For information relating specifically to the Spanish Inquisition, please see Spanish Inquisition.
The Archive of the Inquisition (or more fully the Archive of the Inquisition and Index), officially referred to as the Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (abbreviated to ACDF for Archivio Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei) in the Vatican, contains the Catholic Church's documents dealing with doctrinal and theological issues related to church teaching. It also contains information on political trials that were carried out when the papacy had temporal power over the Papal States.
Also see: Crypto-Judaism.
By 1500, the Catholic Church had reached an apparently dominant position as the established religious authority in western and central Europe dominating a faith-landscape in which Judaism, Waldensianism, Hussitism, Lollardry and the finally conquered Muslims al-Andalus (the Muslim-dominated Spain) hardly figured in terms of numbers or influence.
When the institutions of the Church felt themselves threatened by what they perceived as the heresy, and then schism of the Protestant Reformation, they reacted.
Paul III (Pope from 1534 to 1549) established a system of tribunals, administered by the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition", and staffed by cardinals and other Church officials. This system would later become known as the Roman Inquisition.
In 1908 Pope Saint Pius X renamed the organisation: it became the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office". This in its turn became the "Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" in 1965, which name continues to this day.
On 22 January 1998 the Vatican opened all Inquisition archives up to the death of Leo XIII. At first, there was space for only twelve scholars within the archives, but this has been increased as demand for the use of the material has increased.
Among the episodes in Inquisition history are the tens of thousands of trials in which accused individuals or reos faced questioning, sometimes torture, and ultimately sentencing (when found guilty) at the hands of inquisitional functionaries.
- The notorious policies of secrecy combined with equally notorious outcomes inspired huge levels of fear.
- These documents provided researchers with crucial evidence regarding the Inquisitors actual exercise of power and their impact on targeted segments of society.
- More or less complete trial transcripts show the spectacular cases of Archbishop Carranza (1559-1576).
List of those tried
Below is a list of people found in the Archive of the Inquisition that have profiles on Geni.
- Antonia Roiz o Maduro - sentenced to be burned to death by the Inquisition in Portugal for "crimes against the Catholic faith and for observance of the laws of Moses." He was burned alive at the stake in the central square of the Portuguese city of Coimbra.
- Cardinal Morone (1552-1559)
- Gallileo Galilei (1633)
- Luis de Carvajal and his family (1589-1596) – Mexican crypto-Jew and his family
- Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi - a 16th century international banker who created an escape network that saved thousands of Crypto-Jews from the Inquisition. She was also a patron of (Jewish) writers, and a diplomat on behalf of her people, who also attempted to start a modern state of Israel.
- Luis Carvajal de la Cueva – (1537-1580) the governor of the state of Nuevo León, a northern Mexico province in which the restriction against immigration from conversos was relaxed in order to encourage migration to the peril-fraught frontier. He was responsible for bringing a significant group of crypto-Jewish conversos living in Portugal since the Expulsion of 1492.
- Felix de Miranda - a New Christian business man, native of the town of Almeyda in the Bishopric of Lamego, convicted and burned at the stake.
- Luis de Carvajal el Mozo - the nephew of Jose Luis Carvajal y de la Cueva, the only crypto-Jew of the Spanish colonial era whose memoirs have been preserved.
- Antonio Fernandez Carvajal - a Portuguese merchant in London; "like other Marranos in London, Carvajal prayed at the Catholic chapel of the Spanish ambassador, while simultaneously playing a leading role in the secret Jewish community, which met at the clandestine synagogue at Creechurch Lane." Some scholars of Judaic studies believe that Miguel de Cervantes may have been a crypto-Jew or of crypto-Jewish descent.
- Rodrigo Lopez - a converso who fled from Portugal to England and became physician to Queen Elizabeth I.
- Giordano Bruno - burned alive at the stake on piazza Campo de’ Fiori, in Rome, on February 17, 1600, for his convictions, which were judged heretical by the Tribunal of the Roman Inquisition, the Vatican Secret Archives unveils the summary of the trial of Giordano Bruno, the 17th document on display at the Capitoline Museums in the Lux in Arcana: The Vatican Secret Archives Reveals Itself exhibition.
- Tomas Trebino de Sobremonte, a very wealthy and influential Converso, was imprisoned for 5 years, beaten and tortured daily, and was forced to watch as his wife and children were dismembered before his eyes. He was finally burned alive at the stake by the Spanish Inquisition on April 11, 1649, in Guaxaca, Virreinato de Nueva España.
- Catholic News Service - The Inquisition and Index: Vatican records shed light on dark legend
- Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame - Introduction to inquisition trial transcripts and records
- PBS.org - Secret Files of The Inquisition
- The Nahmans of Gerona- Family names from the Inquisition Archives of Portugal's Torre do Tombe
- Secret Archives of the Vatican
- Wikipedia - Vatican Secret Archives
- Wikipedia - Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
- Official website Lux in arcana - Vatican Secret Archives reveals itself
How to help
Please join the project . You are welcome to add any historical information you feel is relevant to the Inquisition and its history of torture, heaped on those in the Iberian Peninsula for the purpose of dealing with heresy in all its forms. The secrecy of the torture and actions of the Inquisitors had all been protected by the Church until recently.
We would like to honour those who suffered at the hands of the Inquisitors, so do add to the list any profiles of others that were tortured in the Inquisition.
To join the project:
- Go to ACTIONS
- Click on JOIN THE PROJECT in the drop down menu
- Click on the small screen that appears in the centre of your screen