The Spanish Inquisition is technically abolished by royal decree, though it will not truly end until 1834. Pope Gregory IX first established the Inquisition in 1231 and burning was quickly picked as the official punishment. Administrators and Inquisitors have all been answerable directly to the pope and this has made the pope ultimately responsible for their actions.
Torture of suspects was authorized by Pope Innocent IV in 1252. Following church traditions, Inquisitor Franciso Pena declared in 1578 that:
"We must remember that the main purpose of the trial and execution is not to save the soul of the accused but to achieve the public good and put fear into others."