College Notes
Church History
Lecture 19

Catholic History / The Crusades

A. Reasons:
1. Expunged heretics.
2. Regain holy land.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 4, says:

"The Crusades were expeditions undertaken, in fulfillment of a solemn vow, to deliver the Holy Places from Mohammedan tyranny. The origin of the word may be traced to the cross-made of cloth and worn as a badge on the outer garment of those who took part in these enterprises.... The meaning of the word CRUSADE has been extended to include all wars undertaken in pursuance of a vow, and directed against infidels, i.e. against Mohammedans, pagans, heretics, or those under the ban of excommunication.... After pronouncing a solemn vow, each warrior received a cross from the hands of the pope or his legates, and was thenceforth considered a soldier of the Church. Crusaders were also granted Indulgences and temporal privileges, such as exemption from civil jurisdiction, inviolability of persons or lands, etc." p. 346

    3. Gregory VII set stage

James A. Brundage, in Holy Wars and Medieval Lawyers, says:

"By the eleventh century Christian warriors who worried about the salvation of their souls could avail themselves of another reassurance: under certain conditions they might march into battle under a sacred banner.... The really radical change in papal policy toward warfare occurred during the reign of that most warlike of pontiffs, Pope Gregory VII. It has been argued that Gregory VII revolutionized the Christian view of warfare and that he was the principal inventor of the holy war idea in medieval Christendom.

"Gregory seems to have entertained the notion that those who died in battle on behalf of righteousness were automatically and deservedly freed from their sins.... Gregory VII's pontificate gave a new twist to the older idea that soldiers dying in battle for a just cause might thereby be saved. Whereas his predecessors had spoken primarily of defensive situations, of encounters in which Christian soldiers were defending persons and property against hostile incursions by non- Christians. Gregory carried the notion of justification by war into situations where active expansion of the Christian world and aggressive activities on behalf of papal interests were at issue." p. 104-105

B. Pope Urban II - 1200 A.D.

In The Genesis of the Crusades, H.E.J. Cowdrey writes:

"By the pontificate of Urban II Western churchmen had in principle embraced the concept of holy war and viewed warfare as a positive value in the Christian life."

    1. Founder of the crusades Peter the hermit.

From The Papacy At It's Height, we read:

"...when the Pope, with the Eastern ambassadors and the Hermit by his side, addressed assembled thousands from the cathedral steps, the multitude responding to his impassioned appeal by the cry, DIEU LE VEULT, 'It is the will of God!' The red cross marked on the right shoulder was the badge, and was at once assumed by a great, if undisciplined, army. The enthusiasm was contagious, and both banks of the Rhine echoed the Crusaders' cry.

"Hence began the series of expeditions, which, although they achieved no lasting successes in the East, nevertheless changed the face of Europe. The number of the Crusades is variously given, according to the character of the several wars. Generally they are reckoned as eight, but sometimes as seven...the enterprise in its different forms extending through nearly two centuries." p. 471

    2. Succeeded in freeing the holy land (c.1099-1187).
3. Saladin fought against Richard of England in Battle of Armageddon.

C. The first Crusade:

Also, from The Papacy At Its Height, we read:

"The First Crusade was anticipated by the impatient zeal of the Hermit and his associate, Walter the Penniless, a military adventurer. Before any regular warlike operations could be concerted, these leaders started with an eager but undisciplined multitude of sixty thousand men for Hungary and Bulgaria, on the way to Constantinople. It was no army, but a rabble. Thousands fell by the way from famine and disease, and from many a skirmish with suspicious or unfriendly populations.... They pressed on, only to find themselves entrapped and miserably destroyed. Only a few escaped, among whom was Hermit Peter.


"But in August 1096, the first regular army began its march, under the leadership of Godfrey of Bouillon.... Eighty thousand men reached Constantinople, and passed over to Asia, with large reinforcements from the Eastern Empire. First, they mastered Nicaea; horrified and exasperated by the tokens of the preceding massacre.... finally they passed to Jerusalem, which they took with great loss, July 15, 1099. Godrey was elected king.... Peter the Hermit attended the inauguration ceremony, the assembled throng falling at his feet and hailing him as deliverer. After that supreme moment he disappears from history." p. 471-472

    1. The battle for Jerusalem was very bloody

In A History of the Expedition to Jerusalem, Frances Ryan notes:

