At the end of 1082 Henry camped outside Rome with his army, determined to throttle the city with a prolonged siege. As famine struck, Romans’ loyalty to Gregory VII began to waver. Gregory did not help his own cause, as it was clear to all that he was the one preventing a resolution of the crisis. This is from a book 'Rome: A History in Seven Sackings. From the last sentence, does 'did not help his own cause' mean 'did not help his people'? I guess his 'cause' means his people here. Do I understand it right? Or does this mean he didn't say any excuses? Any comments would be appreciated.