Although much about the early popes stays shrouded in darkness, scholars agree that the bishops of Rome were selected in the exact same manner as other bishops—that is, elected by the clergy and world of the area (though tbelow is some proof that some of the beforehand bishops attempted to appoint their successors). Elections were not constantly relaxed, however, and rival candidates and also factions frequently motivated imperial intervention; eventually the majesties presided over elections. After the collapse of the Western Empire in 476, the involvement of the Eastern emperor in papal affairs was gradually replaced by that of Germanic rulers and also leading Roguy households. As political instcapacity plagued the old Western Empire in the at an early stage Center Ages, popes were often required to make concessions to tempdental authorities in exadjust for defense. After the death of effective Byzantine regulate of Italy in the 8th century, the papacy appeacaused the brand-new Germanic rulers for assistance, serving as a symbol of imperial glory for them.

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Pope Gregory I (590–604), the initially of the medieval popes and the second pope understood “excellent,” confronted numerous challenges throughout his reign, including pester, famine, and hazards from the Byzantines and the Lombards (a Germanic human being that got into Italy in the 6th century). Although he believed that he was component of a Christian commonwide range headed by the Byzantine emperor, Gregory turned the papacy’s attention to the Germanic peoples that succeeded the Romans as rulers of the Western Realm. In this fashion he opened up up the West to the papacy. Among the many kind of crucial achievements of Gregory’s regime were his initiatives to soptimal the Lombard breakthrough and also to transform the invaders from Arian Christianity to Catholic Christianity; his reorganization of the substantial estates of the papacy; his contribution to the advancement of medieval spirituality; his countless works, such as the Moralia in Job, a moral commentary on The Publication of Job; and his evangelistic mission to England. He also uporganized Leo I’s thesis that, because the papacy inherited the fullness of Peter’s power, tbelow can be no appeal of a judgment by the pope.


Pope Gregory the Great receiving catalyst from the Holy Spirit in the create of a dove, paint by Carlo Saraceni, c. 1590; in the National Gallery of Old Art, Rome.

Despite Gregory’s successful pontificate, the papacy’s instance remained unparticular as Oriental power in Italy receded and the Lombards continued to enhazard Rome’s defense. The case worsened in the 8th century after a brand-new emperor, Leo III, brought back sagging Byzantine fortunes by turning back an Arab assault from the eastern. Leo rearranged the empire and applied new taxation burdens on his Italian topics. He additionally intervened in doctrinal matters by pronouncing, without papal approval, a policy of iconoclasm. The new imperial fiscal and also religious plans and also limited royal assistance against the Lombards drove the papacy to discover a brand-new protector. In 739 Pope Gregory III (731–741) sent out an unsuccessful appeal for assist to the Frankish mayor of the royal residence (the reliable political power in the kingdom), Charles Martel. When the Lombards aobtain threatened Rome, Pope Stephen II (or III; 752–757) fled to the Frankish kingdom and also appearesulted in Pippin III, who in 751 had actually come to be the first Carolingian king of the Franks. In 754 Stephen formally crowned Pippin, and the king marched southern through his army in that year and aacquire in 756 to gain back papal authority in main Italy. The king additionally issued the Docountry of Pippin (756) to establish the Papal States, which sustained until 1870. These occasions most likely likewise influenced the compilation of the Donation of Constantine (later on showed to be a forgery), which asserted that the first Christian emperor, Constantine, granted regulate of the Western Empire to Pope Sylvester I, that had baptized the emperor and also cured him of leprosy. It was later on cited in support of papal clintends of sovereignty in western Europe.

By linking the fate of Romale primacy to the assistance of Pippin and also the Carolingian dynasty, Stephen and his successors obtained an effective protector. Indeed, a council regulating papal elections in 769 decreed that news of the pope’s election was to be transmitted to the Frankish court and also no longer to Constantinople. The Frankish-papal alliance was reinforced when Pope Leo III (795–816), adhering to a duration of chaos in Rome that was ended by Carolingian intervention, crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Romans on Christmas Day, 800. Although the popes obtained a measure of security from this connection, they lost an equal meacertain of self-reliance, because the Carolingians followed in the footmeasures of their Oriental and Romale precursors by asserting substantial regulate over the Frankish church and the papacy itself. On the various other hand, the pope worked out affect in Carolingian affairs by preserving the ideal to crown majesties and also by periodically directly intervening in political disputes.

