"On August 24, 1527, Roman Catholics in France, by prearranged plan, under Jesuit influence, murdered 70,000 Protestants within the space of two months. The Pope rejoiced when he heard the news of the successful outcome."-Western Watchman, Nov.21, 1912 (Catholic)
Therefore the pope ordered "that malicious and abominable sect of malignants," if they "refuse to abjure, to be crushed like venomous snakes."--Wylie, b. 16, ch. 1.
Decreti, pars ii. causa xxiii. quaest v. can. xlvii: "Those are not to be accounted homicides who, fired with zeal for Mother Church, may have killed excommunicated persons."
"That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history . . . It is impossible to form a complete conception of the multitude of her victims, and it is quite certain that no powers of imagination can adequately realize their sufferings."--W. E. H. Lecky, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, vol. 2, p. 32, 1910 edition. (An excellent though lengthy article describing in detail the right of the Roman Catholic Church to do this, will be found in The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 12, p. 266.)
"For professing faith contrary to the teachings of the Church of Rome, history records the martyrdom of more then one hundred million people. A million Waldenses and Albigenses [Swiss and French Protestants] perished during a crusade proclaimed by Pope Innocent III in 1208. Beginning from the establishment of the Jesuits in 1540 to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed. One hundred and fifty thousand perished by the Inquisition in thirty years. Within the space of thirty-eight years after the edict of Charles V against the Protestants, fifty thousand persons were hanged, beheaded, or burned alive for heresy. Eighteen thousand more perished during the administration of the Duke of Alva in five and a half years."--Brief Bible Readings, p. 16.
There were Waldensians ( Who in 1487 Pope Innocent VIII issued a bull for their extermination ) , Albigensians ( who Pope Innocent III initiated a 20-year military campaign against ), the Huguenots, etc.
"Experience teaches that there is no other remedy for the evil, but to put heretics (Protestants) to death; for the (Romish) church proceeded gradually and tried every remedy: at first she merely excommunicatied them; afterwards she added a fine; then she banished them; and finally she was constrained to put them to death." -Cardinal Bellarmine famous champion of Romanism cited by Schumucker p. 76. The Word of God says... "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me." John 16:2-3
"You ask if he (the Roman Catholic) were lord in the land, and you were in a minority, if not in numbers yet in power, what would he do to you? That, we say, would entirely depend upon circumstances. If it would benefit the cause of Catholicism, he would tolerate you: If expedient, he would imprison you, banish you, fine you; possibly, he might even hang you. But be assured of one thing: He would never tolerate you for the sake of 'the glorious principles of civil and religious liberty' . . . Catholicism is the most intolerant of creeds. It is intolerance itself, for it is truth itself."--"Civil and Religious Liberty," in The Rambler, 8, Sept, 1851, pp. 174, 178. ["The Rambler" was an English Roman Catholic journal published from 1848 to 1862].
"From the birth of popery to the present time, it is estimated by careful and credible historians, that more than fifty millions of the human family, have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by popish persecutors,--an average of more than 40,000 religious murders for every year of the existence of popery to the present day. Of course the average number of victims yearly, was vastly greater, during those gloomy ages when popery was in her glory and reigned despot of the world; and it has been much less since the power of the popes has diminished to tyrannize over the nations, and to compel the princes of the earth, by the terrors of excommunication, interdiction, and deposition, to butcher their heretical subjects."--John Dowling, The History of Romanism, pp. 541-542.
While enduring the early persecutions of the Roman government (65-300 A.D.), most of professing Christianity went through a gradual departure from New Testament doctrine concerning church government, worship and practice. Local churches ceased to be autonomous by giving way to the control of "bishops" ruling over hierarchies. The simple form of worship from the heart was replaced with the rituals and splendor of paganism. Ministers became "priests," and pagans became "Christians" by simply being sprinkled with water. This tolerance of an unregenerate membership only made things worse. SPRINKLED PAGANISM is about the best definition for Roman Catholicism.
The Roman Emperor Constantine established himself as the head of the church around 313 A.D., which made this new "Christianity" the official religion of the Roman Empire. The first actual Pope in Rome was probably Leo I (440-461 A.D.), although some claim that Gregory I was the first (590-604 A.D.). This ungodly system eventually ushered in the darkest period of history known to man, properly known as the "Dark Ages" (500-1500 A.D.). Through popes, bishops, and priests, Satan ruled Europe, and Biblical Christianity became illegal.
Throughout all of this, however, there remained individual groups of true Christians, such as the Waldensens and the Anabaptists who would not conform to the Roman system.