Inquisition

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The term Inquisition can apply to any one of several institutions which fought against heretics (or other offenders against canon law) within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. Although similar institutions existed within Calvinist and other Protestant churches, the term "Inquisition" is usually applied to that of the Catholic Church. It may also refer to:[1]

  • an ecclesiastical tribunal
  • the institution of the Roman Catholic Church for combating heresy
  • a number of historical expurgation movements against heresy (orchestrated by some groups/individuals within the Catholic Church or within a Catholic state)
  • the trial of an individual accused of heresy.

Contents

Inquisition tribunals and institutions

Before the 12th century, the Roman Catholic Church already suppressed heresy, usually through a system of ecclesiastical proscription or imprisonment, but without using torture[2] and seldom resorting to executions.[3][4] Such punishments had a number of ecclesiastical opponents, although some countries[which?] punished heresy with the death penalty.[5][6]

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