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Basel Chaudry wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • What is the current attitude to the Crusades?
  • Why would a Catholic justify the Crusades as holy wars, and
  • What are the conditions for a holy war to occur?


  { What is your attitude on the Crusades; why would a Catholic justify it, and what is a holy war? }

Bob replied:

Dear Basel,

The history of the Crusades is rather long and complex, but essentially it was a response to Islamic aggression and therefore was a defensive action, compatible with just war theory.

See what the Catechism and St. Thomas Aquinas say on this.

There are many books to consider, but one I am reading now, and very worth the read, is God's Battalions, by Rodney Stark (The Case for the Crusades). I think you could find the answers you are looking for there; find it on Amazon.


Bob Kirby

Mike replied:


The issue of the Crusades comes up on a semi-frequent basis and how the Church addresses this can be found in our searchable knowledge base:

There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

I searched the knowledge base for you and found these previous AskACatholic web postings that may help, in addition to some web pages from Catholic Answers at the end.

I hope this helps,


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