Saturday, August 18, 2012

This Day in History August 18, 1634

Urbain Grandier

I have to admit that I have never heard of this person who is featured today, and it is one horrific story if you get into all of the details.  I will just give you the bare essentials.

Urbain Grandier (featured above) was a French Catholic priest born in 1590.  He had some unusual views, it would seem.  He did not adhere to priest celibacy, and he was know for his sexual encounters.  He did gain some clout amongst his group, but it just so happened that a group of nuns from Loudon claimed that he bewitched them with black magic.  It was also claimed that he made a pact with the devil and other demons. There were even documents that supported this claim.

As you can imagine, he was arrested and put on trial.  They tortured him using a technique called "extraordinary question" (a form of torture which involved forcing the accused to drink water nearly until he died), but he refused to admit to the claims of sorcery and others.  He was found guilty, and on this date in 1634, he was burned at the stake.

Whenever I read stories like this, I am always horrified.  When I read of miscarriages of justice and torture/killings done in the name of the Church, I am absolutely incensed.  Urbain Grandier was probably guilty of some things--everyone has done something wrong in their lives.  But I cannot think that God looks down on situations like this and gives His blessing.

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  1. Ooh, that's creepy! I love reading about these kinds of weird and dark stories from history.

  2. Yikes! That is definitely horrific! Unfortunately, we will always people who do horrible things in the name of the church and I believe that most of them truly believe that they are doing the right thing by God. Sadly, they end up as bad as the people they are trying to get to confess.


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