{10}     Crusades & schisms

ERA 4 << Medieval Church (2): Growth & Decline of Papacy (AD 1000–1500) >> SESSION 1

Reference: Gonzalez, volume 1, chapters 30-32

        10.1.1  Beginning of the Crusades

·         Overview: Crusades were aimed at defeating the Muslims who threatened Constantinople, saving the Byzantine Empire, reuniting Eastern and Western churches, and reconquering the Holy Land. All objectives were achieved, but none of them permanently. Since the crusading spirit and crusading columns were a constant feature for centuries, the crusades were not a series of isolated campaigns. The numbered crusades represented just the high points.

·         Reasons: [1] The Seljuk Turks, who had replaced the Arabs as masters of eastern Mediterranean, were much more fanatical and brutal, and European pilgrims were subjected to harassment and persecution. [2] Byzantine Emperor Alexius I appealed to the pope for aid against the threatening Muslims. [3] The crusades were likened to mass pilgrimage to Palestine. [4] The economic incentive was the increase of trade by clearing up the Muslim blockage to the East. [5] The knights might have personal reasons such as the love of military adventure, or a desire for variation from domestic boredom, or an escape from the punishment of crimes.

·         Beginning: The idea was Gregory VII’s. Then Urban II proclaimed at the Council of Clermont [1095] that God wanted the crusades. He offered plenary indulgence to those who participated in the struggle. Others went further by promising eternal life to the participants, and not only to them but also to their parents and to all those who contributed to the efforts of the Crusaders. Earthly advantages promised to Crusaders were exemption from debt and freedom from taxation and payment of interest.

        10.1.2  First Crusade [1096–1099]

·         Movement before the crusade: A disorganized mob, under Peter the Hermit, set out for Jerusalem. They had to fight other Christians who defended their own goods and crops. The mob killed thousands of Jews but were massacred by the Turks. Later, the formal crusade was led by French nobles under Godfrey of Bouillon. By various routes, the crusaders converged at Constantinople where they were well received by Emperor Alexius. Almost 1 million people took part in the First Crusade.

·         Success: The crusaders and the Byzantines joined to capture Nicea, Antioch, and finally Jerusalem [1099]. There was a horrible bloodbath. Godfrey was made “Protector of the Holy Sepulchre” and his brother Baldwin became King of Jerusalem. The knights Templars and Hospitallers were organized to provide protection and aid to pilgrims and to fight the Muslims.

        10.1.3  Other Crusades

·         Second Crusade [1147–1149]—With the fall of Edessa [1144] southeast Asia Minor, there was a call for the masses to invade the Holy Land. Under the leadership of Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, an army of 200,000 left for the Holy Land. Bernard of Clairvaux preached to the crusaders. They were repeatedly defeated by the Turks and accomplished little.

·         Third Crusade [1188–1192]—The Kingdom of Jerusalem was for a while very strong, expending as far as Cairo. Then Saladin, the sultan of Egypt, took Jerusalem [1187]. Pope Gregory VII called for a renewal of the crusading spirit. The army was under the leadership of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, Richard the Lionhearted of England, and Philip Augustus of France. Frederick was drowned and his army dissolved. Richard and Philip took Acre (south of Tyre) after a siege of two years. Richard was unsuccessful in recapturing Jerusalem but he got Saladin to agree to give pilgrims access to Jerusalem. Richard, on his way home, was captured by the emperor of Germany and kept a prisoner until a huge ransom was promised.

·         Fourth Crusade [1202–1204]—Pope Innocent III called a crusade to attack Saladin in Egypt. Instead, the crusades rerouted to Constantinople and took the city. They named an emperor and a patriarch for Constantinople so in theory, the Eastern and Western churches were united. But the Byzantines did not accept the situation and finally retook Constantinople [1261] ending the temporary union. As a result, the enmity of the Greek East toward the Latin West grew more intense.

·         Last Crusades: The Fifth Crusade [1217–1221] attacked Egypt but accomplished little. The Sixth Crusade [1228–1229], led by emperor Frederick II, was more successful. He and the sultan came to an agreement granting Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem to Frederick who crowned himself King of Jerusalem. The Seventh Crusade [1248–1254] was led by Louis IX of France but he was captured and forced to pay a large ransom. The Eighth Crusade [1270] was again led by Louis IX but he died of fever in Tunis. The Ninth Crusade [1271–1272] was led by Prince Edward of England who sailed to Acre, the last remaining crusader stronghold. The end of the crusades to the Holy Land was the fall of Acre [1291] to the Saracens, who replaced the Seljuk Turks as overlords in Palestine.

        10.1.4  The Spanish Reconquest

·         Beginning: The ancient Visigoth kingdom of Spain had been destroyed by the Muslims in 8th-c. Only a small region of Asturias in northwest Spain remained under the Christians. The reconquest (Spanish reconquista) of the Iberian peninsula from Muslim control began in 10th-c. It was stimulated by the “discovery” of the tomb of Saint James which led to pilgrimages of Christians from all over western Europe. Saint James (Santiago in Spanish) became the patron saint of the struggle against the Muslims.

·         Final success: When the last of the great caliphs of Cordova died [1002], Muslim lands were divided into small kingdoms. The reconquista gained strength and Toledo was conquered [1085]. The reinforcement of Moors from North Africa was defeated by a joint force of Christians at the battle of Navas de Tolosa [1212]. By 1248, the only Moorish state in Spain was the kingdom of Granada which finally fell to Ferdinand and Isabella [1492].

        10.1.5  Consequences of the Crusade

·         Enmity between religions: The obvious result was the increase in mistrust and enmity between Christians and Muslims, as well as between the Latin Christians and Byzantine Christians.

·         Weaker Byzantine Empire: The weakening of the Byzantine Empire caused its eventual fall [1453].

·         Greater papal power: The crusades enhanced the power of the papacy as the popes were recognized as an international authority. But the channelling of the energies of nations into the crusades led to a rise of nationalism that eventually weakened the papacy.

·         New military orders: The orders of Saint John of Jerusalem and the Templars, founded during the crusades, continued existing and holding enormous power.

·         Relics: The veneration of relics gained momentum as ancient relics flooded into Europe from the Holy Land.

·         Crusades against heresy: The crusading spirit was also used to combat heresy. Pope Innocent III called a crusade [1209] against the Albigensians in southern France and virtually exterminated them.

·         Rise of monarchy: Feudalism was weakened because many nobles and knights never returned from the crusades. Kings were able to centralize their control with the aid of the middle class, which favoured a strong centralized nation-state which would provide security for business.

·         Rise of cities & middle class: The development of cities and an economy based on trade were gaining ground because of the large movement of people. Until then, the only important source of wealth was land, and therefore economic power was in the hands of the landowners—nobles and prelates. The development of trade contributed to the emergence of a new wealthy class—the middle class (French bourgeoisie), most of them merchants. They would become allies of the monarchy against the nobles; eventually, in the French Revolution, they would overcome both the crown and the nobility.

·         End to Muslim invasion of Europe: Many people criticized the crusades and harshly judged that nothing good came out of them. While there were undoubtedly many setbacks, it should be remembered that the crusades stopped any large-scale invasions of Muslims into Europe beyond Constantinople. Without them, most or even all of Europe might have been ruled by the Muslims.


        10.2.1  Eastern church vs Western church

·         Political differences: Emperor Theodosius I put the administration of the Eastern and Western areas of the empire under separate heads [395]. The church in the East was under the jurisdiction of the emperor but the pope in Rome was too far away to be brought under his control. With the fall of the Western Roman Empire [476], the pope became a temporal as well as spiritual leader in times of crisis. Emperors were almost popes in the East; popes were almost emperors in the West.

·         Intellectual differences: The intellectual outlook was also different between the two regions. The Greek East was more interested in solving theological problems along philosophical lines. The Latin West was more inclined to consider practical matters of polity and had little trouble formulating orthodox dogma.

·         Practical differences: In the East, marriage of all parish clergy below the bishop was permitted; in the West, all clergy were not allowed to marry. The East used Greek; the West used Latin so sometimes there were misunderstandings. The priests in the East wore a beard; the priests in the West might shave his face and this sometimes caused disputes.

        10.2.2  Schism of Photius

·         One word inserted: In the Council of Toledo III [589], the public confession of the Visigoth King Recared was read, turning from Arianism to orthodox faith. The synod then rejected Arianism and affirmed the Nicene Creed, and the Chalcedon definition. But one action that had great impact was the addition of the Latin word filioque (“and the Son”).

o        New Version: Credo in Spiritum Sanctum qui ex patre filioque procedit (“I believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son”). The original Nicene Creed said that the Holy Spirit proceeds “from the Father”—without the word filioque.

o        “And” vs “through”: In 4th-c, Western Fathers Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome all taught that the Holy Spirit “proceeds” from the Father and the Son, though subordinate to neither. The Athanasian Creed also supported this. In the East, the belief was and still is that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.

·         Conflict: Photius became the patriarch of Constantinople after an ecclesiastical rebellion which deposed Patriarch Ignatius [858]. Both Photius and Ignatius turned to Pope Nicholas I for support and he took the side of Ignatius and excommunicated Photius [863]. Photius then declared that the entire West was heretical [864], because it had tampered with the Nicene Creed by including the word filioque. Photius argued that the Western church was tampering both with the Creed itself and with the ancient understanding of the Trinity, which affirms that the Spirit proceeds “from the Father, through the Son.”

·         Impact: Later, when political circumstances changed in Constantinople, Ignatius was restored as patriarch, and there was agreement that Photius would be the next patriarch. Many in the East resented the attempt by Pope Nicholas I to interfere with the appointment of the patriarch.

        10.2.3  East-West Schism

·         Disagreements: In addition to the perception of the Eastern church that the Western church tampered the Nicene Creed and interfered into their ecclesiastical succession, there were other disagreements: [1] Celibacy—Leo of Ochrid, Bulgarian archbishop, accused the West of error because it made clerical celibacy a universal rule. [2] Unleavened bread—Patriarch Michael Cerularis [1043–1059] condemned the Western church because it celebrated communion with unleavened bread.

·         Political situation: The restoration of the empire under Charlemagne meant that the popes no longer needed the support of the Byzantine Empire and were not afraid to confront Constantinople. The prolonged controversy over the use of images convinced the West that the Eastern church was a puppet in the hands of the emperor.

·         Negotiation: Pope Leo IX sent an ambassador Cardinal Humbert to Constantinople to deal with the disagreement [1054] but it was a wrong choice. Humbert was a zealous reformer who believed that the Eastern married clergy and the authority that the Byzantine emperor had over the church were the main enemies of the church.

·         Final break: Humbert and Cerularis exchanged insults. On June 16, 1054, Cardinal Humbert appeared at the cathedral of St Sophia and excommunicated Cerularis as a heretic, as well as any who dared follow him. Cerularis responded by anathematize the pope and his followers. The schism was accomplished. The reconciliation has been difficult because the break was based on doctrinal, theological, linguistic, political, and geographical differences.

o        The mutual excommunication was only removed on December 7, 1965 by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras.

        10.2.4  Consequences of the Schism

·         Ecumenism: Because of the bitterness of schism, the ecumenical movement in 20th-c was largely an initiative of the Protestants. The RCC and the Greek Orthodox Church gave little support.

·         Separation: Separation shut the Eastern church from many of the vitalizing influences that strengthened the Western church, including socio-political movements (the rise of towns, nations, and the middle class) and cultural movements (Renaissance, and the Reformation).

·         Stagnation of the East: The theological controversies and the shock of Islam left the Eastern church stagnant. Little change in ritual, polity, or theology has appeared in that church until the recent time. Consequently, it has not had the influence on the world that Christianity in the West has had.


        10.3.1  After Innocent III

·         Continuing influence: For several decades after Innocent III, his successors remained in the light of his prestige. Between 1254 and 1273, Germany went through a period of disorder, and eventually it was Pope Gregory X that restored order by supporting the election of Rudolf of Hapsburg. In return, the emperor declared that the Papal States were independent of the empire.

·         Monks became popes: Because of the high reputation of the Mendicant orders, popes were elected from their ranks. Innocent V [1276] was the first Dominican pope; Nicholas V [1288–1292] was the first Franciscan pope, followed by another Franciscan Celestine V [1294], although he abdicated after 6 months.

        10.3.2  Boniface VIII [1294–1303]

·         Claim of authority: His reign marked the high point of papal claims to temporal power. His bull Unam Sanctum says: “One sword must be under the other, and temporal authority must be subject to the spiritual…. Therefore, if earthly power strays from the right path it is to be judged by the spiritual…. But if the supreme spiritual authority strays, it can only be judged by God, and not by humans…. We further declare, affirm, and define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that all human creatures be under the Roman pontiff.” He claimed the supreme power of the pope over all civil authorities and that there is no salvation outside the RCC.

·         Successes: In Italy, he called a crusade against the Colonna family, his most powerful Italian opponents, and they were forced into exile. In Germany, Albert of Hapsburg rebelled against Adolf of Nassau and killed him. Boniface called Albert a rebel and a regicide, and Albert was forced to seek reconciliation. Boniface was successful in mediating the war between England and France (before the Hundred Years’ War). Scotland declared itself a fief of the papacy, under the threat of English invasion.

·         Humiliation: King Philip IV of France confiscated ecclesiastical lands, taxed the clergy, forbade the export of money from France to Italy, and granted asylum to the Colonna family [1302]. He burnt the papal bull and called the Estate General (French Parliament) to support his policies. Philip also issued the Ordinances of Reform in which he reaffirmed all the ancient privileges of the French clergy, independent of the pope. Boniface prepared to excommunicate Philip but before this, Sciarra Colonna kidnapped the pope with an armed band in Rome. Boniface was publicly humiliated and physically abused at Anagni, and he died shortly after.

        10.3.3  Babylonian Captivity [1309–1377]

·         Benedict XI [1303–1304]—He tried to reconcile with Philip IV by offering concessions, and to maintain the dignity of the papacy. He was criticized from both sides.

·         Clement V [1305–1314]—The pro-French party won and elected a French as pope. He was a weak man of doubtful morality. During his entire reign, he stayed in France and did not visit Rome even once. He named 24 cardinals; 23 were French. Several of them were his relatives so nepotism was revived. He consistently sided with Philip IV.

·         Babylonian Captivity: Clement V began to reside in Avignon [1309], a papal city at the border of France and under the watchful eye of France. For the next 70 years, the bishop of Rome would mostly remain in Avignon. This period was marked not only by the absence of the pope from Rome, but also by their willingness to serve as tools of French policy. So it is often called the “Avignon Papacy” or “Babylonian Captivity of the Church”.

·         Council of Vienne [1311–1312]—The rich and powerful order of the Templars was an obstacle to Philip IV’s centralization policy. Philip accused them of heresy and forced Pope Clement V to suppress the order. The Templars in French were arrested, and under torture, some confessed to being a secret order against Christianity, practicing idolatry and sodomy. Clement then ordered all Templars arrested. He was then forced by Philip to call a council to judge the Templars. But the council insisted to hear the case anew. Not wishing to confront the council, Clement ordered the abolition of the order using an administrative decision of the pope and the council was dissolved. Philip took all the wealth of the order.

·         John XXII [1316–1334]—The cardinals could not agree on the next pope so for 2 years, there was no pope. They finally elected a 72-year old man but he survived much longer than expected. He wanted to assert the power of the papacy in Italy by fighting wars. To finance the wars, the pope developed an elaborate system of papal taxes that produced widespread resentment.

·         Benedict XII [1334–1342]—He built a great palace in Avignon and moved the papal archives from Rome to Avignon. It was the time of the Hundred Years’ War [1337–1453]. Benedict’s policies alienated England and the empire.

·         Gregory XI [1370–1378]—At 17-year old, he was made cardinal by his uncle Pope Clement VI [1342–1352]. At the time of his election as a pope, Catherine of Siena came forth and called the pope to return to Rome. Gregory XI finally returned to Rome [1377].

·         Catherine of Siena (1347–1380):

o        Early life: She joined the “Sisters of the Penance of St Dominic” when young. This was a flexible organization whose members lived at home but devoted to a life of penance and contemplation.

o        Vision: She had a vision [1366] in which Jesus joined her in mystical marriage, and ordered her to serve others. She began to spend most of her time helping the poor and the sick.

o        Mysticism: She became famous as a teacher of mysticismin the principles and practice of contemplation. She gathered a group of followers, men and women.

o        Pilgrimage: She had another vision [1370] and then set out on a campaign to have the papacy return to Rome. She began a pilgrimage from city to city, preparing for the pope’s return.

o        Doctor of the church: Pope Paul VI gave her the title of “doctor of the church” [1970] which has been granted to only two women—Catherine of Siena and Teresa of Avila.

·         Impact of this period: [1] As the popes were tools of French policies, people in other countries saw the pope as a foreign power whom they resented, particularly after the rise of nationalism. [2] As vacancies in the clergy would benefit the papacy (incomes would be sent to Avignon), the papacy did not hurry to fill them and the pastoral ministry of the church deteriorated. [3] The church was corrupted with simony (buying and selling of clerical posts), pluralism (one person holding many posts), absenteeism (not serving at the posts), and nepotism (favouring relatives). [4] All these contributed to a greater necessity for reforms.


        10.4.1  Great Western schism [1378–1417]

·         Early schism: After the clash between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV [1080], rival popes continued to be appointed by the emperor until 1180. These 12 rival popes were called anti-popes by the RRC.

·         Urban VI [1378–1389]:

o        Cardinals detained in Rome: After the death of Gregory XI, there was fear that the new pope would be controlled by the French again, especially the number of French cardinals outnumbered Italian cardinals. A mob gathered to ensure the cardinals would stay in Rome. The cardinals finally elected Urban VI, an Italian.

o        Reform: Urban VI was determined to reform the church but he had bad temper and arrogant manner. He dealt harshly with absenteeism and simony. He planned to reduce the French influence by appointing Italian cardinals. Yet he continued to appoint his relatives to important positions.

·         Two popes:

o        Second pope: A large number of cardinals opposed Urban VI and gathered in Anagni. They declared that they had elected Urban VI under coercion. They elected a new pope Clement VII [1378].

o        Battle: Clement VII took arms against Urban VI and attacked Rome. Being repulsed, he took up residence in Avignon. Urban VI appointed 26 staunch supporters as new cardinals.

o        Various support: For the first time, there were two popes elected by the same cardinals. France, and Scotland supported the Avignon pope; England, Scandinavia, Flanders, Hungary, and Poland supported the Roman pope. In Germany, the emperor supported Rome while many nobles supported Avignon. Portugal, Spain, and Italy wavered their support between the two.

o        Corruption: The schism encouraged simony as the rival popes needed funds to compete.

o        Attempt to end: The church grew weary of the schism, and there were different attempts to end the schism but none successful.

·         Papal taxation: With two papal courts to support, the papacy invented many ways to tax the people.

o        Income from papal estates—Besides the Papal States, the papacy owned lots of land in the Holy Roman Empire. Someone estimated that the RCC owned one-third of the land in Europe in 13th-c.

o        Tithes—offering from the faithful

o        Annates—the payment of the first year’s salary by church officials

o        Right of purveyance—clergy and their constituents paying the travelling expenses of the visiting pope

o        Right of spoil—personal property of the upper clergy going to the pope upon their death

o        Peter’s Pence—annual payment by the laity in many lands

o        Vacancy—vacant posts not requiring payment from the papacy

o        Service fees—fees for clerical service

·         Conciliar Movement:

o        Definition: This movement claimed that the universal council had the highest authority in the church.

o        History: In Roman times, the ecumenical councils were responsible to solve controversies. Later, as the popes gained power, the councils became instruments for their policies, e.g. the Council of Lateran IV. As the schism continued, many hoped that a universal or general council could solve the problem.

o        Basis: The book Defensor Pacis [1324] by Marsilius of Padua and John of Jandun stressed that the church in a general council guided by the NT alone could proclaim dogmas and appoint its officials. Therefore, the highest authority belonged to the general council, representing the entire church, not the pope.

o        Calling of a council: The great obstacle at this point in time was the question of who had authority to call a council. The difficulty was solved when the cardinals of both parties issued a joint call to a general council to gather in Pisa [1409]. The two rival popes tried to call his own council to pre-empt the one in Pisa, but both failed.

·         Council of Pisa [1409–1410]:

o        Third pope: The council had the support of both colleges of cardinals, and most of the courts in Europe. It declared that both popes were deposed and elected a new pope Alexander V [1409].

o        Third pope again: Both reigning popes rejected the decision. When Alexander V died, the cardinals elected John XXIII [1410] who sought refuge with Emperor Sigismund of Germany.

·         Status of John XXIII: In 20th-c, there was another Pope John XXIII [1958–1963]. The reason is that the RCC accepts only those popes residing in Rome during the schism. Further, today’s papal policy is against the conciliar movement, so the papacy do not accept the popes elected by the Council of Pisa. They call Alexander V and John XXIII “Pisan popes” and consider them anti-popes.

·         Council of Constance [1414–1418]:

o        New council: Under the pressure of Emperor Sigismund, John XXIII called the council. Over 350 high officials of the church attended. The council declared its legality and its right to supreme authority in the Roman church.

o        Removal of 3 popes: John XXIII was forced to resign and the Roman pope Gregory XII abdicated [1415]. The Avignon pope Benedict XIII was officially deposed but he continued to claim that he was the legitimate pope until his death [1423].

o        New pope: The cardinals elected Martin V [1417–1431] as new pope.

o        Reforms: The council issued some general decrees against simony, pluralism, and absenteeism.

o        Continuance: It ordered that similar councils should meet periodically to ensure that the reforms would continue. The Council of Pavia [1423] was called by Martin V according to the plan; it was then moved to Siena fleeing from the plague.

·         Council of Basel/Ferrara-Florence [1431–1445]:

o        Papal manipulation: The next council was called to meet in Basel [1431]. The new pope Eugene IV wanted to stop the conciliar movement. The Byzantine emperor and the patriarch of Constantinople sought help from the West to defend against the Turkish threat. They declared that they were willing to rejoin the Western church. Eugene seized the opportunity to transfer the council to Ferrara to accommodate the Eastern church.

o        Division: The council was divided. Some followed the pope to Ferrara and others stayed in Basel. Those in Basel declared Eugene deposed and elected a new pope Felix V [1439–1449] who the RCC officially considered as an anti-pope. But they had lost their influence and finally disbanded.

o        Conditions for reunion: The council at Ferrara [1438–1439] was later moved to Florence [1439–1442], and then to Rome [1443–1445]. It received wide recognition. The emperor and the patriarch accepted the conditions of ecclesiastical reunion. They included: [1] The Eastern church were forced to accept the Western insertion of the word “filioque” in the Nicene Creed. [2] Eucharist could be served with either leavened bread (the Eastern practice) or unleavened bread (the Western practice). [3] The Eastern church accepted the doctrine of purgatory. [4] The pope was accepted as Peter’s successor and with “full authority to feed, rule, and govern the universal church.” However, the agreement was repudiated by the Eastern churches when the delegates returned to Constantinople.

o        Papal despotism: The conciliar movement’s attempt to create a constitutional monarchy dissipated and the papacy reverted to papal despotism. In a papal bull Execrabilis [1460], Pope Pius II condemned any appeals to future general councils. But the French clergy concurred with the French ruler in the proclamation of the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges [1438], which made the French church autonomous of the pope and under the state.

