Cacciaguida

Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.


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Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.


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Tuesday, March 21, 2006
 
The Times (London) reports:
THE Vatican has begun moves to rehabilitate the Crusaders by sponsoring a conference at the weekend that portrays the Crusades as wars fought with the “noble aim” of regaining the Holy Land for Christianity....

At the conference, held at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, Roberto De Mattei, an Italian historian, recalled that the Crusades were “a response to the Muslim invasion of Christian lands and the Muslim devastation of the Holy Places”.

“The debate has been reopened,” La Stampa said. Professor De Mattei noted that the desecration of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Muslim forces in 1009 had helped to provoke the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century, called by Pope Urban II.

He said that the Crusaders were “martyrs” who had “sacrificed their lives for the faith”. He was backed by Jonathan Riley-Smith, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University, who said that those who sought forgiveness for the Crusades “do not know their history”. Professor Riley-Smith has attacked Sir Ridley Scott’s recent film Kingdom of Heaven, starring Orlando Bloom, as “utter nonsense”.

Professor Riley-Smith said that the script, like much writing on the Crusades, was “historically inaccurate. It depicts the Muslims as civilised and the Crusaders as barbarians. It has nothing to do with reality.” It fuels Islamic fundamentalism by propagating “Osama bin Laden’s version of history”.

Of course no non-Catholic Englishman ever gets a Church story entirely right, and the Times is quite wrong about one thing:
The late Pope John Paul II sought to achieve Muslim- Christian reconciliation by asking “pardon” for the Crusades during the 2000 Millennium celebrations.
Wrong-o. He apologized for wrongful acts committed in connection with the Crusades and other events. He did not repudiate the Crusades as such, and indeed could not, as several of them were called by his predecessors.