A Tale of Two Documents, or, Fallacy Extirpanda

May 11, 2009 § 113 Comments

Suppose we are given two Church documents.

One document was promulgated by the Supreme Pontiff with these words:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion.

The Pope expressly tells us, to prepare us quite directly for what I have referred to as “explicit presentism” in the Catechism, that

This catechism will thus contain both the new and the old (cf. Mt 13:52), because the faith is always the same yet the source of ever new light.

The other document we are considering was a regulatory document addressed by the Pope many centuries earlier

… to his beloved sons, the heads of state or rulers, ministers and citizens established in the states and districts of Lombardy, Riviera di Romagnola, and Marchia Tervisina … .

That it was a juridical regulatory document, telling secular authorities in a particular region to conform the secular law to certain regulations because of contingent circumstances, and not a statement of doctrine, is not merely my personal inference – though such an inference is pretty clear from reading it. But in addition, that is how the document refers to itself:

Desiring, then, that the sons of the church, and fervent adherents of the orthodox faith, rise up and make their stand against the artificers of this kind of evildoing, we hereby bring forth to be followed by you as by the loyal defenders of the faith, with exact care, these regulations, contained serially in the following document, for the rooting-up of the plague of heresy.

Now, the money quote from this document which has been somewhat obliquely referred to very widely – typically with inaccurate paraphrasing and without providing anything more than a brief and partial cite with no link to the full document – goes as follows:

The head of state or ruler must force all the heretics whom he has in custody, provided he does so without killing them or breaking their arms or legs, as actual robbers and murderers of souls and thieves of the sacraments of God and Christian faith, to confess their errors and accuse other heretics whom they know, and specify their motives, and those whom they have seduced, and those who have lodged them and defended them, as thieves and robbers of material goods are made to accuse their accomplices and confess the crimes they have committed.

That’s it. No mention of particular techniques. Just a requirement that the secular law in those particular provinces treat heretics on par with criminals like thieves and murderers, with the further limitation “without killing them or breaking their arms or legs”.

Interestingly, that first document – the one which was promulgated directly by the Supreme Pontiff, formally exercising his Apostolic Authority, as a sure norm for teaching the Faith – addresses the second (earlier) document’s regulatory requirement, and its lack of doctrinal effect, quite directly:

2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

Clearly our doctrinal document is quite explicitly repudiating any doctrinal content someone might falsely infer from the earlier juridical document.

So the next time someone mentions the Bull Ad Extirpanda in an argument about the treatment of prisoners, you can tell them to tie that to their stake and smoke it.

(HT to commenter Richard Comerford for the link to the translation of Ad Extirpanda. I am assuming that the translation is at least reasonably accurate, without some egregious error which would affect the thesis here. Latin-savvy readers may want to verify the translation against the Latin text, also given at the link, and perhaps available elsewhere.)

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§ 113 Responses to A Tale of Two Documents, or, Fallacy Extirpanda

  • brandon field says:

    God bless Richard, and all of our veterans who have been closer to this issue than anyone should be.

    Thank you, Richard, for your witness to the Church’s Truth and for your service to our country.

  • e. says:

    Zippy,

    I would have thought you better than merely throwing a perfunctory nod at past church teaching concerning the topic.

    Very disappointing.

    Is this the extent of your treatment of previous church teaching on the matter?

    If so, you’ve done nothing more than assume role of demagogue for the very presentism you’ve preached emphatically against.

  • JohnMcG says:

    What, short of the Church considereing that paragraph from <>Ad Extripanda<> giving a permanent license to torture, would you consider more than a “perfuctory nod?”

    JPII explicitly acknowledged the past directives, and why the Church’s wisdom has developed in a different direction.

    I don’t know what else could have been done.

  • c matt says:

    1) Does AE or does it not say what Zippy says it does?

    2) Does the CCC or does it not say what Zippy says it does?

    3) Do you, e., or do you not have an additional authoritative teaching?

    If the answer to 1 & 2 is yes, and 3 is no, then seems to me its pretty much over. If the answer to 3 is yes, then point to it.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    If I may say so, hopefully without giving offense, it seems to me that the quotation from the Catechism fails to acknowledge the full horror of what AE is saying. It isn’t just a matter of “not protesting” but of actively encouraging, and “adopting Roman law on torture” sounds a little bit euphemistic when we realize that the Pope in AE is _actively urging_ the secular authority to torture heretics to prove that they are good sons of the Church, and is even urging that they torture them to make them reveal the names of their friends and associates, a diabolical use of torture with which we nowadays are familiar from its use by the Communists both in the Soviet Union and in Pol Pot’s camps–and for the same purpose, to entirely “extirpate” and stamp out certain ways of thinking.

    Speaking as a Protestant, it seems to me that the so-called “purification of memory” has been carefully attended to in the case of Catholic-Jewish relations, where the Church was _far_ less directly involved, and has been rather neglected in Catholic-Protestant relations, where there is far more evidence of direct Church encouragement of direct attacks on the bodily integrity of persons. (The Pope of the day ordered a medal to be struck, I believe, in celebration of the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre.) An application of that “purification of memory” idea to the Inquisition might well begin by a direct statement, with no evasion, that these statements in AE (which I find fairly shocking) are inexcusably horrible and are entirely repudiated, and that they were an example of the Church’s abusing Her authority. Period.

    Incidentally, such a statement would also remove an excuse from the present-day torture advocates. Those who do not study history are bound to repeat it, and all that.

  • William Luse says:

    Lydia’s right. So is Zippy.

    <>…by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.<><>To paraphrase a certain blogger: isn’t this the place where certain parties are supposed to say “that seals it?”

  • Anonymous says:

    Mr. Luse,

    With all due respect, dear Sir, if you should happen to concur so wholly with Ms. McGrew’s fiery statements in utter protest and vehement protestation against Mother Church, then perhaps her Protestant faith might provide better accomodations for you and yours.

    Seeing as Zippy found it fit to serve for his evidence materials originating from even anti-Catholic sources, such recourse is far from being unthinkable, let alone inevitable.

  • zippy says:

    You are of course right Lydia.

    A point I don’t want to get lost though, and not as something exculpatory but rather to head off certain misuses which have been widely made of oblique references to <>Ad Extirpanda<> in Catholic blogland, is that the Pope is insisting, at least in what is explicitly stated, that heresy, as theft of spiritual goods and murder of souls, be treated <>as seriously<> and <>in the same concrete manner<> as theft of materials things and murder of bodies are <>already<>, at the time of his writing, treated.

    Again, though, I don’t see this as even slightly exculpatory and I agree with the points you make about purification of memory.

  • zippy says:

    <>Seeing as Zippy found it fit to serve for his evidence materials originating from even anti-Catholic sources…<><><><>Ad Extirpanda<> is a Catholic source, not an anti-Catholic source. If what you are referring to is the source of the translation, well, that is just an obvious <>ad hominem<> unless you are contending that the translation is in some way innacurate.

  • Anonymous says:

    Lydia McGrew:

    “It isn’t just a matter of “not protesting” but of actively encouraging, and “adopting Roman law on torture’.”

    No. You are wrong. Did you read the Bull in question? The Bull does not mention the words “torture” or “Roman law”.

    At this time the Holy Roman Emperor had adopted Pagan Roman Law. Roman law included torture. “Lombardy, Riviera di Romagnola, or Marchia Tervisina” had not adopted Roman Law.

    The Emperor used Roman law to accuse his political enemies of heresy. He tortured confessions out of his enemies and seized their wealth.

    This Bull was an attempt to stop the spread of torture from the Holy Roam Empire to “Lombardy, Riviera di Romagnola, or Marchia Tervisina”. The Bull was explicitly directed to” Lombardy, Riviera di Romagnola, or Marchia Tervisina”.

    At this time these areas and the Papacy were not part of the Empire but were actually often at war with the Emperor. They were not subject to Roman law.

    As a self identified Protestant, and as a matter of both courtesy and charity, I respectfully request that you read Catholic documents before you criticize the Catholic Church’s history.

    Both before and after the publication of this Bull every Pope, Council, Doctor of the Church or Saint who explicitly taught the faithful on morality of torture taught that torture is immoral.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    brandon field:

    You arer too kind. Thank you.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    Mr. Comerford,

    Your refutation concerning Ms. McGrew’s comments are but wasted.

    As you can observe from fellow interlocutors in their earlier comments, even your fellow coreligionists found it fit to agree with even the Protestant in these things; why not be a good little lad and engage in the same Iscariotian betrayal and simply compromise.

    After all, apart from your attempted explanation and the fact that these days, the very saving of souls and preservation of authentic Gospel is but foreign to the mind of any such modern (especially one so given to compromise), and also a history as pristine as Protestantism has ever (hardly) even engaged in any such atrocities of her own doing, let alone the mass murdering of various Catholics across many European states.

    But let us revise history, shall we, as even our fellow coreligionists are wont to do for the sake of ecumenism.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Richard, I was quoting the Catechism’s phrase, the Catechism’s statement that the Catholic tribunals of the time “adopted Roman law concerning torture.”

    Are you seriously saying that the quoted portion of AE is not urging the secular authorities in question to torture heretics to get them to reveal the names of their fellow heretics? I mean, you translated the quotation. You’ve got to be kidding. That is _clearly_ what the Pope is trying to get them to do. How can you possibly say otherwise? How the dickens is he supposed to “force” them to confess their errors, the names of their fellow heretics, etc., etc., even those who have lodged them (!), if not by physical torture? The very limitation that their arms and legs not be broken in the process makes it clear that it’s physical torture we’re talking about. If it were simply a matter of, I don’t know, threatening their souls or something, no one would even mention not breaking arms or legs. (And God knows, there are plenty of horrific things one can do to people without breaking their arms or legs!) My impression from Zippy has been always that he’s on the side of plain speaking and not making pretenses and excuses. If you are seriously going to claim that that isn’t what this document is urging, then I’m going to say outright that you are making pretenses and excuses in the name of covering up the past, _at least_ as blatantly so as the present-day torture apologists who say that waterboarding is a matter of “splashing water on someone’s face.”

