Pantocratorian Congregation for the Protection of the Creed
The Pantocratorian Congregation for the Protection of the Creed, still colloquially referred to by its old name, the Pantocratorian Inquisition, is a large congregation of well regarded Catholic clergy in the Pantocratorian Church, appointed by the Imperial Conference of Bishops every ten years. It was created in the reign of Emperor Constantine XVIII in 1610 under the direction of Constantine Diogenes, Archbishop of New Rome, to impose uniformity of rite employed in the Pantocratorian Church. Its principal objectives were:
- To stamp out Greek Orthodox elements in the Pantocratorian Church, which advocated the use of the Greek rite and communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople.
- To stamp out Byzantine Catholic elements in the Pantocratorian Church, which advocated the use of the Greek rite but communion with the Pope in Rome.
- To stamp out the new pro-Latin rite group which held that the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople should be the head of the Pantocratorian Church.
- To impose the uniform use of the Latin rite on the whole of the (then Greek speaking) Empire, and to forbid metropolitans from seeking papal dispensation to employ the Greek rite.
The Pantocratorian Inquisition was largely ineffective in its efforts to stamp out the first two groups, but was successful in driving them underground. However, by forcing these groups underground, it became even more difficult to find and eliminate them. It was fairly successful in its last two objectives.
When the Pantocratorian Imperial Parliament was formed in 1672, Emperor Demetrius VIII made the Inquisition the electoral body (in charge of supervising elections and counting votes) "so as to ensure that only good Catholic citizens in full communion with our Mother the Church, and beloved of God, may vote to constitute the house which shall be our most reliable counsel, and especially not to suffer schismatics nor heretics to taint the perfection of parliamentary elections with their perfidy and plotting". It remained Pantocratoria's electoral body until late 2005. There were allegations of bias made against the Congregation surrounding the 1992 election of the United Christian Front Government led by Prince Basil, in which the United Christian Front won 540 of the 540 available seats, but no action was ever pursued against it.
In 1962, the Pantocratorian Inquisition officially changed its name to the Pantocratorian Congregation for the Protection of the Creed. At its height, the Inquisition confined its activities primarily to the clergy, and barring a few incidents, never employed torture in its investigations. It did, however, hand its judgements to the secular authorities, which frequently punished its victims with mutilation, torture, and brutal execution. Now it confines its activities to its capacity as one of three bodies which monitor immigration.