Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years. In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendancy, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground that, after all, we do not differ so widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a better understanding with Rome. The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed! GC 563.1
The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution. GC 564.2
In 12th century torture became an integral part of all capital legal proceedings. Also, it was often practiced by the inquisition in most European countries in cases of heresy, blasphemy, adultery and many other similar ‘crimes against God’. Beside common means of torture like beating, suffocating and burning Roman-Catholic Church used others, more depraved ways of extracting confessions and execution of its victims…
1. The Rack
This torture device was often used by the Church in Middle Ages as a quite effective way of confession extraction. Tortures would strap their victims across a board, bounding them by the ankles and wrists and then turning two wheels on each end in opposite direction of each other to the point where dislocation of every joint occurred. Besides regular one, an even gruesome version of the rack, with a grater-like surface going under the victim’s back, was used for heavier offenders.
The stocks are two large wooden planks used to keep victim’s ankles(sometimes applied to head and wrists also) locked in place. This was an outdoor, public punishment, where the subject was a victim of both the weather conditions as well as the acts of spitting, kicking, defecating and urinating of anyone willing and present.
3. Water Torture
In water torture victim’s nostrils were first pinched shut, and then about 8 liters of water was forced down the victim’s throat with a funnel. In some cases boiling water or vinegar was used to inflict even greater suffering. In the end, victim’s stomach would rupture, leading to painful and gruesome death.
4. Heretic’s Fork
This simple yet effective instrument consisted of two metal forks set one against the other, was to be placed under the chin of the accused’s, on end resting just above the larynx and the other end above trachea. Forks forced the subject of the torture to hold his head erect at all times in order to avoid pain. Since the instrument didn’t target any vital organs, suffering could last for days without the danger of victims death. Heretic’s Fork was highly popular with Spanish Inquisition.
5. The Pear
Another device favored by the Spanish Inquisition was the Pear. Mostly used on female victim’s, device was inserted into the subject’s vagina or mouth, and then expanded by twisting the screw on the outer end, lacerating and ripping the inside. Torture sessions that involved the Pear almost always had a fatal end.
6. Scold’s Bridle
Scold’s Bridle is a metal mask with implemented mouth gag that was used mainly on women married to clergy up until 19th century. Clergymen who accused their wives of disregarding their decisions had the right to use the Scold’s Bridle. After the mask was applied women were walked on a leash or chained to a marked cross where they were exposed to public ridicule.
7. The Wheel
One of the most popular and cruelest torture(and execution) methods ever practiced is The Wheel. This giant spiked wheel had to be operated by several men and was able to break literally every bone in victim’s body as it turned, causing agonizing and slow death.
8. The Breast Ripper
Inquisition used breast rippers almost exclusively on women. Victims that were acussed and condemned for adultery, heresy, witchcraft and blasphemy were often treated with this hellish pronged-like device whose main purpose was to tear breasts off the chest.
9. Judas Craddle
The victim was stripped, hoisted and hung over this pointed pyramid with iron belts. Their legs were stretched out frontwards, or their ankles pulled down by weights. The tormentor would then drop the accused onto the pyramid penetrating both orifices. With their muscles contracted, they were usually unable to relax and fall asleep.
10. Hanging Cages
These cages were usually hung around the outsides of town halls and ducal palaces, they were also near the town’s hall of justice and surprisingly cathedrals. The victim, naked and exposed, would slowly wither from hunger and thirst. The weather would second the victims death by heat stroke and sunburn in the summer and cold in the winter. The victims and corpses were usually previously mutilated before being put in the cages to make a more edifying example of the punishment. The cadavers were left in the cages until the bones literally fell apart.