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Spanish Inquisition
Good afternoon. Welcome to your local news program on station WBLUM. This Is Jane reporting live with help from our at-the-scene correspondant, Shari. Today we will be discussing the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain as well as the Spanish Inquisition. Now we will go to our correspondant in Spain who is ready to interview the King and Queen. Are you there Shari? ( move to change places. Get microphone.) Yes I am. Thank you Jane. For those of you just tuning in, I'm here live in Spain with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella for their first interview ever! Shari: Can we start this off with a formal introduction? Isabella: I'm Queen Isabella I and this is my husband and co-monarch, Ferdinand II. Shari: Okay. How about your birthdays and when you will die. Isabella: I was born on April 22, 1451, the daughter of King John II of Castile. I'm going to die November 24, 1504. Ferdinand: I was born on March 10, 1452. I am the second son of King John II of Aragon. I'm going to die on February 23, 1516. S: Okay. So when did you guys get married? F: I remember it was in the fall...(look perplexed like you're trying to remember) I: I can't believe you don' t remember our wedding day! It was October 19, 1469!! (cross your arms and turn your back to him) S: Oops! I didn't mean to get you into trouble, Ferdinand! I'll change the subject. I understand that this marriage was pretty important for the unification of Spain. Weren't you two from different kingdoms of Spain? [Time out. You guys might want to follow this on page 5 of your booklets.] Back to the question. F: I was from Aragon. After my older brother died, I was named heir to the throne. In 1479 I took over. I: I was from Castile. After the unsuccessful rule of my brother Henry, I became queen of Castile and Leon on December 13, 1474. S: I see. So you guys brought almost all of Spain under one rule. F&I: Yeah. S: This must have done a lot for Spain. Now your country was more powerful since it was united and not split up into many tiny kingdoms. After your marriage, Spain became a definite military presence. Good job! Ferdinand, you were really involved in the foreign affairs of the country. Didn't you really establish the final phase of the Reconquista? F: Yes. I tried to bring Portugal into our kingdom but failed, so then, the only area left that wasn't under our rule was Granada. S: Okay. Don't give away too much. We'll get to the Reconquista later on in our program. I understand that you weren't as much of a religious nut as your wife. F: I was a good Christian, but I just couldn't totally make the church my life. But of course I supported Isabella with whatever she believed in for the religious well being of our country. S: Isabella, you were in charge of the internal affairs of your country. I: Yes. I had many plans to improve Spain. In fact, I made many military and religious improvements. S: I understand that you were very involved in the Reconquista. You came up with an improvement in the military hospitals and the tranportation of supplies. You also came up with the idea to send bells to the front lines for psychological warfare against the Moors since, according to the Koran, they were forbidden to hear the ringing of bells. You also helped encourage the troops by giving out awards of valor to exceptional soldiers and you also sent personal letters of encouragement to the troops. I: What can I say. S: You also helped put Spain back together religiously. You got rid of gambling and prostitution in the army camps and sent more priests and monks instead. You also came up with something called an Inquisition. I: Spain's religious status was terrible. Practically everyone had forgotten the ways of the Catholic Church! I did everything in my power to fix that. S: Ferdinand and Isabella, you're called the "Catholic Kings". I didn't have to give much thought to the reason why you were given this title. (talk to the class) If Isabella's religious improvements and Ferdinand's complete support weren't enough to earn them this title, they were very powerful in the church. They had a close relationship with and influence over the papacy. Isabella was able to control who was put in clerical positions and she frequently opposed the Pope. With the Concordat of 1482, Ferdinand and Isabella restricted the power of the Pope in Rome over the Spanish Church. Ferdinand also became leader of the powrful knights that belonged to the church. Isabella, I understand that you were also very interested in Spanish exploration. I: Yes. In fact, it was I who really gave consent to Christopher Columbus to begin his voyage.