The Inquisition in the DR?

M.A.R.

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Last night I watched a program about the Inquisition, in Spain. I have never really read much about it but what I've studied in High School or what I have seen in some movies. So I was wondering if the Inquisition was at its height in Spain at the end of the 1400's when Columbus set sail to the Americas, did he use these methods widely in the DR? The movies I've seen show that in Mexico it was a widely used method and I'm sure in other American countries.

here is a link with some history on the Inquisition, those people were NUTS!!!!
The Inquisition
 

Mirador

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.... here is a link with some history on the Inquisition, those people were NUTS!!!!

No, they were not "NUTS!!!", they were fanatics, and of the worst kind, religious fanatics, convinced they were actually doing God's work. The Holy Inquisition was the work of a religious order with the pompous name of the Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universial Inquisition", later called the "Congregration for the Doctrine of the Faith", which still exists today, headed until recently by Cardenal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy Inquisition began under Pope Paul III, in the year 1542, and officially ended in 1833...
 

M.A.R.

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No, they were not "NUTS!!!", they were fanatics, and of the worst kind, religious fanatics, convinced they were actually doing God's work. The Holy Inquisition was the work of a religious order with the pompous name of the Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universial Inquisition", later called the "Congregration for the Doctrine of the Faith", which still exists today, headed until recently by Cardenal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy Inquisition began under Pope Paul III, in the year 1542, and officially ended in 1833...


QUOTE from that Article:
"While many people associate the Inquisition with Spain and Portugal, it was actually instituted by Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) in Rome. A later pope, Pope Gregory IX established the Inquisition, in 1233, to combat the heresy of the Abilgenses, a religious sect in France. By 1255, the Inquisition was in full gear throughout Central and Western Europe; although it was never instituted in England or Scandinavia."

Different articles have different years when the Inquisition was instituted, I keep seeing 1400's for Spain.
 
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Mirador

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QUOTE from that Article:
"While many people associate the Inquisition with Spain and Portugal, it was actually instituted by Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) in Rome. A later pope, Pope Gregory IX established the Inquisition, in 1233, to combat the heresy of the Abilgenses, a religious sect in France. By 1255, the Inquisition was in full gear throughout Central and Western Europe; although it was never instituted in England or Scandinavia."

M.A.R., Inquisitions have always existed, wherever a political-religious establishment has imposed their belief system through violence and persecution. Inquisitions have gone by many names since the dawn of times, it is not an exclusive invention of the Catholic Church. The point of my previous post has to do with you calling religious fanatics "NUTS!!!", which is actually the same term a religious fanatic would call you, for not believing in their faith...
 

M.A.R.

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ok Mirador, well what I wanted to know is about the DR, were these tortures and persecutions performed in the DR?
 
C

Chip00

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M.A.R., Inquisitions have always existed, wherever a political-religious establishment has imposed their belief system through violence and persecution. Inquisitions have gone by many names since the dawn of times, it is not an exclusive invention of the Catholic Church. The point of my previous post has to do with you calling religious fanatics "NUTS!!!", which is actually the same term a religious fanatic would call you, for not believing in their faith...

Good point - many indingenous people in the Americas were also guilty of that as well. If anybody thinks that is a thing of the past just look to the middle east where people are still murdered or castigated for changing their beliefs. The fact is people are the same the world over and fanaticism wherever it is found is evil.

As far as the implementation of the Inquisition here in the DR we still don't have an answer do we?
 

qgrande

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Well, the Spanish inquisition was certainly very active well into the 17th century, so after Columbus set sail for Asia. Their main aim were the many different protestant groups braking away from the catholic church at the time. I suppose there weren't many protestants in Hispanional in the early years, but maybe they kept a check on recent converts to catholicism too. Interesting question.
 

Chirimoya

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I know it was active in Peru and Mexico, but what about the DR, which in the early years of Spanish conquest/settlement was an important centre?
 

Mirador

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ok Mirador, well what I wanted to know is about the DR, were these tortures and persecutions performed in the DR?

Maybe we should wait for Mario Vargas Llosa's forthcoming book, titled "La Fiesta del Arzobispo"... ;-)
 

Robert

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I visited the Spanish Inquisition museum in Cartagena (Colombia) a couple of weeks ago. Fascinating place with some really gruesome torture gear.

As others have said, interesting question, did it also happen in the DR?
 

Hillbilly

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As a matter of fact the Inquisition as a process of keeping the Faith pure (and for making people toe the line) was not all that widely used in the Americas. If I remember correctly, there was only one Indian actually put to death under its stipulations--death without blood = at the stake!

If you ever get to watch the movie Name of the Rose with Sean Connery (Book by Humberto Eco), you get a feel for the process. Also the book Montayou (sp?) about the Albigensian Heresy and the Inquisition in late 13th Century France is interesting reading.

Of course, during the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance the "Santo Oficio" was used to coerce, nudge, or outright force obedience to an institution that was more and more interested in temporal matters rather than spiritual matters. If you read Barbara Tuchman's history of the 14th Century you will get a good idea of what went on.

All told, I think you really have to look at the institution, the times and the Church and realize that it was a time of deep superstition, iron-clad tradition and fear of absolutely anything approaching free thinking. No maps, no roads, not much future beyond the very immediate vicinity of where you were born.

In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales he talks of the Wife of Bath that visited the Holy Land a number of times, an incredible feat in the 14th Century...Most people never ventured more than 20 kilometers from their birthplace, and most places had no names...just imagine trying to get back to "that place near the big oak tree that belongs to Sir Gerhart! A truly scary time those Middle Ages..

There can be no doubt that the Inquisition was a terrible institution, used initially to correct errors in doctrine, but also used for more dirty ends.

