How Independent YouTube Preachers Resemble Peter The Hermit

Source: Web

Peter the Hermit was a priest and monk who independently went about the streets of Europe riding on a donkey recruiting mostly peasants for the Crusade. He was a brilliant and talented orator whose speeches were grand enough to gather 30-40,000 men and women on his mission across the Bosporus into Turkey. Peters Crusade has become known as the popular yet disastrous “Peoples Crusade”.

It was a Crusade not sanctioned by the Pope. The Popes Crusade is therefore differentiated from it as being labelled “The Princes Crusade” because it was full of nobles the most noble of which being Raymond IV of Toulouse. Peter and his thousands of peasants went ahead of the Popes planned date for departure and acted independently from the Church.

Peter and his followers committed many heinous crimes on their path to Constantinople. Under his command they massacred many Jewish in The Rhineland and tortured them which he participated in. They continued this behaviour for most of their journey into Constantinople. Eventually they crossed the Bosporus into Turkish lands where they were told to wait until further command by the byzantine Emporer Alexios Komenas. Ignoring his instructions, they moved into Turkish lands only to be massacred by the the more disciplined army of the Turks.

Peter survives the skirmishes, but he and what remained with him hung on to the siege of Jerusalem. It makes me wonder who really killed the number of Muslim civilians after they breached the walls in 1099. It was most likely the non sanctioned army of the Peters undisciplined and murderous band of peasants, but that is just my opinion when connecting the sequence of events.

The point I’m making in this blog post is that acting independently from the Church has disastrous consequences. Disobedience to the Pope never ends well for anyone engaged in the act. If history is anything to go by, actions that were either not sanctioned by the Pope or acted independently from the Church never work out or procure happy endings.

In todays Church we have many who, although they be clergy or lay people, act independently from the Pope and the Church, developing their own traditionalist/progressive groups and YouTube Channels. They embark on their own Crusade (often at the hands of a self styled preacher) to rid the Church of its heretics and what they perceive to be parish problems. Like Peter the hermit, they have great oratory skills and a talented presence on the screen.

Similar to the Peoples Crusade, anything in their path (including the Pope) gets called all sorts of names and are unlikely to escape the wrath of the new Peoples Twitter Crusade. Bishop Barron has been one of the figures whom they have hurled abuse towards, with Church militant going as far as to label him a “Cockroach” in the not too distant past.

They hang out the dirty laundry of parish politics with a view to somehow fixing the problem. In fact, by further tainting the image of the Church, they only give the enemy a greater foothold. By not dealing with such non criminal acts behind closed doors, they create a bigger problem, giving the world an excuse not to venture in. And the stick by which they measure their Catholicity becomes an intellectual one where only orthodox dogma determines their relationship with Christ.

What we learn from Peter the Hermit is that he’s far from dead, and the spirit of his disobedience is very much alive today. Every era of the Church has had to endure some sort of version of him with only the weak and easily persuaded peasant minds being followers. Only the true nobles and knights follow the Pope so it’s time to ask yourself, do I want to be part of the peasants crusade, or the Princes Crusade? In this era where both progressives and traditionalists are tainting the image of the Church, we need to sit down and have a serious self examination of our current role in the story of Salvation.



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