[see page 6 in the booklet] S: You were in Granada when he came to you. At first you refused him. Why? I: Well, it was very unlikely that he'd find a path to the Indies especially since his earlier voyages had been unsuccessful. Also, the King of Portugal had refused him before he came to me. S: There have been many people who have said that you financed Columbus's voyage with the jewels off your neck. However, I believe it is more practical to replace jewels with Jews. Many believe that you payed for his expedition with the confiscated property of Jews who were subject to the Inquisition. Do you have anything to say about this? I: No. S: Some people believe that Columbus was a Marrano and that the majority of his crew were other Marranos, Conversos and Jews. Did you know about this? I: I have no comment on that matter. S: Ferdinand and Isabella, thank you so much for your time. This has been Shari reporting live from Spain. Back to Jane in the studio. Thank you, Shari! Now we will further discuss the subject of the Reconquista. The Moors had taken over Spain from the Visigoths as we learned earlier. Later, several Christian states began to appear in the north. These Christian states started to reconquer Spain. The Reconquista officially began in 722 with the first battle between the Muslims and a Christian monarch. The Reconquista, or Reconqeust, was not a continuous war; rather, it was battles of Muslim rulers vs. Christian monarchs spread out over seven centuries. Most of the Reconquista was completed by the 13th century. Only the southern Kingdom of Granada remained in Moorish hands. Ferdinand and Isabella wanted to totally control the Iberian penisula. Therefore, in1482, when they were comfortable with their new country, they began the reconquest of Granada. Granada finally surrendered on January 2, 1492. All of the Iberian peninsula was under the control of Ferdinand and Isabella except for Portugal which remained a separate kingdom. When Granada came under the rule of Ferdinand and Isabella, all Jews and Moors were expelled. Even Jews who had accepted Christianity were given only a month to leave. Now we come to the second segment of our program - The Inquisition. The Inquisition was a church court instituted to seek out and persecute heretics. The institution of the Inquisition is defended by Saint Augustine who uses Luke 14:23 to allow the use of force against these heretics.[see page 7 of your booklets. Would someone read?] The verb 'compel' implies force. At first, the Inquisition was used by secular rulers in their lands because heretics were seen as a threat to the social and religious order. Later, in the Second, Third and Fourth Lateran Councils, the papacy established imprisonment and confiscation of property as a punishment for heresy. The Councils threatened to excommunicate any secular rulers who failed to punish heretics in their lands. In 1231, Pope Gregory IX instituted the Papal Inquisition. He ordered convicted heretics to be arrested by the secular authorities and then burned. He also established that heretics should be searched out and tried in the church court. For this purpose, he appointed inquisitors and then later gave this job to the Dominican and Fraciscan friars. We learned earlier that the Dominicans' main job was to preach against heresy. The first Inquisitions were in central Europe. Later, it spread to France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The tribunal was also used in England. In 1588, the Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition was established. The Roman Inquisition was not as severe as the Spanish Inquisition. Under Pope Paul IV, the Inquisition was used to get rid of Protestantism. In 1908, the Roman Inquisition was renamed the Holy Office by Pope Pius X and it's purpose was to watch over the faith and morals of the entire Roman Catholic Church. In 1965, Pope Paul VI again reorganized it as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith whose purpose was to promote keeping the faith rather than fighting those who do not keep it. The Spanish Inquisition is by far the most infamous of the Inquisitions throughout history. It was most successful because of it's strong ties with the crown. Queen Isabella, in her attempts to improve the religious position of Spain, requested a special method to persecute heretics such as the newly converted Jews and Muslims, the marranos and moriscos [see page in your booklets]. In 1478, the Queen convinced Pope Sixtus IV to authorize an Inquisition in Spain. Pope Sixtus authorized Ferdinand and Isabella to choose, bishops and other clerics to conduct investigations on these "new Christians" who were suspected of secretly practicing their original religion. On September 27, 1480, two dominican friars, Juan de San Martin and Miguel de Morillo, were appointed by Ferdinand and Isabella to be the first inquisitors. At first, when the marranos heard about the Inquisition, they tried to move but were stopped by the lords of their lands. These lords were threatened with excommunication if they did not search for the marranos. This was when the Inquisition finally got into full swing. The lords confiscated the discovered marranos' property and land which were put in the royal treasury. This first wave of the Inquisition was so severe but so effective, that Ferdinand and Isabella wouldn't relax it even though Pope Sixtus thought that it was too powerful and that San Martin and Morillo were too cruel. Pope Sixtus pleaded with the king and queen to remove the cruel men. To get rid of any opposition from the Pope, in 1483, Isabella made Pope Sixtus appoint the first grand inquisitor, or inquisitor-general. This was a compromise; San Martin and Morillo were removed, but the appointment created church ties to the Inquisition. The first grand inquisitor was Tomas de Torquemada [go to page ]. Shari, our at-the-scene correspondant is waiting live with Senor de Torquemada. Shari? (change places and get microphone) Thanks, Jane. Senor de Torquemada has graciously agreed to give station WBLUM this exclusive interview! Shari: Senor de Torquemada...may I call you Tomas? T de T: Si. S: Thank