  • zippy says:

    Clarification:
    Richard did not <>translate<> the Bull; he provided me with a link to the translation. Someone who appears to be very anti-Catholic translated it; which apparently by Anonymous’ light renders the translation ritually impure.

    The point of the post isn’t a wider discussion of the Inquisition and the fact that despicable things were done in its name and under its official auspices. I am not myself a scholar of the Inquisition, but I don’t know of any who are who seriously call that into question. It is a given, as far as I am concerned.

    The point of the post is specifically to address the misuse of <>Ad Extirpanda<> in an attempt to create a doctrinal false dilemma in the present day discussion among many Catholics about torture.<><><>My impression from Zippy has been always that he’s on the side of plain speaking and not making pretenses and excuses.<><><>Indeed, that is my preference.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Here’s a link to (I believe) a different translation:

    http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~draker/history/Ad_Extirpanda.html

    By all mean, read it all. I just read it all. It only makes me that much stronger in my opinions.

    I follow you, though, Zippy, about not discussing the entire inquisition. I was moved to make my earlier comment by John McG’s question as to what further could be said. It has always seemed to me that that paragraph in the Catechism has a slightly…dodgy sound. This is probably partly why Catholic torture apologists are not more moved by it. My point was merely to say that an even more overt statement to the effect that “the earlier popes goofed, bad and big-time” would have made your task easier in the present situation.

  • Anonymous says:

    Lydia McGrew:

    “Are you seriously saying that the quoted portion of AE is not urging the secular authorities in question to torture heretics to get them to reveal the names of their fellow heretics?”

    The Bull does not use the word “torture”. The Pope does not urge that anyone torture anyone.

    A simple review of the moral teachings of Popes, Councils, Doctors and Saints prior to the Bull shows that every time the Church explicitly taught on the morality of torture it was to teach that torture was immoral.

    A simple review of the moral teachings of Popes, Councils, Doctors and Saints after the Bull shows that every time the Church explicitly taught on the morality of torture it was to teach that torture was immoral.

    Are you saying that on this one occasion there was a hidden gnostic moral teaching within the Bull? Perhaps put there by the Knights Templar?

    Consult Mr. Google. Find a single occasion over the last 2,000 years where a Pope, Council, Doctor or Saint explicitly and solemnly as a matter of faith and morals taught the faithful of the universal Church that torture was moral. Just one.

    You are a 21st Century Protestant. How can you read the heart of a 13th Century Catholic Pope with a constant Church moral tradition that torture was immoral?

    Again I respectfully urge you to read the actual Church documents on this matter which are now easily found on line. I urge you not to read into them.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    Lydia McGrew:

    Your link

    http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~draker/history/Ad_Extirpanda.html

    was the first one I read on this matter. The translation of the document is similar to other translation found on line. Again the word “torture” does not appear in the translation.

    However the commentary on the translation is full of hatred for my Faith.

    Again, I respectfully urge you to read what the Catholic documents actually say on this matter. Not what hostile critics of Catholicism whish they might say.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    “Someone who appears to be very anti-Catholic translated it; which apparently by Anonymous’ light renders the translation ritually impure.”

    Sure, Zip.

    In fact, when I wish to lear something concerning the Catholic Church, I refer to Martin Luther’s treatise, <>The Babylonian Captivity of the Church<>.

    Hey, just because it’s from an anti-Catholic, it shouldn’t be deemed (ever) as being suspect or, God forbid, “impure”.

    After all, who’s to say that a translation as provided by a fierce anti-Catholic would furnish an authentic rendering of it so as to advance their own anti-Catholic agenda?

    “I am not myself a scholar of the Inquisition, but I don’t know of any who are who seriously call that into question. It is a given, as far as I am concerned.”

    So this is the extent to which you would go to in order to further your jihad against the anti-terrorists? Join the ranks of the Protestants and even anti-Caths just to advance your own objective?

    For somebody who claims not to know the inquisition so well, it seems a mere fragrance of anti-Cath revisionism is enough to seduce you to accept their version of history without any reservation whatsoever.

    When’s the 30 pieces of silver payout comin’?

    Love that ole’ <>Black Legend<> magic, no?

  • zippy says:

    <>Hey, just because it’s from an anti-Catholic, it shouldn’t be deemed (ever) as being suspect or, God forbid, “impure”.<>Are you seriously pretending not to see the difference between a <>translation<>, into English from the orignal Latin, of a Bull issued by a Pope, and an anti-Catholic screed written by an anti-Catholic? You really can’t tell the difference?

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Mr. Comerford–Please. Look, Zippy doesn’t want this to be a discussion of the Inquisition. But please understand: I did not get anything from the commentary on the bull. I understand it has an anti-Catholic bias. I got my opinion from reading the bull itself and not being a fool or having an axe to grind. Big, fat, hairy deal that it doesn’t use the word “torture.” Whoop-de-do. I mean, seriously. I’m rather outraged. We anti-torture people are supposed to be the ones telling the truth, not the ones engaging in cover-ups. You presumably don’t like it when people cover up for waterboarding. I don’t like it when you pretend it’s some huge deal that the _word_ “torture” does not appear. You think the way they got robbers and thieves to confess was by playing loud music to them in the middle of the night? You think Frederick II (whom the document repeatedly refers to in positive terms as a legal reference) didn’t torture people? You think the reference in one paragraph to how terrible and punishable it is if the requirements of the bull are abated because of some person’s “humanity” (I swear, it says that) does not refer to the harshness of what is being pushed for? You think they were going to force (coerce) the heretics to tell all this stuff by maybe tickling them with a feather? Or what?

    I’m sorry, but I have no patience with this “the word ‘torture’ doesn’t appear” stuff. _If anything_, the document as a whole is worse than the one quotation taken out of context. It’s absolutely horrible. Anyone who even _says_ that someone in custody as a heretic is not a heretic is supposed to forfeit all his property! The laws of the countries are ordered to be _rewritten_ or _erased_ to make them compatible with the requirements of the bull. I could go on and on. Gnostic secret teaching, my foot. Good grief.

  • Anonymous says:

    “Are you seriously pretending not to see the difference between a translation, into English from the orignal Latin, of a Bull issued by a Pope, and an anti-Catholic screed written by an anti-Catholic? You really can’t tell the difference?”

    Oh, that’s right.

    We should unquestionably simply accept all their translations.

    In fact, I dearly love a particular translation which, of all things, happens to be a book of Scripture itself wherein a certain passage of Rom. 3:28 rendered the exceptional translation in which the word “alone” was added to the phrase “man is justified by faith [alone]”.

    But, hey, any translation is as good as another!

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy,

    Let me simply say in common speech the meaning of my previous comments therein:

    If history proves anything, translations which find their source in anti-Catholicism are seldom ever rendered authentically exact with their original documents but, as even Luther’s own endeavours themselves prove, often belie a more sinister agenda to ultimately make the translation say things they want it to say rather than what was actually said.

    You’re better than this, Zip.

  • zippy says:

    Anonymous:

    If you have some substantive reason to think that the translation is wrong in a way which would materially impact the reasoning of my post – though it is hard to see how that could be the case – by all means share. If anything the anti-Catholic bias of the translator adds credibility to my particular line of reasoning here, since it would be in the interests of anti-Catholic polemic to pretend that torturing prisoners is or was at some point Catholic doctrine. This translation does not support that at all though. (And even if it did that wouldn’t undermine the key points of the post).

    If any of my Latin-capable readers wants to translate this Bull independently, as one kindly did in the case of the document <>< HREF="https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2008/09/latin-translation-contest.html?showComment=1220934780000#c1125754631372522310" REL="nofollow">Cum Frequenter<><>, that might be helpful to the discussion. In the meantime the translation we have is quite consistent with Fr. Harrison’s excerpts.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Come, Anon. If you can find some reason to think that the _translation_ is making people think things about the bull that are false, make your case. Just saying, “The translator had a bias, so maybe somehow it’s inaccurate” is pointless. The bull as a whole is quite unequivocal. In fact, most of the space is taken up in adding rigor to rigor, laying out punishments for people on the committee who are insufficiently eager in heretic-hunting, laying out punishments for people who try in any way to help out the (supposed) heretics or even question whether they are heretics, laying out all the ways in which public officials and even heads of state who don’t carry out the injunctions of the bull are to be punished with threat of revolt by their own people, with the annulment of their judicial decrees. It just goes on and on and on. The _entire_ point of it, from the beginning to the end, is to make good and sure that the full force of the secular power, without any mitigation, is used to hunt out heretics, level their houses to the ground, arrest anyone who hid them, housed them, or fed them, and so forth. The whole point of it is to make sure that the secular heads of state, on threat of having their people told that they are illegitimate rulers, treat heresy at least as rigorously as secular crimes. That’s what it’s all about. That some translation of some word or sentence here or there could alter the sense even of the quotation Zippy gives is ludicrous. Reading the context only makes it more evident what is going on. This is not even remotely possibly a matter of mis-translation.

  • zippy says:

    And by the way, the translator does provide the original Latin and its source right there, FWIW.

    I’m certainly willing to revisit this if there is some reason to think it is a bad translation in such a way that it would affect the meaning of the Catechism’s explicit repudiation. Tough to imagine what that would be though.

  • Anonymous says:

    Lydia McGrew:

    “Big, fat, hairy deal that it doesn’t use the word “torture.”

    This is very significant. I, as an interrogator cannot cross the line into torture. In an age where, sadly, torture was becoming everywhere the norm this is important. Anti-Catholic commentaries on this Bull purport that it “explicitly authorized the burning of heretics”.

