Bill Donohue comments on a segment from the first of a new 13-episode Fox series, “Cosmos,” which aired on March 9:
The propagandists involved in this show, represented most conspicuously by Seth MacFarlane, told viewers last night that “the Roman Catholic Church maintained a system of courts known as the Inquisition and its sole purpose was to investigate and torment anyone who dared voice views that differed from theirs. And it wasn’t long before [Giordano] Bruno fell into the clutches of the thought police.”
The ignorance is appalling. “The Catholic Church as an institution had almost nothing to do with [the Inquisition],” writes Dayton historian Thomas Madden. “One of the most enduring myths of the Inquisition,” he says, “is that it was a tool of oppression imposed on unwilling Europeans by a power-hungry Church. Nothing could be more wrong.” Because the Inquisition brought order and justice where there was none, it actually “saved uncounted thousands of innocent (and even not-so-innocent) people who would otherwise have been roasted by secular lords or mob rule.” (His emphasis.)
As for Bruno, he was a renegade monk who dabbled in astronomy; he was not a scientist. There is much dispute about what really happened to him. As sociologist Rodney Strong puts it, he got into trouble not for his “scientific” views, but because of his “heretical theology involving the existence of an infinite number of worlds—a work based entirely on imagination and speculation.”
In short, MacFarlane, who is no stranger to the Catholic League, has once again shown his true colors.
Contact Gaude Lydia Paez, Senior VP for Corporate Communications at Fox: Gaude.Paez@fox.com