Bernardini - Chapter 12
Outcasts from the Kingdom
The Inquisition and the Banishment of New Christians to Brazil
Lisbon, 1581. It's the beginning of the united period of the two Iberian
crowns. At a reception given in honor of the new King of Portugal,
Phillip II, the colony of Brazil was symbolically represented by a
feminine figure holding a sprig of sugar cane in her hand with a caption
that read: "I have been the place of banishment for the condemned."
ONE OF THE MAJOR PREOCCUPATIONS of the judges of the "Tribunals of
Faith" was the preservation of religious order through the quelling
of heterodoxies. The Inquisition was granted authorization to function in
Portugal on 23 May 1536, and the first auto-da-fé ceremony occurred in
Lisbon in 1540. Because of diplomatic disagreements between the Portuguese
monarchy and the papal court, however, the tribunal was only
definitively established on 16 June 1547, by order of an edict of Pope Paul
III, the "Meditatio Cordis." The hunt for Judaizers had officially begun.
What was the motive behind this repressive legal action?