Scotsman will be Free:
The rivalry of the French and English is well established. So it is never so easy as you would like. France siding with Scotland who is fighting with England is something that I am sure the Church viewed as potentially dangerous with England and France getting into war. Ireland was also oppressed by England.
France sided with Scotland’s cause because of its rivalry with England more than the concern of Scotland’s independence.
Once the Pope recognized Scotland’s independence, then all of Europe really had no choice but to recognize it as well as at that time you were still over 200 years before the Protestant Rebellion.
So whether you want to admit it or not, the Pope’s recognition of Scotland did provide the diplomatic means for all of Europe to follow suite.
And I think the Pope’s saw what was starting in the 1300’s, the gradual rise of Nationalism, which is not necessarily bad, but as the rise of nationalism took hold in the 1300’s, the notion of Christendom began to fade, and consequences of milatant nationalism, without a common Christian theology and philosophy to bind different ethnic groups together is ultimately what resulted in 2 world wars in the 20th century.
So from a Catholic point of view, and I will acknowledge it as such, the rise of nationalism in the 1300’s were one of the main causes of the Protestant rebellion in the 16th century which implicitly had radical nationalistic notions at its core.
Of course France’s siding with Scotland was politically expedient. All alliances are. As you stated, France and England went to war with each other frequently so I doubt the Pope viewed this particular conflict as anymore dangerous than the ones before.
The bottom line is that I don’t place my faith in man. Any man that has ever lived is capable of doing wrong, and does wrong, Popes included. Popes, Bishops, and Priests played political games all of the time. Many did it for what they thought would be best for the Catholic church and others did it for themselves. That’s human nature and that’s just the way it was and is.
If it was good for Catholicism for the Scots to be subjugated by the English why did that viewpoint change? Politics, pure and simple.
Thanks for the discussion.