From: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1949 edition.
[caption under depiction of an Auto Da Cafe ["act of faith"]]
Auto Da Cafe, after a painting of about A.D. 1500 in Madrid.
A contemporary picture showing the ceremony with which the sentences of the Inquisition were executed . The Grand Inquisitor enthroned with members of the Holy Office presides, and the sentences of condemnation are carried out in his presence. A stake with victims about to be burnt is shown at right. The handing over of impenitent persons, and those who had relapsed, to the secular power, and their punishment did not usually take place on the occasion of an auto-da-fes, properly so called. The first great auto-da-fes were celebrated when Thomas de Torquemada was at the head of the Spanish inquisition (Seville 1482, Toledo 1486, etc.). The last, subsequent to the time of Charles III, were held in secret, and dealt with only a small number of sentences. -END QUOTE-
Extract from: Christianity Today 7 August, 1987 page 56
By: Philip Yancey
....... International travel often brings unexpected ironies to light. A few days after the demonstration in Santiago, I was in downtown Lima, Peru, touring a rather somber historic building. A large upstairs room featured fancy tilework and an intricately carved mahogany ceiling, which the guidebook duly noted as "one of the finest examples of baroque in South America." In the center of the room stood a cross, with a wooden head of Christ mounted on the top. This was the Court of the Inquisition, a room used by the church to try accused heretics, from 1570 until 1820. After hearing testimony from masked accusers, the Inquisitors — dressed in costumes with an uncanny resemblance to Ku Klux Klan getups — would reach a verdict and announce it via the cross. Certain levers moved Jesus' head up and down, signifying the defendant's innocence. Other levers moved the head from side to side, a verdict that condemned the victim to punishment in the dungeonlike area beneath the courtroom. Visitors can view ‘in situ’ the various torture devices employed; dioramas downstairs re-create them with primitive realism. Dummy Inquisitors assiduously work over dummy victims, twisting piano wires into flesh, pouring water into nostrils, disarticulating limbs on a stretching rack. While examining the displays, I realized for the first time where some South American governments learned their trade. [----] -END QUOTE-
BTW: In this mainline Protestant magazine, in the rest of the article,
Mr. Yancey eloquently excuses and sucks up to RC.