Bring Back the Inquisition!

August 14, 2018 (Steven O’Reilly) – Catholics around the U.S. and the world are disgusted and fed up with the homosexual and pedophile scandals that have plagued the Church for decades now.  That is an understatement.  But, as bad as things truly have been, yet even more scandal has been heaped upon the existing one. Accusations and rumors about former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick were apparently well known among his brother bishops (see here and here), yet nothing was done to stop this fiend. Unfortunately, similar abuses have afflicted other seminaries here in the U.S. (e.g., here and here);  and it is evident the problem is not limited to the U.S., as the recent scandal in Honduras makes clear (see here). Nor can we forget that police raided a homosexual orgy within the walls of the Vatican just over a year ago (see here). Sadly, there is every reason to believe the lid on this whole can of worms has only just begun to be opened.  

Various suggestions have been floated around, such as creation of a lay panel to investigate the problem. I understand the thinking behind it, but – personally – I do not believe lay led groups will ultimately solve the problem. Frankly, I don’t trust the U.S. bishops to appoint lay panels which would aggressively investigate the bishops’ own misdeeds, errors and or crimes.  Certainly not as aggressively as need be. The bishops would likely end up creating a panel headed by nominal Catholics of the John Kerry and Joe Biden variety, who are aligned with the bishops’ own political sensibilities and who have received cover from them over the years. Furthermore, a single lay panel will not be sufficient to solve the problem, in my opinion.  The problem is simply way too big for that.

The solution needs to come, in part, from Rome. Jeffrey Mirus at CatholicCulture suggested several years ago it was “time for a new inquisition” (see Vatican Reform: Time for a New Inquisition). I agree with his suggestion in principle – I just see nothing wrong with bringing back something more akin to the old inquisition! I believe the pope needs to appoint a “grand inquisitor” for each country with a large Catholic population.  The “grand inquisitor,” operating independently of and superior to the authority of the country’s episcopate, would in turn establish local or regional inquisitions as necessary to investigate every diocese, chancery, seminary, and Catholic university to uproot the resident homosexual subculture. These inquisitions would be manned by laymen (e.g., accountants, former law enforcement and prosecutors, etc) and clerics.  The inquisitions should ultimately report up to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and its prefect in Rome.

The suggestion has its weak points, its greatest being it relies on Pope Francis to appoint effective grand inquisitors. There have been reports of a dossier that had been produced during the reign of Pope Benedict XVI which detailed information about a network of homosexual prelates operating in the Vatican (see here), some of whom, according to reporting on the dossier, were subjected to blackmail.  It was even suggested in the same news report that Benedict XVI decided to resign after receipt of the dossier. It is believed Benedict XVI handed over the dossier to Francis after the latter’s election. However, if this is so, there is no evidence Pope Francis has done anything about this information. In addition, supporters of Pope Francis in the College of Cardinals and the wider episcopate are among those most compromised by scandals (e.g., Cardinal Maradiaga, Cardinal Daneels, Cardinal Coccopalmerio, ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick).  What agendas did these prelates and their potential blackmailers have in mind for the Church, its doctrines, liturgy, sacraments, etc? One cannot help but suspect the ill and nefarious motives on the part of many of these actors over the years in light of recent revelations. The whole lot needs to be tossed out, and replaced with bishops committed to the orthodox Catholic faith.

However, there is cause for grave doubt that Francis would act as aggressively as necessary, as it is very likely that among the episcopal dominoes that would eventually fall are the very advocates of many of the doctrinal errors besetting the life of the Church.  Even so, no solution will ultimately work without Rome’s support. That said, demands from the laity for inquisitions to produce visible and tangible results would put a degree of pressure on Rome to appoint qualified and effective “grand inquisitors.” While protesting outside the next USCCB meeting or outside of one’s local chancery might be worthwhile endeavors which might serve a good purpose, it might be more effective if Catholics from around the world – holding signs and “pitchforks” – also began protesting and praying on a daily basis in St. Peter’s square in Rome, demanding a true and cleansing reform of the clergy of all ranks – especially at the top.

Steven O’Reilly is a graduate of the University of Dallas and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He lives near Atlanta with his family. He has written apologetic articles and is working on a historical-adventure trilogy, set during the time of the Arian crisis. He asks for your prayers for his intentions.  He can be contacted at (or follow on Twitter: @S_OReilly_USA).

7 thoughts on “Bring Back the Inquisition!

  1. How can you even suggest that there are only grave doubts about Bergoglio? We are way past that. I entertain no hope in him. And I’m a lapsed Catholic, raised pre V2, groping my way back to the Faith. Do you have any doubt that he is the very epicenter of this evil? What is your opinion of Canon 188 as basis to declare Benedict’s resignation invalid? Hence Cardinals who are actually faithful depose Bergoglio the imposter, restore Benedict, cast out pagan commie queer cardinals, elect faithful Catholic Pope, and get on with your Inquisition.


    1. Dan, thanks for the comments. My opinion is this….the “Benedict is still pope” arguments are fatally flawed, based on all information we know (NB: I’ve written several articles posted on my blog about this). You can’t de-pope Francis on speculation. Hypothetically, if we assume Francis is not pope, the grounds I’d pursue would be that he was a heretic/apostate prior to his election. Reporting, for example, indicates he did not enforce FC 84 in Buenos Aires, and actually encouraged the opposite. Whether this is and more was true, would that be enough to say his election was invalid? That is for the experts on papal legislation,which I am certainly not. The other grounds was one I’ve raised before on the blog. That is, who dispensed Jorge Bergoglio SJ from his Jesuit vows NOT to either ambition or accept ANY office in the Church without a dispensation? I’ve recently updated the article on my blog. If he had not been, I wonder – hypothetically – if it would then be true to say his election was valid – in form and process – but that his *acceptance* of the papacy was invalid because he was subject to a vow before God. These are the bottoms up avenues to deposing him, as an anti-pope, as I see it. Now, these approaches assume one has knowledge of specific things that would invalidate his election. The other approach would be, that he be declared a heretic and deposed. The theological question – still open in my opinion – is whether a pope can *be* a formal heretic. Bellarmine thought not. My humble opinion is not. So, IF pope francis was declared a “formal heretic”, the question would be: was he a pope who is now deposed *because* he is a formal heretic, or was he an anti-pope who never was pope (and we know this *because* he is a formal heretic). In such a hypothetical event, my personal opinion would be that the declaration that Francis is a formal heretic would demonstrate he had never been a true pope to begin with, rather than a true pope who fell into formal heresy. However, the new pope would have to declare which it is, I think. But, that’s just my humble opinion.


  2. I wholeheartedly agree! Just as the US military has its own judicial code of justice, Uniform Code of Military Justice, so should the Holy Church by reactivating the dormant Roman Inquisition.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to find I’m not alone in wanting the old Inquisition back. It could do without the executions and torture, but it ought to have universal jurisdiction, over *all* clergy & religious without exception, at least in the Roman Rite. An Inquisitor for each country sounds like an excellent idea. It would have jurisdiction only over Catholics, so Jews and others would have nothing to fear.


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