Crusading Ideals

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While both the First and Albigensian Crusades arguably started with the intent to strengthen the influence of the Latin Christian faith, the Albigensian Crusade became perverted from the original crusading ideal, because of new aims and objectives held by the church. The church originally encouraged crusaders to take a pilgrimage and fight as a show of devotion to their faith, to protect their fellow Christians from the tyranny of non-Christian rulers, and as a means to reclaim the Holy Land. As time went on, the church no longer saw the Crusades as just a battle against Muslim rulers in the East or as a way for the pious to proclaim their faith, but also as a way for the church to maintain its power in parts of Western Europe, where Latin Christianity was losing its influence. In this vein, in 1209, Pope Innocent III called for a crusade against Count Raymond VI of Toulouse and the heretic Cathars, as he believed that they disturbed the power of the French King and local Latin churches. The crusading ideal changed its goals and methods because of the church’s interest in maintaining its influence in Western Europe. In the fifth century the Doctrine of the Apostolic See was established, and it emphasized the power that the Bishop of Rome (or as he was also known, the Pope) held…show more content…
Bishops and abbots found this trend to be concerning and quite understandably felt that it threatened their power in the region. If the nobility did not feel beholden to their local clergymen, they would in all likelihood not listen to decrees and orders from higher up church powers, which could then threaten the church’s power in that area. As many of the lower classes took their cues from the local nobility, the local bishops were probably concerned that Catharism would spread to the lower classes and become a “threat” to all Christians in

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