The Philadelphia Crusade
The beginnings of the Malleus Maleficarum have their origins in the inquisitors of the Middle Ages. One of the guides to finding and condemning witches was a book entitled Malleus Maleficarum, a guide to identifying the signs and powers of those using magic. Although the Catholic Church and Pope publicly decried the book, it was enough for the church to form a secret branch bearing its name eighty years later. A minor bishop, Ambrogio Baudolino, who made the suggestion for forming the group, was put in charge of the organization; he had once been a slave to a vampire and wished to protect innocent people from suffering the same fate. The Maleficarum’s goals have changed very little since then.
Quite simply, the Malleus Maleficarum wants to put a stop to supernatural creatures and the horrors they inflict on their flocks. To that end, they call on the powers of God and the blessings of His saints to help them. They tend to target vampires and demons above other kinds of creatures, but if any malevolent monster threatens those in their care, they will come running.
Officially, the Catholic Church is in charge of the branch. Unofficially, many within the order do not know that Baudolino is still alive, thanks to vampire blood, and continues to run the branch, even having occasional meetings with The Lucifuge, leader of the conspiracy that bears her name.