"When the machines were ready, namely battering rams and SCROFAE, our men again prepared to attack the city. Among those contrivances they put together was a tower made of short pieces of timber because there was no large stuff in that area. Then some soldiers, climbed upon the tower at a signal from the trumpet. The Saracens nevertheless set up a defense against them.... they hurled small burning brands soaked in oil and grease against the tower and the soldiers in it. Therefore many on both sides met sudden death in this fighting.... The next day at the sound of the trumpets they undertook the same task with still more vigor. As a result they made a breach in the wall by battering it in one place with rams.... Already one stone tower... was afire. This fire, gradually fed by the wooden material in the tower, caused so much smoke and flame that none of the city guards could remain there any longer. Soon therefore the Franks gloriously entered the city at noon on the day known as Dies Veneris, the day in which Christ redeemed the whole world on the Cross. Amid the sound of trumpets and with everything in an uproar they attacked boldly, shouting 'God help us!' At once they raised a banner on the top of the wall. The pagans were completely terrified, for they all exchanged their former boldness for headlong fight through the narrow streets of the city. The more swiftly they fled the more swiftly they were pursued.... Many of the Saracens who had climbed to the top of the Temple of Solomon in their flight were shot to death with arrows and fell headlong from the roof. Nearly ten thousand were beheaded in this Temple. If you had been there your feet would have been stained to the ankles in the blood of the slain...None of them were left alive. Neither women nor children were spared."

    2. "Christians" took spoil

A History of The Expedition To Jerusalem says:

"How astonishing it would have seemed to you to see our squires and footmen, after they had discovered the trickery of the Saracens, split open the bellies of those they had just slain in order to extract from the intestines the bezants which the Saracens had gulped down their loathsome throats while alive! For the same reason a few days later our men made a great heap of corpses and burned them to ashes in order to find more easily the above-mentioned gold...With drawn swords our men ran through the city Not sparing anyone, even those begging for mercy. The crowd fell as rotten apples fall from shaken branches and acorns from swaying oaks... The Saracens, seeing that our men were so fierce and that the city was already taken by them, fled precipitately to wherever they thought they might preserve their lives a little longer. But they were unable to hide anywhere and instead were slain in a death that was well deserved.

"Very few of the male sex were left alive. But a great many of the women were spared because they could always be used to turn the hand mills...I saw a great many of the Saracens who were killed there put in a pile and burned. The fetid odor of their bodies bothered us greatly. These wretches were burned for the sake of finding the bezants which some had swallowed and others had hidden in their mouths next to the gums, not wishing the Franks to get anything that belonged to them...Hence it sometimes happened when one of our men struck the neck of some Saracen with his fist that from ten to sixteen bezants would be ejected from the mouth. The women also shamelessly hid bezants within themselves that was wicked and which is more shameful for me to tell." p. 154-155

D. The second Crusade:

In The Papacy At Its Height we read:

"The Second Crusade (1147) was occasioned by the recapture of Edessa, with other reverses, threatening the existence of the kingdom. Bernard of Clairvaux was the preacher and prophet of the enterprise.... In the course of this Crusade, Damascus was besieged, but ineffectually, and this city was never taken.... Bernard, who in the name of God had foretold success, had to find an explanation of the non-fulfillment of his prophecy in the unworthiness of the Christian combatants."

E. The third Crusade:

From The Papacy at Its Height we read:

"In 1187 Jerusalem was taken by the Moslem warrior Saladin, and in 1189 the Third Crusade was undertaken for its recapture. It was an enterprise of kings, the chief leaders being Frederick Barbarossa the aged Emperor, Philip Augustus of France, and Richard of England, Coeur-de- Lion.... not a tenth, it is said, of his dispirited army arrived at Antioch.... Some slight advantages were gained, but were lost again through the bloodthirstiness of the crusaders provoking desperate resistance, as well as from their own disunion and misunderstanding. (It ended)... by a terrible massacre at Jaffa, which practically extirpated the crusading host." p. 473-474.

F. The fourth Crusade: (c. early 1200s).
1. Started by Innocent

The Papacy at its Height says:

 "The Fourth Crusade (1202) was prompted by Pope Innocent III.... As the overland march was judged too hazardous, they sought convoy by sea to Venice. The exorbitant demands of the Venetians caused delay; the matter became complicated by emissaries from Constantinople, in whose disputes the crusaders became involved, and the end was that the 'holy war' degenerated into a filibustering expedition -- Constantinople fell, amid scenes of cruelty and outrage on which the Pope himself cried shame. The Byzantine Empire was overthrown, and a Latin kingdom established in its stead under Baldwin of Flanders.... Meantime the warriors of this Fourth Crusade neither reached Palestine nor struck a blow at the Mohammedan power, but only aggrandized the Papacy and intensified the antagonism of the Eastern and Western Churches." p. 474-475

    2. Children became involved

 The Papacy at its Height says:

 "It was also in the time of Innocent III (1212) that the strangely mournful episode of the Children's Crusade illustrated the wild enthusiasm of the times. Some thirty thousand boys and girls, under the leadership of the boy Stephen, started for Marseilles, many being lost upon the way. At Marseilles they waited, believing that the waters would cleave before them to open a path. Wily merchants enticed some thousands of them of board their ships, promising to carry them 'for the love of God and without charge' to Palestine; and the poor children were sold as slaves in Algiers and Alexandria."

