Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Crusades, MSM Agendas, and History

Here's an interesting little item:

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.

The Crusades are seen by many Muslims as acts of violence that have underpinned Western aggression towards the Arab world ever since. Followers of Osama bin Laden claim to be taking part in a latter-day “jihad against the Jews and Crusaders”.

The late Pope John Paul II sought to achieve Muslim- Christian reconciliation by asking “pardon” for the Crusades during the 2000 Millennium celebrations. But John Paul’s apologies for the past “errors of the Church” — including the Inquisition and anti-Semitism — irritated some Vatican conservatives. According to Vatican insiders, the dissenters included Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

The author of the article is, ah, not a fan of B-16, eh? Ah, well--those bloody Brits have had it in for the Church ever since Henry VIII, anyway.

Let's put this in perspective. The Crusades have been maligned by revisionist historians in the West for a long time. Obviously, the Muslims were not enthralled--but in the US, we do not read history books written by Muslims. They are written by "Enlightened" historians, and generally speaking, they gloss over the reason(s) for the Crusades:

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.

That, my friends, calls for no apology. None, unless you are French, or unless you're Bill Clinton. In fact, the first Crusade has a vague resemblance to GWB's response after 9/11.

What DOES call for an apology?

[Cambridge Professor Riley-Smith] said that the Crusaders were sometimes undisciplined and capable of acts of great cruelty. But the same was true of Muslims and of troops in “all ideological wars”. Some of the Crusaders’ worst excesses were against Orthodox Christians or heretics — as in the sack of Constantinople in 1204.

To intimate, as does the author of this article, that B-16 was unhappy with JPII's apology, is a reach--likely an over-reach. For these sins, the Pope apologized, and it would seem that the reporter has set up a straw man.

But an agenda in the MSM? Come, now....

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