    “You think Frederick II (whom the document repeatedly refers to in positive terms as a legal reference) didn’t torture people?”

    No. The Bull does not refer to Frederick II in positive terms. The Anti-Catholic commentary does. Frederick II was an enemy of the Church who misused torture for political revenge. Pope Gregory IX referred to him as the “Anti-Christ”.

    You think they were going to force (coerce) the heretics to tell all this stuff by maybe tickling them with a feather?

    Our Army and CIA instructors taught us that information gained under duress or threats was unreliable. We were urged to treat the interrogation subject like our “newest and bestest” friend”.

    Again I urge you to read the documents as they are written. Read them in the historical context of the times.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Richard, I think we can be quite sure that they weren’t treating the subjects as their “newest and best friends” when those subjects were thieves and robbers being coerced into telling the names of their associates and those people who had lodged them. The references to Frederick are in the text of the document and are repeated. They are references to the laws he put in place when he was in charge in Padua. They are not simply in the commentary. This is indirect evidence but is relevant.

    Now, I think you are really anachronistically reading something back into this document that isn’t there–reading it as though making friendly with thieves and robbers were the worst it ever got (without breaking arms and legs) in 1252. I’m astonished that you could imply with a straight face that what is being urged here is not something that we would recognize as, indeed, torture.

    However, I want to add for Zippy’s sake that I quite realize that he is making a different point. As far as I can tell, it’s compatible with what I’m saying. Zippy’s point is that the bull does not teach the licitness of torture _as doctrine_. As far as I understand, that is true, because it isn’t teaching doctrine at all–it’s urging a particular _legal_ set-up. In fact, the whole thing reads like a legal document, and the sections are called “laws.” It is a practical document which appears to assume the licitness of direct, physical coercion and to be urging that such coercion be applied to heretics as it would be to thieves and robbers. In other words, it is trying to co-opt the power of the secular state for the extirpation of heresy. But that is not, in itself, teaching as doctrine that torture is licit. The latter, I gather, is Zippy’s point. My point has been that it clearly is indeed urging that physical torture be used (as it would be against thieves and robbers) and that an outright repudiation of this, more clearly stated even than that in the Catechism, would be useful for answering present-day pro-torture advocates on the Catholic side.

    But obviously, my urging this might get in the way of the point Zippy is concerned to make and might even confuse matters, so I will bow out of the conversation at this point.

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    Okay, one more point that I should have included: The way Ad Extirpanda was in fact applied, immediately, makes it clear how the original audience understood it, which is a much better guide than present guidelines for American interrogators as to what sorts of coercion (that didn’t break arms and legs but did physically coerce) the pope had in mind. And it wasn’t a matter of treating the heretics as the “newest and bestest friend.”

    Okay, now I’m done.

  • zippy says:

    <>In other words, it is trying to co-opt the power of the secular state [and its current practices, including torture, w.r.t. secular crimes] for the extirpation of heresy. But that is not, in itself, teaching as doctrine that torture is licit. The latter, I gather, is Zippy’s point.<><><>One of them, yes, though not even a <>necessary<> point for the conclusion I draw, but merely a <>supporting<> point. Even if the document <>did<> teach the moral liciety of torture as a doctrine, presumably to the provinces to whom it is addressed, that local non-infallible (not-actually-asserted but stipulated for the sake of argument) teaching would be overridden, that is, reformed, by the universal, explicitly presentist teaching in the Catechism.

  • JohnMcG says:

    I would say one reason for the mild wording of the Catechism would be the risk that too strong a denunciations would drive people away from the faith. As we have seen in this thread, there are some who would see anything close to a rebuke of past practices as a betrayal. JPII and the drafters of the text were likely trying to thread the needle between saying that past practices were acceptable and that the Church is making a radical break from them.

    This effort may not have been altogether successful. But I think the bias in many of the Church’s actions is to not drive people away from their source of eternal life.

  • Anonymous says:

    Lydia McGrew:

    “I think we can be quite sure that they weren’t treating the subjects as their “newest and best friends” when those subjects were thieves and robbers being coerced into telling the names of their associates and those people who had lodged them.”

    Neither human nature nor interrogation techniques change over time. An interrogator cannot get reliable information from a subject under duress.

    “The references to Frederick are in the text of the document and are repeated.”

    The references in the Bull to the Holy Roman Emperor were not ,as you claimed, favorable. He was an enemy of the Church. The favorable reference to the Emperor was in the anti-Catholic commentary.

    “I’m astonished that you could imply with a straight face that what is being urged here is not something that we would recognize as, indeed, torture.”

    You a 21st Century Protestant cannot read the mind and heart of a 13th Century Catholic Pope. However the Church’s constant teachings on the morality of torture are clear. Find a single Pope or Council that solemnly taught the Universal Church that torture was immoral. Consult Mr. Google. This constant teaching is what Innocent IV based his Bull on – not the fancies of 21st Century critics.

    “It is a practical document which appears to assume the licitness of direct, physical coercion”

    No. The word ” coercion” does not appear in the Bull.

    “In other words, it is trying to co-opt the power of the secular state for the extirpation of heresy.”

    No. The Holy Roman Empire had already re-introduced Roman Law with torture and claimed that secular courts had authority to torture alleged heretics. The Emperor was accusing his enemies of heresy, torturing confessions out of them and then seizing their wealth. It was Innocent’s intention to put a stop to this abuse.

    “My point has been that it clearly is indeed urging that physical torture be used”.

    No. The Bull does not mention “physical torture”. The tradition of the Church prior to 1252 was that torture was immoral. This tradition was the basis for the Bull. You are reading into it as a 21st Century Protestant. You have to read it as a 13th Century Catholic who knows the Church’s clear teachings on this matter.

    Again I respectfully urge you to read Catholic documents within the context of both history and Church tradition.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    Lydia McGrew

    “is a much better guide than present guidelines for American interrogators as to what sorts of coercion (that didn’t break arms and legs but did physically coerce)”

    No. The guidelines for interrogators are very, very clear – and always have been. In 2006 DOD published an exhaustive study which found that there was no scientific evidence that torture worked as an intelligence tool. Based on said study the Army published its new interrogation manual which banned torture and included water boarding and other “enhanced techniques” as torture. This is exactly what we were taught by our Army and CIA instructors back in the Dark Ages.

    Again speaking from personal experience in both the military and law enforcement reliable information cannot be extracted fro ma subject by duress.

    The DOD Study can be found here: http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/educing.pdf

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • zippy says:

    Richard,

    While I appreciate you providing the link to the translation, and I appreciate your doggedness in opposing contemporary torture even more, I can’t go along with your attempt to sugar-coat <>Ad Extirpanda<>.

    The phrase “…force all the heretics … to confess their errors and accuse other heretics whom they know, and specify their motives, and those whom they have seduced, and those who have lodged them and defended them, …”, stated in a context where torture was the ordinary means to force such things in the case of (say) theft of material goods, means <>coercion<> and <>torture<> or it doesn’t mean anything at all.

    Also, as Lydia pointed out, the <>Catechism<> itself refers to the adoption of torture by the Church’s own tribunals as an historical fact. The two references to Frederick in the document itself are not unfavorable: they are juridical commands to do as Frederick did.

    The whole document is morally abhorrent, and though of course it was promulgated in a particular historical context it does no service to the truth to pretend otherwise. It isn’t as if every Pope has always been a very holy man and has always done only very holy things. The Borgia pornocracy wasn’t exactly a high water mark in terms of Papal behavior either, for example. We’ve been blessed with some very holy Popes in recent times, which is a good thing because we’ve needed them; but again, the facts about history are the facts. Sure, these things have often been exaggerated by the Church’s enemies, and what was done in Medieval times by ostensible men of God can’t hold a candle to the wickedness of the 20th century. But there is no sense trying to paper over them in my view.

    I agree with John that when you are trying to say something to more than a billion people things can get pretty dicey. You are pretty much guaranteed to be misunderstood, your words misused. Still, my own temperamental orientation, some folks may perhaps think to the point of becoming a vice, is toward just telling the unvarnished truth.

  • William Luse says:

    Dear Anonymous ma’am:

    <>if you should happen to concur so wholly with Ms. McGrew’s fiery statements in utter protest and vehement protestation against Mother Church<><><>I’ve seen Lydia in fiery mode and this is not fiery. This is mellow mode. And she didn’t say a damn thing about the church, let alone against it, that shouldn’t have first been said by any Catholic.

    <>then perhaps her Protestant faith might provide better accomodations for you and yours.
    <><><>Oh, you’re one of those. Anyone who speaks ill of the Church must be driven out of it, even if what is spoken is true. On moral issues (and, apparently, on matters of mere fact) she’s more Catholic than most Catholics I know. Denying the obvious in defense of the Church is just another form of lying.

    Lydia: “My point has been…that an outright repudiation of this, more clearly stated even than that in the Catechism, would be useful for answering present-day pro-torture advocates on the Catholic side.”

    I don’t think so. Their attachment to it is fierce, and their tactics remind me very much of the intellectual dissembling that followed upon <>Humanae Vitae<>. Nevertheless, the repudiation should be there, no matter its reception.

    I got a big kick out of “big, fat, hairy deal.”

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy:

    “stated in a context where torture was the ordinary means to force such things in the case of (say) theft of material goods, means coercion and torture or it doesn’t mean anything at all.”

    How do you know that in Lombardy in 1252 AD that “Torture was the ordinary means” used by the secular authorities?

    “as Lydia pointed out,the Catechism itself refers to the adoption of torture by the Church’s own tribunals as an historical fact”

    The subject is being changed. This Bull is important in 21st Century America because it has become the sole, moral justification for torture in the tradition of the Church. Father Harrison’s argument (now spread throughout the internet)rises or falls on it.

    “The two references to Frederick in the document itself are not unfavorable: they are juridical commands to do as Frederick did.”

