666 Christian Crimes

1450 - 1499

1450

Jews were expelled from Bavaria again. [Johnson, 1987, 231]

1452

Pope Nicholas V issued the bull Dum diversas. This document authorized the King of Portugal to enslave unbelievers and take their territory for the monarchy. [Thomas, 59]

1453

In Breslau, a woman accused a Jew of stabbing a wafer. 41 Jews were burned. [Haught, 1990, 52]

1454

Jews were expelled "from the crown cities of Moravia." [Johnson, 1987, 231]

1455

Joan of Arc was rehabilitated, twenty-four years after her execution in 1431. An appellate court in Paris, authorized by Pope Callistus III, declared illegal the court which had found her guilty and reversed her conviction. [Cline, medieval6; Catholic Encyclopedia, "St. Joan of Arc"]

1455

"Jews were forced to flee Spain." [Cline, medieval6]

1458

Pope Paul II "first declared witchcraft a crimen exceptum, and made those accused subject to torture." [Johnson, 1976, 309]

1471

Pope Sixtus IV, granting the request of the monarchs, created the Spanish Inquisition to subdue heresy. [Cline, medieval6]

1475

Reports that Simon, a toddler in Trent, Italy, had been sacrificed by Jews caused all Jews in the city to be tortured, tried and burned. Simon received sainthood and many miracles were reported at his shrine in Trent. [Haught, 1990, 46]

In 1965 the Vatican ordered a halt to the "cult" of Simon of Trent.

1478

Pope Sixtus IV authorized King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to revive the inquisition to hunt "secret Jews" and Muslims. Dominican friar Tomas de Torquemada was appointed inquisitor general. He tortured thousands and burned 2000. [Haught, 1990, 65-66]

1478

Pope Sixtus IV voided the acts of the reformist Council of Constance (1414-18). [McBrien, 264]

1480

"Ferdinand and Isabella appoint inquisitors against heresy among converted Jews." [Grun, 214]

1481

The Spanish Inquisition began its reign of terror. Supposedly, the purpose of the office was to prevent conversos (converted Jews) from relapsing rather than punish unconverted Jews. Nevertheless, many cities passed laws against Jews. In Seville about 800 Jews were burned and thousands more imprisoned in the 1480s. [Garraty and Gay, 423; Thomas, 60]

1483

"... the Inquisition was instituted in Castile in 1483, finally spreading to Barcelona in 1487." [Stannard, 182]

1484

Pope Innocent VIII made disbelief in witches heresy. Prior to this it had been heresy to believe in witches (see 906, above). In the bull Summis desiderantes he authorized two inquisitors, Kramer and Sprenger, to systematize the persecution of witches. [Ellerbe, 121; Haught, 1990, 73-74]

"... Pope Innocent VIII officially ordered pet cats to be burned together with witches, a practice which continued throughout the centuries of witch-hunting." [Ellerbe, 142]

1484

Spanish Inquisitor Torquemada instructed his inquisitors that descendants of condemned heretics were ineligible for most professions and occupations. "A new doctrine of original sin...." [Johnson, 1976, 306-307]

1485

Inquisitor Cumanus burned 41 women as witches. A colleague in the Piedmont of Italy burned 100. [Haught, 1990, 74]

1485

Jews were expelled from Perugia. [Johnson, 1987, 231]

1486

Dominican inquisitors Jakob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer published Malleus Maleficarum, used as a manual by inquisitors for centuries. It became a best seller. [Haught, 1990, 74]

1486

In Toledo, 2,400 Jewish converts confessed to heresy and implicated others in order to avoid torture and burning. [Kirsch, 189]

1486

Jews were expelled from Vicenza. [Johnson, 1987, 231]

1487

Pope Innocent VIII declared a crusade against Waldensians in France's Savoy region. [Haught, 1990, 56, 58]

1487

"Henry VII of England eliminates the right of accused heretics to know the names of their accusers." [Cline, medieval6]

