PBS, that refined repository of rehashed secularist orthodoxy, is running a series called Secret Files of the Inquisition. Natch, it ratchets up the anty in the area of "evidence" against the big, bad Catholic Church as a certifiable target for abuse, scorn, and general destruction. "We've got a live one, boys!" one can almost hear. The usual historiographical drivel is trotted out and paraded. From Father Neuhaus's blog,"We can no longer blame the favorite institutional scapegoats beaten to death by our master thinkers of the last two centuries. These beasts of burden have all collapsed long ago, just like Nietzsche's famous horse in Turin. One can go on beating dead horses for several decades, no doubt, especially in graduate seminars but, even there, there will be an end. No one can really believe that our families, the class system, the male gender as a whole, the Christian churches, or even a repressive university administration might be responsible for what is going on." - René Girard
"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" -- Monty Python
“It’s the usual recycling of the juvenile pap about ‘The Black Legend,’” [Neuhaus' friend] said. I surfed onto five minutes of last night’s episode, and she is right. There was a Franciscan friar preaching to an apparently clandestine gathering of village folk and the voice-over declaimed: “He spoke to them in their own language rather than the Church-approved Latin, which was considered utter blasphemy.” That would have come as a surprise to St. Francis, the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), and the thousands of others engaged in preaching missions throughout Europe.But rather than merely defend Mother Church, perhaps it is better to remember a different set of facts. During the entire 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition fewer people died (perhaps 4,000) than during a single day of the American Civil War. Crocker notes:
"The comparison isn't flip, for the issues were similar -- defining what it meant to be a Spaniard (or an American) and the limits of dissent (either in religion or in the right to self-determination, states' rights, secession, and slavery) ... Between 1551 and 1600, for example, the Spanish Inquisition claimed an average of four lives a year -- making Spain by far Christendom's safest haven in this time of religious strife. [228-229]By comparison, more than 150,000 of the peasantry died in two years of German peasant religious civil warfare between 1524-1526 -- sixty-five times the number of deaths the Spanish Inquisition claimed in its first ten (and by far its worst) years [Ibid, 249].
This is not to allay the wrongs and wrong-headedness of the Inquisition, but to point out that the hellfire that Martin Luther set loose in Germany deserves at least as much historical attention as the Inquisition (which examined future saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross for their orthodoxy).
But somehow, I don't expect PBS to do that. The Da Vinci Code has shown the true Victim of our age, and all modernism's slings and arrows are pointed at Mother Church.