    3. Albigenses were attacked

In The Genesis of the Crusades, H. E. J. Cowdrey says:

"The decree of the third Lateran Council assimilated those who took up the sword against heretics with Crusaders who fought against the infidels in the Holy Land and granted fighters against heresy the same indulgence and other privileges enjoyed by Crusaders in the Latin East. This proclamation was ineffective, at least in the sense that it produced no immediate practical action. In 1208, however, Pope Innocent III succeeded in translating the conciliar decree into practice when he launched what was to be called the Albigensian Crusade...Not only was it lawful and laudable for princes to undertake holy wars for the repression of heretics, it was a duty required of them and those who failed to take part in such a war sinned by withholding their help."

G. The fifth Crusade:
1. Jerusalem taken, and held for one year.
2. Last time under Christian control.

From he Papacy at its Height we read:

"The Fifth Crusade was also promoted by Innocent III, who at the Fourth Lateran Council declared his intention of personally accompanying the soldiers of the cross to the Holy Land. But for him it was too late. He died in 1216, and it was not till the following year that Andrew, king of Hungary, set out upon this enterprise.... In endeavoring to reach Jerusalem by way of Egypt, they captured Damietta, where pestilence and slaughter wrought fearful havoc; but, were compelled to retire before the rising Nile, and had to surrender the stronghold. The expedition therefore was absolutely without result." p. 475-476

H. The sixth Crusade (c. 1227-1230).
1. Leaders form a treaty with Sultans.
2. Pope excommunicated.

The Papacy at its Height says:

"The Pope lost all patience, charged the Emperor with having wantonly exposed his troops to pestilence, and pronounced against him a sentence of excommunication. But Frederick continued his preparations and, having rallied his forces, sailed once more from Brindisi, in defiance of the papal command to remain in Italy until he had purged his offence.... he...added yet further to his crimes by negotiating with the Sultan and his followers instead of fighting them. At length a treaty was concluded, which restored to the Emperor the whole of Jerusalem excepting the Mosque of Omar, also the towns of Jaffa, Bethlehem, and Nazareth.... Elated by his bloodless victory, he returned to Europe, to find the Pope to the last degree exasperated against him. Thus it was the fate of this Emperor to undergo a threefold excommunication--first, for not going to Palestine; then, for going; and lastly, for winning a bloodless victory."

I. The seventh Crusade:

The Papacy at its Height says:

"The compact made with Frederick II, after being several times broken, was renewed in 1240, the expeditions from France and England by which this renewal was affected being sometimes reckoned as a separate crusade.... In 1245 a council at Lyons resolved to interpose, and Louis IX of France was found enthusiastically willing to take the cross. In 1248 he sailed for Cyprus, and after wintering in that island, proceeded to Damietta.... he was defeated and....ten thousand prisoners were captured with their sovereign, and were all put to death save those who renounced Christianity for Islam.... The king, after a pilgrimage in sackcloth to Nazareth, returned to Europe, saddened by failure, but with heart and hope still unabated. So terminated the Seventh Crusade (6th in some texts)."

J. The eighth Crusade:

The Papacy at its Height says:

"The Eighth and last (1270) was also led by the King of France, who...with seen thousand men captured Nazareth, mercilessly slaying the Mussulman inhabitants...He concluded a peace for ten years and returned. But the pious and heroic Louis IX had been smitten down by pestilence before the walls of Tunis, his last words being, 'I will enter Thy house, O Lord; I will worship in Thy sanctuary. Thus ended the Crusades; every purpose unfulfilled with which they had so enthusiastically begun nearly two hundred years before, and to attain which probably thru millions of lives had been sacrificed. Only one stronghold remained to the Christians--that of Acre. But this also passed into Moslem hands in 1291. Attempts from time to time were made to renew the conflict, but the old enthusiasm had too surely died away."

