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About Warren Hasty Carroll
Dr. Warren H. Carroll (24 March 1932 – 17 July 2011) was a leading conservative Catholic historian and author, and the founder of Christendom College.
The son of Herbert Allen Carroll and regional writer Gladys Hasty Carroll, Warren Hasty Carroll was born on March 24, 1932 in Maine. He received his B.A. in history from Bates College in Maine, and later, his M. A. and Ph.D. in history from Columbia University.
He served at one time in the CIA's anti-communism division as a Communist propaganda analyst, a job that would later prove most beneficial when writing his monumental comprehensive study of international Communism, Seventy Years of the Communist Revolution (updated and re-released as The Rise and Fall of the Communist Revolution). During 1967-1972 he served on the staff of California State Senator, later U.S. Congressman, John G. Schmitz.
After his conversion from Deism to Catholicism in 1968, a year after his marriage to Anne Westhoff, he worked for the Catholic magazine Triumph, and then founded Christendom College in 1977 with the help of other Catholic laymen, in particular, William H. Marshner, Jeffrey A. Mirus, Raymund P. O'Herron, and Kristin M. Burns. He served as the first president of the college (located in Front Royal, Virginia) until 1985, as well as the chairman of the History Department until his retirement in 2002. At the time of his death, Carroll lived in Manassas, Virginia with his wife Anne, the founder of Seton Junior & Senior High School and Seton Home Study School and the author of Christ the King, Lord of History, as well as Christ in the Americas.
Before his death, he returned to Christendom College each month during the school year to deliver public lectures on select historical topics, ranging from the history of the country of Malta, the Mongol leader Genghis Khan, the French Revolution, and topics from the 20th century, with lectures on Emperor Karl of Austria and the Russian Revolution in 1917. These public lectures are available for free download through iTunes. Dr. Carroll remained a member of the Board of Directors and played an active role in helping to guide the college through the years. Dr. Carroll died on July 17, 2011 (at the age of 79), after a number of years of dealing with the effects of numerous strokes, and was buried on July 26, 2011, in a grave overlooking the Shenandoah River, behind the college's Regina Coeli Hall, where he spent so much of his time while working at Christendom. On September 16, 2012, Dr. Carroll’s Celtic cross headstone (inscribed with “Truth exists. The Incarnation happened.”) was blessed by college chaplain Fr. Donald Planty.
He has received numerous awards throughout his academic career. He received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Christendom College in 1999, Christendom College's "Pro Deo et Patria" award for Distinguished Service to God and Country in 2007, and was the inaugural recipient of Christendom’s “Queen Isabel Catholic Vision of History Award” in 2007. In 1995 he was the inaugural recipient of the "Pius XI Award" in history from The Society of Catholic Social Scientists, an organization of which Carroll was a board member.
He had published articles through the Society's periodical, the Catholic Social Science Review. Carroll is also known for his major work, the multi-volume "History of Christendom." At the time of his death, only five volumes had been published; his wife Anne Carroll helped complete the sixth volume, published in the summer of 2013. Together the series presents a narrative account of Western Civilization and Catholic history from antiquity (about 2000 BC) through the year 2010. The series is noteworthy for its frank Catholic understanding of crucial historical events, including the Crusades, the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, and the "accursed" twentieth century's twin horrors, to use Dr. Carroll's terminology: Communism and Nazism.
Carroll aroused controversy by his defense of the Inquisition and the practice of burning heretics at the stake. As the resident expert in the History Forum of the EWTN Global Catholic Network website in 2002, he moderated a discussion entitled The Benefits of Burning Heretics at the Stake and expressed his agreement with the views of a poster who strongly endorsed the practice. Later in the discussion he justified his views as follows:
Heretics are revolutionaries against the Church, and if they are given a free hand can and will imperil the salvation of millions and begin the upheaval of society. Ask anyone who knew the Communist revolution in Russia or Cuba what horrors revolution brings.
On 5/23/2002, Dr. Carroll added to what he had said earlier about this subject matter:
"In a recent post I tried to clarify my position on this issue. I certainly do not advocate the restoration of the burning of heretics, because in the present climate of opinion it would hurt the Church, and I do not think it should have been done in the past, because we should not deliberately inflict such great pain, nor deprive the heretic of the opportunity to repent. But I do understand why it was done in the past, for the reasons that several posters have stated. Billy Graham would have been seen as a heretic in the past, and he is in fact a heretic now, though he does love Christ and has done much good. - Dr. Carroll"
Another apologia for the Inquisition and its punishments, delivered by Carroll, may be found on YouTube. Similar views about the Inquisition are expressed by his wife, Anne W. Carroll, in her book, Christ the King: Lord of History. His book The Last Crusade: Spain 1936, while not uncritical, gave overall support for Franco and the Nationalist cause during the Spanish Civil War, due in large part to the anti-Catholic emphasis of the communists during that war.
Books by Warren H. Carroll