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Source Exercise 2: The First Crusade: 3

The remission of sins promised to the Crusaders is put in the context of Christian charity. The suggestion is that it is more appropriate to go on Crusade for reasons of piety rather than greed. The two further references are to decrees which were intended to control recruitment and secure the marital rights of wives. Europe could not be left without sufficient priests and monks to pray for and look after the spiritual needs of those who had not been able to go on crusade, so bishops and abbots would have needed to monitor carefully those clerics and monks who went. At the same time, wives could only be left behind if it was possible for them to maintain the estates and households of those who had gone away. In other words, the pope was here balancing the need to raise crusaders to try to re-capture the Holy Land with the spiritual needs of those who remained at home, and with the need for there to be adequate protection for the lands and property of those who were going East.

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