1488

Jews were expelled from Parma. [Johnson, 1987, 231]

1489

Jews were expelled from Milan and Lucca. [Johnson, 1987, 231]

1491

Jews tortured by the Holy Inquisition in Spain were made to confess to child sacrifice near La Guardia. All those Jews were murdered. No such town existed. [Haught, 1990, 47]

1492

Three boys died in an unsuccessful attempt by doctors to transfuse their blood to a dying Pope Innocent VIII. Among Innocent's mourners were his mistress and their children. [Carl Sagan, The Demon Haunted World (excerpts in Joshi, 222)]

1492

Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) bought the papacy by bribing cardinals to elect him. He then hosted sex orgies attended by his illegitimate children, Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia. Although celibacy had been required for Catholic clergy since 1139, Pope Alexander VI had four children and a mistress. His official actions as pope were "determined almost solely by political and family considerations." [Chamberlin, 170-171; Cross, 33; Manchester, 79; McTavish, 93; Catholic Encyclopedia, "Pope Alexander VI"]

1492

Twenty-seven Jews were tortured and burned in Mecklenburg. [Haught, 1990, 52]

1492

After twelve years of anti-Semitic laws, Spanish monarchs exiled all Jews. Many thousands had converted and stayed in the country. However, some members of the most powerful Christian families in Spain had intermarried with Jews. "The Inquisition could authenticate false genealogies" and accurate genealogies then became "subversive literature." [Johnson, 1976, 306]

1492

100,000 Jews were expelled from Sicily. [Cline, medieval6]

1493

"Pope Alexander VI appoints his son, Cesare Borgia (b .1475), a cardinal." [Grun, 218]

1493

Alexander VI decreed that all newly discovered lands east of a north-south line (the "line of demarcation") 100 Spanish leagues east of the Azores belonged to Portugal. All west of that line belonged to Spain. This was conditional on their converting any native peoples to Christianity. [Martin, 108; Thomas, 59]

1493

By command of Pope Alexander VI, Spain was to found Catholic missions throughout the New World. Columbus took priests with him on his second trip to the Americas. [Wikipedia, "Timeline of Christian Missions"]

1494

With Pope Alexander VI's approval, the line of demarcation defined in 1493 was moved 270 leagues further west by the Treaty of Tordesillas. Thus, Spain received North and South America, except Brazil, and Portugal got Brazil and Africa. [Martin, 108]

1494

Jews were expelled "from Florence and all Tuscany." [Johnson, 1987, 231]

1495

"The Jews expelled from Portugal." [Grun, 218]

1495

"January 28 - Pope Alexander VI gave his son Cesare Borgia as hostage to Charles VIII of France." [Cline, medieval6]

1496

The Jews were expelled from Syria, Portugal, and Carintha, Austria. [Cline, medieval6]

1497

Attempting to carry out moral reform, the Dominican Girolamo Savonarola destroyed much of the work of Renaissance Florence in a huge bonfire. Among the works destroyed were books, illuminated manuscripts, women's ornaments, musical instruments, and paintings. His police state tactics included compelling servants to inform on their masters and organizing bands of young men to raid people's homes. Savonarola wrote: "It would be good for religion if many books that seem useful were destroyed." [Ellerbe, 57]

1497

"Pope Alexander VI excommunicated Girolamo Savonarola." [Cline, medieval6]

1497

King Manuel of Portugal allowed Jewish children to be taken from their parents to be raised as Christians. Thousands of Jews were forcibly baptized in Lisbon. [Engh, 139]

1498

Florence priest Girolamo Savonarola was hanged and burned with two followers after calling for reform. [Haught, 1990, 86]

1499

Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436-1517), Spanish inquisitor-general, began forcing Moors to convert en mass. That practice led to the Moorish revolt in Granada. [Grun, 220; Cline, medieval6]

1499

By the end of this decade, Jews had been expelled from the Kingdom of Navarre. [Johnson, 1987, 231]



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© R. Paul Buchman 2011