Saturday, 27 October 2007

The Inquisition at Evenley

Earlier this week I returned to Jill and Brett Kelly's house in Evenley, south west Northamptonshire, to give a talk on the Spanish Inquisition. I had been there in June to talk about another strand of the anti-Catholic 'Black Legend' - the Crusades. The Kelly's organise monthly talks in their house and also run a Catholic Library. There were about 40 people present (including some non-Catholics) and I was really a warm-up for their next speaker, the eminent Fr John Saward. As I wrote in June, 'the Kellys (who have 17 grandchildren) made me think of penal times, when Catholic households and families provided such powerful centres of the Faith for the surrounding area'.

My talk was based on this article, which appeared in the Faith Magazine earlier this year. I was expecting a bit of an Inquisition when it came to question time but most people seemed convinced by the facts, that the Inquisition was not as bloody and repressive as many books make out.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

They sound amazing..

11:06 am  
Blogger Mary Jane said...

Fascinating post. Two days ago, I was discussing the demise of Catholic libraries with a friend. While many Catholic churches in the USA will tell you they have a library, let us say the use of the term is optimistic. It will be some shelves with cast-off books in no order and a heavy emphasis on self-help, psychology, and rather odd bits of spirituality (remember the Enneagram?).

The point I came away with from this account of your visit is that the library is "in their home." It's not in the church hall. It's not the responsibility of some "ministry." It is a personal work for which these wonderful people are personally responsible.

I shall sit here in St. Augustine, Florida, and become quietly mad with envy. Or perhaps I should give all of this some serious thought. (One of my superfluous graduate degrees is in library science - a topic about as scientific as Christian Science. And yes, I did run a library in another life.)

5:23 pm  
Blogger Balbino Katz said...

Excellent article. I would like to add a interesting fact. The only country where innocent women were not sent to the stake as witches, was… Spain!
The Inquisition quickly discovered (after a sad case in the Basque Country) that the so called witches had nothing to do with real witchcraft.
A first set of instructions in 1526 protected women against false accusations and again in 1610 famous Inquisitor, Alonso de Salazar Frías understood that the first thing to do to stop the psychosis was… not to speak publicly about witches and witchcraft. There is a common ground between witches and aliens, once someone begins to see a witch (or an alien), a lot of people in good faith report sightings. So best thing to stop this mental disease, is silence.

I suggest those interested to read :

Gustav Henningsen, The Witches' Advocate: Basque Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (University of Nevada Press, 1980)

6:22 pm  
Blogger Jennifer F. said...

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

9:40 pm  

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