The Crusades?


#21

[quote=Tantum ergo]You really have to consider CONTEXT. .
[/quote]

Whether or not you consider the context of the Fourth Crusade, it looks to me like the killing of Orthodox priests, the rape of Orthodox nuns who have take solemn vows to devot their lives to God and to the Church, and the ravaging of Orthodox Churches and the placing of (pseudo?) prostitutes at the altar, and the stealing of gold, silver and sacred vessels, etc. from Orthodox Churches and placing them in Catholic Churches of the West would not be justified - even when placed in “context”.


#22

The crusaders got the sacking of Constatinople too early, we have to go do that now. We must begin the liberation of eastern europe and asia minor from the grime of the moores.


#23

[quote=alfredo]Whether or not you consider the context of the Fourth Crusade, it looks to me like the killing of Orthodox priests, the rape of Orthodox nuns … would not be justified - even when placed in “context”.
[/quote]

You obviously don’t seem to be reading the responses posted, and just seem to be interested in constantly re-posting the most scandalous stuff you can find to tar the crusades with.

For the umpteenth time. The Pope of the time condemned the 4th crusade and excommunicated its leaders! Saying odd bits of the plunder ended up in a few western churches doesn’t alter this. Some real history from the Protestant historian Schaff:
ccel.org/s/schaff/history/5_ch07.htm

The crusading forces mustered at Venice. The fleet was ready, but the Crusaders were short of funds, and able to pay only 50,000 marks of the stipulated sum.

Dandolo took advantage of these straits to advance the selfish aims of Venice, and proposed, as an equivalent for the balance of the passage money, that the Crusaders aid in capturing Zara. The offer was accepted. Zara, the capital of Dalmatia and the chief market on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, belonged to the Christian king of Hungary. Its predatory attacks upon Venetian vessels formed the pretext for its reduction. The threat of papal excommunication, presented by the papal legate, did not check the preparations…

Zara was taken Nov. 24, 1202, given over to plunder, and razed to the ground. No wonder Innocent wrote that Satan had been the instigator of this destructive raid upon a Christian people and excommunicated the participants in it.

the Crusade was now to be directed against Constantinople. The rightful emperor, Isaac Angelus, was languishing in prison with his eyes put out by the hand of the usurper, Alexius III. Greek messengers appeared at Zara to appeal to Dandolo and the Crusaders to take up Isaac’s cause.

As a compensation, Alexius made the tempting offer of 200,000 marks silver, the maintenance for a year of an army of 10,000 against the Mohammedans, and of 500 knights for life as a guard for the Holy Land, and the submission of the Eastern Church to the pope. The doge fell in at once with the proposition, but it was met by strong voices of dissent in the ranks of the Crusaders. Innocent’s threat of continued excommunication, if the expedition was turned against Constantinople, was ignored. A few of the Crusaders, like Simon de Montfort, refused to be used for private ends and withdrew from the expedition.
Before reaching Corfu, the fleet was joined by Alexius in person. By the end of June, 1203, it had passed through the Dardanelles and was anchored opposite the Golden Horn. After prayers and exhortations by the bishops and clergy, the Galata tower was taken. Alexius III. fled, and Isaac was restored to the throne…

The confusion within the palace and the failure to pay the promised reward were a sufficient excuse for the invaders to assault the city, which fell April 12, 1204. Unrestrained pillage and riot followed…

Innocent III., writing of the conquest of the city, says: —
“You have spared nothing that is sacred, neither age nor sex. You have given yourselves up to prostitution, to adultery, and to debauchery in the face of all the world. You have glutted your guilty passions, not only on married women, but upon women and virgins dedicated to the Saviour. You have not been content with the imperial treasures and the goods of rich and poor, but you have seized even the wealth of the Church and what belongs to it. You have pillaged the silver tables of the altars, you have broken into the sacristies and stolen the vessels.”


#24

As for some of the causes of the Crusades…

Muslim attack on Armenia, 1059, 30 years **before **the Crusades. From Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa.

On Sunday 6th August the siege of Sebastea began, as did the slaughter; thousands of corpses littered the ground. What a dreadful scene. The bodies of highly renowned men were piled in a heap as if a forest of trees had been felled. and the ground was soaked with blood…
They ruthlessly massacred an immense number of people, carried off booty and took untold numbers of captives, men and women, young boys and girls, whom they sold into slavery… Fateful day! In a matter of minutes Sebastea and the surrounding plain were bathed in blood. The clear waters of the River Kizil Irmak which cuts through the city walls, suddenly flowed red.

