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  • Christian History 1500 to 1599


    MOLCHO AND REUVENI - Were arrested by Charles V. Molcho was accused of being a Church renegade and burned at the stake in the first Auto da Fe held in Evora, Portugal on November 7 of that same year. Reuveni was sent to Spain where he was also probably burned at the stake, probably at Badajoz Spain in 1538. [78] (54)


    May 23, PORTUGAL - Pope Paul III, acting upon the petition of King John III, issued a Bull providing for the establishment of an Inquisition based on the Spanish archetype to begin in 1539. In 1544, after numerous bribes, it was again postponed for three years but reestablished permanently in 1547. The last Auto da Fe in Portugal was held in October 1791. Over the years (until 1821) there were more then 40,000 recorded cases tried before the Portuguese Inquisition, with 30,000 condemnations (though many of these were reconciled). [78] (54)


    A University professor, B. Hubmaier was burned at the stake in Vienna.
    Pope Paul III declared a crusade against “apostate England” and all English were declared slaves of the Church. Fortunately, this declaration had no power for it was never carried into action.


    In Goa, India, a New Christian or Converso named Jeronimo Diaz, a physician, was burned at the stake by the Inquisition.


    In Asolo, Italy, one of the few pogroms was recorded where ten Jews in a town of thirty were killed, their homes ravaged and looted of belongings with no apparent reason.


    In 1553 when the inquisitor-general of France learned that Servetus was hiding in Vienne under an assumed name, he contacted Cardinal François de Tournon, the secretary of the archbishop of Lyon, to take up the matter. Servetus was arrested and taken in for questioning. His letters to Calvin were presented as evidence of heresy, but he denied having written them. He managed to escape from prison, and the Catholic authorities sentenced him in absentia to death by slow burning.[45] (56)

    On his way to Italy, Servetus stopped in Geneva for unknown reasons and attended one of Calvin's sermons in St Pierre. Calvin had him arrested, and Calvin's secretary Nicholas de la Fontaine composed a list of accusations that was submitted before the court. The prosecutor was Philibert Berthelier, a member of a libertine family and son of a famous Geneva patriot, and the sessions were led by Pierre Tissot, Perrin's brother-in-law. The libertines allowed the trial to drag on in an attempt to harass Calvin. The difficulty in using Servetus as a weapon against Calvin was that the heretical reputation of Servetus was widespread and most of the cities in Europe were observing and awaiting the outcome of the trial. This posed a dilemma for the libertines, so on 21 August the council decided to write to other Swiss churches for their opinions, thus mitigating their own responsibility for the final decision. While waiting for the responses, the council also asked Servetus if he preferred to be judged in Vienne or in Geneva. He begged to stay in Geneva. On 20 October the replies from Zurich, Basel, Bern, and Schaffhausen were read and the council condemned Servetus as a heretic. The following day he was sentenced to burning at the stake, the same sentence as in Vienne. Calvin and other ministers asked that he be beheaded instead of burnt[citation needed] . This plea was refused and on 27 October, Servetus was burnt alive—atop a pyre of his own books—at the Plateau of Champel at the edge of Geneva.[46] (56)


    In Rome on September 4th, Cornelio da Montalcino, a Franciscan Friar, who converted to Judaism was burned alive.