    Lydia said that they were favorable. They are neural. This Bull was directed at Lombardy. Frederick and Lombardy were constantly at war. Both sides were starting to use heresy as a way to punish their political enemies. Frederick had occupied portions of Lombardy. He instituted neutral secular laws – laws not related to torture, while in control of portions of Lombardy. This Bull prevented (hopefully) the Lombards who had regained control of their territory from promulgating laws that would enable them to torture as heretic’s Frederich’s supporters in Lombardy.

    “The whole document is morally abhorrent”

    The same has been said of Humanae Vitae… anti-gay, anti-woman etc. However this is not a stand alone document. It has to be read in the context of the times and tradition of the Church; above all love thy enemy.

    “It isn’t as if every Pope has always been a very holy man and has always done only very holy things.”

    Innocent IV spent his entire pontificate in a state of war with both Islam and the Holy Roman Empire. He was often on the run. As near as I can make out this document was literally written while he was on the run.

    “But there is no sense trying to paper over them in my view.”

    The claim that Innocent IV was an all powerful monarch who ruled a vast empire by terror is simply not true. When we actually red the documents of the time and relate them to one another we get a very, very different picture. A picture that upsets many 21st Century Americans.

    “my own temperamental orientation, some folks may perhaps think to the point of becoming a vice, is toward just telling the unvarnished truth.”

    The unvarnished truth is that neither you or I know hardly anything about Innocent IV and 13th Century Lombardy. We do know that this Papal Bull is being used by some Catholics to morally justify torture adn to call into question the validity of Vatican II and the Post Conciliar Popes. We also know that it is being used by anti-Catholic bigots to justify their hatred of the Church.

    We further know that prior to this Bull that the constant tradition of the Church both East and West was that torture and execution of heretics was immoral. The question is did the Church in 1252 explicitly change its prior moral teaching on this matter and then sometime in the future change it back again?

    If so where are the documents?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Lydia McGrew says:

    This looks like a useful article from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. A bit long.

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Inquisition

  • zippy says:

    <>The same has been said of Humanae Vitae…<>Well, yes. Many things have been said about many things by many people.

    A key difference though is that in the case of the local, juridical document <>Ad Extirpanda<>, it is <>true<> that what the document requires is morally abhorrent. Whereas in the case of the universal, doctrinal document <>Humanae Vitae<>, that is <>not true<>.

  • Anonymous says:

    Lydia:

    This 96 year old document, written by an author who did not bother to access the then and now extant archives of the Inquisition, has been superseded by modern scholarship aided by the internet. Not even the History Channel agrees with his conclusions.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy:

    “it is true that what the document requires is morally abhorrent”

    What exactly is morally abhorrent in the Bull? This Bull, among other things, places limitations on what physical harm can be done to heretics in Lombardy. This at a time when when the Holy Roman Emperor was routinely accusing his political enemies of heresy, torturing them, extracting false confessions from them, seizing their wealth and then executing them.

    Go on line. Read some of the statutes, and attached penalties, for your locality, State and Nation. You may find that modern laws have the same cold feel to them as the Bull inquestion. Laws, sadly are matters of cold, impersonal justice and not of charity.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy and Lydia:

    RE: A little more research:

    I have done a little more research on this matter.

    You good folks appear to claim that the Catholic secular authorities in 1252 Lombardy were nasty folks who routinely tortured confessions out of alleged secular criminals and then, when authorized by Innocent IV, routinely tortured confessions out of alleged heretics.

    However is this what actually happened?

    I respectfully urge you to consult Mr. Google on the following:

    Is there a single verified primary document that shows that the secular authorities of 1252 Lombardy routinely tortured secular, criminal suspects and that the secular Courts accepted confessions that had been extracted by torture?

    Is there a single verified primary document that shows that the secular authorities of 1252 Lombardy, after the publication of the Bull in question, routinely tortured suspected heretics and that the secular Courts accepted confessions that had been extracted by torture from suspected heretics?

    Is there a single verified primary document that shows that Innocent IV whether in private or public correspondence, advocated, promoted or justified the torture and execution by burning at the stake of heretics?

    Considering all that is said on this matter there should be a wealth of primary documents supporting the case against the Lombard officials and Innocent IV.

    I think we know very, very little of 13th Century Lombardy and Innocent IV. I think more knowledge of the times and a little charity towards Innocent may be in order here.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Billy says:

    <> We further know that prior to this Bull that the constant tradition of the Church both East and West was that torture and execution of heretics was immoral. The question is did the Church in 1252 explicitly change its prior moral teaching on this matter and then sometime in the future change it back again?
    <>Richard, you have repeated this, but nobody has taken you at your word on the point, because you have not supported it with documentation. Can you provide documents that show that the universal Church taught torture was immoral as such from say, the Fathers, or from Ecumenical Councils, or Papal decrees of a dogmatic nature? I have not been able to find such, but maybe I just didn’t know where to look.

    <> I would say one reason for the mild wording of the Catechism would be the risk that too strong a denunciations would drive people away from the faith. <>

    John, I don’t think this is very realistic. If the past practice of using coercion on criminals to get them to talk was immoral of itself, it rather undermines the effort in the Catechism to establish that it is so by underplaying the condemnation as merely “regrettable” rather than something more definite. Accidents are regrettable, unforeseen results are regrettable, and so on. You don’t realistically refer to pure intrinsically evil acts (not merely tolerated but promoted) as “regrettable” – unless you <> want <> to suggest that maybe not the entire category of the acts under discussion are, perhaps, unequivocally to be understood as intrinsically evil.

    My personal opinion is that the Church is indicating acts of torture are immoral, and there are indeed acts of coercion that are immoral, and therefore (surprise: apparently new formulation of doctrine) some past practices were damnable and ought to be damned. And at the same time the recent teaching is not YET trying to indicate that all forms of coercion are <> of themselves, of their very nature, intrinsically immoral <>, (as, for starters, some acts that would not normally rise to the degree of harshness that we associate with the term torture) – the new position is trying to leave some space for further development, further elucidation as time goes on. That is, while She may indeed wish to condemn as evil all torture, She does not at this time wish to declare as intrinsically evil all forms of coercion because the subject needs more development.

    As a result, She treads somewhat lightly on dealing with a broad category that includes torture but also includes acts that do not arise to “torture”. Calling the entire category “intrinsically evil” without distinction seems beyond what the Church wishes to teach at this time.

    I don’t think that a new document that both teaches why torture is always immoral of itself, and ALSO teaches why and in what way certain ancient practices were evil but did not reflect the true teaching of the Faith and do not undermine infallibility properly understood, would tend to send anyone away from the Faith.

  • JohnMcG says:

    I can buy that explanation, Billy.

    But I do think that, particularly after Vatican II, the hierarchy was quite wary of being perceived as condemning its forefathers. We see this type of reaction every time the Holy Father apologized for some past action we ought to have no trouble recognizing as indefensible now.

    There are a segment of Catholics for whom a strong rejection of past practices of Catholics would be the final straw, and I think the hierarchy is sensitive to that.

  • Anonymous says:

    Billy:

    “but nobody has taken you at your word on the point, because you have not supported it with documentation.”

    The best Catholic historian to survey the period prior to 1252 AD is William Thomas Walsh the author of numerous works on this subject, He discusses the Popes, Councils, Bishops and Doctors who taught on the immorality of torture and execution of heretics.

    However the easiest response to your question is to ask you to name a single Pope or Council which taught the faithful that torture under any circumstances was moral. Just one. Consult Mr. Google.

    If you cannot then where did the Catholics who tortured either alleged secular criminals or heretics get their moral authority for their despicable actions?

    Who, morally speaking, authorized the Catholic torturers to torture their fellow man? I cannot find any document from a Pope or Council which explicitly grants moral authority for the Catholic torturers to torture. Neither, may I add can, the Catholic apologists for torture or the Anti-Catholic bigots find any document.

    The closest, after 700-years of controversy, the Catholic apologists and bigots have gotten to finding a document is Innocent’s 1252 Bull.

    However this Bull is limited to one geographic area in Northern Italy. It does not mention the word “torture”. It protects alleged heretics from serious bodily injury and death. It does not profess to be a universal teaching on faith and morals. No scholar, using primary documents, has been able to directly link it to a single case of the torture and execution of an alleged heretic. (IT may not even have been published and distributed in Lombardy. I am trying to run that down.)

    So how did this evil take root without explicit moral authority? How deep did the roots grow. How wide spread was this evil. Do the roots survive to this day deep underground or perhaps pushing to the surface?

    We are entitled to the truth.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    “You good folks appear to claim that the Catholic secular authorities in 1252 Lombardy were nasty folks who routinely tortured confessions out of alleged secular criminals and then, when authorized by Innocent IV, routinely tortured confessions out of alleged heretics.”

    As the above comments made by both Zippy & William Luse suggests (and, for that matter, the very fact that Zippy would go so far as to rely on anti-catholic sources to achieve his own ends), there is no limit to which they would go to, even if it means down to the very depths of the <>Black Legend<>, for they would more gladly surrender to history as the Protestants and secularists themselves would weave it than by the truth of what had actually occured in those days.

    Zippy “Catholic”?

    Best to revise to Zippy “Anti-Catholic”.

    All for Wales!

    A much grander setting for the likes of such “Catholics” such as Zippy and Bill Luse.

  • zippy says:

    <>However the easiest response to your question is to ask you to name a single Pope or Council which taught the faithful that torture under any circumstances was moral.<><><>Well, there isn’t one — about that we are in agreement. (Though some have cited the encyclical rejecting the errors of Martin Luther, which at least arguably asserts as a matter of doctrine that <>executing<> heretics, by burning them at the stake no less, is not intrinsically immoral. That citation may (or may not) be the subject of a future post).