you. Tomas, born in 1420 and you're going to die on September 16, 1498. Correct? T: Si. S: Even though you were very well known for your hatred of the Jews, some say that you come from a Jewish background. Is this true? T: I've heard these rumors also. S: I heard that your grandfather married a Jewish girl who had just converted. That would make your paternal grandmother a "new Christian". This caused a hatred of the Jews in you. Why? T: I haven't got a clue. S: Why don't you tell our viewers a little bit about your early life as a Dominican friar? T: I spent the early years of my life studying in Valadolid as a Dominican friar. In my later years, I became the head of a monestary in Segovia [see the map on page of your booklets]. In 1474, I became the confessor and advisor to Ferdinand and Isabella. S: Yes. Didn't you develop a close relationship with Isabella at that time? T: Si. I was able to influence Isabella and convince her to create an Inquisition. I helped her convince Ferdinand as well. I also convinced them to expel all of the Jews who hadn't converted from Spain in 1492. S: On October 17, 1483, at the age of 63, you were appointed grand inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition. T: My main goal was to make the Inquisition more successful. S: You certainly did that! You are infamous for your cruelty as an inquisitor and persecutor. How does that make you feel? T: (forcifully) It means I did my job right!!! (bang your fist on the table) S: During your 15 year term as grand inquisitor, more than 14 thousand Jews and marranos were burned at the stake. You accused noblemen, government officials, even bishops, that were of Jewish descent of being marranos! T: Si. Perhaps you will remember the archbishop, Hernando de Talavera? He used to be a confessor of Queen Isabella. I accused him of Judaizing [see your booklets, page ] because he had Jewish blood in him. I made him walk the walk of the converts barefoot and bareheaded through the city. He caught fever from it and died in prison five days later. Served him right. S: It's come to my knowledge that you built many more tribunals throughout Spain. T: Si. The tribunal was the court used by the Inquisition to put the accused on trial. The members of my supreme council ran these tribunals. S: Yes. There were a total of 15 tribunals in Spain alone! If you look on your maps on page of your booklets, you'll see that you couldn't go very far without hitting a tribunal. They were in almost all of the major cities. T: I also wanted to give more stability and uniformity to the tribunals so I created an inquisition constitution called the "Complacion de las Instrucciones". S: Please look at page of your booklets for an exerpt discussing the sentences of an inquisition trial. S: Didn't you set a trap for the marranos? T: I wouldn't call it a trap. All I did was announce that any marranos who came forward and confessed voluntarily would be granted absolution, or forgiveness, and could continue to live in peace after paying a small fine. S: You forgot to mention that these people weren't released until they told you the names of other marranos who hadn't come forward and that shortly after they were released, they were rearrested and brought to trial. T: (shrug your shoulders) Hey. All in the name of the Inquisition! S: Didn't you also write the 37 Articles by which marranos could be recognized? Would someone please read page in the booklet? (Reading) T: This helped discover many marranos. Now, if anyone saw a neighbor do one of these actions, they'd run straight to the tribunal to tell us and we'd arrest the marrano and put him or her on trial. S: You were a very powerful man. You were second to only King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. T: This is true. S: Tomas, I want to thank you for your time. This has been a most interesting interview! Back to you, Jane! Thank you, Shari! This just in - a trial of the Inquisition is about to take place. We have live coverage right now. I'll be back later to explain what we've seen. Shari, are you there? Yes, Jane. The tension in the air here is so thick, you could cut it with a knife. There's Tomas de Torquemada himself! It looks like he's going to be conducting this trial(sitting at teacher's desk.) Oh, look! Here comes the prisoner and a Spanish policeman(walk in the door to the center of the class ans stand before the desk. Prisoner walks first). The prisoner looks like a marrano. He's wearing the traditional sanbenito. The sanbenito is a yellow, knee-length robe with a black cross on it, known as the "garment of shame". He looks terrible! Police: Of course he looks terrible! He's half-dead, half-starved and he's been tortured for the last three weeks!!! Shari: It looks like the trial is about to begin. (T de T rises and walks to front of desk facing the prisoner who is pushed to his knees by the policeman. Prisoner hangs his head.) T de T: You have sinned!!! You are deserving forevermore of the title, heretic! You agreed to be baptized when you converted from Judaism, but even after that sacred act, you continued to go against the doctrines of the church! Nor did you openly confess or regret your sins!!! Only after imprisonment and torture did you finally confess that you have been practicing Judaism secretly! You have not yet repented for your sins. I, in the name of our merciful Lord, will give you one last chance to repent for your sins so that in your