Skip to comments.Vatican change of heart over 'barbaric' Crusades
Posted on 03/19/2006 6:44:46 PM PST by prairiebreeze
THE Vatican has begun moves to rehabilitate the Crusaders by sponsoring a conference at the weekend that portrays the Crusades as wars fought with the noble aim of regaining the Holy Land for Christianity.
The Crusades are seen by many Muslims as acts of violence that have underpinned Western aggression towards the Arab world ever since. Followers of Osama bin Laden claim to be taking part in a latter-day jihad against the Jews and Crusaders.
The late Pope John Paul II sought to achieve Muslim- Christian reconciliation by asking pardon for the Crusades during the 2000 Millennium celebrations. But John Pauls apologies for the past errors of the Church including the Inquisition and anti-Semitism irritated some Vatican conservatives. According to Vatican insiders, the dissenters included Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict reached out to Muslims and Jews after his election and called for dialogue. However, the Pope, who is due to visit Turkey in November, has in the past suggested that Turkeys Muslim culture is at variance with Europes Christian roots.
At the conference, held at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, Roberto De Mattei, an Italian historian, recalled that the Crusades were a response to the Muslim invasion of Christian lands and the Muslim devastation of the Holy Places.
The debate has been reopened, La Stampa said. Professor De Mattei noted that the desecration of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Muslim forces in 1009 had helped to provoke the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century, called by Pope Urban II.
He said that the Crusaders were martyrs who had sacrificed their lives for the faith. He was backed by Jonathan Riley-Smith, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University, who said that those who sought forgiveness for the Crusades do not know their history. Professor Riley-Smith has attacked Sir Ridley Scotts recent film Kingdom of Heaven, starring Orlando Bloom, as utter nonsense.
Professor Riley-Smith said that the script, like much writing on the Crusades, was historically inaccurate. It depicts the Muslims as civilised and the Crusaders as barbarians. It has nothing to do with reality. It fuels Islamic fundamentalism by propagating Osama bin Ladens version of history.
He said that the Crusaders were sometimes undisciplined and capable of acts of great cruelty. But the same was true of Muslims and of troops in all ideological wars. Some of the Crusaders worst excesses were against Orthodox Christians or heretics as in the sack of Constantinople in 1204.
The American writer Robert Spencer, author of A Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam, told the conference that the mistaken view had taken hold in the West as well as the Arab world that the Crusades were an unprovoked attack by Europe on the Islamic world. In reality, however, Christians had been persecuted after the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem.
CONFLICT OVER THE HOLY LAND
Historians count eight Crusades, although dates are disputed: 1095-1101, called by Pope Urban II; 1145-47, led by Louis VII; 1188-92, led by Richard I; 1204, which included the sack of Constantinople; 1217, which included the conquest of Damietta; 1228-29 led by Frederick II; 1249-52, led by King Louis IX of France; and 1270, also under Louis IX
Until the early 11th century, Christians, Jews and Muslims coexisted under Muslim rule in the Holy Land. After growing friction, the first Crusade was sparked by ambushes of Christian pilgrims going to Jerusalem. The Byzantine Emperor Alexius appealed to Pope Urban II, who in 1095 called on Christendom to take up arms to free the Holy Land from the Muslim infidel
The Jewish community is owed a deep and heartfelt apology for the behavior of some of the Crusaders, but that is a whole different story.
Agree 100%. So I wonder when there will be burning of Italian flags in muslim countries?
And we all know how Muslims cannot stand acts of violence.
It looks like the Catholic church is going after the Muslims. Someone has to.
Interesting read. Thanks for the ping.
I knew there was a good reason I liked this guy. (Papa Razzi)
Good. PJPII meant well, but I think he was mistaken in this policy. Pope Benedict was said from the start to be more of a realist on some of these silly ecumenical issues and especially on Islam.
And, by the way, the Inquisition is not as bad as it is often painted, either. In the period when tens of thousands of witches were being burned in northern Europe, the Italian Inquisition basically said that these women were not witches, just crazy. Even the Spanish Inquisition, which was pretty much under the control of the Holy Roman Emperor and/or the King of Spain, was not as bad as it's usually painted. Or, at least, no worse than the justice you got in most of the rest of Europe at that time. Anyone who has visited the dungeons of some the the European castles and chateaux will recognize that they were not pleasant places.
A Google search will turn up some of the latest historical work on the Inquisition. John Tedeschi's work is especially worth looking at.
Hopeless to compare barbarities. . .but we do know the Christians moved foward. . .let us say. . .to a more enlightened world view; whereas the core of Islam. . .and it's adherents. . .have not.
It would be odd and counterproductive if the Catholic Church chose to refight the merits of the crusades. It simply does not translate well into the modern age, and it's irrelevant.