    But that the Church adopted torture even in its own tribunals isn’t controversial. It is a fact. The Catechism itself says as much explicitly.

  • zippy says:

    <>As the above comments made by both Zippy & William Luse suggests (and, for that matter, the very fact that Zippy would go so far as to rely on anti-catholic sources to achieve his own ends), there is no limit to which they would go to, even if it means down to the very depths of the Black Legend, for they would more gladly surrender to history as the Protestants and secularists themselves would weave it than by the truth of what had actually occured in those days.<><><>It strikes me as a little odd that waffly-on-torture types constantly cite <>Ad Extirpanda<> as supposed proof that torture cannot be intrinsically immoral, on the one hand; and then wig out when I discuss <>Ad Extirpanda<>, its historical context, and its relation to other Church documents in detail, on the other.

    The argument seems to be “the Church authorized torture in her own tribunals, therefore it is impossible for torture to be intrinsically immoral; and how dare you suggest that the Church authorized torture in her own tribunals”. It is a difficult argument to take seriously.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy,

    Fair point.

    Still, I feel that some details must be attended to here if we are to discover any sort of <>Truth<> at all in the matter.

    Thus, I humbly submit for inspection the following details in that regard:

    LINK: < HREF="http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/history/world/wh0008.html" REL="nofollow">The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition (a 1994 BBC/A&E Production)<>The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition, a 1994 BBC/A&E production . . . is a definite must-see for anyone who wishes to know how historians now evaluate the Spanish Inquisition since the opening of an investigation into the Inquisition's archives. The special includes commentary from historians whose studies verify that the tale of the darkest hour of the Church was greatly fabricated.

    In its brief sixty-minute presentation, The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition provides only an overview of the origins and debunking of the myths of torture and genocide. The documentary definitely succeeds in leaving the viewer hungry to know more. The long-held beliefs of the audience are sufficiently weakened by the testimony of experts and the expose of the making of the myth.

    . . . In 1567 a fierce propaganda campaign began with the publication of a Protestant leaflet penned by a supposed Inquisition victim named Montanus. This character (Protestant of course) painted Spaniards as barbarians who ravished women and sodomized young boys. The propagandists soon created “hooded fiends” who tortured their victims in horrible devices like the knife-filled Iron Maiden (which never was used in Spain). The BBC/A&E special plainly states a reason for the war of words: the Protestants fought with words because they could not win on the battlefield.

    The Inquisition had a secular character, although the crime was heresy. Inquisitors did not have to be clerics, but they did have to be lawyers. The investigation was rule-based and carefully kept in check. And most significantly, historians have declared fraudulent a supposed Inquisition document claiming the genocide of millions of heretics.

    . . . Discrediting the Black Legend brings up the sticky subject of revisionism. Re-investigating history is only invalid if it puts an agenda ahead of reality. The experts – once true believers in the Inquisition myth – were not out to do a feminist canonization of Isabella or claim that Tomas de Torquemada was a Marxist. Henry Kamen of the Higher Council for Scientific Research in Barcelona said on camera that researching the Inquisition's archives “demolished the previous image all of us (historians) had.”

  • JohnMcG says:

    e (I presume),

    If there is a case that <>AE<> makes contemporary codemnations of torture and other techniques illegitimate, now is the time to make them.

    If you instead choose to simply throw around insults about Wales, Judas, Benedict Arnold, Pilate, Cain, Hitler, and any other villain from Church and secular history, then that is revealing of how much confidence you have in making that case.

    For example, in the initial post, Zippy cited in the CCC where the Church has explicitly dealt with the past practices of the Church. This has spawned a side discussion of whether this is a sufficient accounting for the Church’s past support of evil, which IMO has not come to a firm conclusion.

    This discussion does not confront the point of the initial post. The only attempt you have made to deal with that is that the translation zippy cited came from an anti-Catholic source, which zippy dealt with by pointing out that it would be in the interest of an anti-Catholic translator to play up, rather than diminish the Church’s historical support for torture.

    In short, your involvement in this thread has done nothing to support the case that torture and other techniques are morally acceptable. Furthermore, you have been throwing mud at people who have been stalwart advocates of the Church’s teachings on a variety of issues. Which leads to the question of what you are hoping to accomplish with these replies.

  • Anonymous says:

    All you filthy animals that voted for Obama have nothing ‘moral’ to say to anyone.

    Zippy is right.

    Section 2297 of the Catechism cites, “Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity.”

    Aside from being secular humanism, and modernism . . . Our brave men used the techniques to SAVE INNOCENT LIVES.

    Plus, the terrorists volunteered for it. All they had to do to avoid discomfort was to give the information we needed to save men’s lives.

    The object of the Inquisition and its use of Roman interrogation customs were licit then and you all (including quoting JPII Superstar) are slandering the dead.

    Try reading a scholarly work on the Inq., say the one by Charles Lea, and get a grip.

  • JohnMcG says:

    e,

    So do you not believe that the CCC passage is a refutation of the Inquisition practices, or do you diseent from it?

    Insulting me or anyone else will not be considered an answer.

  • zippy says:

    <>All you filthy animals that voted for Obama have nothing ‘moral’ to say to anyone.<><><>I didn’t vote for Obama in the Presidential election. John didn’t. Lydia didn’t. Bill didn’t. And I’m confident in assuming that Richard didn’t, and Brandon didn’t, and c matt didn’t.

    That leaves exactly nobody in this discussion who voted for Obama.

    So just who the heck are you talking to?

    I’d also like to see you unequivocally answer John’s question: do you disagree with the CCC’s explicit repudiation of Inquisition practices, specifically the tribunals’ use of torture, or not?

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy:

    “But that the Church adopted torture even in its own tribunals isn’t controversial. It is a fact. The Catechism itself says as much explicitly.”

    It is controversial.

    “In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.”

    The Catechism, like Holy Scripture, is not a historical text. It carries much less weight when it teaches on the history than when it teaches on faith and morals.

    Who authorized Catholics and Catholic tribunals to torture? Did a Catholic moral authority grant a moral right to Catholics and Catholic tribunals to torture to torture? What does the word “torture” mean in the Catechism?

    Did Catholic tribunals adopt torture as a matter of faith and morals or because of a lack of faith and morals?

    (I was asked to do a little gum shoeing relative to a high profile divorce. I was shocked to find out how easily, indeed aggressively, Catholic tribunals granted annulments. 700 years from now will Catholics shake their heads in amazement at how Catholic Tribunals failed not only to protect but to attack the bond of marriage. Will folks accuse JP II of sending secret message to Catholic Tribunals disguised in Papal Encyclicals?)

    We have a right to the truth. We are not going to put a dent in the current torture craze until we know the truth regarding torture in our past.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    Anonymous:

    “Our brave men used the techniques to SAVE INNOCENT LIVES.”

    No. The U.S. Departments of Defense and Army disagree with you. In 2006 DOD published a study that found that there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that torture “works” as an intelligence tool.

    See:

    http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/educing.pdf

    This, btw, was exactly what our Army and CIA instructors taught us back in the Dark Ages.

    Also in September 2006 the Army published its new Interrogation Manual (FM 34-52) which confirmed the findings of the DOD study and prohibited the use of torture (and included enhanced techniques like water boarding in its list pf prohibited acts).

    What is moral in life and what “works” go hand in hand.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy:

    I get very passionate on this subject because in part of the harm it inflicts on young soldiers who get caught up in it. I see that I am taking up a lot of space on your blog. (I am caught up on cases right now and have way too much time to pontificate.) If I am irritating you or any other of your regular contributors please so inform me and I will be delighted to shut up with no hard feelings.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • zippy says:

    <>Who authorized Catholics and Catholic tribunals to torture?<><><>The Bull <>Ad Extirpanda<>, among other things.

    Anyway, I’d like people to rein in their comments and keep it to the actual point of the post, if possible. The subject, again, is not a general historical discussion of the Inquisition. What the Catechism expressly stipulates – that the Church in fact adopted torture in her own tribunals – I also stipulate. If commenters can’t agree with the Catechism on the historical facts, they can at least stay on topic by saying “I don’t agree with the Catechism on the historical facts, but stipulating that the Catechism is right … etc etc”.

  • zippy says:

    Richard:

    It isn’t a matter of irritation or whatever: I’d just like to try to keep things on topic. A person need not <>agree<> with the Catechism’s historical acknowledgment that the Church adopted torture in her own tribunals. But in order to stay on topic, I’d like commenters to at least <>stipulate it for the sake of discussion<>. Thanks.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy:

    Thank you.

    The problem with the Catechism as a historical document is that it lacks authority and it is too vague. Which epoch, which tribunal, what torture?

    However we now have good translations of verified primary documents on the internet which, I think, tell us three things:

    1. Starting in the 13th Century Catholics in positions of authority, both secular and Church, tortured.

    2. The torture was not nearly as wide spread nor as cruel as is commonly depicted in most Anti-Catholic histories.

    3. There was no moral authority for Catholics to torture. Every time over the past 2,000 years Pope or Council taught on the morality of torture it has been to teach that torture is immoral. In fact before and after the “torture epoch” (1200- 1500 AD)there was near universal condemnation of torture among Catholics in positions of authority high and low.

    I hope you find the above acceptable.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • e. says:

    Zippy,

    “Insulting me or anyone else will not be considered an answer.”

    “I’d also like to see you unequivocally answer John’s question: do you disagree with the CCC’s explicit repudiation of Inquisition practices, specifically the tribunals’ use of torture, or not?”

    Would you kindly vouch for my identity?

    Goodness sakes, when and where did I ever engage in discussion using such barbaric colloquialism?

    You, of all people, should be more than well aware of who I am; most especially, if not by IP address then by speech!

    If this is some foul attempt to soil my person, then I suppose this is far from not being unexpected from somebody who would go to the extent of relying on even anti-catholic resources to serve his needs.

