Friday, June 04, 2010

The Myth of Multiple "Millions" Supposedly Killed in the Catholic Inquisitions, Revisited (Anti-Catholic John Bugay's Historically Groundless Claims)


Illustration of alleged widespread wicked Catholic bloodthirstiness, from an anti-Catholic web page on the Inquisition


From a discussion in a combox for the Reformed Protestant Green Baggins website (starting at comment #213, which started discussion of the ubiquitous Inquisition). John Bugay: now a regular contributor at the notoriously anti-Catholic and perpetually fact-challenged Boors All blog, got into it a little later. His words will be in blue. Jason J. Stellman's words will be in red. Older cited replies of mine will be indented.

* * * * *

Protestants pretty much derived their own trinitarianism and Christology from us in the first place: Nicaea, Chalcedon, etc.).

No, that was us at Nicaea and Chalcedon. You guys were at the Inquisition, though. That was a joke.

And you guys were (usually) at the Witch Hunts and at all the hangings and drawing and quarterings that went on in England for a few hundred years (the crimes being a mere presence at a Mass; supposedly high treason): many hundreds of victims there.

[See:

161 English and 269 Irish Catholic Martyrs During the Reign of the Tyrant Henry VIII: 1534-1544 [at the Very Least: 430 Martyrs]

312 English Catholic Martyrs and Heroic Confessors During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth ("Bloody Good Queen Bess"): 1558-1603

123 English Catholic Martyrs and Heroic Confessors in the Post-Elizabethan Era: 1603-1729 (+ 66 English Martyrs of Unknown Dates / Martyr Resources)

444 Irish Catholic Martyrs and Heroic Confessors, Persecuted by English Royalty, Anglicans, Cromwellians, Etc.: 1565-1713 ]

This is partially a “joke” too, though dead serious at bottom. In any event, it is a matter of historical record. Dredging up past sins goes nowhere because they occur in every camp.
Both Luther and Calvin approved of drowning Anabaptists. They would have sooner agreed to execute many Baptists here (and Luther thought Zwingli was damned precisely because he denied the Real Presence in the Eucharist), for espousing adult baptism, than they would have agreed to execute me, as a Catholic. Catholics were usually merely banished.
witch hunts …. many hundreds of victims there.
Keep your sense of proportion, though. The same famous Oxford reference work from which Catholic apologists draw your “33,000 denominations” number lists the Roman Catholic Church as among the greatest “persecutors,” nearly 5 million over the centuries, just behind Communist China and the Soviet Union.
Too, Luther and Calvin were products of their time, which was largely medieval, when “hangings and drawings and quarterings” were still very much real living memories from those inquisition days.

Please give an exact reference for the “5 million” figure. Thanks. I find it very difficult to believe. Neither Catholics nor Protestants killed anywhere near that number, as far as I know. Mao killed 60-70 million; Stalin about 30-40 million, I believe.

As for 33,000, I renounced that number years ago (about eight), having been convinced of the faulty criteria used, by Eric Svendsen. I usually say, now, “hundreds of Protestant denominations.” And the paper about that remains on my site. It matters little how many there actually are, since according to the Bible, there is only one Church and one faith, and no denominations whatever. So even two supposed competing “churches” is most unbiblical and a scandal.
“hangings and drawings and quarterings” were still very much real living memories from those inquisition days.
Again, as a point of fact: drawing and quartering (complete with tearing out a person’s heart, like the ancient Aztecs did in their human sacrifice rituals) was an “English power play thing” — not really an “Inquisition” thing per se. For example, William Wallace (“Braveheart”) was drawn and quartered for treason against the king of England (as was shown in that movie). That had nothing to do with the “Inquisition”: let alone Catholicism.

It was the particularly brutal mindset of English royalty, that was later employed by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, when they wished to suppress the will of the vast majority of the English people who wished to remain Catholic. The brutality shown against the Irish (mostly Catholic) — mostly after the 16th century, and largely by the Puritans — was another instance of the same thing. That can hardly have been Catholic, since it was directed against Catholics, just as Henry VIII’s persecutions were.

Give it up. Cynical mentions of the Inquisition prove nothing. Historic Protestants are no more “clean” in this regard than Catholics are, and far more hypocritical, because Luther started out decrying the lack of tolerance. As soon as he had power, he persecuted, too, and so did Calvin and Zwingli and (most of all) the English Protestants. The only ones who didn’t do so were the Anabaptists, and even they had a small radical, violent component.

I have a whole web page thoroughly documenting historic Protestant intolerance and persecution, because I grew very tired and weary of always hearing about the Inquisition and Crusades, but never about Protestant sins along the same lines. I always oppose double standards and assert historical truths as far as I can ascertain them.

Dave Armstrong — Kudos to you for having given up the 33,000 number. Maybe as a token of your good will you could persuade some of your fellow Catholics to see things your way.
Regarding the persecutions, see here [a James White article]

Scroll down to “persecutors and their victims”. You’ll see Roman Catholicism at #5 on the list, actually (kudos for you for being lower than I thought) on having created only 4,951,000 martyrs. 

I did not say Protestants were “clean”. I said they were shaped by their times, which, in turn, were shaped in huge part by the Roman Catholic hierarchy. 

So long as you are asserting historical truths, keep in mind that the Roman Catholic Church had centuries to do its deeds before there was one Protestant. If you can keep that straight, it will go a long way toward helping the discussion along.

. . . there is and always has been “one true church”. No doubt the presbyterian arm of the body was responsible for the clear thinking in those early councils. (Heaven knows there was some unclear thinking.)
The “Roman” part was the cancerous mutation that eventually caused the inquisition, etc. Most of the really serious sins. The Reformation came along and tried to excise that cancer, and got some of it, but didn’t quite make it. Cancer can be a very persistent thing, you know.

It is an absurd, grotesquely inflated figure [4,951,000], arbitrarily pulled out of a hat. I submit that no serious historian can be found who would support this. Where do they even purport to get it from? It is doubly absurd in that it ignores all the Protestant persecutions, as if Lutherans, Calvinists, Anglicans, and Zwinglians never killed anyone or hurt a flea. Instead, we get the wicked Catholics, “quasi-Christians,” and “other Christians” (whoever in the world they are supposed to be: have they no names?). It’s completely ludicrous.

Even James White, your source, (wisely) states, “My point is not to defend this source’s claim at this point.” He knows (or seems to know) it is ridiculous. But he has to get in the sweeping prejudicial remark [against Catholic apologist Steve Ray, about whom he has long been obsessed]: “He is willing to throw his integrity under the bus in the face of overwhelming documentation and respond with laughter and mockery. It is the way of the Catholic Convert, evidently.”

I’m not interested in the “your dad’s uglier than mine” arguments, which never go anywhere or accomplish anything, but rather, in the definition of “Christian”: my initial query and discussion with the blog host (that is still in process). I have merely clarified a few basic historical facts that you seem to have mixed up.
Claiming that “millions” were killed is precisely one of the ridiculous myths that helped me to decide to no longer debate theology with anti-Catholics. It’s futile. It’s a waste of time. I’ll do little exchanges like this one, but not an entire dialogue on theology.

Well, Dave, it is the Oxford World Christian Encyclopedia, so your protest of ludicrosity is a bit weak.

I don’t care what it is. This source has the responsibility to back up its claims with serious historiographical documentation and the latest research, just as anything else does. Having “Oxford” in its title doesn’t change that fact. Just as it is silly regarding numbers of denominations and how they are determined, so it is with regard to numbers of persons killed in historic persecutions, and who did it. You haven’t given me any reason to overthrow my understanding of the numbers, but merely fluff and rhetoric.

You can continue to argue like this if you like, but understand that anyone with even a passing knowledge of medieval history will quickly question your credibility if you do so. It’s your life and your intellectual reputation, my friend. I’m actually trying to spare you some embarrassment in the future . . .

If you were to read the article, Dr. White does not have an issue with the source; he has an issue with the lack of integrity of those who use the source. 