death, your soul may go to heaven. If you do not repent, your soul will burn forever in the fires of HELL!!! Prisoner: (raises head defiantly) I will NOT repent!! T de T: You know that your sentence is to die by fire. Do you not? Prisoner: I do. T de T: You also know that if you do repent before your death, you will bestrangled before you are burned. Prisoner: I do. T de T: If you do not repent, you will be burned alive. Prisoner: I know. T de T: Rise now. (Prisoner rises and looks T de T in the eye) T de T: I give you a final chance to repent your sins. Prisoner: I will NOT repent! I would rather die as a Jew, than live as Christian! No, I will not believe in your false religion! Not even in my last breaths! The G-d of Moses is the one true G-d!!! T de T: (to policeman) Take him away! Nevermore shall we hear his heresies!!! (Policeman pulls prisoner out the door. Right when reaching the door, the prisoner cries out . . .Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokainu, Hashem Echad!!! . . . then the door SLAMS behind him) Due to the violent nature of the next scenes, this program has been censored. The procedure of an Inquisition trial is a very detailed and organized one. After the building of any tribunal, a period of one month was allowed for any heretics to give themselves up with the promise of a lighter sentence. After this grace period, all Chrisians were commanded under the threat of excommunication to expose any heretics and inform the tribunal of their identities. Accusations and denunciations were accepted from anyone, even criminals and other heretics. The exposed heretics were arrested secretly and thrown into the Inquisition prisons. The prisons were small, dark, damp, and often underground. Food was payed for with the prisoner's own money. There was very little of it and it was of extremely poor quality. The only drink permitted to prisoners was water. All complaints, cries, sobs or whimpers were met with the lashing of a whip. In these prisons, the torture took place. The purpose of the torture was to get the prisoner to admit and confess to the sin the inquisitors were accusing him or her of. After the prisoner confessed, he or she could then be sent on to trial. After each infliction of pain, the inquisitors would ask the prisoners if they were ready to confess. If they did not confess, the torture was continued. Torture was not restricted by sex or age. There are records of both 13 year old girls and 76 year old women being torured. Even pregnant women were not exempt. There were many different types of torture. Since lunch was a while ago, I think it's okay if I describe some of them. Many of the types of torture are depicted on page of the booklet. With foot roasting, the prisoner was tied right in front of a blazing fire, sitting with his feet out in front of him. Oil was then poured over his feet and then his feet were pushed into the fire. If any of you were ever sprayed with hot oil, you'll realize how painful this is. The hoist was a simmple rooe and pulley. The prisoner's feet were weighted, his hands were tied behind his back and the other end of the rope was pulled, lifting the prisoner in the air. This often dislocated shoulders and pulled arms out of sockets. Water torture is not as simple as it sounds. The prisoner was layed flat on a board and tied to it so that it was impossible to even move his head. Then, the prisoners' nose was plugged up so that the only passage of air was through the mouth. Then, a damp cloth was stuffed in his mouth and water was continuously dripped in. The prisoner, gasping for air, would try to breath through the cloth but instead, would only succeed inpulling it further down his throat, strangling himself. The Torturers would pull out the cloth, along with a lot of blood and then start over a gain until he confessed. The rack was a board that the prisoner was layed down on, His limbs, neck and chest were encircled by rope. Rods were put beween the rope and the skin and then twisted, forming a tournequet so tight that it cut through the flesh to the bone. There were also other methods of torture: stretching of limbs, burning with live coals, and squeezing of fingers and toes until the bones were crushed. Punishments for heresy depended on the size of the sin one was accused of. For a minor sin that the heretic repented for, the heretic was forced to written a confession in public and then pay a fine to the royal treasury. He was also forced to give gifts to government officials and the nobility. Confiscation of propety was also a common punishment. The heretics had to wear sanbenitos[see page ] to their trial. As a punishment, some heretics were forced to wear this garment of shame for a longer period, sometimes even for life. After the term of wearing the Sanbenito was up, it was hung in the heretics local church for all to see for all generations with the name of the heretic sewn on to it. This brought shame on all of the descendants of the heretic and prevented them from ever holding a high position in the church or government. For more serious crimes, there was life imprisonment or a term as a galley slave in the royal fleet.For the most serious crimes, the punishment was burning at the stake. The church did not want to be involved in death so all deathsentences were carried out by the secular powers and NOT the church. The church justifies burning heretics from the following passage that was said