Political Inquisitions & Dubious Charges

Some of the Inquisitions charges were laughable.

ex: Joan d’Arc’s official charge of heresy was a for a ‘relapse’…in wearing pants.

tndHG5e_Jan_Hus_executionThe inquisitions were just as much a political issue as they were religious issues. I noticed as much in my study of Jan Hus, a priest and philosopher who was executed by burning in 1415. During the time of the Great Schism, when there was more than one claim to the papacy, Hus was jailed for speaking out against indulgences and claiming that Jesus Christ, instead of the pope, was the “supreme judge.” This was at a time when the Papacy was extremely corrupt. Antipope John XXIII (a claimant to the position) ordered an investigation, and eventually a trial occurred, considered unfair for its time. He was sentenced and burned for heresy, even though he made a compelling and rational case for himself. His death wasn’t so much about the supremacy of Christianity: If he hadn’t questioned the indulgence system, or the legitimacy of the pope, the trial may not have ever occurred.

Leave a Reply