People from every class of society from across the whole of Latin (i.e. Catholic) European Christendom went on crusade, or helped to finance the crusaders. As the crusade was a pilgrimage, many non-fighters joined the crusades in the twelfth century to gain the 'crusade indulgence' of forgiveness of sins, even when they could not join in the fighting. These non-combatants were a serious drain on resources and in the early thirteenth century, Pope Innocent III took steps to encourage non-combatants to stay at home. They could still 'take the cross', but instead of going on crusade themselves they should pay a sum of money. This money would be used to help finance a warrior to go on crusade. In return for their payment, the donor received the same 'crusade indulgence' as if they had actually gone on crusade. These indulgences were very popular throughout the Middle Ages, as they were a way for all classes of society to contribute towards the crusade and to benefit spiritually from the crusade.

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