Madrid, Spain, Jun 16, 2004 / 22:00 pm
In an interview with the Spanish daily ABC, historian and editor of a new study containing the results of an international conference on the Inquisition which took place at the Vatican in 1998, Agostino Borromeo, rejected falsehoods promoted by the “black legend” about the subject.
During the interview, the Italian history professor spoke about the 800-page volume which pulls together the conclusions of 60 historians and experts from around the world.
Borromeo told the Spanish newspaper the book “dispels the idea that those accused almost always ended up burned at the stake.” “The punishment of heretics began in 1231 and ended with the abolition of the last Inquisition, that of Rome, in 1870, and it had different characteristics according to time and place. The Spanish Inquisition, which was very active until it was abolished in 1834, judged 130,000 people in its entire history, of which less than 2% were condemned to death.”
“For a long time, judgments were confused with death sentences, and it was said that 100,000 were executed—a figure completely unreal. Although some were sentenced to prison or to the galleys, most were given spiritual sentences: pilgrimages, penances, prayers, etc,” said Borromeo.