Hold on…Before I write this: Let me say that my intention is not to offend any Catholics out there, but I wanted to report that I found out a few MORE things about the Catholic Church, which surprised even me…Witch burning, back in the fourteenth century, was big business.
It was a very lucrative way to make money.
I didn’t know that, did you? (Always follow the money.)
(NOTE: Protestants believed in witches too, but did not have the witch execution record of the Catholic church. LET ME BE CLEAR: No one institution, person, or religion, has any kind of perfect record.)
In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII declared:
“It has come to Our ears that members of both sexes do not avoid to have intercourse with evil angels, incubi, and succubi, and that by their sorceries, and by their incantations, charms, and conjurations, they suffocate, extinguish, and cause to perish the births of women.”
And so began the torture and execution of women all over Europe.
The Pope was so intent on wiping out witches, he appointed two guys, Kramer and Spreger to write the Malleus Maleficarum. or as it was commonly known…the Hammer of Witches. It’s suppose to be one of the most atrocious books ever written as it explained how to torture, and murder.
All it took was somebody to accuse you of witchcraft, and you were a witch. But here’s something that they didn’t teach you in school about the inquisition:
It became a great way to make money.
“It quickly became an expense account scam. All cost of investigation, trail, and execution were borne by the accused or her relatives down to per diems for the private detectives hired to spy on her, wine for her guards, banquets for her judges, the travel expenses of a messenger sent to a more experienced torturer from another city, and the faggots, tar and hangman’s rope. Then there was a bonus to the members of the tribunal for each witch burned. The convicted witch’s remaining property, if any, was divided between Church and State. As this legally and morally sanctioned mass murder and theft became institutionalized, as a vast bureaucracy arose to serve it, attention was turned from poor hags and crones to the middle class and well- to- do of both sexes. ” The Demon Haunted World, Carl Sagan.
And the witches were made to turn in other witches. In England, which finders called “prickers” were paid a bounty for each girl they turned in for execution. One guy turned in 220 women in England and Scotland, for twenty shillings apiece.
Here in America, we had our own Salem Witch trial, of which my cousin Donna (the genealogist in the family) said one of our men ancestors was one of the men accused at Salem. (She loves to do all that research)
But they let him off. I never bothered to ask her his name, but he must have been a smooth talker.
The good news is the Catholic church got out of witch hunting. Nobody knows how many innocent people were killed, but it’s probably in the millions.
Now we have symbolic witch hunts. The last ‘witch’ hunt I remember was the McCarthy era, where he was accused of witch-hunting communists…
There seems to be a witch hunt for tea party people. Good thing there’s no money to be made in it, or I would end up like my ancestors in Salem.
And some of them, claim to be very good Catholics.
The whole point is, all it took was one Pope to tell people to go get ‘witches.” and that’s what happens when you give ONE man too much power.
So…listen up Bill Gates. (Bill recently said he wished Obama had more power)
Obama doesn’t need anymore power. One Pope Innocent was enough.