Contribute by: dr. Benedetto Ligorio, Ph.D. Post-Doc. Adjunct Early Modern History, Sapienza University of Rome.
Scientific Bureau Societas Spinozana Italy
Portugal. From the sources of the inquisiçāo de Coimbra, Tribunal do Santo ofício preserved in the Torre do Tombo National Archive. An enormous quantity of processes emerges, rigidly cataloged and under digitization process. Among the trials for Judaism aimed at women, coming from families of new Christians and therefore subjected to the spiritual jurisdiction of the church, because outside the protection of the various Sephardic “Universitas Hebraorum” (expelled and forced to the conversion at the end of the XV cent.), the true interests of the Inquisition clearly emerge. The confiscation of goods was the material reason covered by faith on god. The confiscation was a structural and intrinsically material punishment, to which was added the re-education and the penitential habit. The goal was to annihilate the individuality, the free will and the independence, of the subject and reduce him or her to the total control of religion and finally make money with confiscated goods.
The trials did not affect only the élites, who in the eventuality of aggression would respond with their own network of relationships to fight the interference of the confessionals in their own interests. But above all it hit the poor, without defense. In this sense, the Inquisition acts as an instrument of social and psychological coercion, which was not acquieted of declared loyalty to religion, but want the stricter control over People’s lives and want to fold them the religion.
The case of Florença de Carrião in Bragança, 20 years old, daughter of João Fernandes and Ana Furtado, “new Christians”, wife of Francisco Rodrigues, “new Christian” shoemaker is esemplificative of the Confessional pressures on the People’s life. She was accused and processed between 22 March 1602 and 16 August 1605, she was immediately sentenced to the auto da fé in 1602, and after condemned to confiscation of property, abjuration, prison, wearing perpetually the penitential habit, submission at the arbitrium of the inquisitors and compulsion to re-education to the faith.
Archival source : Archivio nacional Torre do Tombo, Tribunal do Santo Ofício, Inquisição de Coimbra, proc. 194 (34 foll.) Link