Also known as The First Inquisition
or The Medieval Inquisition
, The Papal Inquisition was instituted by Pope Gregory IX
in 1231 for the arrest
s. The word inquisition is derived from the Latin
(inquire into). The crime
was defined by the church
to be the denial
of an article of truth
of the Catholic faith
in a publicly persistent
manner. The tightly knit Roman Catholic
society saw heretics as enemies that threatened life
Pope Gregory IX's original intention was to organize the trials of heretics because the mobs tended to overtake such preceedings and deny the accused any manner of trial.
The inquisitiors were originally taken from the Franscian and Dominican sects. They began by seeking out the heretics, then they abandoned this practice and called them to the Inquisition centers which were mostly in southern France and Italy. The Papal Inquisition was not employed to such a large extent in Northern Europe.
Contrary to its original intent, the inquisition soon lapsed into a greater state of disorganization than had ever existed before. Local control varied widely across districts, and no pope fully suceeded in getting complete control over it. The climax of the horror of The Papal Inquisition came around the second half of the 13th century. By this time, inquisitiors were completely free of authority which led into The Spanish Inquisition.
I choose not to list the proposed methods of torture employed by the inquisitiors here. A list of them can be found at this site: