Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

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LJ Idol - Topic 11 - Sexual Healing, Through Fire

   Zaragoza, Spain, 1573 – Rochella Morell struggled against the wooden post she was chained to, as the flames around her licked higher. The jeering crowds around faded completely from her attention – she had more immediate concerns.
   Rodrigo de Ruy watched the flames with satisfaction. It was a pleasant warm evening. In the middle of the square thirty-six bonfires crackled happily. At this point they were still small, and the heretics tied to a post in the centre of each one were still largely unaffected. Some of them cried out repenting their sins, others proudly and unrepentently declared them, many just cried out, and some were stubbornly silent. The flames danced steadily higher and closer to the condemned as they squirmed uselessly.

   Auto de fé -- Meaning “act of faith” – synonymous with burning at the stake. The ceremony of the Auto de fé was intended to reconcile the otherwise unreconcileable with the The Church. Typically it consisted of an entire day of processions, masses, and other official activities. This would typically take place on a holiday, and the spectacle would culminate with burning at the stake. Reconciliation through fire.

   The 36 heretics being reconciled this evening were, as usual, mostly of questionable dedication to the One True Religion. Converts to Christianity who had exhibited enough characteristics of foreign culture to support the conviction that their professions of faith weren’t true. Regardless, the purifying flames would now settle the matter.
   Many were either admitted or suspected Protestants. Heretics who believed the blasphemy that there was NOT One True Church! Surely it would please the Lord to see them immolated.
   And a handful of the condemned had been found guilty of moral transgressions. Mostly sodomy, but there was one woman guilty of refusing to recognize the sinful nature of simple fornication -- sexual congress without the explicit goal of procreation .

   Rodrigo recalled her trial:
   ” …and furthermore the witness has said you confided in her that you were actually worried that you might be pregnant, do you deny this? ” Rodrigo, the prosecutor, had said.
   ”Who is the witness?” demanded Rochella Morell indignantly.
   ”You are not permitted to know! ” Rodrigo couldn’t believe her gall.
   ”Well, why shouldn’t I have sex? I enjoy it and I’m not harming anyone” Rochella’s words positively shocked Rodrigo. Obviously the Inquisitors sitting behind the dais knew the answer to this, but after all, the whole Inquisition was for the good and healing of the wayward, so Rodrigo deigned to explain. The Bible is quite clear on fornication and it only took him a moment to come up with an apt quote:
    “Among you there must not be even a mention of fornication or impurity in any of its forms, or promiscuity … for you can be quite certain that nobody who actually indulges in fornication or impurity or promiscuity - which is worshipping a false god - can inherit anything of the Kingdom of God. Do not let anyone deceive you with empty arguments” Rodrigo quoted Ephesians 5 with a flourish.1 Astoundingly, Rochella looked unimpressed.
    “God has given us sexual faculties only to procreate! To use them otherwise is a grave disorder! ” Rodrigo was becoming exasperated by her insolence – Rochella remained wholly unrepentent. Rodrigo looked to the Bailiff, Luis de Ayano. Luis shrugged. The case was pretty clear.

   An inquisition trial could end in one of five ways. It could, in theory, end in an “acquittal,” though it almost never did. The process could be “suspended,” wherein the case would be dropped against the defendant without finding them not guilty. The defendant could be “penanced” or “reconciled,” both of which involved the defendant publicly admitting guilt, and possibly being fined, exiled, or receiving some other punishment. And most severe, the ironically named outcome of “relaxation,” whereupon the defendant would be remanded to an auto de fé for reconciliation and then immolated.
   Sometimes aggressive interrogation techniques --such as placing a wet cloth over a defendant’s face and pouring water over it to simulate drowning-- were necessary to prove a case. In this situation, however, Rochella had veritably offered herself up. Spared herself the interrogation, but her impertanance would certainly gaurantee her place at the auto de fé.

   Rodrigo watched with satisfaction as the flamed enveloped Rochella and the other heretics. Rodrigo looked around at the cheering mob. Despite what Rochella and her associates would like to think, the town still had morals.

   Once the fires had smoldered out and the crowds long since dispersed. Rodrigo decided it was time to call it a night. He felt very successful for the healing he had been able to grant the heretics and moral deviants through the auto de fe.
   He made his way down the narrow streets, hardly an individual was still about. He looked around to make absolutely sure no one was watching, and slipped into the house of Luis de Ayano.

   The characters are made up, the Spanish Inquisition, is, of course, real. I had really only the vaguest knowledge of the Spanish Inquisition until I decided to address it for this topic and started researching it about 24 hours ago, so if I got anything wrong please forgive me.
   Anyway, I'm only finally finishing this up at 3am. Looks like the entry deadline isn't for another 12 hours so I might make some fixes before that time.

1 Quote taken specifically from official website of the Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith (the direct successor to the Office of the Inquisition) – Declaration on Certain Sexual Ethics

Tags: historical fiction, lj idol entry
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