In 1064 the Turks returned. He made his way towards Armenia and entered the country; the inhabitants were put to the sword and driven into slavery. The infidels were so numerous that they covered the plains and closed off al the escape routes. Then he invaded Georgia, bringing death and slavery wherever he went. … The Turks exterminated all the inhabitants, men, women, priests, monks and nobles; the young boys and girls were taken away captive into Persia…"

Then the Muslim attack on Byzantium came in 1071, 20 Years **Before **the Crusades. They killed and slaughtered thousands in the cities of Anatolia. reaching to the very gates of Constantinople.

All this happened before the first crusader set foot in the east.


#25

It strikes me that there are some on this thread who aren’t interested in HISTORY but in THEIR-STORY. . . :smiley:


#26

[quote=Axion]The Pope of the time condemned the 4th crusade and excommunicated its leaders!
[/quote]

If the Pope himself condemned the Fourth Crusade, then why should we not follow his wonderful example and agree with his condemnation of it? I see from the poll that there are about 38% who have voted for the porposition that the Crusades were a just war?
I agree with the Pope and his condemnation of the Fourth Crusade, and I think that the items which were stolen from the Orthodox Churches and placed in Roman Catholic Churches should be returned, and that restitution should have been made for the horrific damage done by the Crusaders. I don’t see the purpose of exhibiting this stolen booty in Roman Catholic Churches, especially since the Pope himself has condemned the Fourth Crusade.


#27

The options are a bit unfair, since there is no “other” option. It is, as someone has already noted, difficult to retrocatively impose the “just war” criteria on medieval warfare. Overall the idea of fighting a war for the sake of religion strikes this Catholic as distasteful. On the other hand, the Church seesm to spend a lot of time apologizing for the Crusades, but no one seems to apologize for Muslim conquest of about half of the Roman Empire. Thomas Madden, a professor at St. Louis University, has recently argued that the Crusades (at the first couple) were essentially defensive wars in response to Muslim expansion, delayed for practical reasons (the west did not have the military might to reclaim the Holy Land before about 1100). This interpretation cuts against the scholarly consensus which unsurprisingly is hostile to the western Christian perspective on the wars.

That being said, individual Catholics certainly behaved pretty badly during the Crusades, beside the disaster that was the Fourth Crusade, and no doubt church leaders turned a blind eye to this. We should not try to sugarcoat these ugly facts.

I will say that I am pretty tired of all problems in the world that relate to the Middle East or the so-called conflict between east and west be explained as the fault of the Crusades.


#28

I will say that I am pretty tired of all problems in the world that relate to the Middle East or the so-called conflict between east and west be explained as the fault of the Crusades.

:clapping: :clapping: :amen:


#29

Hello!?? Which culture/religion burst out of the Arabian peninsula; moved east across Gaza;sacked the Church in Alexandria forcing many to convert or die and leaving only a small remnant of one of the original patriarchies of the (then) united Christian church; proceeded across North Africa slaughtering Christians; crossed the Straits of Gilbralter; conquered Christian Visigothic Spain, and thrust all the way up to Tours, France before being defeated in 711 AD by the Franks? Which culture/religion attacked the Byzantines consistently over the next several centuries? Why were pilgrims to the Holy Land ruthlessly attacked when there was supposed to be a “right of passage”? Which culture/religion was so persistant in its conquest that it kept attacking the Byzantines for 300+ years until they finally broke the walls of Constantinople in 1452? Which culture/religion moved into Hungary and Austria in their grab for land and wealth? What does the Reconquista of Spain mean?

This culture/religion gave us algebra, medicine, preserved the works of the ancient Greeks, etc., etc but was as barbaric as the Vandals, the Huns or the Mongols. In the final analysis, their goal was and is to wipe out Christianity and to force people to convert to their faith. Think about it. Are we so different from our ancestors? Are they? Is this not happening now? Wake up folks. The enemy is at the gates and he is still the enemy that our ancestors knew.


#30

I don’t think you can lump them all together in one neat bundle.
But that is the nature of war! There are always stories to be told about the other side…
Which is why I said “some of them”, but I would have liked another option.


#31

[quote=alfredo]If the Pope himself condemned the Fourth Crusade, then why should we not follow his wonderful example and agree with his condemnation of it? I see from the poll that there are about 38% who have voted for the porposition that the Crusades were a just war?
I agree with the Pope and his condemnation of the Fourth Crusade, and I think that the items which were stolen from the Orthodox Churches and placed in Roman Catholic Churches should be returned, and that restitution should have been made for the horrific damage done by the Crusaders. I don’t see the purpose of exhibiting this stolen booty in Roman Catholic Churches, especially since the Pope himself has condemned the Fourth Crusade.
[/quote]

So why was the 4th Crusade raised in a discussion of whether the Crusades against the Muslims were a just war or not?

