In the course of the thirteenth century, the crusade movement underwent significant changes. Its focus expanded beyond military expeditions against the Muslims as it came increasingly to be employed for political purposes and in defense of the faith. Increasingly, leadership of major crusading expeditions was under the control of secular rulers. Frederick II and Louis IX, though often contrasted, shared a common view of their role as leaders of the crusade. The role of the papacy, which through the early part of the century was central, became more marginal. While the religious ties of the crusade remained and may have moved even more to the fore, papal leadership became increasingly symbolic. By the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century, continuing adversity undermined efforts to maintain papal leadership.
This article focuses on the years immediately following the introduction of the bull Unigenitus (1713), which condemned 101 propositions extracted from Quesnel's Réflexions morales. At that time, ultramontanist principles were gaining more and more strength at the Theology Faculty of Louvain. On 8 July 1715, the Faculty accepted and submitted itself to Unigenitus for the first time. The Faculty again accepted the bull in 1718 and 1719. The origins of these declarations of obedience to the Holy See are the focus of study here. The research presented highlights the intricacies and the high public profile of academic and ecclesiastical politics in the confessional age.