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Catholic Dictionary

Term

FOURTH CRUSADE

Definition

Considered the most important of the Crusades in terms of lasting results (1202-4). The crusade was preached by Pope Innocent III. Its political effect was to conquer Constantinople, but only at the cost of embittering the Eastern Christians. They mistakenly charged the pope with responsibility for the pillage of churches and massacre of the people by the Venetian-paid crusaders' army.