The crusade privilege granted by the fourth lateran council, 1215

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by betchamad, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. betchamad

    betchamad Member

    Oct 10, 2009
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    Moreover, we grant to the clergy that they may retain their fiefs intact for three years as if they were resident in their churches; and if necessary, they may mortgage them for the same length of time.
    In order that nothing relating to Christ's business may be neglected, we wish and command patriarchs, archbishops, abbots and others who have charge of souls, to set forth zealously to those committed to their care the word of the cross, exhorting in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost,one only, true and eternal God, kings, dukes, princes, marquises, counts, barons and other magnates, also the communities of cities, towns and villages, who do not go in person to the aid of the Holy Land, to send a suitable number of warriors, with the necessary expenses for three years, according to their individual means, for the remission of their own sins - as is stated in our general letters, and as is also stated below, for the greater surety.
    Of this remission we wish to be partakers, not only those who furnish their own vessels, but also those who may have striven to build ships for this purpose. Moreover, let it be sternly announced by apostolic authority to those who refuse - if perchance any shall be so ungrateful to our Lord God - that they are to understand that for this they will have to answer to us on the last day of the strict judgment, before an awful judge. Nevertheless, let them first consider with what conscience or what security they will be able to appear before the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, into whose hands the Father gave all things, if they shall refuse in this matter, which is peculiarly fitting for them, to aid Him who was crucified for sinners, by whose bounty they live, by whose kindness they are maintained, nay, more, by whose blood they have been redeemed.
    Since it is certainly right that those who give their allegiance to the heavenly Emperor should enjoy a special privilege: when the time of the expedition shall exceed one year in length, the crusaders shall be free from collections, tallages and other taxes. And we have taken their persons and property, after the assumption of the cross, under St. Peter's and our own protection, and we have decided that their defence shall be entrusted to the archbishops, bishops and all the prelates of the church. We have also appointed officers of our own especially for their protection, in order that their property may be kept intact and uninjured, until their death or return is known with certainty. And if any one attempts any attack upon their property he shall be restrained by ecclesiastical censure.
    If any of those setting out thither are bound by oath to pay interest, we command that their creditors shall be compelled by the same means to release them from their oaths and to desist from the exaction of interest. But if any creditor shall compel them to pay interest, we order that he shall be forced by a similar chastisement to pay it back.
    We command that the Jews, however, shall be compelled by the secular power to remit interest; and until they remit it all association of any kind with them shall be refused by all faithful Christians, under penalty of excommunication. For those, moreover, unable at present to pay their debt to the Jews, the secular princes shall provide by a useful delay, so that after they begin their journey they shall suffer no inconvenience from interest, until their death or return is known with certainty. The Jews shall be compelled, after deducting the necessary expenses, to count the income which they receive in the meantime from the mortgaged property toward the payment of the principal; since a favor of this kind which defers the payment and does not cancel the debt does not seem to cause much loss. Moreover, let the prelates of the church, who are proven to be negligent in doing justice to the crusaders and their families, understand that they shall be severely punished.
    Therefore, trusting in the mercy of omnipotent God, and in the authority of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, by that power of binding and loosing which God has conferred on us, although unworthy, we grant to all, who undergo the labor in their own person and at their own expense, full remission of the sins of which they have truly repented with contrite hearts, and which they have confessed with their months; and at the retribution of the just we promise an increase of eternal salvation. To those also who do not go thither in person, but yet according to their ability and means send suitable men at their expense, and to those likewise who go in person, although at the expense of others, we promise full remission of their sins. We also will and grant that, according to the kind of their aid, and the depth of their devotion, all shall partake of this remission who minister fitly from their property to the aid of that land or furnish opportune counsel and assistance. Also on all who piously proceed in this task the universal Synod bestows in common the aid of all its benefits that it may worthily conduce to their salvation. Amen.

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