History : Jan-Feb 2019
Holy Office, but in 1823 liberal forces were crushed by Ferdinand’s royalist allies from France. Catholic tradition- alists were back in power and needed their French allies to stay there. The French disdained the Inquisi- tion, so Ferdinand VII was reluctant to restore it. Instead, he established “Faith Commissions” (juntas de fé). These councils held no true legal au- thority but enjoyed the protection of the government and Catholic Church. A Teacher’s Fate In Valencia, a traditionalist strong- hold, rumors about the behavior of the deist teacher had reached church officials. Ripoll, it was said, did not take his young charges to Mass, and instructed them to say“Praised be the Lord” instead of “Hail, purest Mary.” Exercising their new power, the Va- lencia Junta arrested Ripoll in Sep- tember 1824 for heresy. For two years, Ripoll refused to recant his deist beliefs; he was ul- timately sentenced to death. In July 1826 he was hanged for his beliefs. Rather than burn his body, sources say it was placed in a barrel painted with flames, thrown in the river, and then buried in unconsecrated ground. News of the execution was greet- ed with disgust by Spanish liberals. Even Ferdinand thought the junta had gone too far, in part because the king regarded the ultratraditionalists as a threat to his power. It would take almost a decade be- fore the Spanish Inquisition was definitively abolished in 1834. Rip- oll—for whom a square was named in Valencia—became a hero to Spanish liberals. Although the Inquisition was dead, the struggle between conser- vative Catholics and Enlightenment liberals continued to deeply divide the nation, influencing Spain’s brutal civil war a century later. ORONOZ/ALBUM “FALSE PHILOSOPHY,” FRONTISPIECE OF A 1774 SPANISH COMPENDIUM OF TEXTS CONSIDERED HERETICAL, INCLUDING THE DEIST WRITINGS TO WHICH CAYETANO RIPOLL SUBSCRIBED. BIBLIOTECA NACIONAL, MADRID BAPTISM OF MORSICOS Este relieve de madera policromada, obra de Felipe Bigarny, representa la conversión de los moriscos del reino de Granada tras la conquista de los Reyes Católicos en 1493. Retablo Mayor de la Capilla Real, catedral de Granada. 1522. LOREMUS PRISMA/ALBUM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 75 ALBUM FERDINAND VII OF SPAIN DETAIL OF A PORTRAIT BY FRANCISCO DE GOYA THE BANNERS OF FAITH A procession of the Spanish Inquisition, with the city of Valencia in the background, in a painting attributed to Francisco de Goya. FOUNDATION E. G . BÜHRLE COLLECTION, ZURICH Author María Lara Martínez is a specialist on the histo- ry of the Catholic Church in medieval and modern Spain.