Why the Crusades Were “Glorious”


images-1This post is the first in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them from Catholic Answers.

The Crusades are one of the most misunderstood topics in Church history. Movies and TV present as established fact an outdated anti-Catholic narrative about them that stays alive by sheer repetition. Not only do secular critics of the Church use this narrative to attack Catholicism (and religion in general), but many Catholics uwittingly accept it as true.

The negative “spin” on the Crusades began in the sixteenth century with the Protestant revolutionary Martin Luther, who saw them as an outgrowth of papal authority and power. Later Enlightenment authors such as Voltaire and Edward Gibbon shaped modernity’s negative view of the Crusades by portraying them as barbaric projects undertaken by greedy and savage warriors at the behest of a corrupt papacy. Modern-day Crusade historians, thankfully, eschew the anti-religious prejudices behind this view, and are bringing to light an authentic understanding of these Catholic events from the perspective of those who participated in them. But such scholarship has not eradicated the popular myths…..

Read more –>Catholic Answers

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4 Responses

  1. If the crusades were so ‘glorious’ and with pure intent, how come the crusaders sacked Constantinople? This was the capitol of Byzantine Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Those Latin Rite crusaders slaughtered countless fellow Catholics and Orthodox people, raped their women and burned their churches. All this in the name of Latin Rite Catholicism. It’s by miracle that the east and west even speak to each other after what Latin Europe did to the east. Granted, all the holy places in the Holy Land were in the hands of the Moslems, but the crusaders were no better to those captive places and the inhabitants, thereof.

  2. There is a new book called the Glory of the Crusades. But the sack of Constantinople was not part of any glory at all. I would like to know more about why that even happened. But I think the book is trying to set the record straight, yes there were abuses and horrible injustices but the Crusades as depicted in the minds of modern westerners is inaccurate.

    Of course the Catholic church did not authorize the sack of Constantinople, but who did and why? I would love to explore this with you Dominic. There is the story of the Crusades as told by those who are anti Catholic and perhaps anti Christian which certainly contains some truths but I think there must be more to the story when we realize wealthy men ventured out on Crusades for God and country and spent all their money and even their lives to do so.

    And i guess the Muslims had been terrorizing Christians for 500 years before any crusade was called.

  3. I can write You another reply: I have been reading about the crusades, and I see that the Orthodox of Constantinople massacred the Latin Catholics of that city in the year 1182. Something must have provoked this from either side. None-the-less in the fourth crusade the city was sacked and burned. Churches were totally desecrated. Women were raped, including nuns. The bronze horses which have stood on the portal of Saint Mark’s in Venice were stolen from the city and countless art works and relics were either stolen or destroyed, including the library of Constantinople. Here is the ‘glorious’ crusade.

    But then this is no different than the ‘glorious’ shedding of blood between Irish and Irish, between Slav and Slav, between Moslem and Moslem. This is a rotten human condition and trait. These are very sad affairs and events. There is nothing ‘glorious’ about them for they are shameful. Maybe someone should title a book ‘The Glorious Second World War.’ Or: ‘The Glorious Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.’

    The Sainted John Paul II called the events of the crusades shameful, and offered a very solemn apology to Patriarch Bartholomew, saying: “It is tragic that the assailants, who set out to free access for Christians to the Holy Land, turned against their brothers in the faith. The fact that they were Latin Christians fills Catholics with deep regret.” And, “How can we not share (with the Orthodox Church), at a distance of eight centuries, the pain and disgust.”

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