Daily CATHOLIC - January 6, 1998    volume 9, no. 4



     Probably no pontiff in the history of the Popes accomplished more in the shortest time. Pope Gregory VIII was only Pope for less than three months, but in this short span of time he was able to bring stability to the papacy, reconcile with the powerful German king and emperor Frederick Barbarossa convincing him to lead the Third Crusade in the aftermath of the disaster of Jerusalem. While Gregory VIIIís legacy is for launching the Third Crusade, he was first and foremost a peacemaker whose philosophy was that the only way to defeat the Saracen threat in the Mid East was through a unified Christian world. Therefore, everywhere he sought reconciliation and peace among European nations, princes, dukedoms and kings. He was hailed by many as the man who could deal with Frederick with honey rather than vinegar. It was the beginning of restoring the Holy See to prominence that would come into focus in the ensuing centuries. This holy manís short tenure marked a definite end to the dark ages and memories of popes whose agenda was not in accord with Godís Will. The Christian world rallied behind him and mourned greatly at his unexpected death in Pisa on December 11, 1187.

Pope Gregory VIIII: The start of reconciliation and restoration

Installment Fifty-two