poems) of Jacob ben Judah, Meier ben Eliab, and Solomon Simḥa, as well as in an old Provençal account in verse by the aforementioned Jacob. This execution called forth strenuous protests from Philip le Bel (May 17, 1288), who saw in the actions of the Holy Office an infringement of his own rights (compare A. Darmesteter, in "Romania," iii. 443 et seq.; idem, in "Revue Etudes Juives," ii. 199; Salfeld, "Martyrologium des Nürnberger Memorbuches," p. 162). We have, however, little documentary evidence about the Jews of the Inquisition in countries outside of the Spanish Peninsula. Most of the information relating to the Inquisition in its relation to the Jews refers to Spain and Portugal and their colonies (see below). That Jews suffered, however, from the tribunal in Italy may be seen from the fact that in Venice during the sixteenth century there were 43 persons before the Holy Office for the crime of "Judaismo" and in the seventeenth, 34. Many Jews may even be comprised under those who were charged with "Maomedanismo" The Inquisition worked its greatest havoc in Spain and Portugal, in the Balearic Islands, in Spanish America (Mexico, Brazil, Peru), in Guadelupe, and in Goa (India). In Spain autos were held from the time that Sixtus IV. (1480) issued a bull empowering Catholic kings to appoint inquisitors over all heretics, and in Portugal since 1531, when Clement VII. issued the bull "cum ad nihil magis" which formally established the Inquisition in Portugal (Herculano, "Estab. da Inquisiçao" i. 255). The Holy Office was established in America by letters patent of Philip II. on Feb. 7, 1569. The Inquisition in Venice was abolished in 1794; at Goa, in 1812. The last auto held in Portugal was at Lisbon, Oct. 19, 1739; but as late as Aug. 1, 1826, in a short period of reaction, an auto was celebrated at Valencia, in which one Jew was burned alive ("Revue Etudes Juives," v. 155). The Inquisition was finally abolished in Spain July 15, 1834. In Peru the Holy Office had already been abolished on March 9, 1820, at the earliest moment after the cessation of the connection with Spain.

It is impossible to tell the exact number of Jews who met their death at the many autos da fé in Spain and Portugal. They were usually charged with Judaizing—a charge which might have been made against Moriscos, or even against Christians who were suspected of heresy. This was especially the case with the marranos or Neo-Christians; and yet, from the documents already published, and from the lists which are now accessible (see below), it is known that many thousands must have met their death in this way. Albert Cansino, ambassador of Ferrara, writes on July 19, 1501: "I passed several days at Seville, and I saw fifty-four persons burned" ("Revue Etudes Juives," xxxvii. 269). According to Llorente, the Inquisition in Spain dealt with 341,021 cases and over 30,000 people were burned (see also Kohut, in "Proceedings Am. Jew. Hist. Soc." iv. 109). According to another authority, during the two hundred and fifty years that the Inquisition existed in America, 129 autos da fé were held.

From the details given by Adler the following numbers can be given of the Jews condemned, not always to death, so far as known. But in many instances, especially during the sixteenth century, no details are given:

Fifteenth century, 1481-1500            3,881

Sixteenth century  (number of "reos")  868

Seventeenth century                          821

Eighteenth century                            878


Or in all 6,448 of whom the names and fates can be ascertained from the "relaciones" of 115 out of 464 autos da fé which are known to have taken place from 1481 to 1826.

The  list from 1288 to 1826 of autos da fé in which it is positively known that Jews were concerned has been selected from those held by the Inquisition; the thousands of volumes of Inquisition reports in the archives at Madrid, Seville, Simancas, Lisbon, etc.,when published, will doubtless add largely to the number. As a basis the list drawn up by E.N. Adler ("Jewish Quarterly Review" xiii. 392), with the additions made by the writer of this article (ib. xiv. 80) and S. N. Kayserling (ib. 136), has been made use of wherever definite details are given, showing that Jews or Judaism were concerned in the Auto da fé. The authorities are given in the articles mentioned.

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