Continues from the previous post –
Gregory appeals for help to his vassals the Normans, recently invited by the papacy to conquer southern Italy and Sicily. A Norman army reaches Rome in 1084, drives out the Germans and rescues Gregory. However, the Norman sack of the city is so violent, and provokes such profound hostility, that Gregory has to flee south with his rescuers. He dies in 1085 in Sicily.
Clement III returns to Rome and reigns there with imperial support as pope (or in historical terms as anti-pope) for most of the next ten years. Urban II, the pope who preaches the first crusade in 1095, is not able to enter the holy city for several years after his election. Unrest prevails in Rome, and uncertainty in the empire, until the Hohenstaufen wins the German crown in 1138.
In this sequence of events, the nature of the medieval papacy is clearly seen. Excommunication of rulers, military campaigns enjoying papal support, rival popes reigning at the same time, the split between pope and emperor as a factor in European politics - all these become familiar themes of the Middle Ages.
To already available, three tools (the fear for the unknown, giving false promises in the name of Jesus, blackmailing from information available by confessions) now one more powerful tool of excommunication was added effectively. Power of Papacy was growing gradually.
The cumulative effect, centuries later, is a papacy of great wealth, vast power, considerable corruption and much reduced spiritual authority. Eventually, these characteristics provoke the Reformation. In the meantime, the papacy has its period of greatest power, presiding over Europe's feuding factions and charging handsomely for the service. Papal authority became more of a business in political field than anything of a religious authority did. This goes well with the general mindset of European people, as they are more or less bent on material importance than spiritual one. Their materialistic attitude became more vivid during the scientific Renaissance that took place during 17th and later period.
Crusades with a difference: 1200-1208
In the 13th century, during the pontificate of Innocent III, there are two crusades, which differ from their predecessors in one major respect. The crusaders use their might against fellow members of the Christian community.
In the earlier of the two, the fourth crusade, this is a flagrant travesty of the official intention. The crusaders divert from their journey east to capture and pillage the Greek Orthodox city of Constantinople - an act Innocent pretended to immediately and strongly condemned. Then he allowed the second unusual crusade specifically preached by the Pope. He launches it against heretics in the south of France - the puritanical sect of Cathars, who now have close links with the Bogomils of Eastern Europe.
One Church attacking other lesser strong Church for the sake of power shows that Papal authority of Roman Catholic Church had far exceeded the limits and had openly proved that it is business of Church and it has really nothing to do with either Jesus or his righteousness. Roman Catholic Church declared all those who opposed Papal power as heretics and ordered to destroy them mercilessly. Most so-called heretics were true followers of Jesus' ideology; even so, they were killed by Pope's followers. In this way, Pope became more powerful in Church business than Jesus! In decision, making Jesus was secondary to Pope in all matters of business of Church. All the same, Cross-of Jesus was hanging on all walls of Churches nonchalantly!
Continues in next post –
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