I apologise if I am using the wrong forum for this!
I have recently been reading about the crusades, but I am aware that the books I am reading are probably from a non-religious viewpoint. I can see that a lot of the violence that occurred during the crusades was wrong, but at the same time I realise that we can’t simply look at them with a modern mindset; war was commonplace, as was killing your enemies. Pagan kingdoms had been converted, and many of the leaders would have come from a history of warrior kings. To then be told you could kill in the name of Christ was surely something that greatly appealed to these men - and thus I can understand why, with the added pains of starvation, dehydration, and constant death around them as they travelled for so long, these soldiers often simply went totally overboard with their killing.
Nonetheless, I would like to know a more Catholic side to the story, and, if possible, an Islamic side, Jewish side and Orthodox side. I know they wanted to free the Holy Lands, but were Christians being badly persecuted? Because often what I have read suggests that they were not treated terribily, and sometimes it is stated that actually things weren’t that bad at all.
Lastly, I know that the Pope has authority over the Church, but was it right for the Popes at the time to grant absolution of sins in return for killing? I mean, I realise he did have the authority to command it, but did he really have the authority to think it was okay? If you understand what I am trying to say here…(forgive me if I’m making no sense!)