Can you please describe these two terms briefly?
They were both established by the Roman Catholic church during the Protestantism. Can you please describe them both in simple terms? What were they used for?
The Society of Jesus
- imacatholic2Lv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic Christian religious community commonly called the Jesuits. Today, the Jesuits run many Catholic Universities all over the world.
The Inquisition was an attempt by the Catholic Church to stop unjust executions.
Modern historians have long known that the popular view of the Inquisition is a myth. The Inquisition was actually an attempt by the Catholic Church to stop unjust executions.
Heresy was a capital offense against the state. Rulers of the state, whose authority was believed to come from God, had no patience for heretics. Neither did common people, who saw heretics as dangerous outsiders who would bring down divine wrath.
When someone was accused of heresy in the early Middle Ages, they were brought to the local lord for judgment, just as if they had stolen a pig. It was not easy to discern whether the accused was really a heretic. The lord needed some basic theological training, very few did. The sad result is that uncounted thousands across Europe were executed by secular authorities without fair trials or a competent judge of the crime.
The Catholic Church's response to this problem was the Inquisition, an attempt to provide fair trials for accused heretics using laws of evidence and presided over by knowledgeable judges.
From the perspective of secular authorities, heretics were traitors to God and the king and therefore deserved death. From the perspective of the Church, however, heretics were lost sheep who had strayed from the flock. As shepherds, the pope and bishops had a duty to bring them back into the fold, just as the Good Shepherd had commanded them. So, while medieval secular leaders were trying to safeguard their kingdoms, the Church was trying to save souls. The Inquisition provided a means for heretics to escape death and return to the community.
Most people tried for heresy by the Inquisition were either acquitted or had their sentences suspended. Those found guilty of grave error were allowed to confess their sin, do penance, and be restored to the Body of Christ. The underlying assumption of the Inquisition was that, like lost sheep, heretics had simply strayed.
If, however, an inquisitor determined that a particular sheep had purposely left the flock, there was nothing more that could be done. Unrepentant or obstinate heretics were excommunicated and given over to secular authorities. Despite popular myth, the Inquisition did not burn heretics. It was the secular authorities that held heresy to be a capital offense, not the Church. The simple fact is that the medieval Inquisition saved uncounted thousands of innocent (and even not-so-innocent) people who would otherwise have been roasted by secular lords or mob rule.
Where did this myth come from? After 1530, the Inquisition began to turn its attention to the new heresy of Lutheranism. It was the Protestant Reformation and the rivalries it spawned that would give birth to the myth. Innumerable books and pamphlets poured from the printing presses of Protestant countries at war with Spain accusing the Spanish Inquisition of inhuman depravity and horrible atrocities in the New World.
For more information, see:
The Real Inquisition, By Thomas F. Madden, National Review (2004) http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/madden200406...
Inquisition by Edward Peters (1988)
The Spanish Inquisition by Henry Kamen (1997)
The Spanish Inquisition: Fact Versus Fiction, By Marvin R. O'Connell (1996): http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/history/...
With love in Christ.
- 10 years ago
he Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu, S.J. and S.I. or SJ, SI) is a religious order of men called Jesuits, who follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. Jesuit priests and brothers — also sometimes known colloquially as "God's marines" — are engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations on six continents reflecting the Formula of the Institute (principle) of the Society. They are known in the fields of education (schools, colleges, universities, seminaries, theological faculties), intellectual research, and cultural pursuits in addition to missionary work, giving retreats, hospital and parish ministry, promoting social justice and ecumenical dialogue.
The Society was founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, who after being wounded in a battle, experienced a religious conversion and composed the Spiritual Exercises in order to help others to follow Christ more closely. In 1534, Ignatius gathered six young men, including St. Francis Xavier and Bl. Pierre Favre, and together they professed vows of poverty and chastity, and then later, obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope. Rule 13 of Ignatius' Rules for Thinking with the Church said: "That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity[...], if [the Church] shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black.". Ignatius' plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by the bull containing the Formula of the Institute. The opening lines of this founding document would declare that the Society of Jesus was founded to "strive especially for the propagation and defense of the faith and progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine." The Society participated in the Counter-Reformation and later in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church.
Sooner or later, any discussion of apologetics with Fundamentalists will address the Inquisition. To non-Catholics it is a scandal; to Catholics, an embarrassment; to both, a confusion. It is a handy stick for Catholic-bashing, simply because most Catholics seem at a loss for a sensible reply. This tract will set the record straight.
There have actually been several different inquisitions. The first was established in 1184 in southern France as a response to the Catharist heresy. This was known as the Medieval Inquisition, and it was phased out as Catharism disappeared.
Quite separate was the Roman Inquisition, begun in 1542. It was the least active and most benign of the three variations.
Separate again was the infamous Spanish Inquisition, started in 1478, a state institution used to identify conversos—Jews and Moors (Muslims) who pretended to convert to Christianity for purposes of political or social advantage and secretly practiced their former religion. More importantly, its job was also to clear the good names of many people who were falsely accused of being heretics. It was the Spanish Inquisition that, at least in the popular imagination, had the worst record of fulfilling these duties.
The various inquisitions stretched through the better part of a millennia, and can collectively be called "the Inquisition."