God’s War – 2
< Page 600. The word "crusade" comes from an old word for cross. Ostensibly, devout crucesignati under both papal and secular authority took the cross and promptly undertook the murdering of Jews, heretics, muslims and anyone the pope or king disapproved of. I suppose this was all justifiable by the standards of the day where burning souls and decapitation was expected punishment for those on the wrong side of victory. There are always political scores to settle and lands and booty to apprehend.
Nevertheless, it’s disconcerting to be acquainted and reminded of the hypocrisy, knavery and blood thirstiness of the Holy Roman Church. This sanctimonious and pompous institution sports crimes against humanity that stretch back a thousand years. With any luck the recent paedophilia revelations will deal it a mortal blow. But I’m not counting on it. Even God can’t kill the Devil.
Tyermans’s book by now is at the end of the fourth crusade which essentially was a holocaust against the Cathars, a heretical group from which we get the word catharsis. Funny how much you learn. Anyway also by now the christians have lost Jerusalem to Saladin; ransacked and mortally wounded Constantinople to be lost to the Turks two hundred years later. Splendid. It’s an ill cross that brings misery.