Clashes Between Monarch and Papal Authority Essay

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Medieval secular and papal rulers often crossed paths. Through the many clashes between monarch and papal authority, an overreaching struggle between ecclesiastical and secular powers is present. In fact, not since the earliest days of Christianity had the pope been a mere religious ruler. Some historians, such as Klaus Schatz and Brian Tierney, argue that the primacy of papal authority, when the papacy actively began extending its influence, is relegated to a specific era from 1050 to 1300. Gregory VII, Innocent III, Innocent IV, and Boniface VIII played important roles in promulgating the power of the papacy in many ways as well as the so-called lesser churches of Rome. Gregory VII created the active basis of this movement and subsequent …show more content…

Gregory writes to the Duke Rudolf of Swabia in 1073, “…the empire and the priesthood should be bound in harmonious union…and… ought to be pure and free from all deceit…”# Despite or even because of Gregory VII willingness to forgive Henry IV, Henry IV continued to do as he saw fit for his country. Henry IV went so far as to deprive “the pope of all authority, both legal and moral, to pass judgment.”# This breach in Concordia put Gregory VII and Henry IV in direct conflict with one another. Reorganization of the administrative and legal duties of the pontificate took place in the thirteenth century. Innocent III (1198-1216) facilitated the move to a more concrete legal system within the church thereby gaining authority for the papal office. According to Cruz and Gerberding, Pope Innocent III began to publish formal law books…[and] as the papal administration became more complex and legalistic, canon law writers developed a theory called papal monarchy (which Klaus Schatz called papal primacy in his book), describing the Roman Church as the “monarchum omnium ecclesiarum,” the mother of all churches#

Innocent III maneuverings resulted in a proliferation in court cases being heard by ecclesiastical courts rather than in lay courts. Under Innocent III, “…legal disputes came directly to the pope, in conjunction with his cardinals and with lawyers, resolved points of law, settled appeals, and issued written decisions.”#

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