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The Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, commonly known as the Roman Inquisition, was a system of tribunals developed by the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church, during the second half of the 16th century.


The Roman Inquisition began in 1542 when Pope Paul III established a system of tribunals for prosecuting anyone with alternate religious beliefs. In 1593, Dominican friar Giordano Bruno was denounced to the Venetian Inquisition. Accused of dealing in magic and divination, Bruno was declared a heretic and burned at the stake in 1600. In 1633, the Roman Inquisition put Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei on trial on suspicion of heresy. Ordered to renounce his scientific theories, he refused and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.


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