The Inquisition

For over one thousand years, the pope and clergy of the Catholic Church crowned the kings and queens of Europe.  The Church had enormous influence over the nations.  However, the Catholic Church received a deadly wound in 1798 when Napoleon refused to recognize the pope’s civil (political) powers and the pope refused to give them up. Napoleon’s forces confiscated the Vatican in February 1798.  Napoleon arrested Pope Pius VI and sent him to France where he died six weeks later.  On the surface, the fall of the papacy in 1798 seems to be a forgotten footnote in the history of the Catholic Church. Today, we know that when Napoleon captured the Vatican and exiled the pope the papacy’s church/state powers over Europe and elsewhere quickly waned.  For example, the Latin American inquisitions (inquiries to determine who was a loyal Catholic) ended between 1813 and 1825, the Portuguese inquisition ended in 1821, the Spanish Inquisition ended in 1834, and in Italy, the Papal States inquisition ended in the well-publicized Mortara Affair (1858–1870).

Here is Wikipedia article on the Inquisition. Link to Original File


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