Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pope Innocent III calls for a crusade against the "perfidious Saracens"

With the Bull Quia maior Pope Innocent III proclaimed the Fifth Crusade in 1213.

"For how can a man be said to love his neighbor as himself, in obedience to God's command, when, knowing that his brothers, who are Christians in faith and in name, are held in the hands of the perfidious Saracens. . . does not do something effective to liberate them."

Following are excerpts from Quia maior:

Because at this time there is a more compelling urgency than there has ever been before to help the Holy Land in her great need and because we hope that the aid sent to her will be greater than that which has ever reached her before, listen when, again taking up the old cry, we cry to you.  We cry on behalf of him who when dying cried with a loud voice on the cross, becoming obedient to God the Father unto the death of the cross, crying out so that he might snatch us from the crucifixion of eternal death.  He also cries out with his own voice and says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me," as if to say, to put it more plainly, "If anyone wishes to follow me to the crown, let him also follow me to the battle, which is now proposed as a test for all men."

Oh, how much good has already come from this cause!  How many men, converted to penance, have delivered themselves up to the service of the Crucified One in order to liberate the Holy Land and have won a crown of glory as if they had suffered the agony of martyrdom, men who perhaps might have died in their wicked ways, ensnared in carnal pleasures and worldly enticements!  This is the ancient device of Jesus Christ which he has deigned to renew in these times for the salvation of his faithful.

For how can a man be said to love his neighbor as himself, in obedience to God's command, when, knowing that his brothers, who are Christians in faith and in name, are held in the hands of the perfidious Saracens in dire imprisonment and are weighed down by the yoke of most heavy slavery, he does not do something effective to liberate them, thereby transgressing the command of that natural law which the Lord gave in the gospel, "Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them?"  Or perhaps you do not know that many thousands of Christians are being held in slavery and imprisonment in their hands, tortured by countless torments?

We are sure that, since we ought to put much more trust in divine mercy than in human power, we ought to fight such a conflict not so much with physical arms as with spiritual ones.

Fasting and almsgiving should be joined to prayer, so that with these wings the prayer itself may fly more easily and quickly to the most loving ears of God, who will mercifully listen to us at the appointed time.  And every day during the celebrations of Mass . . . the priest who is celebrating must chant this prayer over the altar:
  "God, who disposes all things with marvelous providence, we humbly beseech thee to snatch from  the hands of the enemies of the cross the land which thine only-begotten son consecrated with his own blood and to restore it to Christian worship by mercifully directing in the way of eternal salvation the vows of the faithful here present, made for its liberation, through the same Christ Our Lord."

The full text of Quia maior can be read here.


  1. Would that we, in our day, could feel the same urgency in our hearts and minds over what is happening to our brothers and sisters in the Middle East! Where are our Church leaders? Why are they hiding? Who are they serving?!
    But we , the small , little ones of God, can take it upon ourselves to start a prayer crusade.... asking our Eternal, Sovereign Lord, to come in aid of those oppressed and to send His only begotten Son back to our earth to usher in His peaceful reign! Aye, Come Lord Jesus, the bride is languishing and hoping in your swift return......

    1. Unfortunately, no. We, the "civilized" society of the great West, are pacifists (pacifism is one of those wonderful -ism-ideologies). We are complacent and lethargic, content about our full belies.

  2. It is no coincidence that our Lady appeared at a place named after Fatima,the daughter of Mohammad, and then warned of a coming persecution of the Church. Now would be the ideal time for the Pope to call all the bishops of the world to consecrate the nations of the Middle East, Russia, Ukraine and other trouble spots to her Immaculate Heart -- what are we waiting for?

  3. The latest INSANITY as I just read on "The Remnant" article authored by Christopher Ferrara, "Are You kidding me?, Are you kidding me?" is that pope has opted for calling people together for a high profile soccer match for peace in the Middle East. I am wondering if those who are on the front lines of the slaughter will be thrilled to DEATH when they hear of this great and unprecedented help that is on its way to relieve them from their continuing mass murder and genocide. After all, who needs trifles such as prayer, fasting, or courageous truth and courageous action from the pope when we can all follow the freemasonic plan to make sports a god. A celebrity soccer match is just the thing to bring peace to the Middle East and then another one for world peace... It is so simple;
    and I am so surprised that Our Beautiful Blessed Mother didn't think of it. The complicated 5 minute prayer by the pope and bishops in union in which they would consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart just pales in comparison to the brilliant idea of a soccer game for peace. I hope the plan calls for leaving the winning soccer ball at the altar of Saint Mary Major. I remember the beach ball left there after the world youth day. There truly is no end to the grievous, delusional, irresponsible behavior of such diabolical disorientation. God, Mother of God and our Mother, save us from this godlessness as only You are able to.

  4. This, from the blog Catholicism Pure and Simple/Catholicism Without Compromise (, posted August 26th...echoing Pope Innocent III's concerns. . .

    Urgent Iraq Update – a newsletter from ACN

    Posted on August 26, 2014 by Catholicism Pure & Simple

    “There is still hope for the Christians in Iraq, but only if we act now”
    Refugees gathering at Erbil's Syriac-Catholic Mrtshmony Shrine.
    Refugees gathering at Erbil’s Syriac-Catholic Mrtshmony Shrine.

    My dear friend

    Thank you for all your prayers – for all you are doing for our brothers and sisters in the midst of their terrible plight and suffering. We are simply a channel for your love and for the compassion of all our friends in Christ.

    We are receiving constant updates from Iraq – and a small team from Aid to the Church in Need has been in northern Iraq, at the invitation of the Patriarch of Babylon.

    Please view the short video filmed by my colleague, Maria, a few days ago in northern Iraq. You will find an important message from the Chaldean Patriarch, Archbishop Louis Raphael Sako, who added: “There is still hope for the Christians in Iraq, but only if we act now.”

    Thank you for showing solidarity with the region’s suffering Christians and all the refugees, many of whom are surviving in primitive conditions. There are now more than 100,000 displaced Christians – thousands taking refuge in Ankawa, the Christian quarter of Erbil, and the villages north of Dohuk and Zakho.

    Returning from Iraq, the International President of Aid to the Church in Need, Baron Johannes Heereman, made a plea calling on the world’s governments to act immediately to keep Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq: “If we do not want to be silent witnesses to the last chapter of the history of Christendom in Iraq, the international community must respond decisively now. This cannot remain simply the concern of the Church in Iraq. The destruction is now reaching the scale of a disaster of civilisation. One can certainly speak of an impending genocide. The situation is dramatic. We met bishops, priests, nuns and volunteers who are working day and night to provide elementary aid. Temperatures are around 44 degrees [Celsius]. The people need a roof over their heads and medical care. There is still much to be done.” (See here for full story.)

    ACN has provided more than a quarter of a million US dollars (£160,000) for the Church’s emergency aid in the country.

    When I met Iraqi refugees who had fled from Mosul to Lebanon, just a few weeks ago, I learnt of their terror and fear for family and friends left behind. Yet, the Sisters caring for the refugees emphasised that your prayers and abundant kindness are appreciated more than you will ever know – and you too are remembered in their prayers and at Mass.

    St Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:12 & 26: “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body…” and “If one member suffers, all suffer together…”

    This is the reality of our common humanity and of our faith – and we cannot cut ourselves off from the needs of others. For as St Paul says in his next most famous of chapters – 1 Corinthians 13: “Love bears all things…hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

    And your love reaches out across the world to those who are persecuted, oppressed and suffering at this time. Thank you.

    May God bless you and sustain you in faith, hope and charity –

    Neville Kyrke-Smith

    National Director, Aid to the Church in Need UK

    “We do not want to be silent witnesses to the last chapter of the history of Christendom in Iraq… “

    International President of Aid to the Church in Need

    For more information go to

    Pray our ‘Prayer for Peace in Iraq’ prayer with us