Always interesting. Here on the island of Hispa?ola, it was practically non-existent. You can consult works by Fernando P?rez Memen on this.
After all, there were so few people here, there was not that much of a Church, either....and so, few possibilities to cross dogmatical swords with a prelate....maybe had something to do with the lifestyle of the times.

HB
 

Squat

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After seeing Apocalypto, I am glad the Catholics came to evangelize the Americas...
 

M.A.R.

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Very very interesting stuff......there's so much to read.

As a matter of fact the Inquisition as a process of keeping the Faith pure (and for making people toe the line) was not all that widely used in the Americas. If I remember correctly, there was only one Indian actually put to death under its stipulations--death without blood = at the stake!

Yes I read that the "Inquisidores" had no jurisdiction over the Indians but that they were evangelizing (sp.) them.

In 1570 A "Tribunal" was established in Lima, Peru that had jurisdiction over Panam?, Quito, el Cuzco, Los Charcas, R?o de la Plata, Tucum?n, Concepci?n, Santiago de Chile and all the provinces of Per?. Their main purpose to erradicate any new christians, jews and protestants.

So it seems that Christopher Columbus might have been a New Christian (converted from another religion) and he wasn't that all interested in establishing the "Inquisition" or using those methods to bring in the Catholic Faith.
 

Chirimoya

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So it seems that Christopher Columbus might have been a New Christian (converted from another religion) and he wasn't that all interested in establishing the "Inquisition" or using those methods to bring in the Catholic Faith.
Haven't you heard of the zeal of the converted?
 

Chirimoya

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In general, the zeal of the converted refers to the fact that people who convert to a different religion (political philosophy, or whatever) end up being more devoted than people who were born into the religion, because they feel they have to prove themselves, or because they converted due to conviction and had therefore thought things out more deeply and passionately than someone who just happened to be born into it.

In the case of the Jews who converted to Catholicism during that historical period (known as "new Christians", "conversos" or "marranos") some converts were definitely more sincere than others, ranging from the ones who had only converted on the outside, keeping on their Jewish traditions behind closed doors, to the "more Catholic than the Pope" variety.

I think Columbus was more likely to have been the latter, if indeed the theories about him being a "new Christian" have any foundation.
 

Tordok

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Like others who already replied, I was aware of the presence of the Inquisition in the much larger viceroyalties of Lima (PERU) and Mexico (NEW SPAIN) and the one from Cartagena de Indias, but logic would dictate that -like almost everything else coming from Spain during the early conquest and colonization - it first must've landed in Hispaniola before maturing as an institution elsewhere in the empire.

I found these two Spanish language sites that are highly suggestive to me that this was indeed the case:

1. on a Mexican site:
En Am?rica, el Tribunal del Santo Oficio se estableci? por primera vez en la isla de Santo Domingo, llamada en ese entonces La Espa?ola, gracias a que el cardenal Adri?n de Utrech, regente del reino e inquisidor general de Espa?a, extendi? el nombramiento de inquisidor de todas las tierras descubiertas y a descubrir a don Pedro de C?rdoba, residente de dominicana.

My amateur translation of the above paragraph for the non-Spanish readers:

In the Americas, the Tribunal of the Holy Office was first established in the island of Santo Domingo, known as La Espa?ola during that time, by the Cardinal Adrian of Utrecht, regent of the kingdom and General Inquisitor of Spain, whom granted to don Pedro de C?rdoba, a resident of the dominican island, as Inquisitor of all the lands discovered and those yet to be discovered.

Source- Mexico Desconocido: siglo xviii La Inquisici?n

This Adrian guy, later on became Pope and in fact was the last of the non-Italians until the very recent John Paul II.

2. This Spanish language Catholic encyclopedia webpage that tells us a bit more about se?or Don Pedro de C?rdoba, 1st Inquistor of the Americas;

Enciclopedia Cat?lica

So from the above we can gather that the first inquisitor came to Hispaniola but that the first organized tribunals came much later to the urban capitals of Nueva Espa?a, Peru and Nueva Granada.

Other sources state that the Inquisition was not as powerful or devious in the American colonies as in its Iberian variant.

To this day, everything we do in Latin America is invariably a tropicalized version of somebody else's rules and doctrines. Even the evil things we do half-heartedly. :paranoid::surprised

- Tordok
 

M.A.R.

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Thanks Tordok very good info.

It reminds me of the stories I hear about the police tactics of confession used in mexico, probably taken from the Inquisition? :ermm:
 

juancarlos

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I know the Inquisition did go to work in Mexico, condemning several persons to death. These were New Christians who were charged with "judeizar" or going back to Jewish practices. Some others were found guilty of witchcraft, according to what I have read. Few other cases took place in the Americas. The Inquisition of Holy Office also operated in Cuba, but I am not aware of anyone having being convicted of anything or sentenced to death. Well, now that I remember, there was a monk surnamed Pimienta who had to leave the island because he went back to Judaism. He then returned to Cuba, where he was apprehended and sent to Spain. Not sure about his fate.
 
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ok Mirador, well what I wanted to know is about the DR, were these tortures and persecutions performed in the DR?

I'm not really sure of how active the inquistion was on the island, but Albert Hicks discusses the torture devices left behind by the Spanish in his anti-Trujillo book, Blood in the Streets. He claims that Trujillo had several of the torture devices reconditioned and used them on his political opponents in the 1930's. So, according to Hicks, it appears the inquistion was actively torturing people on this island.

I read in another book that Trujillo also used a torture chair device left behind by American Marines. It had been used by the Americans to torture Dominican rebels during the occupation. Trujillo would sometimes display it in a museum when one of his anti-American moods struck (that is when he wasn't using it himself).
 
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