And as far as proportionality, you’ll see, far down the list, that “other Christians” (which would include the Lutherans, etc., who you seem to be intent on mentioning, at 220,000. So that’s what, 4.5% of the total? Heck, Catholics are eager to say “that’s nothing” when talking about the sexual abuse scandal. 

I have not mixed up anything. I have merely provided some proportion, backed up with some legitimate numbers, to one aspect of the “exchange” that didn’t come out quite straight the first time.

As an example of how absurdly inflated the “murdered” figures are, see, e.g., the Wikipedia article on the Spanish Inquisition (section on “Death Tolls”). Using actual records from the time (I know: what a novelty to actually document something from a primary source!), one arrives at a minimum total of 1,050 killed between 1540-1700 in Spain, Sicily, and Mexico.

The Wikipedia article on the Roman Inquisition (1542-c. 1860), cited Italian historian Andrea Del Col who estimated “that out of 62,000 cases judged by Inquisition in Italy after 1542 around 2% (ca. 1250) ended with death sentence.”

The inquisitors generally preferred not to hand over heretics to the secular arm for execution if they could persuade the heretic to repent: Ecclesia non novit sanguinem. For example, Bernard Gui, a famous inquisitor working in the area of Carcassonne (in modern France), executed 42 people out of over 900 guilty verdicts in fifteen years of office. Execution was to admit defeat, that the Church was unable to save a soul from heresy, which was the goal of the inquisition.
Other treatments derived from serious historians, not polemicists and propagandists with an ax to grind, yield similar results, for sure: in the low thousands, not multiple millions. 

Another helpful article is “How many people died from the Inquisition?” at Answers.com. It states:
The number of people who died in the various inquisitions across Europe are difficult to determine, but the number of victims can be numbered in the thousands, not the millions as a previous respondent stated. The entire populations of Europe would have been wiped out if inquisitors had killed in those numbers! Even though the Spanish Inquisition lasted for hundreds of years the Inquisition was held primarily in small areas in France, Spain and Italy.

For example, the Spanish Inquisition, assuredly the most vigorous and corrupt of the various inquisitorial bodies that existed in Europe, held 49,000 trials between 1560-1700 and executed between 3 and 5,000 people.

I suggest that the read Edward Peter’s Inquisition for the most up to date analysis of the topic, including the myths that have arisen surrounding the inquisitions.

The Spanish Inquisition was state ministry, not papal organization. Blaming Popes for deeds of Spanish Inquisition is incorrect. However kings of Spain used Dominicans (catholic order) as judges etc. because clergy (especially mentioned monks) were generally far more educated than ordinal people. . . .

As for how many deaths may be attributed to the various inquisitorial bodies, I’m not certain who the previous contributor refers to when he states that “those who thoroughly study the inquisition” agree that the death toll was in the millions, but he or she is quite wrong on multiple levels. I am unaware of any modern historian who would accept such ridiculous numbers and it has nothing to do with whether or not they are Christian. Again, for a general treatment of the various inquisitions, read Edward Peters’ Inquisition, and for a more specialized treatment turn to Richard Kieckhefer’s Repression of Heresy in Medieval Germany.
[several typos corrected]
Myths abound in this area (as in Most Things Catholic), which is why I took it upon myself to collect many serious articles about the topic, on my web page, Inquisition, Crusades, and “Catholic Scandals", to correct the record:
Catholic Encyclopedia: INQUISITION
The Inquisition and the Church (Joseph Jenkins)
A New Look at the Spanish Inquisition (Edward O'Brien)
The Spanish Inquisition: Fact Versus Fiction (Marvin R. O'Connell)
REMOTE MOTES AND PRESENT BEAMS (The Inquisition) (Ralph McInerny)
A New Industry: The Inquisition (Brian Van Hove)
The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition (Ellen Rice)
INQUISITION ON THE WEB (David Burr)
INQUISITION (James Hitchcock)
One Cheer for Inquisitions (Gerard Bradley)
Beyond the Myth of the Inquisition: Ours is the Golden Age (Brian Van Hove)
Dave Hunt and the Spanish Inquisition (Phil Porvaznik)
Status: Inquisition in the Catholic Church (Benjamin D. Wicker)
The Spanish Inquisition (Anne W. Carroll)
The Inquisition (William G. Most)
Aquinas and the Heretics (Michael Novak)
Who Burned the Witches? (Sandra Miesel)
Torture and Punishment as a Problem in Catholic Moral Theology: Part I. The Witness of Sacred Scripture (Fr. Brian W. Harrison)
Torture and Punishment as a Problem in Catholic Moral Theology: Part II. The Witness of Tradition and Magisterium (Fr. Brian W. Harrison)
Vatican II and Religious Liberty: Contradiction or Continuity? (Fr. Brian W. Harrison)
The Center is Holding / The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty (Fr. Brian W. Harrison)
Pius IX, Vatican II and Religious Liberty (Fr. Brian W. Harrison)
The Catholic Church's Consistent Doctrine on Religious Liberty (William G. Most)
Crusade Myths (Thomas F. Madden)
The Crusades 0101 (James Akin)
The Jews and the Crusaders: Medieval Shoah? (Vince Ryan)
The Crusades and Their Critics (James Hitchcock)
Rethinking the Crusades (Jonathan Riley-Smith)
The Real History of the Crusades (Thomas F. Madden)
Catholic Encyclopedia: CRUSADES
The Battle Over the Crusades (Robert P. Lockwood)
Crusades: Truth and the Black Legend (Vittorio Messori)
The Crusades (Anne W. Carroll)
The Meaning of the Crusade (G.K. Chesterton)
The Crusades: A Defensive Gesture
Crusades and Counter-Crusades (Paul Crawford)
Crusades: Additional Background (Paul Crawford)
Crusades: Legacy (Paul Crawford)
Crusades: Political and Military Background (Paul Crawford)
Crusading Vows and Privileges (Paul Crawford)
The First Crusade (Paul Crawford)
The Later Crusades (Paul Crawford)
Our church is invisible, and only appears visibly at the moments in history we approve of. So regarding the Nicene Creed, you’re welcome. But when it comes to witch trials and Anabaptist drownings, that was a bunch of visible people, NOT members of the invisible church. 

Therefore, Luther, Calvin, Farel, Beza, Melanchthon, Bucer, Bullinger, Oecolampadius, Zwingli, Cranmer, Latimer, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and the later English Puritans like Cromwell who butchered the Irish, were all outside of the invisible church.
Very curious reasoning indeed . . .

I’ll accept your trashing of Oxford for what it’s worth.
 
I see. So now demanding a minimum of documentation for what is an immediately questionable claim, is “trashing”? You still have given me no reason whatever to accept your claim that 5 million or so were killed by Catholics.

Dave Armstrong — you’re the one who came in to a very civil discussion, and in responding to a joke, you brought up witch hunts and things like that. 

I should not have to provide any further documentation when it is “Oxford” on the label. The image is a bitmap, clearly not altered, and Dr. James White is an extremely reliable source.

Let all note that John Bugay has refused to offer solid historiographical documentation for the alleged fact that Catholics killed nearly five million people. He accepts this source merely because it was published at Oxford and has that word in its title.
And this is all the more astonishing given the fact that he writes regularly for a blog that prides itself (not always accurately, I might add) on minute historical accuracy, and constantly, relentlessly chides Catholics for actually or supposedly botching historical facts (especially regarding Martin Luther) and citing things out of context. One would hope he could achieve a minimum of historical accuracy when discussing the Inquisition(s) and not fall prey to this silliness.
Kudos to you for having given up the 33,000 number.
Note also the high irony and humor here. I immediately (in 2002) gave up a figure from a particular source when reason and the facts (produced by someone — Eric Svendsen — who was a severe critic of mine) warranted and demanded it.

But John Bugay refuses to give up his figure of “4,951,000” supposedly killed by the Inquisition, obtained from the very same source, merely because “Oxford” is in its title, and (as we all know), one need not “provide any further documentation” when that hallowed word is on the label (as if Oxford has always been a bastion of pro-Christian sentiment and is never guilty of any bias against any form of Christianity).

I agree that, by and large, stuff out of Oxford is fairly good scholarship (I use, for example, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church from my own library all the time), but to make this a principle in order to avoid the obvious responsibility of backing up one’s (highly dubious) numerical claims with solid, reputable historiographical research, is beyond absurd.

I told you guys, it wasn’t the reference work itself, it was how it was being used. It was the integrity of those using it.


By the way, telling your readers [in the combox for this post] that “Bugay has refused to back up his ridiculous claims. He has been nailed on this, and I think he knows it, so he is avoiding, rather than retracting or admitting he doesn’t know what he is talking about…” is not a good way to win friends.

Telling the truth sometimes makes it hard to be friends with some folks. I continue to have no reason to believe otherwise, unless you inform me of one. 

This latest URL of yours proves nothing; it merely begs the question at hand: whether mere association with Oxford is sufficient to prove that a particular claim made in a book published by said university is true or not [this is essentially a form of the genetic fallacy]. I am demanding (quite reasonably so) documentation from scholars (all non-Catholic ones if you wish) directly familiar with the Inquisition and the Middle Ages, for the absurd nearly five million figure of casualties from the Inquisition that you wish to stand by.

Imagine what your buddy at the blog you are now writing for would say if I claimed that some claim about Martin Luther were true simply because it was published in a book put out by Oxford University. I would be laughed and mocked to scorn over there (I have, anyway, for speaking “controversial” historical truths, on many occasions). But you can do it when it comes to Catholicism.

* * * * *

Here are a few examples of ridiculous anti-Catholic inflation of the execution numbers of the various Inquisitions (not posted in the thread above):

Since history books have been largely rewritten, few people know specific details of this murderous campaign that lasted over 1,200 years, killing 75 million people. . . . the very beast that slaughtered up to 75 million Protestants, . . . We will quote Catholic documents just as they were printed, so you can see the true face of this beast that slaughtered 75-100 million people over 1,200 years; . . .

("The True Face of the Roman Catholic Inquisition")

Prior to 1960, libraries in America were filled with books on the Inquisition. Today however, very few can be found. . . . Why has the Inquisition been covered up? Because the total number of victims of this atrocity reached about 68 million people.

They were Bible-believing Christians, Jews and even Roman Catholics like Joan of Arc, Savanarola, Giordano Bruno and Galileo etc., who were destroyed by the Inquisition carried out by the "Holy Office." The victims were always found guilty. They never knew who accused them. They never had lawyers, and no one would dare lift a finger to help.

("The Last Great Inquisition!!")

Victor Hugo estimated the number of the victims of the Inquisition at five million, it is said, and certainly the number was much greater than that if we take into account, as we should, the wives and husbands, the parents and children, the brothers and sisters, and other relatives of those tortured and slaughtered by the priestly institution. To these millions should properly be added the others killed in the wars precipitated in the attempt to fasten the Inquisition upon the people of various countries, as the Netherlands and Germany.

("The Horrors of the Church and its Holy Inquisition")

Dr. Peter Ruckman [a KJV-Only goofball], in his two-volume book set on Church history, states that 50 million people were murdered during this period. Roman Catholic writter, John Cornwell also writes how 1-10 million were murdered during the Inquisition period alone, with 10,000 females (many under the age of ten) perishing in Germany (Sunday Times, 23/8/98.)

("The Inquisition: A Medieval Holocaust!")

Before someone stands up so freely for the RCC I think they should watch this video to understand how they killed and tortured over 50 million bible believing Christians during the Catholic Inquisition whose only heresy was that they would not pay homage to the Pope and place him on equal ground with Jesus Christ and owned a Bible which was srictly forbidden by the RCC so that they know not the truth.... remember Protestant in this regards was deemed as someone who "protested" such blashphemy [sic].

This posted from Richard Bennet who was a former RC priest for 22 years!! There is a small song in the beginning of it...so give it a couple minutes to get going. It is quite an eyeopener.

("Rapture Forums")

Just a small sample of the nonsense that can easily be found with a good Google search . . . .


***

36 comments:

Douglas Naaden said...

Catholics persecuted and killed 5 million????? hahaha, I lol'ed. You have to have some serious gaps in historical knowledge to come to that figure.

Dave Armstrong said...

It is remarkable, isn't it? But this is how propaganda works. Some stupid figure gets thrown out and repeated, and fools believe it. One source had the death toll at 68 million. That was roughly the population of the entirety of Europe in the Middle Ages: especially after the Black Death.

So there is no rhyme or reason here. Bugay has refused to back up his ridiculous claims. He has been nailed on this, and I think he knows it, so he is avoiding, rather than retracting or admitting he doesn't know what he is talking about. The fool's way out . . .

scotju said...

Dave, even though I still disagree with you on a previously discussed matter, you have hit a home run on this topic. Bugay is a former Catholic and he should know better than to tell an outrageous lie like this one. But, then again, if you leave "the pillar of truth" for the lies of the so-called reformers, I suppose lying becomes easy for you.

Dave, while Peters book is the best on to read about all the inquisitions, the best book about the Spanish Inqisition is the same named book by Henry Kamen. His SI is reguarded as the most authoritive on that institution. Kamen, who is Jewish, basically demolishes the 'black legend' myths that fool's like Bugay like to tell about the SI. If yo haven't read it, get a copy. If yo have a copy, start quoting from it and send Bugay to the corner with a dnce cap on.

I.M Fletcher said...

Also, re: witch burnings, there is a very good article on the site HERE by a Catholic guy from Canada. (The site is well worth looking through - he has Catholic responses to a lot of the big questions)

He has an except there written by a Jenny Dobbins who belongs to the Wiccan movement, has an MA in medieval history and a minor in the Great [Witch] Hunt. She has no particular love for the Church (being a Wiccan), but writes in an article on the pagan web site "Covenant of the Goddess" -

---snip---

For years, the responsibility for the Great Hunt has been dumped on the Catholic Church's door-step. 19th century historians ascribed the persecution to religious hysteria. And when Margaret Murray proposed that witches were members of a Pagan sect, popular writers trumpeted that the Great Hunt was not a mere panic, but rather a deliberate attempt to exterminate Christianity's rival religion. Today, we know that there is absolutely no evidence to support this theory.

When the Church was at the height of its power (11th-14th centuries) very few witches died. Persecutions did not reach epidemic levels until after the Reformation, when the Catholic Church had lost its position as Europe's indisputable moral authority. Moreover most of the killing was done by secular courts. Church courts tried many witches but they usually imposed non-lethal penalties. A witch might be excommunicated, given penance, or imprisoned, but she was rarely killed. The Inquisition almost invariably pardoned any witch who confessed and repented.

... in York, England, as described by Keith Thomas (Religion and the Decline of Magic). At the height of the Great Hunt (1567-1640) one half of all witchcraft cases brought before church courts were dismissed for lack of evidence. No torture was used, and the accused could clear himself by providing four to eight "compurgators", people who were willing to swear that he wasn't a witch. Only 21% of the cases ended with convictions, and the Church did not impose any kind of corporal or capital punishment.

... Ironically, the worst courts were local courts. ..."Community-based" courts were often virtual slaughterhouses, killing 90% of all accused witches... national courts tended to have professional, trained staff -- men who were less likely to discard important legal safeguards in their haste to see "justice" done.

---snip---

So, it's one thing Catholics defending themselves when it comes to the Inquisition and witch-burnings etc, but when a Wiccan (who have no particular love for the Church) writes the above it is more a testament to the truth I think.

John Bugay said...

Oxford stands behind its work:

http://books.google.com/books?id=v_KAsBggupkC&pg=PA12&dq=oxford+world+christian+encyclopedia&cd=1#v=onepage&q=oxford%20world%20christian%20encyclopedia&f=false

John Bugay said...

You should note that the header for the graphic is not limited to the Inquisition. It's "Persecutors and their Victims, AD 33-2000"

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2235

So you're beating your chest, all the while having missed the mark and spread some of that misinformation (quite a lot of it, it seems), that you decried over at Green Baggins.

Dave Armstrong said...

Thanks for the great info., scotju and I.M. Fletcher.

Adomnan said...

Well, what do you expect? Bugay thinks Mr. James White is a "Dr." Obviously, he'll fall for anything.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Mr. Bugay, I have a few questions for you since you are pasing Dave's words here. I note the that the World Christian Encyclopedia determined that "Roman Catholics" persecuted and killed 4,951,000 people. It does not say that the they did so at the behest of the Pope or other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. Can you provide us with a list of the "Roman Catholics" who supposedly carried these acts out and how many each of them killed? Can you refer to any official documentations showing that the Catholic Church gave these anonymous "Roman Catholics" sanction to kill anyone? Dave documented pretty well how many people were martyred for merely being Catholics and wishing to practice their faith by the leaders, so-called, of the Protestant Church of England. I call on you to put up your proof or be forever labeled a slanderer and a person bearing false witness. If you or your co-religionists can not document your claims, retract them if you actually believe that you are Christians.

John Bugay said...

Paul Hoffer: The World Christian Encyclopedia is a standard reference work -- There is a reason why there are standard reference works from Oxford. You can cite them as factual, and such references are accepted in academia. You can satisfy your curiosity as to their methodology with a simple trip to the library. I'm not going to validate their methodology for you.

Its figures are used and passed along by others:

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstatv.htm

With this qualification:

World Christian Encyclopedia (2001): This book is the standard reference work for religious statistics of all kinds, and both Britannica and the World Almanac cite from it.

This website passes along numbers from that page.


I provided a scan from the actual page:

http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=2235

and along with that, in conjunction with a response to "witch hunts," my comment was was:

Keep your sense of proportion, though. The same famous Oxford reference work from which Catholic apologists draw your “33,000 denominations” number lists the Roman Catholic Church as among the greatest “persecutors,” nearly 5 million over the centuries, just behind Communist China and the Soviet Union.

Too, Luther and Calvin were products of their time, which was largely medieval, when “hangings and drawings and quarterings” were still very much real living memories from those inquisition days.


Note the numbers:

Roman Catholics: 4, 951,000
Orthodox: 600,000
Other Christians: 220,000

(This last number no doubt includes some Protestants).

I also said, I did not say Protestants were “clean”. I said they were shaped by their times, which, in turn, were shaped in huge part by the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

Your qualification that "It does not say that the they did so at the behest of the Pope or other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church" hardly matters. The Roman Church, which never hesitated to assert its authority -- even authority over secular governments -- created the rules and the environment under which such things could and did happen.

I'm sure that those 220,000 deaths caused by "other Christians" were not at the behest of Luther or Zwingli or other leaders of the Protestant churches, either.

Your threatened charges of "slander" and "false witness" themselves are slanderous and false witness.

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Bugay, given the fact that reference work you cite has been demonstrated to be in error over the number of denominations, why should I accept the figure of how many people were purportedly martyred by "Roman Catholics?"

Thomas Schirrmacher, a Protestant, in an article entitled, "The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All" written in 2008 (which can be found here: http://www.bucer.eu/uploads/media/WEA_GIS_5_-_Thomas_Schirrmacher_-_The_Persecution_of_Christians_Concerns_Us_All.pdf) critiques Barrett's methodology in several places. For example on pg. 16 "Hard to prove guess" and on pg 19
"Unfortunately, Barrett, who is known for his unwillingness to share or discuss his data, unlike the team of authors of Patrick Johnstone’s ‘Operation World’, fails to give sufficient information on his statistic methods."

Assuming arguendo that I should accept Barrett's works as authoritative, here is what I could determine from a review of his work titled, "World Christian Trends 30 AD-2200 AD" one would see that your selective citation of his work demonstrates your reckless disregard for any notion of the truth. Page 32 has a number of charts on it. First, I would note that he, unlike you and your ilk, consider both Catholics and Orthodox as Christians. Further, one would see that he estimates that the total number of Protestant martyrs killed by Muslims, secular governments, fellow Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox throughout all of history to amount to 3,172,000, almost 2 million less than the number you, White, and your fellow co-religionists bandy about. In contrast, the number of Orthodox martyrs killed amount to 42,798,000, and Catholic martyrs 12,210,000 after 1000 AD.

Further, it you had taken the time to review the large chart on page 32 (found here: http://books.google.com/books?id=IMRsJ1gnIYkC&pg=PP8&lpg=PP1&dq=%2Bbarrett+%2Bworld+%2Bchristian#v=onepage&q&f=true) which appears to be used by him in his other works including the one you referenced, it is obvious that the bulk of Protestants supposedly martyred were killed in the 20th century. I am not aware of any Catholic jihads undertaken against Protestants during the last century, are you?.

Interestingly, the large chart also shows two incidents where over a million Catholics were martyred in 1500-1600 and one where over 100,000 were martyred between 1600-1700. I wonder how many of the 140,000+ Christians Protestants allegedly martyred happened to be Catholics during those times. Your thoughts?

Thus, your claim that millions of Protestants were killed supposedly as a result of the Popes encouraging secular governments during the time of the Reformation to slaughter them is a patent falsehood, that is if we are to accept your claim that Barrett's reseach should be considered as standard reference material that we are to accept as authoritative without question

Now, I will acknowledge that I have not actually read Barrett's works (but will track them down if necessary), but only snippets that I could find on the internet. However, based on what I have found, I stand by my assertion that you are engaging in slander and false witness particularly if you are going to continue to base your assertions on Barrett's studies.

I pray that you find the courage within yourself to correct your assertions here and to call upon your co-religionists to correct their assertions as well in relying on this information.

God bless!

Paul Hoffer said...

BTW, I apologize for poor grammar corrected here: "Assuming arguendo that I should accept Barrett's works as authoritative, here is what I could determine from a review of his work titled, "World Christian Trends 30 AD-2200 AD": your selective citation of his researches demonstrate your reckless disregard for any notion of the truth."

John Bugay said...

Paul Hoffer: Mr. Bugay, given the fact that reference work you cite has been demonstrated to be in error over the number of denominations, why should I accept the figure of how many people were purportedly martyred by "Roman Catholics?"

Mr. Hoffer, the important thing to note, over and over again, is not that the reference itself was in error over the number of denominations, but that those who used this information, actually misused it to come up with the "33,000 denominations myth."

Here, again, is the link to the (yes) AOMin site, where this was discussed:

Here you have the Protestant denominations listed. Let's pass over all the discussion I've offered of the inclusion of non-Trinitarians in the list, or how irrelevant sola scriptura actually is to how these denominations arose. Here are the facts Steve Ray knows, but won't discuss:
FACT: This source lists 27 [major] Protestant groups [categories].
FACT: This source lists 8,973 "denominations" under "Protestant"
   So what does he do when he has been all along claiming the 33,000 number represents Protestants derived from the Reformation due to sola scriptura? What does he do? Well, he takes the Protestant category, lumps the "Independents" in as "Protestants" (including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Gnostics, Bogomils, and even Swedenborgianists!), then, so desperate is the man, he then grabs such groups as "Arab radio/TV network" …


Not only has this been proven to be the case, and to have been repeated many, many times, but the very host of this Blog, Dave Armstrong, has admitted that number to be wrong. He said up above, "I immediately (in 2002) gave up a figure from a particular source when reason and the facts (produced by someone — Eric Svendsen — who was a severe critic of mine) warranted and demanded it."

(continued)

John Bugay said...

Now onto the item in question.

This information appears on Page 11 of Oxford's "World Christian Encyclopedia of Comparative Religions, Global Diagram 6, "The phenomenon of martyrdom: 70 million Christians killed for their faith in 220 countries across 20 centuries."

The methodology given is "Table 5-1 includes 2 columns that describe the whole extent of Christian martyrdom and its martyrs—defined by five criteria: believers in Christ, who have lost their lives, prematurely, in situations of witness, as a result of human hostility. These results are based on a 30-year research investigation into the extent of martyrdom in Christian history up to the present day, in every part of the world, and across all traditions of Christianity."

Confession of Victims, AD 33-2000
(total martyrs of each tradition)
Eastern Orthodox 37,444,000
East Syrians (Nestorians) 12,400,000
Roman Catholics (after AD 1000) 11,000,000
Protestants: 3,170,000
Gregorians (Armenian Apostolic) 1,220,000
Coptic Orthodox 1,070,000
Anglicans 983,000
Catholics (before AD 1000) 838,000
Ethiopian Orthodox 651,000
West Syrians (Jacobites) 351,700
Maronites 153,000
Non-White indigenous Christians 140,000

Total all Christian martyrs: 69,420,000


Persecutors and Their Victims, AD 33-2000
Persecutors responsible Martyrs
Secular governments 55,597,000
Atheists (overlap with above) 31,519,000
Muslims 31,519,000
Ethno-religionists (animists) 7,469,000
Roman Catholics 4,951,000
Quasi-Christians 2,711,000
Buddhists (Mahayana) 1,811,000
Eastern Orthodox 600,000
Zoroastrians (Farsis) 384,000
Other non-Christians 250,000
Other Christians [i.e., Protestants] 220,000

SUBTOTALS:
Non-Christian persecutors 64,100,000
Christian persecutors: 5,320,000

Total All Martyrs: 69,420,000

So here we have the numbers, who did what to whom, and by whom it was done.


Oxford's definition of martyr seems to be somewhat more broad than Barrett, but not much. I can go through here and provide "number-for-number" comparisons with the Barrett numbers, but you seem to have a fascination with this, so I'll let you try your hand at it.

Ben M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Bugay said...

By the way, here is the link to that work, World Christian Encyclopedia:

http://www.amazon.com/World-Christian-Encyclopedia-Comparative-Religionists/dp/0195103181/

Click on "Search inside this book," and do a search on the word "persecutor," it will bring up the result on page 11.

Dave Armstrong -- I'm wondering if any apologies will be issuing forth on this topic, from you or your henchmen, about "refusing to back up my ridiculous claims," or "the fool's way out," or whatnot.

As you know, I've been interacting with Catholics for a long time. It is always a learning process. There is a lot to have to know, when you're dealing with a process that has lasted 2000 years.

One of the first lessons I learned is, it's important who you trust for your information.

So when James White posts a link, I trust it. I do so because I have learned to do so. I have learned that when he says something, it is reliable -- he documents it. Your folks may scoff at it, but they should spend more time reading James White and less time scoffing, if they are interested in their own moral qualities.

That is why, early on, when I posted that link from his site, I was certain that I could do so with confidence.

And it has turned out that he was correct. The Oxford World Encyclopedia does list 4.9+ million martyrs killed by "Roman Catholics" over 2000 years. But it does more. It provides the complete story. It presents the entire context of it. It points to a thirty year study, it lays out its methodology. As I said, there is a reason why it is a standard reference work.

Your post here, the catcalls from your audience, and your claims that I "have refused to back up [my] ridiculous claims" are totally out of place.

You spent a great deal of time and energy defending yourself over at Green Baggins, but you ought to consider how your words and actions here condemn you far worse than anything the Reformed folks said over there.

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Bugay, please enlighten as to how the definitions are different. Mr. Barrett's definition of martyr is "a Christian believer who loses his or her life prematurely, in
a situation of witness, and as a result of human hostility." How is that any different from the one in the source you cite? His statistics, whether you use the ones from his own book, World Trends, or from the World Christian Encyclopedia, are based on the same definition. Barrett treats Catholics and Orthodox as Christians something you are not willing to do.

Again, please show us where in the work you cite states that the 4,951,000 is how many Protestants (a tiny subset of Christians) Catholics allegedly martyred. If you were to read the body of literature quoting his researches that one can glean from the various writings of folks who cite him, one would see that he includes in those figures Catholic on Catholic violence such as that which occurred in the Phillipines when the Spanish killed Filipino and Chinese Catholics; in Mexico when Spanish Catholics killed natives who had converted to Catholicism; and more recently the Rwandan massacres. Of course, your problem is that his statistics in deriving the 4,951,000 number you recite does not show a breakdown of that number before and after 1000 AD (as you pointed out to Dave) so that particular figure would necessarily include Orthodox, Arians and Albigensians that were killed (unless of course you consider them to be Protestants as well).

Your rote recital of the numbers suggests to me that you do not undertand at all the science of statistics. The fact that you do not address the point I made about the chart not showing any significant number of Protestants martyred until the 20th century suggests that you do not know how to read a graph either (unless you purposely misrepresented the numbers which I will not impute to you).

So ignoring your attempt to thrust your burden of proof off on me, I will repeat my question: please tell us how many of the supposed 4,951,000 Christians that Catholics (individuals not the Church) purportedly martyred were allegedly Protestant in affiliation as opposed to something else like other Catholics or Orthodox as well as heretics such as Arians and Albigensians.

I would appreciate it if you would quit obfuscating and just answer the question or take the courageous and Christian step of admitting you are in the wrong.

God bless!

John Bugay said...

Paul Hoffer -- not sure if you noticed this, but Barrett's page 32 and the Oxford World Christian Encyclopedia page 11 seem to be the exact same page, with the exact same chart. In fact, the same numbers (the same ones I cited).

Barrett treats Catholics and Orthodox as Christians something you are not willing to do.

Where have I said this?

Again, please show us where in the work you cite states that the 4,951,000 is how many Protestants (a tiny subset of Christians) Catholics allegedly martyred.

There have been 3,170,000 Protestant martyrs listed. There were 220,000 "martyrs" created by Protestants. It is quite evident, now from the work that you cite, too, that Protestants were, according to percentages, not doing that much persecuting.


So ignoring your attempt to thrust your burden of proof off on me, I will repeat my question: please tell us how many of the supposed 4,951,000 Christians that Catholics (individuals not the Church) purportedly martyred were allegedly Protestant in affiliation as opposed to something else like other Catholics or Orthodox as well as heretics such as Arians and Albigensians.

Show me again where I said that 4,951,000 is the number of Protestants martyred by Catholics. What I really said was (and this is reproduced at the top of this post), "Keep your sense of proportion, though. The same famous Oxford reference work from which Catholic apologists draw your “33,000 denominations” number lists the Roman Catholic Church as among the greatest “persecutors,” nearly 5 million over the centuries, just behind Communist China and the Soviet Union."



Your rote recital of the numbers suggests to me that you do not undertand at all the science of statistics.

Well, here we are citing the same numbers.

John Bugay said...

Paul Hoffer -- Well, dang, not the EXACT same numbers -- Barrett and Oxford still have the same 69 million, but the number of martyrs created by Roman Catholics was raised from 4,951,000 to 5,171,000, whereas martyrs created by "other Christians [Protestants] was lowered from 222,000 to 146,000.

So Protestants, according to your statistics, have done LESS killing, and Roman Catholics have done MORE killing.

Adomnan said...

John Bugay: So when James White posts a link, I trust it. I do so because I have learned to do so.

Adomnan: A charlatan who styles himself "Dr." on the basis of a phoney "PhD" from an unaccredited degree mill run by his Fundamentalist pals is hardly trustworthy.

As for these stats, I doubt that there have been as many as 10,000 Protestant martyrs in all of history.

To get to 3,170,000, they must be including every "Protestant" who died in any conflict that had religious overtones. This probably includes the 19th century Taiping Rebellion in China, started by "Protestants," in which an estimated 20 million people were killed, some of whom were the marauding "Protestants" themselves.

That would also explain why this goofy source could claim that Buddhists killed 1,811,000 Christians. The severest Buddhist (really, Shintoist) persecution of Christians took place in 17th-century Japan, with about 1000 martyrs. Well, at least I can see where the "1,000" in 1,811,000 came from. But where did they get the other 1,810,000?

The false precision in these stats (not 1,800,000, but 1,811,000; not "about 37,000,000 Orthodox," but 37,444,000) is enough to show they're spurious. Who was keeping such precise records in, say, the 9th century? Does this include people the Vikings whacked?

And, no, we don't think something is true just because it's published by Oxford. This wouldn't be the first time Brits have maligned the Catholic Church. After all, it's British Whigs who invented the "Black Legend" of the Inquisition in this first place. Even while they ignored their centuries-long slaughter of millions of Irish Catholics next door, the British establishment regaled the world with lurid and largely fabricated tales of the few dozen Protestants executed by the Spanish Inquisition. I can see that Oxford is continuing this tradition.

Alert me when the Irish Academy publishes some revised stats. I've learned to trust those.

John Bugay said...

And, no, we don't think something is true just because it's published by Oxford.

Paul Hoffer published these very [similar] statistics, under the guise of another publisher.

You should note further that the numbers that you're blatantly dismissing are produced by a Catholic organization:

the International Bulletin of Missionary Research ist [sic] an ecumenical organisation under Catholic leadership, it reflects views other than those of evangelical researches and thus includes nominal Christians and believers who die under political oppression or in civil wars, such as in Sudan.

(see the link Paul Hoffer posted: http://www.bucer.eu/uploads/media/WEA_GIS_5_-_Thomas_Schirrmacher_-_The_Persecution_of_Christians_Concerns_Us_All.pdf -- page 17)

You'd be surprised at the accuracy of public records that have been kept through the ages.

Adomnan said...

Where is this from?:

"the International Bulletin of Missionary Research ist [sic] an ecumenical organisation under Catholic leadership, it reflects views other than those of evangelical researches and thus includes nominal Christians and believers who die under political oppression or in civil wars, such as in Sudan."

Is this from the organization that published the stats you're touting? If so, this is proof enough that the stats are from a Protestant Fundamnetalist source and so to be rejected out of hand.

Phrases like "evangelical researches" and the assertion that an "ecumenical" organization with Catholic participation would naturally "include nominal believers" is a giveaway. Besides, "believers who die under political oppression or in civil wars" should not be accounted as "martyrs" for the faith. They're the victims of political vicissitudes, just like anyone who dies in any war or purge.

John Bugay: You'd be surprised at the accuracy of public records that have been kept through the ages.

Adomnan: You must be joking. Hardly any records survived the barbarian invasions and occupation of Europe. Some Irish and Anglo-Saxons annals, other bits here and there; but nothing nearly precise enough to estimate to the nearest 100,000 the number of Chritians that the Vikings, the Huns,the Vandals, etc. killed. How many died in the Sack of Rome in 410 AD?

John Bugay said...

Where is this from?: ... Is this from the organization that published the stats you're touting? If so, this is proof enough that the stats are from a Protestant Fundamnetalist source and so to be rejected out of hand.

That's the link Paul Hoffer provided to verify the work done by Barrett. It is an evangelical organization; they qualify the statistics saying they may be too skewed in the Catholic direction. So you are precisely wrong.

Hardly any records survived the barbarian invasions and occupation of Europe. ...

You would then be interested, for example, in the work by Peter Lampe, "From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome during the First Two Centuries."

Lampe investigated virtually every primary source from that era, as well as archaeological, epigraphical, historical records and more, to produce the most complete and graphic history of the church from that time.

In fact, here's the Google Books link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=s98K8snXyeUC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Peter+Lampe+Paul+to+Valentinus&hl=en&ei=AfoXTN-FBZquNfnmybQL&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

You'll come away from this with a very clear picture of what the early church at Rome was like.

On the topic of

Adomnan said...

Bugay: That's the link Paul Hoffer provided to verify the work done by Barrett. It is an evangelical organization; they qualify the statistics saying they may be too skewed in the Catholic direction. So you are precisely wrong.

Adomnan: No, I'm precisely right. I looked up the background of this publication, World Christian Encyclopedia, as I recall. It's actually a product of Gorden-Conwell Seminary, an evangelical/Protestant Fundamentalist institution. As you say, "it is an evangelical organization."

Barrett himself is a low-church Anglican evangelical minister with associations with Fundamentalists like Packer and Michael Horton, a dying breed but one that was more conspicuous some decades ago.

Apparently, Gordon-Conwell merely paid Oxford Press to publish their tomes. Oxford University had no imput and is not at all responsible for the contents. So your putting this stuff under the aegis of Oxford University is rather misleading.

Perhaps the Encyclopedia is accurate about the number of Protestant denominations. They would have no motive for skewing that as far as I can see. However, we Catholics do not accept Fundamentalist "scholarship" that touches on our church. And we're under no obligation to do so, anymore than we are obliged to call your bishop "Dr." James White.

Bugay: You would then be interested, for example, in the work by Peter Lampe, "From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome during the First Two Centuries."

Adomnan: You're always pushing this book. Expand your reading a bit.

So your impression of the completeness of records from ancient times comes from Lampe's book? Okay,then, precisely how many Christians were martyred in the first and second century according to Lampe -- and not just in Rome, but everywhere in this centralized empire? No doubt the best archives were kept at Rome and were, as you say, surprisingly well preserved.

Bugay: You'll come away from this with a very clear picture of what the early church at Rome was like.

Adomnan: Lampe's book is controversial, like all such scholarship. It's hardly the last word.

In any event, this is beside the point. Lampe's successful archaeology in first and second-century Rome hardly accounted for all the martyrdoms there and would only be illustrative of the amount of material recoverable from the center of the Empire during one relatively civilized era.

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr. Bugay, having the opportunity to study this dicussion in depth, I want you to take a look at this chart here:http://ockenga.gordonconwell.edu/ockenga/globalchristianity/gd/gd16.pdf. The statistics show that only 3,176,000 Protestants were martyred. The large chart on the page linked above demonstrates that all but a few of the 3,176,000 were martyred in the 20th century. Thus, according to Barrett which you demand we accept as authoritative there were few if any Protestants were martyred as a result of the Inquisition or other mythical Catholic suppression. So much for Foxe's book of lies (that is if we are to accept your reference as authoritative).

If we are to accept the claim that Catholics martyred 4,951,000 or over 5,000,000 Christians, then the Christians the unnamed Catholics killed do not include for the most part any Protestants. So much for your notion that Protestants killing Catholics was somehow a legitimate response to mythical systemic Catholic oppression.

BTW, I would concede that Catholics killed Arians, Albigenisians, and Orthodox in large numbers (I myself would suggest that it is not millions). However, if one peruses Barrett's other writings, one would find that he includes in the Catholic figure, Catholics killing other Catholics, such as the Rwandan massacre, the killing of Catholic Mexican natives by conquistadors and Filipino Catholics by Spanish Catholics. Those figures probably do number in the millions. The most Christians killed by Catholics were other Catholics.

Now that I have had the opportunity to read all of your comments, and based on your earlier remarks that suggest that Orthodox and Catholics are Christians and based on your assertions with respect to Barrett's data, I accept your position that Catholics and Orthodox are also Christians. Thank you for showing us all how to use the statistics.

Though, I still want you to tell me how you think that citing to Barrett's statistics help you. How many Protestants you think Catholics have supposedly martyred and vice-a-versa? How many Protestants do you know that have been martyred by Catholics these days?

That being said, using Barrett's statistics, they appear to show that Catholics martyred other Christians at the rate of approximately 248 a year and Protestants martyred other Christians at the rate of 297 a year. That sort of puts your delight in the supposed bloodthirstiness of Catholics in perspective when your chosen sect is more bloodthirsty.

Please note: I reject Barrett's statistics and your argumentation. I am just showing you the consequences of your reliance on Barrett.

God bless!

John Bugay said...

Paul Hoffer -- Thank you for your admission that, in badgering me to the effect that "Orthdodox and Catholics are not Christians," you were in the wrong.

Thus, according to Barrett which you demand we accept as authoritative there were few if any Protestants were martyred as a result of the Inquisition or other mythical Catholic suppression. So much for Foxe's book of lies (that is if we are to accept your reference as authoritative).

Your characterization that I "demand" you "accept" as "authoritative" is misplaced. I would strongly suggest that they are legitimate, Schirrmacher notwithstanding -- Gordon Conwell is no slouch of an institution, nor is Oxford, which puts their name behind his work. And as I have learned from checking other sources, there are no other sources for these statistics.

BTW, I would concede that Catholics killed Arians, Albigenisians, and Orthodox in large numbers (I myself would suggest that it is not millions). However, if one peruses Barrett's other writings, one would find that he includes in the Catholic figure, Catholics killing other Catholics, such as the Rwandan massacre, the killing of Catholic Mexican natives by conquistadors and Filipino Catholics by Spanish Catholics. Those figures probably do number in the millions. The most Christians killed by Catholics were other Catholics.

I'll grant that a large percentage of Catholics killed other Catholics. My point being, that Roman Catholicism was "among the greatest “persecutors,” … [and] I did not say Protestants were “clean”. I said they were shaped by their times, which, in turn, were shaped in huge part by the Roman Catholic hierarchy."

Though, I still want you to tell me how you think that citing to Barrett's statistics help you. How many Protestants you think Catholics have supposedly martyred and vice-a-versa?

As I originally said at Greenbaggins, "perspective." Five million vs. 140,000. None of it is pretty. I would condone none of it. Just look at who's setting the agenda.

That being said, using Barrett's statistics, they appear to show that Catholics martyred other Christians at the rate of approximately 248 a year and Protestants martyred other Christians at the rate of 297 a year. That being said, using Barrett's statistics, they appear to show that Catholics martyred other Christians at the rate of approximately 248 a year and Protestants martyred other Christians at the rate of 297 a year.

This is just speculation on your part, based on indeterminate calculations of yours based on how many Catholics were killed by other Catholics. As I said, I don't condone any of it. But the Roman Catholic notion that Catholicism is superior, offering "the fullness of the faith," really needs to be tempered by humility in some quarters.

I've put up a new posting at Beggar's All:

"Augustine as Conduit to the Inquisition"

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/06/augustine-as-conduit-to-inquisition.html

At the moment, I'm citing the Catholic historian Paul Johnson on this. No doubt you and the others here have an issue with his work as well. But there are many others. And if you cite enough sources all saying the same thing, its hard to argue with the picture that they all paint.

John Bugay said...

Adomnan -- Lampe is just the remedial reading. The Catholic Historian Eamon Duffy says that Lampe's work "is the starting point for all further discussions on this topic." You may say he is "controversial," but nobody is really disagreeing with him.

As far as all the other martyrdoms you say we don't know about: God knows perfectly. Christianity as a whole must bear the guilt for the evils that have been wrought in the name of Christ, and it is Rome's imperious spirit that is responsible for the lion's share of these evils.

Apologizing for "the sins of the children of the Church" is far different from apologizing for what the institutional Roman Catholic Church has done. That's a charade that everyone sees through.

Adomnan said...

Bugay: Duffy says that Lampe's work "is the starting point for all further discussions on this topic."

Adomnan: Eamon Duffy says that Lampe's book is the starting point for all further discussions on the topic of the abundant availability of ancient statistics? Anicient stats, which you claim are surprisingly well preserved, are the topic of this discussion, you know.

Bugay: You may say he is "controversial," but nobody is really disagreeing with him.

Adomnan: Disagreeing about what? The availability of ancient archives?

Bugay: As far as all the other martyrdoms you say we don't know about: God knows perfectly.

Adomnan: Oh, so that's where Barrett is getting his information. The Holy Spirit whispers it into his ear. But, again, I thought we were talking about ancient statistics, surprisingly well preserved.

Bugay: Christianity as a whole must bear the guilt for the evils that have been wrought in the name of Christ, and it is Rome's imperious spirit that is responsible for the lion's share of these evils.

Adomnan: As a person of Irish heritage, whose ancesters were persecuted for centuries merely for being Catrholic, I must disagree with you. The British had an empire, too, spread in the name of Christ.

One thing is certain, though, Catholicism is responsible for the lion's share of good that has been done in the name of Christ, and I submit the good vastly outweighs the evil. For one thing, it's thanks to the Catholic Church that we're not all hearkening to the muezzin's call.

And the papacy essentially called the civilization of Western Europe into being.

Bugay: Apologizing for "the sins of the children of the Church" is far different from apologizing for what the institutional Roman Catholic Church has done.

Adomnan: I don't hear anyone else apologizing.

When are the Southern Baptists going to apologize for owing their very existence as a denomination to championing slavery? A denomination founded on the subjugation, oppression and murder of black folk, and many millions of them, too. What a shame!

John Bugay said...

Adomnan, Lampe is evidence that we are able to derive huge amounts of information about the ancient world. This does not speak directly to Barrett's situation, but it is just another point, contra all your scoffing, that statistics about historical events, while not precisely accurate, can still give us a very clear picture about what was happening in any given time.

How much information do you think that Barrett got from the medieval sources that you think so highly of?

One thing is certain, though, Catholicism is responsible for the lion's share of good that has been done in the name of Christ, and I submit the good vastly outweighs the evil.

You "submit" that, do you? On what evidence? How do you quantify that historically-groundless claim? With all that lost information and all?

I would "submit" to you that the British empire, in spite of the "evil" that it did, brought vastly more good to the world than evil.

And further, I would feel confident to say that, of the evils of the British empire that you decry, most of them were first learned from the Roman church.

So we can spit about that for a while, eh?

The fact is, while Christians throughout the ages have done very much good, it's the institutional church generally, and the institutional Roman church in particular, that has failed miserably when it comes to "good done in the name of Christ."

Look at the whole Eastern ("Nestorian") church, cast off in the name of "discipline" and "heresy". Twelve million martyrs there (largely at the hands of Islam and others), but where were the cries for "unity" in that day? Now, in 1994, the very thing that Nestorius was most castigated for, "Christotokos," has been accepted by John Paul II. It's no wonder the world mocks Christianity.

One can point to instance after instance after instance of that very thing happening in history.

It wasn't the papacy that "called the civilization of Western Europe into being," it was the local schools and churches and universities that lifted Western Europe up by the bootstraps, at the time when multiple popes all were continuing (as they had from the beginning), to fight over which of them was greatest.

It's God's common grace that lifted up the world in the middle ages. He did it through individual believers, whose lives He touched. And yes, individual believers who heard the Holy Spirit.

Adomnan: I don't hear anyone else apologizing.

Nor do you hear Rome apologizing. What you hear is a failure to take responsibility for its own acts and deeds, and a shifting of blame from itself.

Paul Hoffer said...

Mr Bugay wrote “Paul Hoffer -- Thank you for your admission that, in badgering me to the effect that "Orthdodox and Catholics are not Christians," you were in the wrong.”

Me: I have no problem admitting my mistakes. I assumed that you did not believe so given
the company that you keep over at Beggars All and your fan worship of Professor White. Frankly, your view that Catholics and Orthodox should be considered as Christians is a sentiment that should be encouraged among Reformed apologists. It enables folks to avoid some of the ad hominem stuff and allows us to actually engage on the issues.

You wrote: “Your characterization that I "demand" you "accept" as "authoritative" is misplaced. I would strongly suggest that they are legitimate, Schirrmacher notwithstanding -- Gordon Conwell is no slouch of an institution, nor is Oxford, which puts their name behind his work. And as I have learned from checking other sources, there are no other sources for these statistics.”

Me: I disagree. Given what I have read thus far, the statistical methodology used by Barrett and the institutions you mention is nebulous at best and highly subjective at worst. Why is the Rwandan tragedy or the Spanish subjugation of American natives considered incidents of martyrdom whereas as Adomnan points out the Irish famine is not so considered or for that matter the systemic violence conducted against Catholics by Nativists and Ku Klux Klan members (both movements of which were almost exclusively Protestant) in this country? That these authors are not willing to provide in detail their methodology for how they determine whether a particular historical event is religious as opposed to political or economic troubles me greatly. For me, such practices are no different than those employed by the global warming crowd. Pseudo-science is not science and should not be countenanced even if such favors one’s own views.

You wrote: “I said they were shaped by their times, which, in turn, were shaped in huge part by the Roman Catholic hierarchy."

Me: Here is where I have a bone of contention with your use of Barrett’s statistics. There is no way that you can infer that in any way from the information that he provides. Moreover, your polemically charged language here is merely a dressed-up statement that historically, the unrepentant teaching of heresy was considered a crime against both the Church and the State and was punishable by death since before the Mediaeval times. The use of capital punishment as a remedy against heresy was not invented by the “Roman Catholic hierarchy.” What makes the Reformers’ decision to continue to use it so unique is that Protestants had no problem punishing people who privately exercised their conscience and held in the quiet of their heart religious opinions that differed from the Protestant hierarchy and the civil authorities who concurred with their views. There was a good reason that half the dogs in Reformed Geneva were named Calvin-so their owners could kick them as a form of dissent without being tortured, fined or banished. Frankly, I would be interested in seeing some evidence which supports your broad contention or would even settle for a citation or two.

cont.

Paul Hoffer said...

cont.

I wrote: “That being said, using Barrett's statistics, they appear to show that Catholics martyred other Christians at the rate of approximately 248 a year and Protestants martyred other Christians at the rate of 297 a year. That being said, using Barrett's statistics, they appear to show that Catholics martyred other Christians at the rate of approximately 248 a year and Protestants martyred other Christians at the rate of 297 a year.”

You responded: “This is just speculation on your part, based on indeterminate calculations of yours based on how many Catholics were killed by other Catholics.”

Me: No speculation on my part at all, just simple math using Barrett’s chart. I took the
number of years his chart claims that Catholicism has been around and the number of years it shows that Protestantism has existed and divided the number of people Barrett represents each sect martyred by the respective number of years. No more, no less. The very low figures certainly puts your selective use of the the numbers into perspective.

You wrote: “As I said, I don't condone any of it. But the Roman Catholic notion that Catholicism is superior, offering "the fullness of the faith," really needs to be tempered by humility in some quarters.”

Me: I would suggest that perpetuation of the myth that the Roman Catholic Church is more
blood-thirsty than its Protestant counterparts is a form of condonation. And since we do not pretend that the Church is not made up of both sinners as well as saints as some Protestants hold, I am not afraid to hold that the Catholic Church is the “fullness of the faith.”

You wrote: “I've put up a new posting at Beggar's ALl: "Augustine as Conduit to the Inquisition."

Me: With all due respect to Mr. Johnson, the notion of using an inquisition to combat heresy is based on the bible. See, Deuteronomy 12; 13:5-18; 17:2–75; 1 Cor. 5:13.

God bless!

John Bugay said...

Paul Hoffer: Frankly, your view that Catholics and Orthodox should be considered as Christians is a sentiment that should be encouraged among Reformed apologists.

Frankly, my view is more mainstream than you give credit; we are willing to believe that "Catholics and Orthodox should be considered as Christians," whereas, we are not willing to believe that, in their particular doctrines that have not been derived from Scripture, the institutional Catholic Church and the institutional Orthodox Churches have damaged the faith of many, and But insofar as the individuals name the name of Christ, He is faithful to save all who "turn". (Acts 28:27, for example).

the statistical methodology used by Barrett and the institutions you mention is nebulous at best and highly subjective at worst. Why is the Rwandan tragedy or the Spanish subjugation of American natives considered incidents of martyrdom whereas as Adomnan points out the Irish famine is not so considered or for that matter the systemic violence conducted against Catholics by Nativists and Ku Klux Klan members (both movements of which were almost exclusively Protestant) in this country?

You've obviously spent much more time investigating the details of this than I have. I'll have to tell you, this was never a major interest of mine. I was watching a thread at Green Baggins; Jason Stellman sort of made a joke, Dave Armstrong sort of made a joke; I added a comment which was reproduced above, and all of a sudden I am all over the internet in a headline which reads "THE MYTH OF MULTIPLE "MILLIONS" SUPPOSEDLY KILLED IN THE CATHOLIC INQUISITIONS, REVISITED (ANTI-CATHOLIC JOHN BUGAY'S HISTORICALLY GROUNDLESS CLAIMS".

So as we've seen, already several factual errors about my own position merely from that headline have been uncovered, which took several days' worth of patient responses from me, in response to badgering by you and Adomnan. So if the Irish famine is not included in the statistics, and you are in a huff about that, you ought to petition the authors to change their methodology to include crop famines as producing martyrs. I'm sure they will listen to your sound arguments.

If you want to question anyone's methodology, it seems as if you should be more interested in questioning the methodology on this very site. As I said above, 2000 years-worth of history is a lot of history. And further, there has been a lot of misinformation thrown about from the earliest times, right down to this present post. Sorting through it all is a major challenge, and knowing who you can trust is critical.

If you don't trust Barrett and Gordon-Conwell, no one else has compiled this sort of information. Looking at their site, this is only one small component of the information database that they research and keep up-to-date. You are really barking into the wind, howling at names like Oxford, Gordon-Conwell and Brill.

You have got a live example of misinformation right here though.

I took the number of years his chart claims that Catholicism has been around and the number of years it shows that Protestantism has existed and divided the number of people Barrett represents each sect martyred by the respective number of years. No more, no less. The very low figures certainly puts your selective use of the the numbers into perspective.

Unfortunately, your calculations on the Catholic side were off by a factor of 10. You misplaced the decimal on the Catholic calculation. Are you still happy with that perspective?


AdomnanSorry about the double post. I'm at an unfamiliar computer, and it's doing strange things.

This is a fitting comment on your saying anything that I have said is preposterous.

Adomnan said...

John Bugay: If you don't trust Barrett and Gordon-Conwell, no one else has compiled this sort of information.

Adomnan: No, I don't trust them. They are Protestant Fundamentalists. They probably think Noah left the dinosaurs off the Ark.

Even the most casual perusal of their figures shows that they are absurd. 1,811,000 Christians killed by Buddhists? Not on this planet.

And, again, where do they get their self-refuting precision? Twenty centuries, many poorly documented, and yet they're pinning the number of martyrs down to the thousands? These are junk stats on the face of it. Totally worthless.

And when we point this out to you, you tell us: It must be true. Lampe verifies it.

Poor Lampe! His good name is being associated with this drivel just because you're counting on no one having read his book.

John Bugay: This is a fitting comment on your saying anything that I have said is preposterous.

Adomnan: Another sophomoric "witty" comment. High school is over, Mr. Bugay.

Preposterous?: You said in effect that ancient statistics have been preserved (surprisingly!) that enable historians/archaeologists to estimate the number of Christian martyrs over the past two millennia to within a thousand, and you said that a reputable historian and archaeologist confirms this nonsense, when in fact you just made it up. Both of these assertions are preposterous.

John Bugay said...

Thanks for sharing.

Adomnan said...

John Bugay: Thanks for sharing.

Adomnan: You're welcome! Educating you has been a pleasure.

Murgis said...

And.... What Inquisition? in the XVI, before and even after, it was impossible to tell from faith, king and law but it was all a matrix. what is the "Catholic" Inquisition without the state? Blaming Catholicism exclusively for everything without considering the political and/or social factor is a simple anachronism. The only reason d'etre of Protestantism was that the civil authorities could profit from the Church and oppose the emperor. Period.