This is interesting and disturbing information, and also false. What is true is that Philip II of Spain, who as son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V held extensive territories throughout Europe, levied charges of both heresy and treason against his Dutch holdings following the Revolt of the Netherlands, a Protestant uprising, in 1568. Now, while Philip viewed himself as supreme defender of Catholic Europe, and while he certainly sought to stamp out religious dissent according to the gentle methods of his time, this is not the same thing as an instance of Vatican-ordered genocide, which is what the Today in History timeline would have you believe.
Aelred wrote them nicely to correct their error, suggesting in the most diplomatic way imaginable that history and slander are not quite the same thing. They wrote back, suggesting that if he didn't like what they put in their timeline, then he could remove the application from his homepage. He wrote back, saying that this was beside the point; were they not remotely interested in historical accuracy? Here is their response:
Yes, every year this particular entry elicits comments, many of which are much less courteous than yours.You should know that we are variously accused of being both pro-Semitic and anti-Semitic, anti-Mormon, anti-Catholic, of having a conservative agenda, a liberal agenda, etc, etc. We are annually upbraided by Islamic scholars on September 11th. We get complaints about most Holocaust-related events. Tomorrow's entries will include the death by burning at the stake of Giordano Bruno for heresy so it is certain that there will be more comments to follow.I don't presume to have the knowledge or wits to debate you as to the historical accuracy of this particular event. The claim that this report was based on a forged document in the revisionist effort Inquisition (1989) by Peter Edwards may be true or not, I have no way of knowing. I do know however that this event has been held to be a historical fact for hundreds of years.Further, the dignity of any particular group is never one of our considerations. I propose that a group concerned about such things should simply conduct itself in such a way that no one would ever believe any ill reports about it.
Well, of course we should all conduct ourselves in such a way that nobody would ever believe any ill reports about us. Our mothers would say as much, I'm sure. But if there's a way to conduct ourselves so that nobody believes -- or spreads -- outright falsehoods about us, I'm sure we'd all like to know. And if there's a way to persuade the Today in History people that Today in history Philip II of Spain sentenced the people of the Netherlands to death for treason and heresy in response to a Protestant revolt and Today in history the Catholic Church sentenced the people of the Netherlands to death for heresy are not interchangeable assertions, and that one is perniciously misleading in such a way as to be an embarrassment to the creators of this timeline, then that would be nice to know, too.
History is grim enough. We all, as members of the human family, have sufficient blood of the past on our hands that we don't need to go making things up.