The attack on Constantinople was a diversion from the main Crusades. Did you read the history I posted? If so, you will see that the Crusaders got drawn in to a **Civil conflict ** between Byzantine factions.

And if Catholic Churches are to return objects identified as Byzantine (Where to - the churches now converted into mosques?) How come you are not demanding that the Muslims apologise for the horrific damage done, and return the tens of thousands of churches and treasures stolen or destroyed in their anti-Christian conquests in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Palestine, Algeria, Armenia, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, Jordan etc???


#32

I do not think we have any right to criticise the majority of the crusaders, who, history shows, travelled east at enormous cost and sacrifice, driven by the desire to protect fellow christians and the Holy Places from expansionist Islam. Research the facts and you will find these people sufferred terribly to protect Christianity from destruction.

Now we are urged by revisionist historians and christianity-haters to condemn them and abase ourselves for their alleged “crimes”. Yet these same people sweep over the brutal massacres of the Islamic forces, and the unprovoked assaults that led to the crusaders response. Re-writing history to turn the Christian victims into the aggressors will only give modern-day Islamic fundamentalists a false new reason for grievance against the West.


#33

[quote=Axion] How come you are not demanding that the Muslims apologise for the horrific damage done, and return the tens of thousands of churches and treasures stolen or destroyed in their anti-Christian conquests in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Palestine, Algeria, Armenia, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, Jordan etc???
[/quote]

[font=Times New Roman]I thought that Catholics should follow the example of His Holiness John Paul II, the Vicar of Christ as on May 14, 1999, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II was videotaped kissing the Koran. [/font]

[font=Times New Roman]And in his message to “Grand Sheikh Mohammed,” on Feb. 24, 2000, His Holiness John Paul II is reported to have said: “Islam is a religion. Christianity is a religion. Islam has become a culture. Christianity has become also a culture… I thank your university, the biggest center of Islamic culture.**[font=Palatino] **I thank those who are developing Islamic culture…”[/font][/font]

[font=Times New Roman]And on May 6, 2001, His Holiness was seen entering “Great Umayyad Mosque” of Damascus and shaking hands with the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ahmad Kfutaro.: His Holiness said in his statement to the Moslems on that day: “It is in mosques and churches that the Muslim and Christian communities shape their religious identity…What sense of identity is instilled in young Christians and young Muslims in our churches and mosques? [font=Palatino]It is my ardent hope that Muslim and Christian religious leaders and teachers will present our two great communities in respectful dialogue, never more as communities in conflict.” [/font][/font]
[font=Times New Roman]It appears that His Holiness has called for respectful dialogue with the Muslims, which I have been trying to observe. [/font]


#34

[quote=Axion] Now we are urged by revisionist historians and christianity-haters to condemn them and abase ourselves for their alleged “crimes”. Yet these same people sweep over the brutal massacres of the Islamic forces, and the unprovoked assaults that led to the crusaders response. Re-writing history to turn the Christian victims into the aggressors will only give modern-day Islamic fundamentalists a false new reason for grievance against the West.
[/quote]

OK, but to whitewash Crusader brutality is equally revisionist. And, while we can’t “condemn” the Crusaders (or the Muslims for that matter), since that is ultimately God’s job, we certainly can look critically at their behavior. I am pretty sure the Church (and indeed the example of Christ) teaches us that two wrongs do not make a right. Even if the the Crusaders were completely justified in attempting to retake the Holy Land, Muslim crimes would not be any justification for even a single subsequent Crusader crime or act of barbarism.


#35

[quote=chevalier]the hipocrysy associated with sword-point conversions
[/quote]

There was a good deal less of that than you might think.

[quote=Vox Borealis]OK, but to whitewash Crusader brutality is equally revisionist. And, while we can’t “condemn” the Crusaders (or the Muslims for that matter), since that is ultimately God’s job, we certainly can look critically at their behavior. I am pretty sure the Church (and indeed the example of Christ) teaches us that two wrongs do not make a right. Even if the the Crusaders were completely justified in attempting to retake the Holy Land, Muslim crimes would not be any justification for even a single subsequent Crusader crime or act of barbarism.
[/quote]

Care to name a few outstanding examples?


