Pope Gregory Vii The Papacy Analysis

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Throughout recorded human history there have been two pillars holding back chaos and promoting order in the world; devotion to a God, and loyalty to a crown. Yet in the middle ages a centuries long struggle for power would divide these factions and pit them against each other in a battle for control of Europe’s people. The struggle, though brewing for generations, was pushed to the forefront of European politics by the actions of Pope Gregory VII, who attempted to dispose of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and set an example of papal power. Rome’s political influence reached its peak under the guidance of Pope Innocent III who played Kingmaker and pitted the great armies of Europe against each other with mere declarations of faith. As often happens …show more content…
Much of these changes stemmed from Pope Urban II (1088-1099 AD), one of the first great “lawyer popes” who modernized the bureaucracy of the Church making it more “suited to the needs of a centralized papacy” (Bennett 175). Papal authority reached its peak under the rule of Pope Innocent III, a master diplomat and ruthless leader. By the time of his ascension, taxes from all over Europe poured in to fill his coffers, bishops traveled for weeks simply to submit to him and the idea of papal monarchy seemed a likely reality. Despite all of the Pope’s success one issue would vex him for years before its resolution, the imperial German succession. With the death of Henry IV, the only heir was three year old Frederick, although German princes has selected two other candidates of their own accord, one being Fredericks uncle, Otto of Brunswick. Innocent claimed it as his divine right to decide upon an emperor, choosing Otto after a considerable period of contemplation. After finding Otto to be more hostile than friendly Innocent began backing the growing Frederick who subsequently routed his uncle’s forces and claimed the throne at

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