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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311

X: The political Crusades of the thirteenth century,   pp. 343-375 PDF (7.1 MB)

Page 373

entirely on the popes of the thirteenth century — tendencies in that
direction were already strong before 1 200. But, insofar as the thirteenth-century
popes encouraged the growth of disunity and opposed efforts toward unification
and strong government, they can be blamed for the Italian anarchy which prolonged
the Avig nonese exile of the papacy and for the German anarchy which made
possible the Reformation. 
 Even more important, the political crusades were one of the factors which
weakened the leadership of the church and en couraged the transfer of basic
loyalty from the church to the secular state. We know little about the state
of public opinion in thirteenth-century Europe, but what little we know suggests
a growing antipathy to the political program of the papacy and a weakening
loyalty to the ideal of a Christian commonwealth. The complaints of chroniclers
and poets about the avarice and ambition of the popes are not conclusive;
there are not enough of these to prove general opposition to papal policy.
For one Matthew Paris, who criticizes the papacy, there are a dozen chroniclers
who give at least tacit approval to the war against the Hohenstaufens. In
any case, a chronicler or poet speaks only for himself; we cannot assume
that he represents the opinion of a large group. When we turn to protests
by churchmen, and official acts of kings, we have better evidence. Bishops
and ecclesiastical assemblies did not oppose the pope unless they felt sure
of some support; kings did not tax the clergy until they were convinced that
their barons would back them in attacking the liberties of the church. During
the second half of the thirteenth century we find both protests by large
numbers of churchmen and interference with ecclesiastical privileges by kings.
 The English clergy made repeated protests against the demands of Innocent
IV and Alexander IV for subsidies for their Italian wars. The French clergy
paid the tenths for Charles of Anjou grudgingly; Clement IV complained of
the ill-will of the bishops and the lack of zeal of the collectors. One cleric
of Rheims argued that the claim that the tenth was needed for the defense
of the faith was false, since a war against Manfred did not concern the faith.
Many pious churchmen agreed with archbishop Giles of Tyre that it was scandalous
when men who had taken a vow to go overseas were urged to join the expedition
against Sicily or when legacies for the Holy Land were used to make war on
Manfred. 17 If the 
 17 Pierre Varin, Archives législatives de la yule de Reims (Collection
de documents inédits sur l'histoire de France, ser. I, histoire politique,
I, Paris, 1840), 452—453; E. Jordan, Les Origines de la domination
angbvine en Italie (Paris, 1909), pp. 538—539. 

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