  • Anonymous says:

    “Anyway, I’d like people to rein in their comments and keep it to the actual point of the post, if possible.”

    Hard to do exactly that when even fellow coreligionists seem more apt for the likes of Geneva, Zurich or even Wittenberg; but Rome?

    Hardly.

    Papists would find more inviting company in the dreadful French Englightenment than those supposed “Catholics” who would sooner abandon their very Catholicism all for the sake of dialectic.

  • JohnMcG says:

    I apologize if I had a case of mistaken indentity.

    Regardless of how many insult-hurling anonymous posters we have here, it remains that there are two possible refutations to Zippy’s original argument:

    1.) Zippy’s reading of CCC is incorrect.

    2.) The CCC is incorrect

    As has been pointed out, 3.) challenge the translation of <>AI<> won’t get you there, since an anti-Catholic bias would take it in the opposite direction.

    So, which is it? And if it’s 1.), then how is zippy’s reading incorrect?

  • Anonymous says:

    John McG:

    “2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order…”

    As far as I can tell, nobody has put any terrorist to the rack, which would seem to be one of those “cruel practices” mentioned then.

  • JohnMcG says:

    So, I guess the answer is that you have a narrower reading of “cruel practices” that includes things like the rack, but likely not waterboarding.

    I’m pretty sure nobody was being put on the rack that the time CCC was published, yet it continues:

    <>It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.
    <>If the “cruel practices” is limited to things like the rack, then this sentence is nonsense.

    For what are we supposed to work for the abolition of? Which victims and tormentors must we pray for?

  • zippy says:

    <>Would you kindly vouch for my identity?<><><>I would, but blogger comments are very rudimentary, so I don’t have any way to do that as far as I know. I can delete comments and that is about it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Is Ad Extirpanda the only known Church document of its type (i.e., that implicitly allows for acts we now consider torture)?

  • zippy says:

    I don’t know the answer to that question, Anon. I’ve looked through my copy of <>Denzinger<> for anything that might apply, and so far I’ve come up nil. <>AD<> is the one document that is frequently touted (in what is a clear non-sequiter) as demonstrating that it is somehow ecclesiologically impossible for torture to be intrinsically immoral. What else might lurk in the Vatican archives, unavailable to the all-seeing eye of Google, I can’t say.

  • Mark P. Shea says:

    <>Zippy “Catholic”?

    Best to revise to Zippy “Anti-Catholic”.

    All for Wales!

    A much grander setting for the likes of such “Catholics” such as Zippy and Bill Luse.<>There you guys go again: clawing your way to the top of the Popularity Pile by opposing torture. Will your cunning subversion of Holy Torture never cease?

  • e. says:

    Mark,

    I find there is a greater difference between you & Zippy (and even John McG, for that matter).

    Zippy, at the very least (although somewhat unsatisfactorily), has attempted to address the substance of the issue concerning traditional Catholic teaching and seems ever desirous of avoiding the foul presentism that seems quite prevalent in your own “Pre-Vatican II Teachings Make You Stupid” Catholicism.

    As for John McG, he seems very genuine in hearing out his detractors whereas you, on the other hand, seem wont in making a mockery of them.

    However, out of deep respect for Zippy, that'll be all I should like to say about the matter concerning yourself.

    Zippy: My apologies — I didn't know your facilities left you with but the barest necessities.

  • Anonymous says:

    Okay!

    You got me!

    You liberals (Pope Mark P., Richard Cardinal Comerford, et al) have convinced me you’re right. We cannot morally torture terrorists even though that means thousands of (evil rich white) people may get killed.

    So, let’s do to them that which you are all roundly okay with.

    Let’s abort them.

  • JohnMcG says:

    Anon,

    Could you please cite the post where any of us grounded our opposition to torture because the people who not torturing may put in jeopardy are evil and white?

    While you’re at it, please cite the post where any of us show that we are roundly ok with abortion.

    You are not convincing anyone with your poorly targetted insults. Most readers recognize them for what they are.

  • Billy says:

    <> However the easiest response to your question is to ask you to name a single Pope or Council which taught the faithful that torture under any circumstances was moral. Just one. Consult Mr. Google.
    <>

    You missed my question, and answered with something that does not serve. I was not proposing that there is some Pope or Council which taught that torture is moral. The other way around: is there <> explicit <> teaching by a Pope or Council (or one of the Fathers, taken as authoritative), that teaches torture is intrinsically immoral? You have repeatedly said that this position is the position that has been taught “by every Pope” who took up the issue, and I would like to see some documentation. Which popes took up the question, and what did they say?

    To make this crystal clear: (1) the historical record could theoretically have a pope condemn torture authoritatively as being intrinsically evil.
    (2) the historical record could theoretically have a pope say authoritatively that torture is moral in some cases.
    (3) the historical record could be that NO POPES or Councils have taught explicitly that torture is intrinsically immoral or that it is moral.

    This third possibility is that the notion that torture is immoral (however widely held as personal stance) was <> not actually taught <> universally and authoritatively. If this were to be the historical fact, then NEITHER would it be true that torture was condemned authoritatively NOR that torture was explicitly held to be moral authoritatively.

    Richard, if you maintain that option 1 is the historical truth, please provide the documents.

  • Anonymous says:

    “Is Ad Extirpanda the only known Church document of its type (i.e., that implicitly allows for acts we now consider torture)?”

    We have a problem here. How do you and I know that the Bull allowed for “implicit” acts of torture? Did Dan Brown discover a secret message within the Bull?

    It seems to me that if the Bull indirectly authorized torture then there should be a least one, contemporary document in Lombardy, or elsewhere, that connects the Bull to torture in Lombardy.

    I cannot find one. That means nothing. I am a dummy not a scholar. However scholar with an animus against the Church cannot find one either.

    Can anyone else?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    Billy:

    You lost me buddy. Like I said consult Mr. Google. He is a lot smarter than I.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • e. says:

    Billy poses an interesting question — one I hope the more initiated, such as Zippy or even John McG might attempt to provide answer.

    “I was not proposing that there is some Pope or Council which taught that torture is moral. The other way around: is there explicit teaching by a Pope or Council (or one of the Fathers, taken as authoritative), that teaches torture is intrinsically immoral?

    You have repeatedly said that this position is the position that has been taught “by every Pope” who took up the issue, and I would like to see some documentation.

    Which popes took up the question, and what did they say?

    To make this crystal clear:

    (1) the historical record could theoretically have a pope condemn torture authoritatively as being intrinsically evil.

    (2) the historical record could theoretically have a pope say authoritatively that torture is moral in some cases.

    (3) the historical record could be that NO POPES or Councils have taught explicitly that torture is intrinsically immoral or that it is moral.

    This third possibility is that the notion that torture is immoral (however widely held as personal stance) was not actually taught universally and authoritatively. If this were to be the historical fact, then NEITHER would it be true that torture was condemned authoritatively NOR that torture was explicitly held to be moral authoritatively.”

  • Anonymous says:

    E.

    COMPENDIUM
    OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE
    OF THE CHURCH

    From the Vatican, 29 June 2004

    “In carrying out investigations, the regulation against the use of torture, even in the case of serious crimes, must be strictly observed: “Christ’s disciple refuses every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify and in which the dignity of man is as much debased in his torturer as in the torturer’s victim”.[830] International juridical instruments concerning human rights correctly indicate a prohibition against torture as a principle which cannot be contravened under any circumstances”

    Torture is evil.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Mark P. Shea says:

    e:

    By “foul presentism” you appear to mean “the developed teaching of Holy Church as taught by the Magisterium”. I have no problem with the teaching of the Church before Vatican II. I simply don’t think that, where Vatican II presents us with a development, we can concoct the fantasy of the Two Church Theory and then demand we choose between the pre and post-Vatican II Churches. I believe the Church is One and that the task of the Magisterium is to help us understand real developments of the Tradition.

    So it’s, well, a lie to say that I think “pre-Vatican II teachings make you stupid”. What I say is “trying to trump the clear teaching of the Magisterium with outmoded theological opinions makes you stupid”. Not every (or even most) of pre-Vatican II teaching is outmoded. But as the Catechism itself makes clear, the embrace of torture is. Your case is hardly helped by lying about what I think, e.

    It’s true I do make fun of the idea that Zippy’s position is chosen because he is obsessed with popularity. That’s because it’s.. well, funny.

  • Anonymous says:

    I cannot find any contemporary documents linking AE with torture. The earliest document that I could find is this:

    A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages
    (Vol 1, 1888)
    Henry Charles Lea

    I believe that Mr. Lea had a bit of a reputation of being an Anti-Catholic bigot. Mr. Lea does not reveal his sources for linking AE to torture.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Mark P. Shea says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • e. says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • zippy says:

    How many Popes have ever used the terminology “intrinsically evil” in Magisterial documents to refer to anything at all? It doesn’t show up in the index to <>Denzinger<>, and <>Veritatis Splendour<> says about itself that it is the first time that the Magisterium has taken up the issue in detail.

    Prior to that the detailed moral structure of the human act was primarily the province and study of moral theologians, chief among them Aquinas, whose thought gave rise to various schools and interpretations, with the Magisterium refereeing particular questions. See for example the language in < HREF="http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19751229_persona-humana_en.html" REL="nofollow"><>Persona Humana<><>, signed by Pope Paul VI and addressing sexual ethics:<><><>“In reality, it is precisely the fundamental option which in the last resort defines a person’s moral disposition. But it can be completely changed by particular acts, especially when, as often happens, these have been prepared for by previous more superficial acts. Whatever the case, it is wrong to say that particular acts are not enough to constitute mortal sin.”<><><>Note that this treats the abstract question of the structure of moral acts in general almost flippantly (“whatever the case”), though, as we ought to expect, in a way which foreshadows <>Veritatis Splendour<>, authored two Popes later.

