Witchcraft and the Inquisition of the Catholic Church Essay

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Witchcraft and the Inquisition of the Catholic Church

Witchcraft. The word in itself evokes a certain kind of eeriness. In past centuries, people who were accused of being witches were thought of to be the worst kinds of people there are. There were several kinds of witches and several ways in which they operated. Whatever the reason, the Catholic Church saw witches, or those accused of being witches, as sinful. Partly to stop this kind of sin and other forms, the Inquisition of the Catholic Church was implemented. It is important to know what the factors leading up to the Inquisition included to fully understand its implementation. Once the history is reviewed it is easy to see how the Faith of the Church and the reason behind its
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They believed that there is a god of evil and a god of good, and the god of evil reigns over the earth, including the people in it. They believe that the god of evil was the god of the Old Testament, so they repudiated it. They followed the New Testament rigidly, believing that the soul was created by the good god but was entrapped by the evil, material body. They also believed that Christ was not god, but an angel without a physical body, because that body would be evil. They also believed that Mary would have been incapable of bearing Christ because her evil, physical body could not have borne an angel, what they thought Christ to be. This is obviously against the Catholic teachings. The other group, the Waldensians, believed in living in poverty in order to remain in context with the Gospel. Its founder, Peter Valdes, sold all of his possessions and went out into the streets to preach to the common man. He was criticized for not being educated properly to teach and he was excommunicated. He and his followers split into areas in southern France and northern Italy and sought to abandon all structure of the Church. He was formally condemned in Verona in 1184. His lack of formal education was what made the Church condemn Valdes and the Waldensians. These two groups were a factor in leading up to the establishment of the Inquisition.

Another factor that precedes the Inquisition is the emergence of women as leaders. Many

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