by Jesus. Please go to page 7 in the booklet. Would someone read? If you repented for your sin and believed in the Christian doctrines, the secular powers would strangle you right before throwing you into the fire, making death less painful. However, if you didn't repent and continued your beliefs, you were burned alive at the stake. Burning at the stake is the only sentence where the heretic didn't repent. Many times, a heretic would be discovered after he died already. In these cases, the inquisitors would dig up the bones of the deceased and burn them along with the other heretics. The auto-de-fe was the act of faith. This was the trial of many heretics at one time. Sometimes they were made into public celebrations. The heretics would be led through the streets in their sanbenitos, carrying the torches to be used to burn many of them at the stake, while being cursed and spit at by the crowds. The auto-de-fe was held in the main square of the city. When the heretics on trial got there, they were displayed infront of the crowds for all to see. There they were interrogated by the inquisitors about the nature of their sins, if they confessed, and if they wish to repent. At these auto-de-fes, the sentences were announced and carried out. The extreme heretics were immediately burned at the stake. The other sinners who repented, were forced to kneel befire the inquisitor who retold them the doctrines of the Catholic church. While they knelt, they had to answer "Yes, I believe" while other clergymen hit the sinners on their shoulders with sticks. After these ceremonies, there were great parties, mucis, food, and entertainment. The Inquisition came to many places. The Phillipines, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico. But it never existed in Brazil. The Inquisition was introduced to the Spanish colonies in the New World in 1569. Tribunals were set up in Mexico city and Lima. The King and Queen of Spain and the Pope tried to keep Moors and Jews out of the Spanish colonies by making everyone one who came there prove that they were Christian for the past 4 generations. The Inquisition was used against the Jews and marranos in the New World who had come there after the epulsion from Spain. In total, there were 129 auto-de-fes and from1581-1776, 77 people were burned at the stake. The Indians were not originally persecuted because they were condidered to be incapable of rational judgement and therefore, could not be punished for following the 'wrong' religion. The epulsion from Spain marks the definate end of the Golden Age in Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella issued an edict of expulsion [see page in booklet] stating that they had already moved the Jews to a separate area and introduced an inquisition, but it was not enough. Now they were going to expel the unconverted Jews and the marranos. The Jews had from March 30, 1492 until July, to get out of Spain and never return. They were permitted to take with them all the goods they wantd, but they couldn't take any gold, silver, or money out of the country.More than 200 thousand people were exiled. Don Isaac Abravanel was one of the most famous Jews to be effected by the anti-Semitism on the Iberian peninsula. He was raised in Portugal by wealthy and prominent parents. His entire family, including himself, held important positions in the Portuguese government. He was the secretary of the treasury of King Alfonso. When Alfonso's son took over, he accused Abravanel of conspiring against him. Abravanel had to flee to Spain in 1483. King Ferdinand recognized his abilities and made him secretary of the treasury of Spain. In 1492, Abravanel had to move again because of the expulsion from Spain. He finally settled in Venice, Italy and lived there until his death in 1503. The reason why he is so important is because he wrote an autobiography. His story gives us perspective from a Jew's eyes of the terrible persecution and anti-Semitism of that time. After the expulsion, 120 thousand Jews went to Portugal. After 6 months there, the king made all of the Jews slaves. Some Jews went to Muslim countries, but the Muslims wouldn't let the Jews into their cities so many of them returned to Spain and converted. Eventually, some ships from Genoa came to Spain to take away the Jews, but the crews were terrible to the Jews and sold them to pirates. Many Jews went to Naples where they were welcomed by the marranos and given money and food by the government. After the Jews left, Spain's economic system collapsed. Without the Jews contributing to society, Spain began its journey downhill. This was Isabella's mistake. She though that by persecuting and getting rid of the Jews that she was helping her country spiritually. Little did she know however, that at the same time she was hurting her country economically and socially. Today, there is an annual conference of the New Mexico Historical Society commemorating the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. At this conference, they trace their geneologies and discover many previously unknown relatives. New mexico is where a large portion of the marranos settled after the expulsion. Many of them still practice Jewish customs secretly. One woman still holds Shabbos services in a "secret synagogue" which is a cellar. She won't tell anyone where it is located and she won't talk about Judaism to outsiders.


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