- May 22, 2020
Pope Urban II`s
Last name 2
TheCatholic Church has played a vital part in the growth of theChristian faith. Today, it is the largest single domination globallywith followers in every corner. In its many years of existence, ithas been associated with a lot of controversial stands. However, thegreatest stain on its history is the crusades that were initiated byPope Urban II in his speech at Clermont in November 1095. It wasduring this speech that he called upon Franks to take arms and go torescue the holy city of Jerusalem and Christians being persecutedthere. The paper evaluates the issue of the Crusades, and the reasonsWesterners embarked on this venture. Itseeks to show that the decision to embark on the crusade againstnon-Christians was highly influenced by the pope.
Thepope used the moral authority that is bestowed on him by the churchto convince the people of the just nature of an all-out war againsteastern occupiers who had gotten hold of the holy land and hadembarked on a mission to rid the holy city of all Christians. Hiscall to arm was vastly influenced by the belief held by all Catholicsthat the pope is infallible (Gabriele, p 4). This is to say that heis always right and whatever he says is what God requires of all hisfollowers. Additionally, during the speech, people unanimouslyshouted that it was God`s will and the pope informed that it wastheir creator speaking directly to them and it was their duty toadhere to his call.
Thespeech was effective in motivating Westerners to engage in thecrusades was enabled by the popes ability to use the historicalbackground of the French against them. Throughout the speech, hereminded them of the bravery exhibited by their ancestors in previousconfrontations. Additionally, Pope Urban II told all those who werelistening to him that the Turks were killing and torturing ChristiansIn the east. He thus informed them that their fellow believers neededtheir help to end the persecution and more so to ensure that thedefilement of the holiest place in the Bible was stopped (Gabriele, p7). Aware of religious authority over the masses that were listeningto him, he told the gathering that anyone who agreed to go on thejourney to save fellow Christians would be forgiven their sins andguaranteed eternal life.
Therewere other factors that also played a role in convincing thewesterners to join the crusade. Firstly, the French nation was undercivil unrest, and the option of going to fight for their faith inexchange for a place in heaven appeared as a better option. In hisargument, the Pope noted that they were wasting their energiesfighting against each other while they could be fighting against acommon enemy. Thus, the crusades presented an opportunity for theFranks to redeem themselves from the evils that had engulfed theirlives (Gabriele, p 9). Additionally, the call came at a time when thenation was experiencing drought, and this presented an opportunity toexplore new possibilities in far lands.
Inconclusion, the crusades remains the greatest stain in the history ofthe Catholic Church. It presents a time when a religious leader usedhis position in society to call for violence against other humanbeings. As evidenced in the discussion above, the sentiments by thepope were the reason why Westerners embarked on the crusades in theholy land. The effect of these calls were devastating. It is,therefore, important for members of the society to learn from thisoccasion and hold their moral or religious leader to a higherstandard. This will ensure that no other leader will use the powersgiven to him by society to incite violence against others.
Gabriele,Matthew. "From prophecy to apocalypse: the verb tenses ofJerusalem in Robert the Monk`s Historia of the First Crusade."Journal of Medieval History (2016): 1-13.