You’ll recall that Pope Gregory I greatly expands the papacy’s political power by acting politically independently of the secular authorities.
You’ll also recall that Pope Leo III exerts political authority over Charlemagne by crowning him emperor.
These are both instances of the religious/spiritual authority of the Roman Catholic Church becoming more politically oriented.
While some figures, such as Popes Gregory I and Gelasius I, advocated what we would call the separation of church and state, both the religious and secular authorities wielded so much general power, that they unavoidably stepped on each other’s toes.
Since the Church was so important to the lives of the common people, it could often wield political power through the religion.
The Church’s canon law covered a lot of daily, moral, and religious life.
King rebelling against the Church and the pope? Just excommunicate him, i.e. banish him from the Church.
Since salvation came through the Church and dogma said that whatever the pope bound or loosed on earth was also bound or loosed in heaven, exiling someone from the faith meant they were damned for eternity.
Were also shunned by the community.
Meant to be medicinal and compel the person to repent (get back into line) and rejoin the Church.
So, if you remember Charlemagne (and you should), he was crowned emperor by Pope Leo III. His empire later becomes known as the Holy Roman Empire and the imperial title becomes much more German than French.
Otto I, seen here, is the first real Holy Roman Emperor and the HRE exists in various forms until 1802.
Oddly enough, John quickly organizes tries to organize an alliance to attack Otto because he feared Otto’s power.
Otto deposes John and puts Leo VIII on the papal throne; John comes back and violently reclaims the papacy (those who revolted against him were excommunicated; one was scourged, one lost his hand, one lost his nose and ears), and then John dies before Otto can get back to Rome.
The HREmperor at the time of the controversy, Henry IV, didn’t like Pope Gregory VII (a very good and morally upright pope) banning lay investiture.
So, Henry IV sends a letter to Greg VII informing him he’s no longer pope. It nicely ended with, “I, Henry, king by the grace of God, with all of my Bishops, say to you, come down, come down, and be damned throughout the ages.”
Greg VII naturally responded with excommunicating Henry IV.
Henry IV now had a little problem. Many of his German nobles didn’t like him and they seized this opportunity to depose him and break away from the empire by siding with the pope. Theirs was a political move, not religious.
Gregory VII won the battle but lost the war. Henry IV proceeded to punish those German princes who had opposed him. He then redeposed Gregory VII (and GVII re-excommunicated Henry), but Henry was now too powerful for Gregory.
Gregory fled Rome and Henry put Pope Clement III on the papal throne.
Henry IV wasn’t being presumptuous when he tried to depose the pope. He thought it was his right. Since the emperor decided who was to be pope, he could decide who could be pope no longer.
Otto I did it, and Henry IV’s father, Henry III, deposed three different popes.
SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!! IT’S POPE GREGORY VII EMPEROR HENRY IV VS IN A WINNER-TAKES-ALL CAGE MATCH!!! BE THERE! BE THERE!