- Pope (q.v.) from 1198-1216 whose efforts at church union (q.v.) reached an unforeseen conclusion in the Fourth Crusade's (q.v.) conquest of Constantinople (q.v.). Innocent lost control of the Crusade to the Venetians, who used the Crusade to capture the Christian city of Zara (q.v.) in 1202. For this, the pope excommunicated the Crusaders, including the Venetians. He then lifted the ban on the Crusaders in order to allow them to collaborate with the (still excommunicated) Venetians. Innocent's subsequent wait-and-see attitude seemed to bear fruit when the Fourth Crusade conquered Constantinople in 1204. Thereafter, despite attempts at persuasion and even the forcible inclusion of the Byzantine church within the Latin church, real union of the churches (q.v.) was never achieved.
Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser .
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