#36

[quote=alfredo][font=Times New Roman]I thought that Catholics should follow the example of His Holiness John Paul II, the Vicar of Christ as on May 14, 1999, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II was videotaped kissing the Koran. [/font]

[font=Times New Roman]And on May 6, 2001, His Holiness was seen entering “Great Umayyad Mosque” of Damascus and shaking hands with the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ahmad Kfutaro.: His Holiness said in his statement to the Moslems on that day: “It is in mosques and churches that the Muslim and Christian communities shape their religious identity…What sense of identity is instilled in young Christians and young Muslims in our churches and mosques? [font=Palatino]It is my ardent hope that Muslim and Christian religious leaders and teachers will present our two great communities in respectful dialogue, never more as communities in conflict.” [/font][/font]
[font=Times New Roman]It appears that His Holiness has called for respectful dialogue with the Muslims, which I have been trying to observe. [/font]
[/quote]

There’s a difference between diplomcy and “respectful dialogue” and accepting a package of distortions and selective re-writings of history that turn Islam into a “tolerant peaceful culture of scholars and philosophers”, and Christians into “evil barbarians”.

Make no mistake, this is what has been, and is being attempted. Anti-christians are attempting to blacken the history of Christianity and whitewash the forces that have attempted to destroy it. There are many motives for this, from misplaced “multi-culturalism” and a desire to “join all religions together”, to an outright desire to discredit and destroy Christianity.

But we have to present the truth. Christians went to war for basically good reasons. As in all wars, there were things to be deplored. But Muslims must be made to face up to the fact that they bear a major share of the blame for that conflict and the crimes committed in it. They need to recognise that their culture encouraged (encourages?) the conquest and domination of people of other faiths.


#37

In 1096 Crusaders on the way to Holy Land massacred Jews in a number of German cities, including Mainz–this is recorded in both Christian and Jewish sources. Albert of Aix:

“At the beginning of summer in the same year in which Peter, and Gottschalk, after collecting an army, had set out, there assembled in like fashion a large and innumerable host of Christians from diverse kingdoms and lands; namely, from the realms of France, England, Flanders, and Lorraine. . . . I know n whether by a judgment of the Lord, or by some error of mind;, they rose in a spirit of cruelty against the Jewish people scattered throughout these cities and slaughtered them without mercy, especially in the Kingdom of Lorraine, asserting it to be the beginning of their expedition and their duty against the enemies of the Christian faith. This slaughter of Jews was done first by citizens of Cologne. These suddenly fell upon a small band of Jews and severely wounded and killed many; they destroyed the houses and synagogues of the Jews and divided among themselves a very large, amount of money. When the Jews saw this cruelty, about two hundred in the silence of the night began flight by boat to Neuss. The pilgrims and crusaders discovered them, and after taking away all their possessions, inflicted on them similar slaughter, leaving not even one alive.”

In 1099 the Crusaders captured Jerusalem after a dificult siege; in the heat of the moment Crusaders killed both men and women in the city, until cooler heads prevaileed. Raymond d’Aguiliers writes:

“But this time the pilgrims entered the city, pursuing and killing the Saracens up to the Temple of Solomon, where the enemy gathered in force. The battle raged throughout the day, so that the Temple was covered with their blood. When the pagans had been overcome, our men seized great numbers, both men and women, either killing them or keeping them captive, as they wished. On the roof of the Temple a great number of pagans of both sexes had assembled, and these were taken under the protection of Tancred and Gaston of Beert. Afterward, the army scattered throughout the city and took possession of the gold and silver, the horses and mules, and the houses filled with goods of all kinds.”

Now, before everyone jumps on me, I am not saying the crusaders monopolized brutality or “criminal” behavior (see my previous posts), but they did some nasty things (as is wont to happen in war).


#38

[quote=Vox Borealis]In 1096 Crusaders on the way to Holy Land massacred Jews in a number of German cities, including Mainz–this is recorded in both Christian and Jewish sources. Albert of Aix:

“At the beginning of summer in the same year in which Peter, and Gottschalk, after collecting an army, had set out, there assembled **in like fashion ** a large and innumerable host of Christians from diverse kingdoms and lands; namely, from the realms of France, England, Flanders, and Lorraine. . . . I know n whether by a judgment of the Lord, or by some error of mind;, they rose in a spirit of cruelty against the Jewish people scattered throughout these cities and slaughtered them without mercy, especially in the Kingdom of Lorraine, asserting it to be the beginning of their expedition and their duty against the enemies of the Christian faith. This slaughter of Jews was done first by citizens of Cologne. These suddenly fell upon a small band of Jews and severely wounded and killed many; they destroyed the houses and synagogues of the Jews and divided among themselves a very large, amount of money. When the Jews saw this cruelty, about two hundred in the silence of the night began flight by boat to Neuss. The pilgrims and crusaders discovered them, and after taking away all their possessions, inflicted on them similar slaughter, leaving not even one alive.”
[/quote]

Read your own (very-abridged) example closely.

