01 November 2012

Whores of the Devil

Whores of the Devil by Erik Durschmied, 2005, Excerpts

Witchcraft trials destroyed the principles of honor and justice: common report or gossip was sufficient ground to bring an accusation of sorcery. Apprehended by a bishop’s minions, the victim was tortured until he confessed his guilt. Accusation was equal to condemnation, since no man or woman could possibly beat the terrible pains inflicted upon his or her body by the hooded men with glowing pincers. Ecclesiastical and secular inquisitors threw open the gates into a sulphurous Hall of Shame. For three centuries, Western civilization suffered the foulest crimes and base indignity, the blackout of everything that reasoning man has ever been called on to defend. The church became corrupt to its lower clergy. Clerical misbehavior and outright perverted acts were widespread and detrimental to the Church’s moral image.

The witch mania spread rapidly across Europe. At the start of the delusion, the Catholic clergy vented their fury on those who strayed from the faith, those that pope, bishop or priest designated as heretics. Now it was to be those accused of heresy, Lutherans and Calvinists, that turned into the greatest witch-burners, more than Catholics had ever been. Their witch-burnings took on truly epidemic proportions. And the more they burned, the more they found to burn.

‘Witches are the whores of the devil.’ Martin Luther, 1519

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