For many years numerous historians have attempted to explain the inquisitorial proceedings established by Pope Gregory IX in twelve century France. The inquisition was a brilliant innovation in trial procedure under the justice system of the Roman Catholic Church. In attempts of explaining it, historians have had several misconceptions about the true origin, purpose, and process of this trial; giving perhaps the wrong message about the inquisition. As explained in Kelly’s article, this procedure was stupendous and much-needed but it became a victim of the abusive practices of some judges in special heresy tribunals. None the less, these abuses should not demerit the inquisition itself. Kelly argues that even the term “inquisition” has been a hostess for verbal abuse and confusion. Also commenting that, even the most careful historians seem to believe that heresy judges had far greater legal powers, a statement which Kelly firmly disagrees with. Proving also, opposed to comments from other historians, that the defendants in these trials were not legally denied any defense in comparison with other proceedings at the time. According to the medieval concepts of justice, the inquisitorial proceedings can be thought of as “fair”, considering the powers that were legally permitted; however, this is not including any abusive practices of the law judges might have exercised illegally.
Kelly’s article convinces the reader that there are several misconceptions about the inquisition. He argues firmly that “there was not a single provision of the rules of procedure for inquisition that privileged heresy cases over all other kinds of cases or limited due process for persons charged with heresy in ways that were not permitted for persons charged with other crimes”. In an attempt to first set a common understanding about the grammatical abuses of the term “inquisition”, Kelly begins his article by pointing out the distinct abuses between this word when capitalized and when in...
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