Intolerance, animosity and suspicion of other groups have always shown up throughout the history of humankind. This behavior has been founded on reasons such as religious, ethnic, and political differences. The comparison between the Great Terror of Stalin’s regime and the persecutions of the religious Inquisitions bring up key similarities in the two events, which are the interrogations and the applied torture, and in both cases, the severity and trepidation of the applied torture led to many false confessions.
Almost everyone has heard about the inquisition, however a few know about the true history of what had really happened. Many lives were disrupted, silenced and some were even ended all for the name of religion. It is important to know the environment and history that led up to the Inquisitions and during it. Even as the Catholic Church was recovering from the Great Schism that had happened a century earlier, the Church was fighting the heresy that would pop up like a whack-a-mole game. The difference between a schism and a heresy is that a heresy does not recognize a teaching of the Church and schism does not recognize the Pope as a leader of the Church. At one point during the Inquisitions, there were three different popes! This caused great confusion (Weidenkoph, S. & Schreck, A, 2009). Heretics threatened the Church and the Church’s teachings, and some of the heresies infiltrated into the clergies’ teachings, corrupting the church community. There was no separation of church and state so that most countries were governed by the rules of the church. The doctrine of the Church sifted in with secular rulings, providing no boundaries between religion and government (Weidenkoph, S. & Schreck, A, 2009).
In his book, The Inquisition, Edward Peters (1988) states that the Inquisition spanned over 700 years, and is separated into three different phases called the Medieval Inquisition, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Roman Inquisition. Each division produced different reasons what purpose that Inquisition was created for, while developing its existence and implements that have been employed throughout history ever since. In all phases, the Church collaborated with the governments, attempting to remove heresy and protect their ideology.
The Medieval Inquisition started because of the Albigensian Crusade (this was also called the Cathar Crusade). The Crusade was launched to fight the heresy of Catharism, which believed in a dual system where two gods created two values. Material things and a person’s physical body was created by a bad god and a good god created the spirit and soul. Because the good soul was imprisoned in a bad physical body, the Catharists saw the Church as corrupt and formed a counter church. Catharists followed teachings of no sexual activity, becoming vegetarians, and denouncing marriage calling themselves perfecti (Murphy, C. 2012).
The beliefs of the Catharists infiltrated the Church and created chaos...