Crusades, conquistadors, the Inquisition, sex crimes, birth control, wealth22.11.2014 18:16
Some of Jesus´ most important messages are: "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also". It means to be loving, forgiving and to refrain from violence.
In practice, the opposite occured. In the Middle Ages men traveled to the Holy Land to participate in battles against the infidels and to free the country. The Pope himself initiated these crusades. During the siege of Jerusalem in 1099 the crusaders managed to get into the city. After the battle a cruel massacre of all the city's residents began, except for the Christians who had been forced to leave the city before the siege. Ghastly tales depicting atrocities when men, women and children were killed. Before the night was over they had cleared the town on its Jewish and Muslim populations. Source: Wikipedia
Columbus discovered the New world in 1492. The Spaniards believed that there was a special gold country, "El Dorado" and the only problem was to find it. Thousands of people flocked into the New world in the west in search of happiness. They often came, not as arable farmers or merchants, but with the cross, the sword and an empty purse, as knights and robbers, who quickly wanted to become rich and acquire new subjects to the Church. Missionaries poured into both North and South America. Churches and monasteries shot up like mushrooms and seized huge areas, whose residents were treated as slaves. Gold and silver was stolen and sent to Spain. There it was used to fund wars and not to anything productive.
The Inquisition was an interrogation organization that the Pope established. Torture was a common ingredient in interrogations and the death penalty was given preferentially to those who refused to confess to crimes. Since accepting anonymous accusations, many became innocently accused. When they refused to admit crimes, because they were innocent, many were tortured and killed. A diabolic arrangement! A common punishment was burning at the stake. Among others, Jeanne d'Arc was exposed to that. Also the members of the Knights Templar, who became a powerful force, because of wealth and privilege, were imprisoned and executed by orders from the Vatican.
In our times, the revealing that Catholic priests sexually exploited young boys rocked the community. But the Church has, until recently, trying to silence scandals instead of putting an end to them. Already in 2002 the first reports came from the US. After that it has been known that priests sexually exploited young boys in Italy, Ireland and Germany. The problem arises because the Catholic priests are forced to live in celibacy. The absence of a sexual life increases the risk that priests will commit pedophile crimes. Dicovered priests have been displaced and affected have been bribed into silence by the Catholic Church. The latest pope have said he is willing to go to the bottom of it and clean it up once and for all.
The Catholic Church with the Pope at the head has always been a strong opponent of birth control. Abortion has always been prohibited and when condoms and the pill went on sale the church banned the use of them. This has meant overpopulation, poverty and hunger, especially in developing countries. The Philippines has the world's third largest Christian population. The Catholic Church has great influence here. Many uneducated teenage girls have been forced into prostitution to support herself and her children, because they did not get an abortion. Thousands have died because they have undergone illegal abortions. Here, the Church has contributed to much suffering with its relentless approach.
Jesus said, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
The Catholic Church is colossally rich. It has amassed riches for centuries. Letters of indulgence were introduced in the late Middle Ages was a viable way to transfer money to the Catholic Church. Sins you have committed, and even sins not yet committed, could be forgiven if you paid a sum of money to the church. As proof of forgiveness of a sin was a so-called letter of indulgence. Theologians believed that pardons could also facilitate the punishment of purgatory, and reduce the number of years you had to be there. Funding of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome took the help of indulgence letters. Today, the catholic church owns gold, shares in the stock market, land and buildings at an incredible value. It even has its own bank. Everything is confidential and no one knows how much wealth there is. Rumor says that the church has collaboration with the mafia and corruption is common. The Pope and the cardinals' life is far from the simple and humble life that Jesus advocated.
The Catholic Church has been against science and research and punished scientists and geniuses. Nothing new could question the established dogma of the Church. The truth was found in the Bible. Everything else was blasphemy. In the end, the power of the Church was broken by scientists, writers, scientific researchers and religious skeptics as Martin Luther. The Church split in two parts, despite much resistance from the Catholic Church. But Western Europe went its own way. The Church's power declined, science flourished. Soon the steam engine was invented and the Industrial Revolution began. The Western World has ever since been a leader in technology, science and economy.