[quote=alfredo]Whether or not you consider the context of the Fourth Crusade, it looks to me like the killing of Orthodox priests, the rape of Orthodox nuns … would not be justified - even when placed in “context”.
You obviously don’t seem to be reading the responses posted, and just seem to be interested in constantly re-posting the most scandalous stuff you can find to tar the crusades with.
For the umpteenth time. The Pope of the time condemned the 4th crusade and excommunicated its leaders! Saying odd bits of the plunder ended up in a few western churches doesn’t alter this. Some real history from the Protestant historian Schaff:
The crusading forces mustered at Venice. The fleet was ready, but the Crusaders were short of funds, and able to pay only 50,000 marks of the stipulated sum.
Dandolo took advantage of these straits to advance the selfish aims of Venice, and proposed, as an equivalent for the balance of the passage money, that the Crusaders aid in capturing Zara. The offer was accepted. Zara, the capital of Dalmatia and the chief market on the eastern coast of the Adriatic, belonged to the Christian king of Hungary. Its predatory attacks upon Venetian vessels formed the pretext for its reduction. The threat of papal excommunication, presented by the papal legate, did not check the preparations…
Zara was taken Nov. 24, 1202, given over to plunder, and razed to the ground. No wonder Innocent wrote that Satan had been the instigator of this destructive raid upon a Christian people and excommunicated the participants in it.
the Crusade was now to be directed against Constantinople. The rightful emperor, Isaac Angelus, was languishing in prison with his eyes put out by the hand of the usurper, Alexius III. Greek messengers appeared at Zara to appeal to Dandolo and the Crusaders to take up Isaac’s cause.
As a compensation, Alexius made the tempting offer of 200,000 marks silver, the maintenance for a year of an army of 10,000 against the Mohammedans, and of 500 knights for life as a guard for the Holy Land, and the submission of the Eastern Church to the pope. The doge fell in at once with the proposition, but it was met by strong voices of dissent in the ranks of the Crusaders. Innocent’s threat of continued excommunication, if the expedition was turned against Constantinople, was ignored. A few of the Crusaders, like Simon de Montfort, refused to be used for private ends and withdrew from the expedition.
Before reaching Corfu, the fleet was joined by Alexius in person. By the end of June, 1203, it had passed through the Dardanelles and was anchored opposite the Golden Horn. After prayers and exhortations by the bishops and clergy, the Galata tower was taken. Alexius III. fled, and Isaac was restored to the throne…
The confusion within the palace and the failure to pay the promised reward were a sufficient excuse for the invaders to assault the city, which fell April 12, 1204. Unrestrained pillage and riot followed…
Innocent III., writing of the conquest of the city, says: —
“You have spared nothing that is sacred, neither age nor sex. You have given yourselves up to prostitution, to adultery, and to debauchery in the face of all the world. You have glutted your guilty passions, not only on married women, but upon women and virgins dedicated to the Saviour. You have not been content with the imperial treasures and the goods of rich and poor, but you have seized even the wealth of the Church and what belongs to it. You have pillaged the silver tables of the altars, you have broken into the sacristies and stolen the vessels.”