[Pope Innocent III in point of fact DID forgive the actual Frankish crusaders before they even got to Constantinople- those who actually attacked Zara (Zadr) under contract to the Venetian merchants. He only left in place the excommunications against the Venetians traders. (The History of the Byzantine Empire- A.A. Vasiliev, Vol.II, pages 456-482). As to punishing anyone for the sacking of the City, he did nothing but protest that they did not go take Alexandria first and then Jerusalem as planned.]
Exactly! If the crusaders were excommunicated prior to the sack of Constantinople as Carpo-Ruysn claims, then perhaps he can answer the following three questions for me -
1) Why did they still have Roman Catholic priests still with them who not only served Mass for them but gave them Absolution and Communion just prior to the beginning of the carnage?
2) Why did the Vatican and the Pope continue to accept bounty that it knew was stolen and looted for as period OF SIXTY YEARS?
3) Why did the Pope take advantage of an illegal act of some of his so called excommunicated subjects by setting up a Latin Patriarchate?
Inquiring minds would like to know.
Excerpt From 'The Sack Of Constantinople by Nicholas Cooke -
AFTER RECEIVING ABSOLUTION, the Crusaders attacked. Constantinople fell after three days of the final, furious attack by land and by sea. Once inside the walls, the Crusaders began an orgy of carnage, brutality and vandalism not seen in Europe since the barbarians invaded seven centuries earlier. No one was spared: not bishop, priest, nun, man, woman or child. Few women escaped being violated, whether at home, in the street, or in the convent. Fires were started throughout the city. The butchery ended only when the Crusaders were so tired that they no longer could lift their swords. Then began looting and profanation on a scale unparalleled in history. A mob rushed into Santa Sophia. With the Image of the Pantacrator looking down upon them from the great dome, they broke up the altar for its gold content, smashed the icons, threw the Holy Gifts to the floor, seized the church vessels for their Jewels, and tore mosaics and tapestries from the walls. Horses and mules were brought into the church the better to carry off the sacred vessels, gold, silver, and whatever else they could gather. Drunken soldiers drank from chalices and ate from patens while riding asses draped with priestly vestments. A mocking prostitute was placed on the Patriarch's chair to dance and sing obscene songs. This pattern of pilferage and desecration was repeated in churches, monasteries and palaces throughout the city. The tombs of the emperors were rifled, and all of the classical statues and monuments which had survived from ancient Greece and imperial Rome were destroyed. One writer wrote that never in history had so much beauty, so much superb craftsmanship been so wantonly destroyed in so short a space of time. What was not carried off was burned, smashed, melted down for its precious metal content, or stripped for its jewels.
After the killing, after the city had been subdued, there began a slow and steady removal of treasures out of the Orthodox temples and into the cathedrals, churches, monasteries, convents, cities and towns of Latin Europe. Some of these items had been venerated, cherished, and protected for centuries, others for a millennium. Now they were being carted away from over a hundred and fifty churches: altars, altar screens, tabernacles, antimins, icons, icon frames,
processional, pectoral and altar crosses, gold and silver chains, panagias, mitres, croziers, chalices, patens, star covers and spears, Gospels, Epistle books, ladles, church plate, censers, votive lights, relics, candelabra, epitaphia, fans, reliquaries, vestments, banners, manuscripts, miniatures, ivories, carvings, mosaics, thrones, tapestries, furniture and architectural items. Cartloads of gold and silver from Santa Sophia found their way into the Vatican treasury.
Constantinople had become the gold mine which supplied Latin Christendom.
The wealth was so great that the looting continued for sixty years.
3) Fixed paragraphs to look pretty