The Middle Ages And Reformation Essay

2274 Words Nov 26th, 2016 10 Pages
MIDDLE AGES AND REFORMATION The society of the middle ages was based in a Catholic civilization, though there were tensions between the Church and the emperors. The empire had a huge influence over the Church even in the election of the pope and the bishops. However, a new movement of reform began within the Church that was concretized by Pope Gregory VII. He released a document called Dictatus Papae in which he affirmed among others that the Roman Church was founded by God alone and the Pope was the one in charge of deposing emperors and bishops. This affirmation only helped to prolong the tensions between the pope and the rulers of the time. In terms of freedom, the reform of Gregory VII brought libertas ecclesiae, an idea of religious liberty for the whole Church, not as individual people, but as an institution. Another statement of supremacy of the Church was issued by Boniface VIII in 1302 in his papal bull Unam Sanctam, when he affirmed that there are two swords: the spiritual and the temporal and the temporal must be subjected to the spiritual one. Indeed, as Barry Hudock sees it, “The boundaries of the Church and the empire were coextensive –the Church was a society and the empire existed within it. Baptism provided membership in this singular social body, making a person both a Christian and a citizen.” Thus, in this time the Church kept preeminence over other religions, cults, and sects because of her closeness with the rulers of the time. The union of these two…

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