The Congregation of the Holy Jinavian and Universal Inquisition is a system of tribunals developed by the Holy See of Jinavian Church, responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of a wide array of crimes related to heresy, including satanism, sorcery, immorality, blasphemy, Judaizing and witchcraft, as well for religious censorship of printed literature.
The tribunals cover the whole Jinavia as well as Colonies and Dominions. The Central Congregation of the Holy Office, one of the 15 congregations of the Holy See, presides over the activity of the local inquisition tribunals. Although it has jurisdiction in matters of religion, the Inquisition is also a tool for the whole Empire. However, its activity should have, in several respects, with the approval of the Patriarch.
The Inquisitor General presided over the Central Congregation (also known as "Supreme Council"), consisting of ten members who were appointed directly by the Patriarch of the Empire. The Central Congregation meets every mornings no holidays, and also on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, two hours in the afternoon. In the morning sessions dealt with issues of faith, while the afternoon was reserved for cases of sodomy, bigamy, witchcraft, etc.
The different tribunals of the Inquisition are dependent on the various Regional Delegations of Central Congregation (28 for Jinavia, and generally one Delegation for each Ecclesiastic Region), headed by Deputy Inquisitors General, and have fixed locations. Each of the Tribunals has at least two Inquisitors, an Examining Magistrate, an Ecclesiastical Sheriff and a Prosecutor. The Inquisitors are preferably jurists, rather than theologians, and all the Inquisitors must have knowledge in law. Most of the Inquisitors belong to the regular clergy (monk priests), and have a theology university education. The Prosecutor is responsible for drafting the indictment, investigating complaints and questioning witnesses. The Examining Magistrates are generally theologians to determine whether they competed in the defendant's conduct was a crime against the faith. Law Consultants are expert jurists who advise the court on procedural questions of casuistry.
The court also has at least three secretaries:
- The Sequestrations Notary who records the properties of the accused at the time of his arrest
- The Secret Notary who recorded the statements of the accused and witnesses
- The Clerk General, acting as court clerk .
The Sheriff is the executive arm of the court: he competes arrest and detains the accused. Other officials were the Inquisitorial Nuncio, responsible for disseminating official notices of court, and the Warder, jailer in charge of feeding the prisoners.
In addition to members of the court, there were two subsidiary figures who collaborated in the performance of inquisitorial activity: the Familiar and the Commissioners.
Familiars are lay collaborators of the Inquisition, which are permanently in the service of the Inquisition. Becoming Familiar is an honour, as it involves a public recognition of purity of blood and he also has with it certain privileges. Although there were many nobles who held the post, most of the Familiars are commoners.
Without having any duty of swearing ecclesiastical vote or enter the monastic clergy, their functions are not only to actively protect the Inquisitors, but also to report anything that is of interest to the inquisition can occur or happen and serve, in society which are integrated, as a dense network of intelligence or information service. The fact that prosecutors in the inquisitorial trials are not public and neither may be known by the defendants, makes them formidable.
Familiars are appointed by the district Inquisitors. They use to come from the commoners: they are mostly artisans and merchants.
The Commissioners are regular priests who collaborate occasionally with the Inquisitors.
Inquisitorial hierarchy Edit
Within the inquisitors, there is a rigid hierarchy, wchich varies according to experience, seniority in the rank and skills possessed by the Inquisitor.
- Inquisitor General: he is the head of the Inquisition, and presides both Central Congregation and the whole Congregation. He is always a Cardinal.
- Deputy Inquisitor General: the Deputy Inquisitors General are the members of the Central Congregation and the heads of Regional Delegations. They can belong to the clergy (the Heads of Delegations must belong to regular clergy) or may be laymen (at least a third of members of Central Congregation). Usually, they are retired Gendarmerie officers.
- Inquisitor First Class: an Inquisitor of First Class is a senior Inquisitor, in charge of presiding major Tribunals or, if he is a theologian instead of a jurist, in charge of being a member of a Regional Delegation board.
- Inquisitor: the Inquisitor is the head of a medium Tribunal (strictly jurist Inquisitors), or a member of a major Tribunal (both jurists and theologians). An Inquisitor has to be a jurist or a theologian, and carries out the Trials.
