Albigensian Crusade (1208-1229)
From Encyclopedia of the Medieval World
The matter of heresy in the Catholic Church threatened the unity of Christendom precisely at the time that the pope was calling for an all-out war to reclaim the Holy Lands from the Muslims. Pope Innocent III conceived of the plan to wipe out the Albigensian heresy in the south of France in the early decades of the 13th century. He would call for a crusade.His ultimate goal was to unify Europe under papal authority so that he could marshal its resources into the Byzantine Empire, Muslim Spain, and, most important, the Holy Land. However, the twists and turns in the politics of the Albigensian Crusade (1208–1229) ultimately drained resources from the wars abroad and strengthened the anti-Roman forces in France. In the next centuries the blunder of the Albigensian Crusade would be apparent in the schism of Avignon, where a French pope would oppose a Roman pope.