Medieval scandals can be defined as the issues that arose during the middle ages, i.e., from the beginning of the 5th century toward the end of the 15th century in Europe (Barber 42). The scandals investigate European politics and their way of lives, such as the persecution of Templars, who later emerged as the model of church nobility, the fourth campaign, and Pope Joan and Heloise (Barber 45). The scandals can be well understood through carefull examination of the role played by Bernard of Clairvaux.
As a patron of Templars, Bernard was a reformer of the Cistercian order, which he joined after his mother passed on. He became prominent in the 12th century, when, he began by restoring Jerusalem to Christian (Barber 47). He found a monastery that he named Claire Vallee that developed into Clairvaux. He concentrated on praying, and he discovered the highlights of Knights Templar. Bernard was selected on 13th February to pass a judgment on two rivals who were opposing the pope in Estampe.
When “Christians were defeated at the siege of Edessa, he was instructed by the king to preach about the second crusade” (Barber 48). He attributed the defeat as God’s punishment. Together with other crusaders, they advocated social change, simpler liturgy, monks to engage in manual labors.
It is important to indicate that his life was made difficult by the failure of the supporters, which made him take the responsibility himself. It is critical to indicate that Knight Templars were rich and influential members of the Western Christian military orders who mainly concentrated on Christian finance.
As aforementioned, Bernard was entrusted with many responsibilities, which he focused on until his death. Among the responsibility was leading Templars because he was its patron. He helped to restore order of the Knights Templars (Barber 50). When Pope Honorius died, there was a division whereby, Innocent II was supported by the majority and the minority group elected their own.
During the council of bishops meeting, Bernard attended, which made Innocent II be recognized by the council. It is important to point out that “through Bernard most of the division were completed healed” (Barber 52). For example, the demise of Anacletus in 1138 led to peace due to the fact that his followers were won by Bernard. Notably, he rejected five offers that were given to him with the aim of “preaching to his own monks where his sermons regarding the Song of Songs emerged as one of famous preaching” (Barber 59)
The Templars were favored by many people because of their influence. They were associated with crusades that were fighting for the holy land. Mistrust developed after people realized that the movement had a secret initiation ceremony. This made some of its followers arrested, persecuted, and forced to confess falsely (Barber 62). After giving wrong testimony, the arrested members were killed. Being the most fluent and influential leader, he encountered one of the known medieval scandals from Peter Abeland.
It is apparent that Peter was a greater scholar compared with Bernard (Barber 65). They conflicted because both had different views regarding current religious thoughts. Whereas Bernard advocated the traditional authority as an assurance, Peter proposed new reasoning that are advocated by Anselm and the freedom of human reasoning (Barber 66). It is worth noting that Peter’s ideas made him be denounced heretic to both Bernard and the perception of the Holy Being.
According to the Cistercians, only Bernard and St. Theory could solve the problem. The two promised to withdraw what was contrary to their teachings, but stay bold. During the council at Sen, Bernard was reluctant to attend (Barber 67). During the meeting, Peter listened to the accusations and declined to defend himself for the reason that he felt that the bishops had solid charges against him. The bishops silenced Peter who was getting older.
Another reason for suspicion of Templars was their decline with regard to military strength, leading to dwindling of its support. Furthermore, the charges, such as financial misappropriation, fraud, secrecy, and forcing people to participate in idol worshipping have made them inferior (Barber 69).
Although Bernard, its patron is disapproved of his uncompromising attitude, he was afraid of Peter, who exposed his life to danger. He argued that attempting to reduce Christian faith using human reasoning is equal to denial of the existence of Christianity. The conflict between him and Peter increased suspicion
Templars attracted so much suspicion. First, in the praise of the new Knighthood, Bernard uses a letter as an opening to break down the European myth of military society explaining how the knights have been arrogant and faithless(Barber 70). The details about the knights were correct because he was French and understood their holy lives.
However, Bernard did not give up, but continued to humiliate the knights of Christendom. According to Bernard, the Templars were exemplified by virtues that rejected the vices of the age and fought a spiritual war. In addition, they were expected to fight God and not for themselves (Barber 73).
There was suspicion on Templars because they were positioned at the advance guard of the church that was willing to join forces that were fighting the crusades and lead them (Barber 75). Bernard was placed the clerics to organize the movement’s armies. This made many in Jerusalem start doubting the Templars. Despite the fact that Bernard’s aim of church military seemed to have no basis, he was applying the existing medieval theology that helped him to make a logical conclusion.
For example, it is evident that for many years, peace and truce of God movement had compelled knights to take oaths using holy artifacts to reduce the rate of destruction and convert the indiscriminate violence into Christianity (Barber 82). Another factor that made Templars attract suspicion was St. Gregory’s intention of making St. Peter’s, military to offer services to the church and its policies.
Moreover, after the launching of the first crusade, Pope urban II promised salvation to the knights in return for fighting violently to safeguard the holiness. These progresses were seen as attempts by the church to exploit the knights to become implementers of church guiding principles.
Their engagement in indecent kissing, forcing members to spit on the cross, and denying the existence of Christ has raised many questions (Barber 85). Questions in relation to the basis of their actions have made many lack confidence in Templars organization.
This is for the reason that, many of its actions were associated with devil worship. Finally, Templars are associated with legends that concern undisclosed mysteries that are passed on from one generation to another (Barber 88). Many artifacts that are connected with the Templars and legends make many people across the world lack confidence in them.
In conclusion, Templars were among the wealthy people in western Christian. Their patron, Bernard was a significant, influential, and respected figure in the 12th century. He dictated their mode of dressing and how they were to conduct themselves. However, their secrecy and initiation ceremonies made many people doubt them.
Barber, M. “Bernard of Clairvaux.” In praise, the trial of the Templars. Ed.
Malcom, B. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 40-99. Print.