The Medieval Inquisition

Inquisitions were instituted by the popes. Pope Gregory IX (1227-41) established the Medieval Inquisition in 1229 to try

A portion of a painting of the siege and capture of Antioch by the Crusaders from the Muslim Seljuks who had been in control of the city for two years. The Siege of Antioch took place during the First Crusade with the capture of the city by the Crusaders after a campaign that lasted from October 21, 1097 until June 2, 1098. A second siege then followed that same June as the Crusaders defended Antioch.

Medieval Painting Crusaders

to destroy those people they believed to be heretics. One such group, the Albigensians, admitted two principles as the source of the universe: a good principle that created spiritual reality and a bad principle that created material things. Their way of life and dress was simple, and they attacked the worldliness of the clergy. They also rejected the Old Testament and opposed infant baptism, since it lacked a personal commitment to Christ. Condemned at the Council of Albi in 1176, they continued to survive. Pope Gregory created a powerful body that had almost unlimited powers to persecute those it considered to be heretics. The brutal use of the Inquisition, combined with a war against the Albigensians, led to the mass murder of thousands in the south of France. The Inquisition was also used in the early 14th century to destroy the Knights Templar, who were accused of heresy, and was used against the Waldensians—an early Protestant group who rejected the power of the clergy and who created new communities in the mountains of northern Italy from the 13th century onward.

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