Crusades and Inquisition
As I was learning more about the Catholic Faith, I came across Crusades and Inquisition. I cringed when I read about the accusations hurled at the Catholic Church regarding Crusades and Inquisition. I thought I was going to lose some points for my Catholic faith.
But as I read more about Crusades and Inquisition, I realized that there’s really nothing to be ashamed of regarding them.
I learned that if not for the Crusades, we would have been Islamized today. I found out that stories about the Inquisition are usually exaggerated.
Though some Catholics abused them which led to tragic events, the purpose of Crusades and Inquisition at those times were valid.
Contrary to what many believe and spread, the Crusades were not offensive but rather defensive wars. They were not created to conquer more, but rather to re-conquer those lands taken by Muslims, especially the sacred places.
The first Crusade was initiated by Pope Urban II in late 11th century as a response to the request for military support for the Byzantine Empire and to rescue the Holy Sepulchre.
The Crusades were the answer to Muslim invasions and not the other way around which many are led to believe. The Crusades were not formed to oppress and invade the Muslims but to fight them back.
Many were killed indeed. Many Jews were killed which some wrote proved that the Catholic Church hates the Jews. But this is just not true. It wasn’t the directive of the Catholic Church to kill those Jews. In fact, the order was to protect them. But the tragedy happened because some who joined the Crusades were not of the same sentiment as the Church’s.
Some Crusades were not very organized and as a result, many who joined did not follow the Church’s directives.
As for Inquisition, I read that it became a political necessity in the middle ages to combat and suppress heresies like Catharism which had gone so far. The many heretical sects were very aggressive and hostile to Christianity. In one such sect, they made a duty of suicide through the institution of Endura and more perished through this than through the Inquisition.
There may have been many abuses related to the Inquisition especially the Spanish Inquisition but that doesn’t mean that the Catholic Church is evil herself.
Whenever non-Christians accuse Christians of killing millions through Crusades and Inquisition, non-Catholic Christians would always answer that they were not part of the Crusades but only the Catholics who they say are not Christians.
Anti-Catholics love to bring up the subjects of the Crusades and Inquisition hoping to prove that the Catholic Church is not the church that Jesus founded and that the church is evil. But then having bad members is not indicative that the church is evil. Remember Judas Iscariot.
Now that you know the truth, you won’t feel so little when you hear those accusations. On the contrary, you will feel happier knowing that the Church you belong to triumphed in stopping the spread of Islam and preserving the Christian faith through Crusades and Inquisition.
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