The Papal Reform Movements

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During the 11th century in Germany, three monks each wrote a chronicle on the events of the papacy, their monastery, and the Holy Roman Emperors during their lives. The three authors, Herman ‘the Lame’ of Reichenau, Berthold of Reichenau, and Bernold of St. Blasien, would write their chronicles by year, or annals, mostly recording the deaths of different bishops and changes in personnel in their monastery. However, their detailed accounts, starting around 1049, would describe important events in the papal reform movements occurring in Germany and Rome during the 11th century. A majority of the early annals during the papal reforms were neutral with the author trying their best to remove their own personal bias. This shifted during the 1060’s …show more content…
This movement was fueled by two theologians and cardinals, Peter Damian and Humbert under the papacy of Pope Leo IX. The two cardinals bitterly argued with each other over the nature and effects of simony, which is the buying and selling of ecclesiastical privileges. Simony was being practiced throughout Europe by kings, for clergymen who pay a king and in return the king would grant them a position as bishop or abbot in their land. This reforming agenda was a threat to kings, especially the Holy Roman Emperor King Henry III who had picked the three previous popes, however this papal reform agenda wasn’t a problem for Henry III. Henry III actually supported Pope Leo IX in his papal reform efforts, using their friendship to make sure that the reforms never affected him. These relations changed when Henry III died, leaving his young child, Henry IV, his heir and Pope Leo IX being replaced with a radical reforming monk named Hildebrand, later known as Pope Gregory VII. It was during this timeframe, when the powers shifted in Germany and Rome that the monks that wrote the chronicles would show their support for the papal reforms and become strong supporters of Gregory

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