Why did Pope Urban II call the first Crusade ?
There are three main reasons as to why Pope Urban II called the first Crusade. These reasons being ; Improving conditions in the west , Power to the church and the reunification of the Christian church. Although there are many reason that could have been said, I valued the three above to be the most important deciding factors to crusade. Improving conditions in the west was a significant reason to call a crusade. The fear of hell and purgatory shaped the lives of Christians. Christian teachings were widely accepted even if their lives were not holy. They believed that Christ’s death and resurrection opened the way to heaven and would be granted forgiveness if they took penance. Images of hell were placed all over churches as a constant reminder of what was to come if they did not repent. Violence in society and sinful behaviour was at an all time high. In such a brutal society filled with violence this caused a big problem for the church. Calling a crusade would solve the issue of violence in the west as a need for vengeance was familiar to nobles of a feud filled society and sending them off on a crusade would send the violence elsewhere. Knights were told that if they crusaded they would be guaranteed place in heaven and as a society which feared damnation. This was the opportunity many had been waiting for. The purpose of pilgrimage was penitential: suffering a long hard journey was worth the pain if it would help the soul to pass more quickly to the greatest prize – heaven. However the power of the popes was soon to be called into question. Many priests were sinful and corrupt, reformers always spoke of regaining liberty for the church. Priests took part in simony. This was wrong and enraged many people of the church. Pope Gregory VII was head of the reform movement and set to change the ways of the priest and people. Pope Gregory restored power to the church with many new regimes. He improved the education...
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