16 January 2011

Let's Ponder the Inquisition


We have all heard the horror stories about the Inquisition, and especially about the Spanish Inquisition. Some stories are true and documented by evidence. Others are highly sensationalized by protestants and other enemies of the Church. Some (and perhaps many these days) use the Inquisition and similar tribunals to claim that the Church is bad indeed and not following Christ. They use it as an excuse for schism, heresy, and apostasy. "Oh look at those Church people and their Inquisition," they might say. "If they were really religious, they wouldn't do that. So, I'm not going to Church because I don't have to."

Let's ponder one point here. Every nation in the world, including the United States, has experienced abuses in the justice system. This continues to this day. To make the argument less complex, focus only on non-oppressive, first world nations. Do we take the abuses of the past, or even the present, and say as a consequence that we no longer have to do what the law of the land tells us? Not too many people would say that they don't have to obey the law. Given that, why do people think that abuses, real or imagined, in the Church somehow mean that they don't have to follow the laws of the Church?