Explain why Pope Urban II called the First Crusade
Pope Urban II called the first crusade because the Muslims were attacking Christians and Christian property. Pope Urban II saw the Muslims as enemies to God as they were attacking Christian churches in Jerusalem which were holy to Christians. The Muslims were also brutally attacking Christians. This angered the Pope so he therefore felt it was necessary to fight for Christians in the West to defend Christendom in the name of Christ.
The Pope now wanted to unite Christians under his control against a common enemy and also try and heal the Schism by getting all Christians to work together. Although violence was banned in Christianity and Christians were told to ‘turn the other cheek’, the Pope told Christians fighting in the Crusade was justified as they were fighting for the Pope which is like fighting for the church and therefore they were fighting for Christ. The Pope also offered Christians remission of their sins if they went on his Crusade. This was very important to Christians as they wanted to go to Heaven, and by being given a remission, they would be able to do so. By doing this, the Pope could now fight and defend West Christendom.
In a final attempt to get Christians to fight under his control, Pope Urban II says all Christians will be attacked, including Pilgrims and Latin Christians. Therefore the Pope felt it was vital that he and his army protected the Christians, especially Pilgrims on their sacred journey. This would be very important in convincing Christians to help him as they often went on pilgrimages to Jerusalem to go and visit the Holy Sepulchre, and would therefore feel obliged to help the Pope. For the Crusade to take place certain criteria had to be met; the Crusade had to be called by ‘legitimate authority’ for the ‘right intention’. These criteria were met as the Pope was calling the crusade to defend Christians and Christian property.
In Conclusion, Pope Urban II called...
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