This was done by renegades, not official Crusaders. In fact it happened before the 1st Crusade had even set off. The Rhineland massacres were performed by self-proclaimed mobs, largely of locals, looking for an excuse to be relieved of their debts to local Jews. And the Church usually tried to protect the Jews.

The text goes on…
fordham.edu/halsall/source/1096jews.html

Not long after this, they started upon their journey, as they had vowed, and arrived in a great multitude at the city of Mainz. There Count Emico, a nobleman, a very mighty man in this region, was awaiting, with a large band of Teutons, the arrival of the pilgrims who were coming thither from diverse lands by the King’s highway.

The Jews of this city, knowing of the slaughter of their brethren, and that they themselves could not escape the hands of so many, fled in hope of safety to Bishop Rothard. They put an infinite treasure in his guard and trust, having much faith in his protection, because he was Bishop of the city. Then that excellent Bishop of the city cautiously set aside the incredible amcunt of money received from them. He placed the Jews in the very spacious hall of his own house, away from the sight of Count Emico and his followers, that they might remain safe and sound in a very secure and strong place.

Hardly sounds like the Church was approving - does it?

What does the chronicle say happened to these people? They attacked the Hungarians, were defeated and fled…

Emico and some of his followers continued in their flight along the way by which they had come. Thomas, Clarebold, and several of their men escaped in flight toward Carinthia and Italy. So the hand of the Lord is believed to have been against the pilgrim who had sinned by excessive impurity and fornication, and who had slaughtered the exiled Jews through greed of money, rather than for the sake of God’s justice, although the Jews were opposed to Christ. The Lord is a just judge and orders no one unwillingly, or under compulsion, to come under the yoke of the Catholic faith.

So we see this was a group of renegades, who were universally condemned at the time. yet revisionists present them as typical of the crusaders.


#39

[quote=Vox Borealis]In 1099 the Crusaders captured Jerusalem after a dificult siege; in the heat of the moment Crusaders killed both men and women in the city, until cooler heads prevaileed. Raymond d’Aguiliers writes:

[/quote]

The major crime that can successfully be laid at the Crusaders’ door in the Holy Land is the Massacre of Jerusalem. And even that does not compare with the systematic massacres of Christians for policy reasons that went on in cities the muslims took, like Acre and Antioch.

Remember the crusades were fought by armies, not clerics. There was a rule of war at the time that if a city that was besieged refused to surrender, and so cost the attacking army large casualties in taking it, then the population of the city were considered combattants, and subject to the fury and spoil of the attackers. The notion was, that the citizens had had the chance of a peaceful hand-over and had rejected it. Jerusalem held out to the last, and a large number of the Crusaders perished in the siege and assault.

Now we can condemn the Crusaders for not practising exceptional mercy in the heat of the assault. But again, a massacre was not typical of the Christian practice on capturing a city.

If we are to use Jerusalem to condemn the Crusades, we have to ask say, was World War II to be condemned because of the bombing of civilians at Dresden or Horoshima?


#40

[quote=Axion]Read your own (very-abridged) example closely.

This was done by renegades, not official Crusaders.

Hardly sounds like the Church was approving - does it?

So we see this was a group of renegades, who were universally condemned at the time. yet revisionists present them as typical of the crusaders.
[/quote]

  1. I did read it closely. Nor did I offer an abridged text out of duplicity–this was only in the interests of space.

  2. The difference between “renegades” and “official crusaders” is pretty difficult to determine and verges on circular reasoning. And this argument does not hold up for the sack of Jerusalem, where clearly “official crusaders” massacred women until they were told to stop.

  3. I never said the Church approved it–my original point was that sometimes Crusaders acted with brutality and committed unjustified acts, and that point has been proven (indeed, the fact the church did NOT approve of their behavior further proves my point).

  4. I am not a revisionist, and I agree that revisionist have distorted the picture ofthe Crusades so that the Crusdaers are always blood-thirsty savages and the Muslims are always peace-loving, knowledge-seeking innocents. If you look at my first post, you will see that I make basically that point. However,

  5. I stand by my main point, which is that sometimes Crusaders did bad things–that is indisputable–and we should caution ourselves against the sort of re-revisionism that makes us blind to these realities.


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