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Catholic Biographer of Queen Isabella Defends Inquisition

A defense of the Catholic Inquisition in Spain is contained in a book called Isabella of Spain, written by William Thomas Walsh. The book has just been published by Robert M. McBride & Company.

In his defense of Queen Isabella and the Spanish Inquisition, Mr. Walsh declares that only 2,000 persons were burned by the Inquisition during Isabella’s reign. Compared with later Protestant measures, says the author, the Spanish Inquisition saved lives in the long run.

Mr. Walsh admits that from the outset Queen Isabella was interested in the Inquisition for the money it would bring into the royal coffers, money which was spent for the most part in financing the wars with the Moors.

The Inquisitor-General Torquemada is described by Mr. Walsh as “a pleasant, kind, industrious, able and modest man, whose chief ambition in life was to imitate Jesus Christ by preventing the total wreckage of the Christian culture by its most determined enemies.” In his book, Mr. Walsh attacks the Marranos, or secret Jews, who were persecuted by the Inquisition because, according to him, they were responsible for the laxity of morals of the true Christian population.

Mr. Walsh also tries to prove that Jews were guilty of the Blood Accusation. He says that the charge that Jews used to steal Christian boys and crucify them in ignominious mockery of the crucifixion “cannot be dismissed as a mere evidence of fanaticism or propaganda, for the fact is that from time to time Jews actually were convicted of such crimes.”

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