        10.4.2  Political events that weakened the papacy

·         Monarchy: The change toward a monetary economy gave rise to the bourgeoisie who wanted a strong centralized government which would protect trade, suppress banditry, regulate coinage, and stop petty wars. They therefore supported the monarchy. France, England, and Scandinavia were the first to be united under relatively strong monarchies. Spain was not united until the end of the Middle Ages while Germany and Italy were unified in 19th-c. The strong monarchies became competitors against the papacy for the loyalty of their subjects.

·         Nationalism: Countries with a central government had a sense of commonality over against other countries. Even in Germany where feudalism was still strong, there were indications of nationalism resenting foreign interventions. Late in 13th-c, several Alpine communities rebelled and founded the Helvetic Confederation. They repeatedly defeated imperial troops sent against them. Finally, emperor Maximilian I had to acknowledge the independence of Switzerland [1499]. Nationalism undermined the papal claims to universal authority. As the papacy relied more on France for its protection, the other countries were ready to disobey or even to oppose the popes.

·         Hundred Years’ War [1337–1453]—During the war, the pope resided in Avignon under the shadow of the French so the English came to see the papacy as their enemy.

o        Cause: Edward III of England claimed the throne of France. When the English invaded Scotland which was supported by France, the war began. Many others were involved, including Bavaria, Bohemia, Navarre, and Castile.

o        English victories: England repeatedly invade France and won victories, only to retreat for lack of funds to continue. King Charles VI of France died and the dauphin was besieged in Orleans.

o        Joan of Arc (1412–1431): She was a French girl who claimed of having visions of Saint Catherine, Saint Margaret, and archangel Michael, who ordered her to lead the troops to break the siege, and to crown the dauphin at Reims. Joan obtained incredible successes and the siege was broken. The dauphin was crowned Charles VII, while Joan stood by the altar. She was later captured by the English who sold her to the bishop of Beauvais. She was tried as a heretic and burnt before she was 20. She became the national hero of France and was made a saint [1920].

o        French victories: The victory of Joan of Arc began a period of French victories. The last battle was the Battle of Castillon [1453]. At the end of the war, all English possessions on the continent were in French hands.

·         Black Death [1348–1350]—The Bubonic plague killed almost one third of the people in Europe. It disrupted the economy of Europe, causing high unemployment. This in turn created political turmoil and riots. It encouraged superstition.

·         Fall of Constantinople [1453]—Under the threat of the Turks, the Byzantine emperors appealed for help from the West. The pope demanded the price of ecclesiastical reconciliation which was achieved in the Council of Ferrara-Florence [1439]. The patriarchs of Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria rejected the decisions of the council. The pope was unsuccessful in convincing Christian nations to help, and Constantinople fell under the Turks. The incident demonstrated the decreasing influence of the papacy.



[1] treasure our heritage

The crusades in the East and the reconquista in the West saved Christianity from Muslim conquests.

[2] appreciate God’s providence

The church did not fall from numerous schisms.

[3] avoid past errors

Schisms were caused by political power struggles.

[4] apply our knowledge

The council representing the whole church is above the pope.

[5] follow past saints

Two women, Catherine of Siena and Joan of Arc, stood out above all the corrupt popes.



        How do we evaluate the Crusaders with respect to their influence on the church, on western civilization and society?

o        caused enmity between Christians and Muslims (however, this is unavoidable)

o        caused enmity between the Eastern and the Western churches

o        stopped Islamic invasion of Europe

o        enhanced power of popes

o        impact on Christian piety

o        creation of military monastic orders such as the Templars

o        combat heresy

o        economic changes: trade, cities, bourgeoisie

        What influences did the new monastic orders produce in the church?

o        studies, universities

o        emphasis in poverty

o        training and preaching

        What were the causes of the Babylonian Captivity and the Great Schism? What lessons can we learn from these unfortunate events?

o        Causes: The political interests, in this case France, wanted to control the papacy in order to centralize and extend its power and dominance. The suppression of the Templars was an example.

o        Lessons: The church must not attach too closely with political powers. When power becomes the highest priority of the church, corruption follows.