The Dark Side of Christianity (... continues)
بمناسبة حديث البابا عن الإرهاب الإسلامي: هذه تذكرة أخرى بالجانب الدموي الأسود للكنيسة المسيحية
In 1095 Pope Urban II called for the knights of Europe to unite and march to Jerusalem to save the holy land from the Islamic infidel. The crusades provided an opportunity to vastly increase the influence of the Catholic Church. They also served a political purpose much closer to home. When the Pope initiated the first crusade in 1095, many of the imperial powers were outside the Church: the King of France, the King of England, and the German Emperor.(see: Daniel-Rops, Cathedral and Crusade, 433-435.) The crusades were a means of uniting much of Europe in the name of Christianity.
Crusaders, caught up in their sense of righteousness, brutally attacked the Church's enemies:
Pope Gregory VII had declared: "Cursed be the man who holds back his sword from shedding blood. "(see: Malachi Martin, Decline and Fall of the Roman Church (New York: G.P.Putnam's Sons, 1981) 134, and Daniel-Rops, Cathedral and Crusade, 276.)
The chronicler, Raymond of Aguilers, described the scene when a band of crusaders massacred both Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem in 1099: "Wonderful things were to be seen. Numbers of the Saracens were beheaded... Others were shot with arrows, or forced to jump from the towers; others were tortured for several days, then burned with flames. In the streets were seen piles of heads and hands and feet. One rode about everywhere amid the corpses of men and horses. In the temple of Solomon, the horses waded in the blood up to their knees, nay, up to the bridle. It was a just and marvelous judgement of God, that this place should be filled with the blood of unbelievers." (James A. Haught, Holy Horrors (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1990) 25-26.)
Nicetas Choniates, a Byzantine chronicler, wrote, "Even the Saracens (the Muslims) are merciful and kind compared to these men who bear the cross of Christ on their shoulders."(Martin, Decline and Fall of the Roman Church, 134.)