Even Pope apologized for Jerusalem . It came late but nevertheless it came.
The Pope talks with Bartholomew I at the Vatican yesterday
By Kate Connolly
The Pope delivered an emotional apology to Orthodox Christians yesterday for the Catholic plundering of Constantinople eight centuries ago, saying it caused him "pain and disgust".
He made his comments during a visit to the Vatican by Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the head of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians.
"In particular, we cannot forget what happened in the month of April 1204," the Pope said, in reference to the sacking of Constantinople by crusaders. "How can we not share, at a distance of eight centuries, the pain and disgust."
The incident, which was part of the Fourth Crusade, was one of the most violent events of the Middle Ages. It contributed to the collapse of the Byzantine Empire three centuries later.
The Pope says sorry 23 Jun 2003
Constantinople - now Istanbul - was the seat of the Roman Empire at the time and revered as a great Christian city. The main aim of the Fourth Crusade, which had the backing of Pope Innocent III, was to conquer Egypt, at that time the centre of Islamic power.
The crusading army sacked wealthy Constantinople in desperation, having built up a huge debt to the Republic of Venice, which had provided it with ships.
Reconciliation with the Orthodox Church has become a focal point of the Pope's 25-year reign and has gained in urgency as his health increasingly fails. The Vatican has long hoped to bring about a meeting between the Pope and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II, who has so far refused to see the Roman Catholic head, accusing Catholic priests of proselytising on Russian soil.
On a visit to Athens in 2001 the Pope asked God's forgiveness for Catholics, who he said had committed sins against Orthodox Christians for 1,000 years. He has also apologised to Muslims for the Crusades.