A Guide to Religions, Religious Information and Help in Search for God


The Catholic religion has an estimated 900,000,000 followers or Roman Catholics. Catholicism is (claimed to be) founded by the apostle Peter in Jerusalem according to many Christian experts, yet the term "Catholic Church" was introduced by St. Ignatius (a Syrian bishop) in about 10 A.D.. The Catholic Church is the oldest institution in the Western world.

Catholicism is now the faith, practice, or system of Roman Catholic Christianity. The Catholic church is the largest of three major divisions of Christianity, with the other two being the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches.

The headquarters of the Catholic church is the Vatican in Rome, Italy. The Vatican headed by the Pope.

By the middle of the first century A.D., the Catholic Church was centered in Rome of the Roman Empire. In 312, Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and helped make it become the official religion of the Roman Empire and what is now referred to as Roman Catholicism.

The governments of Church and State were mixed, until the early Middle Ages. With the separation of Church and State, the papacy or establishment of pope as head of the Catholic Church went into effect. Two of the most famous events of the Catholic Church were soon to follow.

First, in August 1096, the Catholic Church under Pope Urban II launched the first of its Crusades (a.k.a. Holy Wars) or military expeditions against Islam (or those of the Muslim faith). Although most Crusades failed in their aim, countless unarmed Muslims and Jews were murdered by Crusaders during the Crusades that ended in 1270.

Second, the Roman Catholic Church instituted the Inquisition to eradicate heresy or opposition to Catholicism, beginning in 1184. In May 1232, Pope Gregory IX instituted the first Inquisition with permanently-appointed judges to try heretics for heresy.

There were four major Catholic religious Inquistions to follow between 1252 and 1834. They are referred to as the Medieval Inquisition, Spanish Inquisition, Portuguese Inquisition and Roman Inquisition.

Torture to elicit the truth was first authorized by Pope Innocent IV in his Bull "Ad exstirpanda" on May 15, 1252, and reconfirmed by Pope Alexander IV on November 30, 1259 and Pope Clement IV on November 3, 1265. Countless non-Christians (including many Jews) were tortured and gruesomely murdered for having beliefs different from those of the Roman Catholic Church.

Despite all denials and excuses from Catholic and other Christian supporters for what happened during the Inquisition, there was very little difference between the all of the Popes, Inquisitors and executioners who were involved with Inquisition torture and/or executions and Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party. In fact, the only notable difference was that the former group of people went unchallenged militarily and thus, unpunished for their crimes to humanity.

The periods of the Crusades and Inquisition were not the only evil periods of the Catholic religion. Earlier, the reign of Pope John XII of the Catholic Church from December 16, 955 to May 14, 964 was one of the most brutal and evil religious periods of all time. Pope John XII killed and maimed a countless number of people.

Aside from barbarism, in 1854, the Roman Catholic church started to teach that the conception of the Virgin Mary, circa 20 B.C., was without sin as is referred to as the "Immaculate Conception".


1) The Crusades and Inquisition are mentioned because they are historical events that should never be forgotten. Killing in the name of Christianity (or any other religion) is always wrong and one of the most hideous sins. Killing goes against one of the fundamental commandments in nearly every religion. In Judaism and Christianity, one of the Ten Commandments states: "You shall not kill."

2) does not condemn any of the individuals who were responsible for the Crusades and Inquisition. The Law of Karma assures us that each and every sin of theirs (and ours as well) will be punished in an appropriate and just manner.

3) If you want to forgive any or all of those who are guilty of sins committed in the Crusades and Inquisition, that is good. The act of forgiving is always good.


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Site created on 12/21/2004   |   This page was last updated on 05/21/2007

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