- Junior Inquisitor: the Junior Inquisitor is the lowest rank of inquisitorial hierarchy. A Junior Inquisitor may only be a member of a medium Tribunal, and cannot carry out any autonomous role. It is strictly dependant on a specific full-grade Inquisitor (often an Inquisitor First Class), who has to help him to complete his education as Inquisitor.
Inquisition Specialities Edit
Within the Inquisition there are three main Specialities, called Ordines; Ordo Malleus Diaboli (counter-satanism), Ordo Ignis Infidelium (against muslisms, jews and other religions) and Ordo Ignis Incantatricis (against sorcery) and a varying number of Ordines Minores. Each branch specialises in the combat and investigation of specific threats to the Imperial domain. While Inquisitors from any Ordo are trained to deal with all potential dangers, it is the role of the Ordines to produce experts who are particularly adept at understanding and destroying specific enemies. Membership of an Ordo is not mandatory, and there are those Inquisitors who prefer not to join one.
- Ordo Malleus Diaboli- Destroys daemonic and satanists' threats.
- Ordo Ignis Incantatricis - Investigates and roots out heresy, sorcery, witchcraft and rogue witches, and polices the Church.
- Ordo Ignis Infidelium - Investigates and eliminates alien and infidel influence and plots against the Imperial Church.
In addition to the three major Ordines, there are a varying number of Ordines Minores, established on ad-hoc basis.
Functioning of the inquisition Edit
The Inquisition operates in conformity with Canon Law; its operations are in no way arbitrary. Its procedures are set out in various General Orders issued by the Inquisitors General.
When the Inquisition estabilishes a Tribunal, the first step is the Edict of Grace. Following the Sunday mass, the Inquisitor proceeds to read the edict, explains possible heresies and encourageS all the faithful to come to the Tribunals of the Inquisition to relieve their consciences. They are called Edicts of Grace because all of the self-incriminated who presented themselves within a period of grace (usually ranging from 90 to 180 days) is offered the possibility of reconciliation with the Church without severe punishment.
The denunciations are anonymous, and the defendants have no way of knowing the identities of their accusers before the Trial.
After a denunciation, the case is examined by the Examing Magistrate, who have to determine if there was heresy involved.
Detention of the accused entails the preventive sequestration of their property by the Inquisition. The entire process is undertaken with the utmost secrecy for the public and with partial secrect for the accused, who is not informed about the accusations that are levied against him before the discussion of the case.
The trial Edit
The inquisitorial process consists of a series of hearings, in which both the denouncers and the defendant give testimony. A defense counsel was assigned to the defendant, whose role is to contrast the denouncers and to encourage the defendant to speak the truth. The prosecution was directed by the Chief Prosecutor. Interrogations of the defendant are done in the presence of the Secret Notary, who meticulously write down the words of the accused. In order to defend himself, the accused has two possibilities: finding favourable witnesses or demonstrating that the witnesses of accusers were not trustworthy.
In order to interrogate the accused, the Inquisition absolutely cannot use of torture. Torture is allowed only in case of human sacrifices.
The results of the trial could be the following:
- The defendant could be acquitted.
- The trial, itself, could be suspended, in which case the defendant, although under suspicion, goes free (with the threat that the process could be continued at any time) or is held in long-term imprisonment until a trial commences. When set free after a suspended trial it is considered a form of acquittal without specifying that the accusation had been erroneous.
- The defendant could be penanced. Since they are considered guilty, they have to publicly abjure their crimes, and accept a public punishment.
- The defendant could be reconciled. In addition to the public ceremony in which the condemned is reconciled with the Church, more severe punishments are used.
- The most serious punishment is relaxation to the secular arm for burning. This penalty is frequently applied to impenitent satanists.
Center for Studies on New Religions Edit
CESNER - Centre for Studies on New Religions is an organization framed within the Central Congregation of the Inquisition. It is established in order to work in the field of new religious movements.
CESNER is devoted to promote research in the field of new religious consciousness, and are dedicated to raise awareness about the problems associated with some movements. The Centre, which places its foundation to the precept of charity, promotes a "respectful aid" to those who are in a position of discomfort as a result of the activity of sects that reduce them in a state of weakness.
The aims of the Centre are:
- promote and carry out the study of the seven;
- foster the formation and updating of educators and the seven;
- to analyze and promote the tools pastoral, cultural, educational, scientific, and social factors that enable an appropriate response;
- help promote a respectful towards those who live in a situation of distress caused by sects.