A favorite topic of anti-Catholic polemicists is the Crusades. Many claims are made about the Crusades. Essentially, it is alleged that us blood-thirsty European Catholics brutally attacked the peace-loving Muslims, laying waste to everything in site without discrimination. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Our brother James writes:
“The crusades, the Spanish inquisition, the various other slaughterings and genocidal actions performed by the armies of the Vatican…all in the name of Christ. Blasphemy at its most extreme.”
“Personally, I think the Crusades were glorious military expeditions. Would you have preferred that we surrender to the Muhammadans and declare Allah the only God and Muhammad His Prophet?”
“Genocide in the name of Christ. Hmmm, sounds a lot like Hitler.”
‘What did Christ say about how we are to treat our enemy?
Matt 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”
Sounds like the Vatican and their army forgot to read that one.’
END JAMES’ QUOTATIONS
First of all, the Vatican had no army then and has no army now, unless you consider the Swiss Guard to be an army. The Pope called on the nations of Europe, and they responded by raising Armies under their respective leaders for the Middle Eastern expeditions.
The claim that Catholic actions during the Crusades are alike to Hitler’s regime is patently ridiculous.
Let’s establish a few things. The Muslims invaded the Holy land first. They were the aggressers. The Muslims murdered, burned, pillaged, raped, enslaved, tortured, and destroyed up and down Palestine, Syria, and Anatolia. Our brethren, the Byzantines, faced a fierce and terrifying threat on their borders. Furthermore, our clergy were being martyred in the Holy Land, and the sacred sites in Palestine laid waste. The Muslims destroyed Churches and monasteries or remade them in to Mosques.
The immoral thing would have been to do nothing. James compares our actions to that of Hitler, but I would compare the Muslim hordes to the Nazi armies.
According to the anti-Catholic logic, because we are to love our enemies, it was wrong to defend ourselves against Muslim attack. If we follow this same logic, we should have just loved the Germans sixty years ago and allowed Hitler to take over the world.
I’m sure many of us disagree about the best means of fighting terrorism. However, I’m sure we can all agree that America has the right to defend her people from the brutal attacks of Islamic militants. Why then was it wrong for the Pope to take actions to defend his people from the Muhammadans?
The Crusades were completely justified. The unfortunate thing is that they were not more successful. Then, the East might have remained Christian.
I’m certainly interested in everyone’s thoughts though. If you think the Crusades were wrong, go ahead and give your reasons. On the other hand, if you think that European Catholics were right to confront the Muslim threat, speak your mind.