13.4 - The Church Wields Power


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The increase of Church power during the Middle Ages and the conflict over lay investiture.

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13.4 - The Church Wields Power

  1. 1. The Church Wields Power
  2. 2. <ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Know why and how the Church wielded secular/political power. </li></ul><ul><li>Know about the conflict between Emperor Otto I and Pope John XII and how this led to the Holy Roman Emperor exercising authority over the papacy and Church. </li></ul><ul><li>Know what lay investiture is, why nobles like it, and what happens during the Investiture Controversy between Emperor Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. </li></ul><ul><li>How does the Concordat of Worms help settle the lay investiture issue? </li></ul><ul><li>How does Emperor Frederick I help ensure the Germanic state will stay divided? </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t need to know any other names than those mentioned above. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>You’ll recall that Pope Gregory I greatly expands the papacy’s political power by acting politically independently of the secular authorities. </li></ul><ul><li>You’ll also recall that Pope Leo III exerts political authority over Charlemagne by crowning him emperor. </li></ul><ul><li>These are both instances of the religious/spiritual authority of the Roman Catholic Church becoming more politically oriented. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Since the Church was so important to the lives of the common people, it could often wield political power through the religion. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Church’s canon law covered a lot of daily, moral, and religious life. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>King rebelling against the Church and the pope? Just excommunicate him, i.e. banish him from the Church. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Were also shunned by the community. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Meant to be medicinal and compel the person to repent (get back into line) and rejoin the Church. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>If the ole excommunication wasn’t working, the pope could resort to the interdict in which a population wasn’t getting the usual religious rites. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They weren’t banned from the Church like in excommunication, but the populace would be understandably in fear of their souls’ futures. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It put further political pressure on rulers to repent or on a population to repent. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It was sometimes used just as a temporary punishment rather than as a corrective measure. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Otto I, seen here, is the first real Holy Roman Emperor and the HRE exists in various forms until 1802. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Otto, through some clever political maneuvering, marriage, and warring, comes to dominate northern Italy and gains Pope John XII’s favor. </li></ul><ul><li>John XII crowns Otto as HRE and a decree is issued making the HRE the official protector of the independence of the papal states. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Oddly enough, John quickly organizes tries to organize an alliance to attack Otto because he feared Otto’s power. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><ul><li>Otto then deposes the new pope, Benedict V. Otto forces the Romans not to elect a new pope without his consent and so he approves of Pope John XIII. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You can’t make this stuff up, folks. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So this is all a case of the secular authority asserting control over the religious authority, with the emperor putting church officials in place – a case of lay investiture . </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Side-note on Pope John XII </li></ul><ul><li>John XII had a quite a reputation. </li></ul><ul><li>He was put into the papacy when he was around 16-18 through the political maneuvering of his father. </li></ul><ul><li>He was known to be a notorious womanizer (and maybe not just women) and the papal palace was derisively referred to as a brothel (because it may have been one). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are strong rumors that his niece and possibly his mother and sister were among the women. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>He used Church money to pay off gambling debts. </li></ul><ul><li>He died at the age of 24… apparently at the hands of a man who caught John XII in bed with his wife. </li></ul>
  11. 12. John XII – not so holy <ul><li>And he had nothing on Pope Benedict IX (1032-1044, 1045, 1047-1048) – yes, he was pope on three different occasions, the first time he was 12-16. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ben IX engaged in, well… various and creative forms of sexual debauchery. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He also sold the papacy in 1045 for a bunch of gold because he wanted to marry. Later reneged on the deal and came back in 1047. </li></ul></ul>Ben IX – less holy yet
  12. 13. <ul><li>Anyway… the lay investiture issue comes to a head with the Investiture Controversy in 1075. </li></ul><ul><li>The Emperor and other nobles like being able to appoint bishops. Being a bishop could be a wealthy endeavor with a lot of land, so the nobles could make good money by selling the office. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since the literate bishop also played a role in the secular government, the nobles wanted to appoint people who would be loyal to them. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>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.” </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Greg VII naturally responded with excommunicating Henry IV. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>In order to retain his throne, Henry had to back down and grovel before Greg VII so that he could gain time to regroup his forces. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So Henry IV spends three days standing barefoot outside the pope’s residence in Conossa, Italy… in the winter… pleading forgiveness. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This was a political move. He knew the pope would be forced to absolve him and his excommunication. Gregory did just that because his spiritual obligations overrode his political interests. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gregory fled Rome and Henry put Pope Clement III on the papal throne. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Otto I did it, and Henry IV’s father, Henry III, deposed three different popes. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Concordat of Worms </li></ul><ul><li>Reached in 1122 between Pope Calixtus II and HREmperor Henry V </li></ul><ul><li>H5 had continued his father’s feud with the popes, imprisoning one and even setting up a competing pope. </li></ul><ul><li>All of this investiture business, though, was becoming a big distraction and weakening his power so he and Calixtus II came to a compromise. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the Concordat, the pope gets to choose who the bishops will be and give them religious authority. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The emperor gets to grant secular authority and can veto bishop nominations within his realm. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So they both got something they wanted. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>Frederick I (Barbarossa) </li></ul><ul><li>The problem with the Holy Roman Empire is that it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. </li></ul><ul><li>The “empire” consisted of seven German principalities that didn’t always get along with each other or the emperor. </li></ul><ul><li>Fred spent too much time invading Italy instead of getting the empire in shape and under his control. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This was doubly-dumb. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First, it allowed the princes back in Germany to feud and cause disorder. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second, the Italian merchants got fed up with Fred’s raiding and the merchant cities joined against him in the Lombard League. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><ul><li>Fred loses at the Battle of Legnano and makes peace with the pope. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fred eventually dies while fighting the Third Crusade. </li></ul><ul><li>The result, though, is that the weakening of the central authority ensures that the Germanic states remain separate instead of gradually unifying like the feudal states were in France and England. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In fact, they remain independent until around 1817 and don’t form a real nation-state until 1871. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 22. Ok, now give me sassy! There you go! Work it!