News today that the Pope has appointed Indian Cardinals in key Vatican councils including the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue would doubtless elicit some cheer in the Indian media circles. It did for me too, though for an entirely different reason. The news reminded me of a brilliant and humorous sketch by Monty Python. But first continuing with the news from Business Standard,
According to an SMC spokesman here, the council for inter-religious, formed in 1964, is entrusted with the task of promoting understanding between Catholic Church and other religions.
In the past millennium, the Pope however had a different way of dealing with the issue of inter-religious relations. Heretics, those who didn’t adhere to the Catholic faith were accused of heresy and were dealt with in special courts through a judicial institution called the Inquisition in an attempt to maintain Catholic orthodoxy. Among these Inquisitions, the story of the Spanish Inquisition is an especially sad tale of torture and religious persecution by the Catholics with estimates putting the death toll at 1, 50,000.
I suppose, with the changing times, the Catholic Church has changed and now prefers a process of dialogue rather than plain intimidation, torture and persecution. Good for them!
I had digressed; I intended to go check out that diabolically funny sketch by Monty Python on the Spanish Inquisition. Here it is: