Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2

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Author: Ferdinand VII

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British and Foreign State Papers, I, pp. 1102 sqq. World History

195.

Decree Restoring the Inquisition in Spain (July, 1814)

The glorious title of Catholic, by which the kings of Spain are distinguished amongst other Christian princes, as a result of their not tolerating any one in the kingdom who professes any other than the Roman Catholic apostolic religion, has powerfully inclined my heart to employ all the means which God has placed in my hands, in order to make myself worthy of that title. The past disturbances; the war which, for the space of six years, has afflicted all the provinces of the kingdom (there having remained in it during all this time foreign troops composed of various sects, almost all of whom were infected with abhorrence and hatred for the Catholic religion), and the disorder which invariably follows these evils, in conjunction with the careless manner in which everything relating to the affairs of religion has been conducted,—all these things have given complete license to the wicked to live according to their free will, and have permitted the introduction and establishment in the kingdom of many pernicious opinions, by the same means through which they are propagated in other countries.

Being desirous, therefore, of providing a remedy for so serious an evil, and of preserving in my dominions the holy religion of Jesus Christ, which my people love, and in which they have lived and continue to live happily; on account of the duty which the fundamental laws of the kingdom impose upon the prince who reigns, and which I have sworn to observe and to fulfill; and as a measure best adapted to the preservation of my subjects from domestic dissensions, and for their maintenance in quiet and tranquillity, I have thought that it would be proper under existing circumstances that the tribunal of the Holy Office should be restored to the exercise of its jurisdiction.

Spain saved from disaster by the Inquisition

Wise and virtuous prelates, many corporations, and many persons of weight, both ecclesiastical as well as secular, have represented to me that Spain owes to this tribunal immunity from contamination, in the sixteenth century, by the errors which have caused such great affliction to other kingdoms; the nation flourishing at the same time in every kind of literature, in great men, and in sanctity and virtue.

Its abolition was designed by Napoleon to sow corruption and discord

One of the principal measures adopted by the Oppressor of Europe, to sow corruption and discord, from which he derived such great advantages, was to destroy this tribunal, under the pretext that the state of knowledge would not longer admit of its existence; and afterwards the Cortes, called the General and Extraordinary, under the same pretext, and the constitution which they tumultuously drew up, abolished this tribunal, to the regret of the nation.

Former jurisdiction of the Inquisition restored

Wherefore the reestablishment of this tribunal has been earnestly entreated of me; and acceding to the prayers and desires of the people, who, out of love to the religion of their fathers, have restored of their own accord some of the subordinate tribunals to their functions, I have resolved that the Council of the Inquisition and the other tribunals of the Holy Office should return to and continue in the exercise of their ecclesiastical jurisdiction, which the popes granted at the request of my august ancestors. . . .

Reformation of procedure to be undertaken

I am, moreover, desirous that, as soon as the Council of Inquisition is assembled, two of its members, with two members of my Royal Council, all of them to be named by myself, should examine the form and mode of proceeding of the Holy Office in respect to the cases brought before it, and the established mode of censuring and prohibiting books; and if in these forms they should find anything contrary to the welfare of my subjects and the upright administration of justice, or which ought to be changed, they may propose it, and consult with me, that I may order that which is proper.

THE KING

AT THE PALACE, 21 July, 1814

DOM PEDRO MACANAZ

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Chicago: Ferdinand, "Decree Restoring the Inquisition in Spain (July, 1814)," Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2 in Readings in Modern European History: A Collection of Extracts from the Sources Chosen With the Purpose of Illustrating Some of the Chief Phases of the Development of Europe During the Last Two Hundred Years, ed. James Harvey Robinson (1863-1936) and Charles A. Beard (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1908), 25–27. Original Sources, accessed April 13, 2024, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UDLM2ZVV4NF53F8.

MLA: Ferdinand. "Decree Restoring the Inquisition in Spain (July, 1814)." Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2, in Readings in Modern European History: A Collection of Extracts from the Sources Chosen With the Purpose of Illustrating Some of the Chief Phases of the Development of Europe During the Last Two Hundred Years, edited by James Harvey Robinson (1863-1936) and Charles A. Beard, Vol. 2, Boston, Ginn and Company, 1908, pp. 25–27. Original Sources. 13 Apr. 2024. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UDLM2ZVV4NF53F8.

Harvard: Ferdinand, 'Decree Restoring the Inquisition in Spain (July, 1814)' in Readings in Modern European History, Vol. 2. cited in 1908, Readings in Modern European History: A Collection of Extracts from the Sources Chosen With the Purpose of Illustrating Some of the Chief Phases of the Development of Europe During the Last Two Hundred Years, ed. , Ginn and Company, Boston, pp.25–27. Original Sources, retrieved 13 April 2024, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UDLM2ZVV4NF53F8.