Describes the western world's most potent religion, Catholicism, and its determination to maintain power at any cost in medieval France, 15th century Spain, Renaissance Italy and even into the 19th century. Historians, experts and Church authorities advise on the handling of this controversial subject matter.
EPISODE 1 - THE LAND OF ERROR - In the 12th century, an upstart Christian sect called Catharism challenges Church doctrine and the absolute power of the Pope. Pope Innocent III declares a Holy War to kill these people. The remote French village of Montaillou is the last stronghold of the Cathars. One man, Bishop Jacques Fournier, becomes one of the most skilled interrogators of the Holy Inquisition. EPISODE 2 - THE TEARS OF SPAIN - Fernando and Isabel proclaim themselves the Catholic Monarchs. In the war to drive the remaining Muslims from the south of the Kingdom their scapegoats become the Conversos, Jews who have converted to Christianity and who are now accused of being traitors and heretics secretly trying to undermine the Church. The Spanish Inquisition is born and a campaign of terror begins. EPISODE 3 - THE SWORD AND THE SHIELD - In 16th century the rise of Protestantism weakens the Church's spiritual control and its political influence. To protect the Roman Church from these ... Written by
The four-part series, "The Secret Files of the Inquisition", was disappointing for its repetition of both narrative and visuals and its superficial treatment of this perverted travesty of Catholicism.
The narrative was shallow: too little time was devoted to too few historians; the "company man" speaking for the Vatican was inept; credible Catholic commentators were absent.
In this series. sensationalism overwhelmed serious inquiry. The iniquitous Inquisition warrants penetrating discussion. The series was a largely waste of four hours of viewing and what must have been great amounts of time, money and talent in the making.
(This comment was also sent to the PBS Ombudsman.)
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