1450: The first major witch hunts began in many western European countries. The Roman Catholic Church created an imaginary evil religion, using stereotypes that had circulated since pre-Christian times. They said that Pagans who worshiped Diana and other Gods and Goddesses were evil Witches who kidnapped babies, killed and ate their victims, sold their soul to Satan, were in league with demons, flew through the air, met in the middle of the night, caused male impotence and infertility, caused male genitals to disappear, etc. Historians have speculated that this religiously inspired genocide was motivated by a desire by the Church to attain a complete religious monopoly, or was "a tool of repression, a form of reining-in deviant behavior, a backlash against women, or a tool of the common people to name scapegoats for spoiled crops, dead livestock or the death of babies and children." Walter Stephens, a professor of Italian studies at Johns Hopkins University, proposes a new theory: "I think Witches were a scapegoat for God." 3 Religious leaders felt that they had to retain the concepts of both an omnipotent and an all-loving deity. Thus, they had to invent Witches and demons in order to explain the existence of evil in the world. This debate, about how an all-good and all-powerful God can coexist in the world with evil is now called Theodicy. Debate continues to the present day.