    The bottom line is that I think a quest for an explicit statement by a Pope in (say) 800 AD that torture is “intrinsically immoral” is not the kind of thing we should expect, because doctrine was not developed at that point in such a way that we would expect that kind of specific language or its cognates.

  • Mark P. Shea says:

    e.:

    I let my temper get the better of me in the post I deleted above. Instead, let me just say, “God bless you” and apologize for doing so.

  • zippy says:

    e:

    It would be my preference that you delete your own post at Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:40:00 PM. I am reluctant to leave it standing at this point for various reasons, but I’d rather not just cut it out from under you myself and I don’t have any way to contact you except in the combox.

    I will also again express my preference to everyone that people quote/link and respond to the actual words of others when they are addressing a particular person’s positions specifically, rather than simply characterizing them as saying or thinking some thing in your own words, since that makes the whole discussion more fair. I have no problem with expressing a position and then arguing against it; but if that position is to be imputed to a particular participant in the discussion I prefer that the actual words from which that imputation arises be referenced. I realize that that is a little more work, but I think it is worth it for the quality of discussion which results.

  • e. says:

    Zippy,

    Out of deference, I would do exactly as you request of me, except for the fact that it seems I do not have that actual capability myself (or, at least, it does not appear that the blog itself offers such an option for commenters that are perhaps without personal account).

    It seems you might very well need to do so from your end.

  • zippy says:

    OK, I got it, thanks. Logged in users get a little “trash can” icon next to their posts that allows them to remove their own comments. That must not be the case for anonymous commenters, of course. The Blogger comment facility is pretty rudimentary, but it has been all I’ve needed so I’ve been too lazy to explore other alternatives.

  • Anonymous says:

    “We have a problem here. How do you and I know that the Bull allowed for “implicit” acts of torture? Did Dan Brown discover a secret message within the Bull?”

    Perhaps implicit is the wrong word, but I’m at a loss to think of a better substitute, so this is what I’m asking–given that secular law allowed for acts we consider torture and the Bull allowed heresy to be pursued as if were tantamount to murder which could be punished by torture and death, it seems to me the Bull “implicitly” allowed torture because although the word torture is never used in the Bull, it seems unbelievable that the Pope didn’t know that torture was being used by secular authorities to punish murder. Or are you arguing the Pope had an incomplete understanding of the sorts of punishment the secular authorities were using to prosecute murders, etc.? And for the record, I’m not trying to use the Bull to defend torture, but I don’t want to ignore that it raises some troubling issues that should be addressed.

  • e. says:

    Zippy,

    I hardly think it fair that while you removed my own comments that addressed Shea’s rather insidious remarks, you nonetheless allowed his own malicious comments to stand.

    Since when did you ultimately end up being nothing more than merely Shea’s henchman?

  • Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • zippy says:

    e:

    Your objection is noted. Of the two of Mark’s comments remaining, one objects (in his inimitable way) to insinuations made about me, and my friend William Luse, after directly quoting those insinuations. It pleases me to let that one stand. The second objects to positions imputed to him without any reference or quote. Both the post making the imputation and his objection stand, and that is the end of it.

    Anon:

    Since your comment violated what I just asked for – that when imputing positions to another particular commenter in the thread, quote or link to where he takes that position – I am removing it.

    Again, that level of diligence is not required when simply describing a position and then arguing against it. But it <>is<> required when imputing a position to a particular discussion participant.

  • zippy says:

    <>…it seems to me the Bull “implicitly” allowed torture because although the word torture is never used in the Bull, it seems unbelievable that the Pope didn’t know that torture was being used by secular authorities to punish murder.<><><>What is more, it directly requires application of the secular laws of Frederick (both in terms of confiscating property, in Law 20, and terms of accusing, in Law 30) to heretics. Those referenced laws explicitly required the torture of the accused (reference is <>Die Konstitution Friedrichs II. für das Königreich Sizilien<>, found via Mr. Google).

    See e.g. < HREF="http://faculty.cua.edu/pennington/PenningtonTortureEssay.htm#_ftn55" REL="nofollow">here<>:<><><>If from a judge’s investigation base persons are accused of homicide, although a full proof was not produced against any of them, we decree that these base and servile persons should be subjected to torture. If through these measures the court cannot establish the guilt of the persons because strong persons who undergo the great and accustomed power of torture do not confess or because of their weakness, as we know often happens, the timid and fearful confess but do not repeat their confessions in court after having been taken away from the torture, which they do not fear to be repeated… <><><>My own thinking is that the Catechism’s take on the history – that the Church adopted and used torture in her own tribunals – is accurate. In any case, this discussion is not supposed to be about disputing that historical question.

  • Billy says:

    <> The bottom line is that I think a quest for an explicit statement by a Pope in (say) 800 AD that torture is “intrinsically immoral” is not the kind of thing we should expect, because doctrine was not developed at that point in such a way that we would expect that kind of specific language or its cognates. <>

    Zippy, I agree with that. I do not expect such wording either. Richard said that “every Pope” who dealt with the question said torture is immoral. I will settle for those sources or statements. I am not trying to cast doubt on the recent teaching that torture is immoral, nor trying to present a two-Church dichotomy. I am just trying to follow up on Richard’s claim for past popes and their teachings, and make sure that they really said anything AT ALL about torture as a category that might bear on the issue at hand. The only thing he has put forth so far is from 2004. Well, we already know that the Church is currently saying torture is immoral, the comment that he needs to back up is the one about “every pope”. Maybe JPII is the only pope who spoke on it? I don’t think so either.

    So far as the evidence produced can show, one ancient pope treated it as morally licit in a juridical sense, many ancient popes appear to have been willing to allow that juridical stance to continue without objection, and modern Pope(s?) say torture is immoral. If Richard wants us to treat his comments with more weight, I would invite him to substantiate his claim.

  • Anonymous says:

    Billy:

    “If Richard wants us to treat his comments with more weight, I would invite him to substantiate his claim.”

    Please treat any and all of my comments with no weight at all.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • zippy says:

    Well, there is always < HREF="http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/866nicholas-bulgar.html" REL="nofollow">Pope Nicholas I<> (see Chapter LXXXVI):<><><>If a thief or a robber is apprehended and denies that he is involved, you say that in your country the judge would beat his head with lashes and prick his sides with iron goads until he came up with the truth. Neither divine nor human law allows this practice in any way, since a confession should be spontaneous, not compelled, and should not be elicited with violence but rather proferred voluntarily. But if it just so happens that you find nothing at all which casts the crime upon the one who has suffered, aren’t you ashamed and don’t you recognize how impiously you judge? Likewise, if the accused man, after suffering, says that he committed what he did not commit because he is unable to bear such [torture], upon whom, I ask you, will the magnitude of so great an impiety fall if not upon the person who compelled this man to confess these things falsely? Indeed, the person who utters from his mouth what he does not hold in his heart is known not to confess but to speak.[cf. Mt. 12:34] Therefore leave such practices behind and heartily curse the things which you have hitherto done foolishly. Indeed, what fruit shall you have in those practices, of which you are now ashamed. Finally when a free man is caught in a crime, unless he is first found guilty of some wicked deed, he either falls victim to the punishment after being convicted by three witnesses or, if he cannot be convicted, he is absolved after swearing upon the holy Gospel that he did not commit [the crime] which is laid against him, and from that moment on the matter is at an end, just as the oft-mentioned Apostle, the teacher of the nations, attests, when he says: an oath for confirmation is an end of all their strife.[Heb. 6:16]<>

  • zippy says:

    Note that in this citation from 866 AD we have a Pope making the distinction we’ve harped on before, between torture before trial and conviction of a crime with punishment taking place after conviction, saying of the former, with a bit of a doctrinal flourish, that <>neither divine nor human law allows this practice in any way<>.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy:

    “What is more, it directly requires application of the secular laws of Frederick (both in terms of confiscating property, in Law 20, and terms of accusing, in Law 30) to heretics. Those referenced laws explicitly required the torture of the accused (reference is Die Konstitution Friedrichs II. für das Königreich Sizilien, found via Mr. Google).”

    The relevant sections of laws 20 and 30 respectively read as follows:

    “law at Padua when Frederick was emperor there”

    “The head of state shall proceed against the accused according to the laws of the Emperor Frederick when he governed Padua.”

    I could find nothing in your link regarding the law at Padua.

    Am I missing something?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • zippy says:

    <>Am I missing something?<><><>Yes. You are missing the excerpted text of the law of Frederick, which I quoted in that comment.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is interesting:

    “In the Middle Ages Padua was mainly a school
    of civil and canon law, and its faculties of philosophy, law, theology, and medicine grew only gradually.”

    See:

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/438066/University-of-Padua

    Does this mean that the “law of Padua” is different from Roman law?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    The law you are citing in your link applied to southern Italy and to crimes committed in secret.

    AE applies to Northern Italy.

    The entire quote from your link:

    “In the Southern Italian Norman kingdom (Regno), Emperor Frederick II was the first to legislate the use of torture in some detail, although he was not the first medieval ruler to deal with torture in his Constitutiones that honor seems to have gone to the city-state of Verona in 1228[54]. He published a constitution in 1231 in a title of his legal code that dealt with crimes committed secretly[55]:

    If from a judge’s investigation base persons are accused of homicide, although a full proof was not produced against any of them, we decree that these base and servile persons should be subjected to torture. If through these measures the court cannot establish the guilt of the persons because strong persons who undergo the great and accustomed power of torture do not confess or because of their weakness, as we know often happens, the timid and fearful confess but do not repeat their confessions in court after having been taken away from the torture, which they do not fear to be repeated…

    The jurists who drafted this statute adhered closely to the rules established by the ancient Roman jurists[56]. Frederick echoed Ulpian’s doubts about the efficacy of torture. “

    Cannot thou keepist thy medieval kingdoms straight?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • zippy says:

    Richard:

    I could point out what is wrong with your latest analysis, but I think I am going to pass. In any event I’ve said a lot of times now that this is not what the discussion is about. Folks who do not want to at least stipulate for the sake of discussion what the Catechism explicitly states as fact – that the Church at one time adopted the use of torture in her own tribunals – are creating an irrelevant sidetrack.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy:

    “Folks who do not want to at least stipulate for the sake of discussion what the Catechism explicitly states as fact – that the Church at one time adopted the use of torture in her own tribunals – are creating an irrelevant sidetrack.”