K. The results of the crusades

From The Papacy at its Height:

"They certainly tended at first to the aggrandizement of the Papacy. Vast revenues flowed from many quarters into the coffers of the Church. Barons proceeding to the wars frequently bequeathed their property, in case they should fall in the enterprise, to the monastic or episcopal revenues. Greater still was the enhancement of the Church's spiritual power.... Plenary Indulgences, if not now for the first time introduced, were largely employed as motive for obedience to the Church's behests. The criminality of unbelief and heresy was more intensely felt in the campaign against the 'infidel' hosts. The word 'miscreant,' or unbeliever, gained currency as the synonym of all crime.

"On the other side of the question, it might be urged that the effect of these wars was to roll back the tide of Moslem invasion from Eastern Europe. Constantinople, indeed, was destined to fall, but the catastrophe was delayed.... what unimaginable horrors might have befallen the world had Christendom perished!"

A. Good reference book: [1]My Catholic Faith[1]
B. (1300's) Papacy in France for 70 years.
1. Corruption continues.
2. Papacy brought into complete submission to the state.

C. Mid 1400s
1. Sixtus IV (1471-1484) - carried out most bloody Inquisition.
2. Medici - wealthy family of Italy.
     a. Controlled much of the money of Europe.
     b. Had controversy with Sixtus.
3. Spanish Inquisition - Catholics stamped out heresy in Spain.
4. Innocent VIII - 1492
     a. Same time that Columbus discovered America.
     b. All out war on Waldenses.
     c. Continued Spanish Inquisition.

D. 1500s
1. Leo X:
     a. Archbishop at age 8.
     b. Cardinal at age 13.
     c. Went through 27 ranks of the ministry in 1 day.
     d. Saw priesthood as merely a source of revenue.
     e. Declared burning heretics a divine appointment from God.
     f. Instituted granting of indulgences for money.
2. Alexander VI.
     a. Sex pervert - committed all forms of fornication.
     b. Mistress' brother became the next pope.
3. Three orders in Catholicism:
     a. Francisan order
     b. Dominican order: "Domni Canes" - dogs of the Lord for smelling out heretics.
     c. Jesuits: founded in Spain. Unconditional obedience to the pope. Supreme aim: to stamp out heresy.
4. Martin Luther - priest in the Catholic Church.
     a. Saw corruption; felt he had to deal with it.
     b. His 95 Theses led to the Protestant Reformation.

E. Modern Times
1. Clemet 11th (1700) - Papal Bull against reading the Bible.

The Bible was not the authority of the church anyway as the 'Riddle of Roman Catholicism' explains:

"The authority of Scripture is not the authority of a naked book, but the authority of a book in the process of being interpreted. Tradition is that by which Scripture is continually being interpreted... The Profession of Faith of Trent affirms...I likewise accept Holy Scripture according to that sense which our holy Mother Church has held and does hold, whose office it is to judge of the true meaning and interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures; I shall never accept nor interpret it otherwise than in accordance with the unanimous consent of the Fathers." p. 82

    2. (1769) Jesuit order abolished by infallible pope.
3. (1800's) Jesuit order reformed by infallible pope.
     a. Protestants had firm hold in England and America by this time.
     b. Leo 12th condemned all religious freedom.
     c. (1820's) Leo 12th decreed that anyone separate from the Catholic Church would not receive eternal life.
     d. (1850's) Roman Catholic Church lost Papal states.
     e. (1929) Musolini re granted Papal state to the Vatican.
     f. (1870) Redefined right to "enforce" heresay.
         1) Immaculate conception of Mary decreed.

The Riddle of Roman Catholicism says:

“In the Ave Maria the Virgin is addressed not only as 'Holy Mary,' but as 'mother of God.' Like the dogma of her perpetual virginity, this title is an inheritance from the fifth century, when its use occasioned a great theological controversy.... It seems to carry echoes from other places than the Bible and from other gods.... Historians of the ancient church have frequently pointed to the symbolic coincidence that the title 'mother of God' (Theotokos) should have been approved in 431 by a Christian council meeting in Ephesus, the city where the temple to the mother goddess has been so important to the business of the silversmiths.... The worship of the divine mother, which Christian monotheism had thrown out headlong through the front door, now crept back in through the back door.... P.132-133

Modern times (1870) continued:

            2) Declared that Protestants have no form of Christian religion.
         3) Doctrine of Infallibility.
4. 1900s:
     a. (c.1900) Leo XIII
         1) Declared Protestants are enemy.
         2) Denounced Masonic order.
     b. (1914) Denounced leaders of Reformation.
     c. (1928) Pious 28th stated Catholic church only true church of God.
     d. (1962) Pope John 23rd held last ecumenical council.
         1) Jews absolved as a nation.
         2) Only Jews involved in Christ’s death are actually guilty of it.

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