Chapter Fourteen

^Jlie inhuman ^nc^uióiti on

O OPENLY CORRUPT did the fallen church become I in the Middle Ages, we can readily understand why in many places men rose up in protest. Many were those noble souls who rejected the false claims of the pope, looking instead to the Lord Jesus for salvation and truth. These were called "heretics" and were bitterly persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church.

One of the documents that ordered such persecutions was the inhuman "Ad exstirpanda" issued by Pope Innocent IV in 1252. This document stated that heretics were to be "crushed like venomous snakes." It formally approved the use of torture. Civil authorities were ordered to burn heretics. "The aforesaid Bull 'Ad exstirpanda' remained thenceforth a fundamental document of the Inquisition, renewed or reinforced by several popes, Alexander IV (1254-61), Clement IV (1265-68), Nicholas IV (1288-92), Boniface VIII (1294-1303), and others. The civil authorities, therefore, were enjoined by the popes, under pain of excommunication to execute the legal sentences that condemned impenitent heretics to the stake. It is to be noted that excommunication itself was no trifle, for, if the person excommunicated did not free himself from the excommunication within a year, he was held by the legislation of that period to be a heretic, and incurred all the penalties that affected heresy."1

Men pondered long in those days on how they could devise methods that would produce the most torture and pain. One of the most popular methods was the use of the rack, a long table on which the accused was tied by the hands and feet, back down, and stretched by rope and windlass. This process dislocated joints and caused great pain.

Heavy pincers wore? usee! to applied led hot fo si iim^u-pail« of tin hodv hollci>. with -«harp ton!» blades Mini spikf s wire used, ov< r ninth

• ht, hen lies weir tolled hack and ioith i'liert was dn thumhsriew, an in.shitinem Hindi1 lor disarliiulatnif, ftp gei® iind "Spanish hoots" which were used to crush the legs and feet. The "Iron virgin" was a hollow instrumen t the size and figure of a woman. Knives were arranged in Mich a wa> and nndei such piersuie (hat the act used were !<F*etat«il in it- deadly em brace. Ihis tortun dr vice was spiaved with 4 htih waiet ' and insciibeil with tin* latin munis im ruling "i;ior\ be

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