    I “stipulated”:

    1. Starting in the 13th Century Catholics in positions of authority, both secular and Church, tortured.

    2. The torture was not nearly as wide spread nor as cruel as is commonly depicted in most Anti-Catholic histories.

    3. There was no moral authority for Catholics to torture. Every time over the past 2,000 years Pope or Council taught on the morality of torture it has been to teach that torture is immoral. In fact before and after the “torture epoch” (1200- 1500 AD)there was near universal condemnation of torture among Catholics in positions of authority high and low.

    I hope you find the above acceptable.”

    You did not tell me that the above was “unacceptable”. Now do you want me to stipulate or enter into a contract with you for the sake of this exploration into the truth that every Church tribunal during a certain historical epoch used torture. Ok. Fine. Name the epoch.

    But this raises the question as to why the Church tribunals engaged in torture?

    Was it because Innocent IV in his 1252 Bull ordered Church tribunals to torture?

    If so how do the Church tribunals know that Innocent ordered them to torture if the word “torture” did not appear in the Bull?

    Was there another Bull from Innocent that explicitly ordered Church tribunals to torture?

    Or are you saying that Innocent IV ordered Church tribunals to follow the laws of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick and that these Imperial laws authorized torture?

    Or is there something else? This is your blog. I am a dummy. I apologize. respectfully request that you clarify what it is you want me to stipulate to. Thank you.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Billy says:

    Zippy, thanks for the source, that is good. He really shows the insanity of using torture for eliciting a confession to a crime that we don’t really know he committed.

  • Anonymous says:

    Anonymous:

    You liberals (Pope Mark P., Richard Cardinal Comerford, et al) have convinced me you’re right. We cannot morally torture terrorists even though that means thousands of (evil rich white) people may get killed.

    You are confused. Mr. Shea is an Anti-Pope. I am the true Pope. Mr. Shea is a lowly convert. He is not a True Catholic. I, on the other hand, can boast that not only was I born a True Catholic; but my ancestors were born True Catholics since before the Immaculate Conception.

    BTW the U.S. Department of Defense and Army disagree with you on the effectiveness of torture as an intelligence tool. (See FM 52-32, September 2006, Army Interrogation Manual). In 2006 DOD published an exhaustive study on this subject.

    DOD found “that there is simply no scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness”.

    The study is found here.

    http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/educing.pdf

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • zippy says:

    My understanding of stipulating is that once we’ve stipulated a premise for the sake of the broader discussion, we stop arguing over the thing stipulated.

  • zippy says:

    <>Zippy, thanks for the source, that is good. He really shows the insanity of using torture for eliciting a confession to a crime that we don’t really know he committed.<><><>As, for example, a confession to the murder of Daniel Pearl was tortured out of KSM by waterboarding.

  • Anonymous says:

    Zippy

    “My understanding of stipulating is that once we’ve stipulated a premise for the sake of the broader discussion, we stop arguing over the thing stipulated.”

    I am sorry. I did not realize that I was arguing. Does your stipulation include not inquiring into when and how Catholic Tribunals started to use torture?

    Thank you

    Richard W Comerford

  • Anonymous says:

    This reminds me a little of the argument that the Church supported slavery because it didn’t do enough to reverse an institution that went back thousands and thousands of years. It’s important to remember that just because the Church doesn’t always actively oppose an evil, it doesn’t mean it condones it.

  • e. says:

    Zippy:

    Thanks.

    Also, I like the way this discussion has been evolving.

    Yet, I must address yours & Billy's most recent comments here:

    ZIPPY: “Note that in this citation from 866 AD we have a Pope making the distinction we've harped on before, between torture before trial and conviction of a crime with punishment taking place after conviction, saying of the former, with a bit of a doctrinal flourish, that neither divine nor human law allows this practice in any way.”

    BILLY: “Zippy, thanks for the source, that is good. He really shows the insanity of using torture for eliciting a confession to a crime that we don't really know he committed.”

    Now, Zippy, in the case of an <>actual<> terrorist, which supported by substantial evidence, known to be extensively involved in terrorist activities and, in fact, is currently engaging in a planned terrorist attack; even then, would you continue to remain adament in your opinion that “enhanced interrogation” measures are unjustified?

    Also, why do you seem so determined to grant terrorists rights reserved specfically for U.S. citizens that even foreign nationals themselves do not have?

  • Anonymous says:

    e:

    “enhanced interrogation measures are unjustified?”

    In 2006 the Department of Defense published an exhaustive study which found that there was “no scientific evidence” that tortured worked as an intelligence tool.

    See: http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/educing.pdf

    Also in September 2006 the Army published its new Interrogation Manual (FM 34-52) which confirmed the findings of the DOD study and prohibited the use of torture (and included enhanced techniques like water boarding in its list pf prohibited acts).

    Back in the Dark Ages our Army and CIA instructors taught us that there was not a single verifiable case wherein torture produced reliable information which was processes into actionable intelligence.

    What is moral in life and what “works” go hand in hand. I do not see how practicing Christians can make the argument that torture “works”.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • c matt says:

    <>Also, why do you seem so determined to grant terrorists rights reserved specfically for U.S. citizens that even foreign nationals themselves do not have?<>Back up a second there – rights that even foreign nationals do not have? Are you saying foreign nationals do not have the right to not be tortured? What rights are you talking about? Aside from voting and running for office, most rights apply to all “persons” not just “citizens” (see, eg. US Constitution Amd No.s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 15 (section 1, second clause).

    I am getting a little frustrated that people keep saying only “citizens” have rights under the Constitution when it is glaringly obvious that is not the case.

  • JohnMcG says:

    It is not zippy who is granting those rights; they were given to each of us by God. They are not dependent on them wearing a uniform or being citizens of a particular country.

  • Anonymous says:

    c matt:

    As lawyer, you should know better than anybody else that <>habeas corpus<> rights are solely reserved for U.S. citizens, not foreign nationals.

    Also, I would think that you, out of all people (including you, John McG), would actually resort to attacking a straw man than the actual substance of an argument.

  • Anonymous says:

    RE: Frederick’s Law of Padua

    Padua is a city in Northern Italy. Innocent IV established AE’s jurisdiction in Northern Italy. In AE Innocent essentially directed that the rule of law established in Padua by Frederick II be maintained. I cannot find exactly what rule Frederick established for Padua in Northern Italy.

    However I found the law he established for Southern Italy and Scily:

    “The Constitutions of Melfi, or Liber Augustalis, were a new legal code for the Kingdom of Sicily promulgated on 1 September 1231
    Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor”

    “The Constitutions notably used reason and logic to dismiss the superstitious foundations of the ordeal; for example, the use of trial by hot iron was dismissed because people believed “the natural heat of white-hot iron grows hot and, what is even more foolish, grows cold for no good reason at all”, and trial by water was forbidden because of the belief “that the defendant of the crime, who has been established only by his guilty conscience, will not be received by the element of freezing water, when, in fact, it is the retention of sufficient air that prevents him from submerging.” Frederick also banned trial by battle, ordering that more weight be given to the testimony of witnesses, although exceptions to this were granted to knights, and for cases in which no witnesses could be provided.”

    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Constitutions_of_Melfi

    Frederick II died in 1250 AD. Two years before Innocent IV published AE. It appears from the above that at his death the secular law for Southern Italy was relatively benign and banned torture.

    I do not know what type of law Frederick established in Padua before his death in 1250 AD. But if it is the same law he established in Southern Italy then there was no secular torture in the geographic area of AE.

    It would appear that torture crept into Catholic Tribunals after Innocent IV.

    BTW the earliest linkage that I can find between AE and torture in 1888.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • e. says:

    Richard Comeford:

    “In 2006 the Department of Defense published an exhaustive study which found that there was “no scientific evidence” that tortured worked as an intelligence tool.”

    Well, I would be able to provide evidence to the contrary concerning “enhanced interrogation measures” but unfortunately, the higher powers prohibit it:

    < HREF="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30750213" REL="nofollow">CIA denies Cheney request to declassify memos: Did harsh interrogation tactics produce life-saving intelligence?<>EXCERPT:

    NBC News and news services
    updated 23 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON – The CIA says it has denied a request by former Vice President Dick Cheney to declassify secret internal government memos that detail whether valuable intelligence was gained from the use of harsh interrogation techniques under the Bush administration.

  • Anonymous says:

    e:

    It would be a waste of time:

    The CIA Officer who “captured” KSM and claims that KSM purportedly “freely talked” after one brief water boarding experience now admits that he was not there during the interrogation:

    “my information was second-hand. I never participated in the use of enhanced techniques on Abu Zubaydah or on any other prisoner, nor did I witness the use of such techniques.”

    Worse, it has been revealed that the two geniuses who developed the interrogation program (at $1,000.00 a day) for the CIA that was used on KSM and others had no previous interrogation experience.

    The Pair of $1,000 a day experts who designed the program were psychologists not professional intelligence officers or interrogators.

    The whole mess can be read here:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/st…=7471217& page=1

    The CIA and every other intelligence service in the world prior to GWOT did not use torture or torture light or “enhanced techniques” to extract reliable information from subjects which would be processed into actionable intelligence.

    Only Jack Bauer does that.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Javier H. von Sydow says:

    Thanks for a very interesting research.

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