What distinguishes the tyranny of the Catholic Church is its explanation of its actions in terms of "virtue".
Along with its judges, the Inquisition had its armed retainers, extortionists, spies, and of course, torturers and executioners.
While they posed as pillars of piety, many medieval popes were depraved criminals who were hated by their flocks.
During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church held considerable sway over political affairs, often meddling in the internal workings of states.
Outright atheism had been known in ancient Greece. Some of the best known philosophers in the ancient world had been atheists.
The targets were social workers, social work students, journalists, artists, and anyone suspected to be a left-wing activist.
The USCCB maintained the prohibition of not endorsing candidates by name, but it was clear who they were rooting for.
A turning point came in 388. In that year Christians burned a synagogue at Rome and the authorities required that restitution be paid.
In 1211, more than eighty Waldenses were burned for heresy. This was the beginning of centuries of persecution.
The Lateran Accords, signed in February 1929, recognised the Vatican City as an independent state, with the Pope as its sovereign.