Catholic church opposed death penalty for heresy

OlympiaMarch 27, 2013 

It’s frustrating that the writer of a recent guest column in this newspaper found it necessary to repeat the old canard about the Catholic inquisition (trial for heresy); that it was “responsible for the death of the innocent.”

A study of history, however, will show that the ancient Jewish penalty for heresy was death, as was the case in classical Greece, and in pagan Rome. In fact, the Catholic Church did not apply the death penalty to crimes of heresy, the opposite is true, it opposed the death penalty for heresy.

It was only when the pagan Roman Empire became one with the Catholic Church that the imperial remedy for heresy superseded the Catholic practice (as also became the case in the Spanish Empire).

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