da_zeb said:You'd do well to follow your advice and read some history. The Papal States at their maximum extend comprised perhaps a fifth of the area of modern Italy, so they were never a major military power.
Venice was even less and they ran succesful military campaigns against vast empires. Remember, Italy was far from an impoverished agricultural feud.
The Papacy's main concern wasn't ruling Europe but maintaining it's independence and defending its prerogatives from various kings and emperors who were continually trying to usurp it.
No Emperor ever tried to usurp Papal spiritual power. It was always other way round, Pope tried to usurp temporal power. No King ever wanted himself to control religious affairs. They only sought Pope's political subjugation.
Popes invested themselves deeply into political affairs of even the remote parts of Europe, such as was England back then.
Pope Innocent III directly interfered into English affairs, putting an anathema onto Magna Carta and those who signed it.
This [Magna Carta] has been forced from the King. It constitutes an insult to the Holy See, a serious weakening of the royal power, a disgrace to the English nation, a danger to all Christendom, since this civil war obstructs the crusade. Therefore?we condemn the charter and forbid the King to keep it, or the barons and their supporters to make him do so, on pain of excommunication.
In temporal terms, the power differential was always in favour of the secular rulers - think of the Babylon Captivity when the Papacy was moved to Avignon and dominated by the French Kings for seventy years.
Yes indeed, by that time, Papal power was greatly diminishing, but not completely.
The Papacy's power has alway been spiritual and moral.
Considering Papal State was an actual state, no, it's power was temporal too.
It could never win a war
Wars between Popes and Emperors, were numerous, direct, long lasting, bitter and no less brutal. Pope invested himself in these wars both directly, with Papal armies, and with his favorite method - using other people to do it for him, such as the cities nominally under Imperial control but de facto independent and rebellious, known as Guelph Cities. These cities were merchant cities - prosperous and advanced and posed constant obstacle to Imperial rule in Italy.
Inspire the Crusaders
While Pope indeed inspired initial crusades, particularly first one, the latter crusades pretty much relied upon enthusiasm, wealth and good organization of skilled and rich temporal rulers, such as German Emperors, English and French kings etc, who often underwent such campaigns out of pure enthusiasm, with little prospect of any gain. Pope provided no more than blessings.
build alliances of Christian states against the Turks
Pope built 0 (zero) alliances against Turks. Pope was endlessly concerned with faith of Eastern Christians after Ottomans were defeated and never initiated anything before prior written pledge of Byzantines that they will unite with Pope afterwards. Ultimately, Pope's calculation was that it was better for Eastern Christians to be wiped out altogether than to remain separated.
Guess who did organize real pan-Christian fight against Ottomans tho ? Holy Roman Emperor !
Yes, he formed a league of Christian nations (both Catholic and Orthodox). The knights of these orders were also Orthodox Christian and they actively, fiercely and ruthlessly fought Ottomans.