Pope Paul III establishes the Inquisition in Rome

(68 words)
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Pope Paul III establishes an Inquisition in Rome. This series of tribunals, run by the cardinals. was responsible for prosecuting people accused of various crimes, including the Protestant heresy but also including blasphemy and witchcraft. It implemented a ruthless regime of censorship, famously, for instance, condemning Copernicus and Galileo, but only a very small proportion of the cases tried in its courts actually ended in a death sentence.

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Citation:
Editors. "Pope Paul III establishes the Inquisition in Rome". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=14667, accessed 16 April 2014.]