Owensgate: As Ecosse1314 has already accurately conveyed to you, the Roman Catholic Church DOES NOT make the Virgin Mary equal to Christ, her son. There is no ambiguity here at all if you bothered to read Catholic dogma. The Catholic Church honors Mary, asserts that she is the only human being born without original sin, but she is still “only” human and in no way is she, in Catholic dogma, equal to Jesus. Roman Catholic dogma calls for the worship of only God in Trinitarian form. Mary and other saints are venerated, honored, etc., but in no way are they worshipped or placed on the same level with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is something so many Protestants have gotten dead wrong over the centuries.
If you wish to disagree with Catholic doctrine, that is your right, but you should at least get Catholic dogma down correctly before disagreeing with it.
More: “Could it not be true that the Vatican needed a physical enemy to fight, in order to plunder the Middle East and amass a fortune at the Vatican?”
The short answer to this is “No.” The longer answer is that when Pope Urban II (1088-1099) in 1095 called for the First Crusade when in Clermont, France he did so primarily to retake Jerusalem from an extra nasty bunch of Muslims, i.e., the recently arrived Turks in the Middle East, secondarily to direct Western European Christians from fighting each other in interminable wars and focus their attention on a common enemy, in this case infidel Muslims, and thirdly to comply with a request from the Byzantine Emperor, Alexius Comnenus (1081-1018), for help from the West since the Byzantine Empire was in a very compromised position from the Battle of Manzikert (1071) onward. Yes, some Crusaders were mostly interested in loot and the Fourth Crusade of the early 13th century can hardly be defended, but none of this had to do with any kind of Vatican directives.
Really, owensgate, I think you mean well, and we certainly share an antipathy to Islam, but accuracy is key in any assessment of the past, which so influences the present and future history. I think a little more study is needed on your part. Give it a shot.
BTW, as many know here at JW, I am not religious in the least. I am an agnostic and my approach to a possible higher power is purely a philosophical approach and not a religious one, but fair is fair and your characterization of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church is, to put it mildly, way off the mark. Again, reconsider.