One thing is made clear by this controversy: the tremendous intellectual breadth of the Catholic Church. She did not approve of hunting dissenters, as the modern liberal imagines, merely for the pleasure of persecuting them. She distinguished between those who were not in good faith, and those who were; and although the latter, especially if eccentric in any way, were sometimes in danger from the overzealous or fanatical inspection, they usually had nothing to fear, and were allowed to write and to talk as they pleased – as indeed [Ramon] Lull was during a long life. The Inquisition did not suppress the intellectual energy of the Middle Ages; on the contrary, it stimulated it, while it kept it sane.

William Thomas Walsh, Characters of the Inquisition (1940)


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