Innocent III commenced his pontificate with
a call to crusade, but what followed was very different from the
events he envisioned. click here for more on Innocent III
His troops were diverted to Constantinople
by Venetian paymasters (who controlled the world of commerce), and
there they deviated from the master plan by sacking the city.
Baldwin of Flanders was installed as the first Latin emperor,
further frustrating Innocent III's objective of unifying the two
major branches of the church - east and west.
who traded with merchants in the Levant, had now installed their
own patriarch as the head of the eastern church and managed to sack
the cathedral staff before all was said and done.
Innocent's great scheme had been turned on its head, but
nevertheless, his decree that the church had an obligation to take
property from infidels laid the groundwork for his successor, the
great 'lawyer pope' Innocent IV, who would ascend to the seat of
Peter fifty years later.