Vatican Goes to Confessional in an Art Museum

Church reveals Inquisition artifacts
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2008 9:36 AM CST
Museum director Marco Pizzo points at a 1703 list of rules spelling out a crackdown on Huguenots, French prosecuted protestants, and heretics and those sheltering them, on display during the presentation...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Sure, thousands of accused witches and blasphemers were burned and tortured during the Roman Catholic Church’s centuries-long Inquisition in the Middle Ages—but, with the help of a new art exhibition, the Vatican hopes to show that it wasn't so bad after all, Newsweek reports. The “Rare and Precious” show will “expose some myths” about the church’s dark past, says curator Mario Pizzo.

The church has an obligation to expose its own mistakes, Pizzo says, but the 60-artifact exhibit also is meant to show the complex nature of the church’s history. The exhibition is also intended as a modern-day object lesson for governments and armies on the treatment of adversaries, he says.