The Christians moved along with time, the Muslims never did.
It's about freaking time the Church declare the Crusades to have been the defensive counterattacks against rampaging Islam that they were.
Who cares what the muzzies think? Deus Vult!
Why is it that journalists and historians conveniently forget the 400 years prior to the crusades? The muslims controlled the mediteranean sea and raided the coast of southern europe for centuries. Just where did that dark pigment find itself into the Spanish and Italian gene pool? By inter-racial dating. I don't think so. Serious scholars have found a strong economic and strategic military motive for these invasions which aimed at reclaiming European control over mediteranean shipping lanes.
Not sure the intent is to "refight the merits".
I'd be satisfied to just have the record set straight.
The Fourth Crusade was by far the worst because it was waged against fellow Christians, and it doomed any chance of reunification between the two halves of Christianity.
They also sacrificed the lives of thousands of Jews.
The Crusades were a counterattack. Nothing more.
Had the Muslims not invaded Christian countries, no counterattack would have been necessary. The Crusades were the Muslim's fault.
This is more about getting ready for the next Crusade against Islam. Islam is slaughtering Christians throughout the world. If America's attempts to moderate Islam with democracy doesn't work, then we will eventually see a Christian counter-Crusade. The Church will soon be run by the Asian and African prelates, and they're not going to lie down and die quietly. They'll fight Jihad with Crusade.
It would not be either odd nor counterproductive, however, to look at history with as much accuracy as is possible.
Do you understand what the immaculate conception was?
Including parts of France. They went up against Christians who happened to not be Roman. They also sacked Constantinople, which was Christian but not Roman.
The Turks were Turkomen impressed and mercenary soldiers who were used by the Muslim heirarchy to invade Anatolia and push out the Greek Christians centered in Constantinople.
It worked, and a bunch of Turkomen from thousands of miles East North East conquered and subjugated Anatolia. Perhaps we should kick their a88es out, and let the Greeks have it back, eh?
There is more merit to dealing with current issues and challenges, than refighting the wars of 1000 years ago. JMO.
The truth in print. No need to whitewash the SOB.
Perhaps you've never heard the old adage "history repeats itself"?
Deal with reality.
The Spanish Inquisition and the resulting diaspora of Spain's Jews is still held in great disrepute among Jews.
Them were vile times, and there is not intergenerational guilt. But historical accuracy is proper, and the Spaniards did not acquit themselves well after defeating the Moors.
"just why should the Catholic Church underwrite the enterprise"
Were not the Crusades formed by the the Roman Catholic Church at that time? Weren't they fighting in the name of the Roman Catholic Church? Did not the Pope proclaimed that anyone who joined the Crusade would be given full dispensation of all his sins and would be relieved of any criminal penance he might owe? It then seems that the Catholic Church should underwrite the enterprise. It is their history.
Quite right. I keep reminding my Jewish family and friends:
"Who is killing us now? Let us focus on that, and let history reside in books."
Fair point, but attempting the record straight is itself a problematic task, and just why should the Catholic Church underwrite the enterprise? Leave to the historians. In any event, it is a mixed bag. In fact, the Crusaders trashed some Christians towns along the way. (I saw that on the History Channel.) A lot of it was motivated by entrepreneurial greed. Some of these guys were in it for the money, and this was just a convenient vehicle to pursue it.
And things have changed how?
I want to hear an Islamic apology for the invasion of Europe.
Keyboard warrioring against Muslims is sort of like moths to light. It is an irresistible attraction.
At the risk of offending my Christian friends, we Jews have a hard time understanding how a Jewish Husband and Wife failed to complete their marital responsibilities and consummate the marriage.
Y'all are welcome to your version of events, just unnerstand that it don't make no sense among the Yiddishers.
Muslims fought for war booty also - equal shares. But Mohamed said Allah revealed to him that he should receive 20%. Islam allows three options for infidels: conversion, subservience, and death. Those are our choices, unless we find some other. Radical Islam has been in remission in recent centuries. I think things really turned around with Carter favoring the radical Ayatollah Khomeini over the pro-American and pro-Western Shah of Iran. The rest is history.
Savages, inferior two-legged animals are not moved by the usual passions of civilized humans.
Yes, specially the children!
Yes, the virulent strain has a high morbidity to it, and must be resisted, and challenged - intelligently.
Judging by results, PJPII was an idiot.
And yes, I still consider myself Catholic.
Quite right. This is froth. Real work too happens, and I'm happy to be involved in that.
To some, who don't have the grasp of history.
Fortunately, a view embraced by fewer and fewer civilized humans, as they educate themselves.
Abysmal ignorance, is its own reward...
Welcome to the adult forum...