Dons of the Church; A Brief Overview of the Spanish Inquisition

On March 16, 2014 by Harper

spanish_inquisition4So far most of the Dons considered in this blog have been secular rulers of the noble order, seeking above all else justice and fairness.  However, mentioned less are the Dons of the Church, who wielded substantial power during the middle ages.  So powerful were these Church leaders that they brought about one of the most significant periods in Medieval history, the Spanish Inquisition.

Why did the Church care so much what individuals within the kingdom believed?  The Church and its leaders basically thought that the wrong belief system would lead ones soul, and the souls of other, to damnation.  The “wrong” beliefs were essentially any belief that conflicted with the orthodox Christian teachings of this time.

The power of the Church and its system of inquisition was formidable, in part due to the power of Church leaders.  It kept priests in line by punishing those without proper legislations, convicted those with beliefs in opposition with Christianity, and confiscated the goods of suspected heretics.

This sense of maintaining the power of the state through persecuting differing opinions has received much negative criticism throughout history, yet remains a pertinent example of a certain type of Dons (those within the Church) who aimed initially to promote justice and fairness through the enforcement of the strict following of the state religion.

Mel Brooks sketch from “History of the World Part I” featuring Mel Brooks as Torquemada, 15th Century Grand Inquisistor in Spain.