As Carolingian power waned in the late ninth and the 10th century, the papacy once aobtain uncovered itself at the disposal of effective regional nobles, including the Crescentii household. Competition for control of the papal throne and also its comprehensive network-related of patronage weakened the institution. Unsettled problems in Rome attracted the attention of Otto I, that revived Charlemagne’s empire in 962 and also compelled papal stcapability to legitimate his ascendancy. In keeping through that goal, Otto deposed Pope John XII (955–964) for ethical turpitude. Throughout the late 10th and the 11th century, difficulties in the papal court and also political problems in Italy reinforced the cshed ties between the papacy and also the Germale kings, especially in the situation of Pope Sylvester II (999–1003) and Otto III. Regardless of this alliance, the emperor was regularly absent from Rome, and also regional powers reasserted themselves. At times, the papacy experienced from weakness and corruption. But even in the darkest times of the 10th and also 11th centuries, Rome remained the emphasis of devotion and pilgrimage as the city of Peter and also of the martyrs and saints.

The 11th century was a time of revolutionary adjust in European culture. In 1049 Pope Leo IX (1049–54), joining a wide redevelop initiative that started in the at an early stage 10th century, presented moral and also institutional redevelops at the Council of Reims, therefore initiating the Gregorian Recreate motion (called after its a lot of important leader, Pope Gregory VII <1073–85>). Reformers sshould restore the liberty and freedom of the church and also to firmly differentiate the clergy from all other orders in culture. Emphasizing the clergy’s distinct standing and its awesome obligation for the tfinishing of individual souls, they attempted to put an end to the techniques of simony (the buying or marketing of spiritual offices) and clerical marital relationship. One important measure enforced by Pope Nicholas II (1059–61) was the election decree of 1059, which organized the cardinals right into a papal advisory body and also lassist the foundation for the production of the Sacred College of Cardinals. The brand-new body was vested via the right to name new popes, thus encouraging the self-reliance of papal elections and restricting imperial interference. More recreates emphasized the primacy of Rome and the subordicountry of all clergy and also laity to the pope. Such assertions of papal primacy, yet, worsened tensions between Rome and also Constantinople and also ultimately lugged around the Schism of 1054 between the Romale Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

Another considerable breakthrough brought about by the papal redevelop begun in 1049 was the Investiture Controversy. This struggle between Pope Gregory VII and also King Henry IV of Germany kind of erupted as soon as Henry asserted the long-standing royal best to invest an ecclesiastical office holder with the symbols of power, thereby efficiently preserving control of the selection and direction of bishops and regional clergy. The appropriate order of Christendom was at stake in the debate. The papal position was elucidated in Gregory’s Dictatus Papae (1075), which emphasized the pope’s place as the highest authority in the church. Although Gregory was driven from Rome and also passed away in exile, his ideals eventually dominated, as claims of sacral kingship and also imperial intervention in church affairs were seriously curtailed. Henry passed away under the ban of excommunication, and also among Gregory’s followers, Urban II (1088–99), recovered Rome’s prestige as soon as he launched the First Crusade in 1095.

The 12th century was a duration of development and transformation during which the impetus of Gregorian Reform pertained to a cshed and also the papacy changed to the brand-new realities carried around by the events of the previous century. Traditionally the spiroutine centre of the church, the papacy progressed into an excellent bureaucratic and governmental college. Indeed, the papal court ended up being, in some methods, the highest court of appeals, exercising jurisdiction in a large variety of legal matters and also producing legal machinery of great sophistication. Whereas all roadways as soon as led to Rome for spiroutine consolation, now they also led tright here for the adjudication of legal disputes; not coincidentally, few popes in subsequent generations were noted among the ranks of the saints.

The papacy likewise readjusted to transforming social, spiritual, and also political conditions, some of which were of its own making. The new electdental measures instituted by the Gregorians just partially refixed questions relating to papal succession, and, as a result, the papacy suffered two schisms in the 12th century, the Anacletan and the Alexandrine. The last was led to by renewed tensions between the papacy and also the emperor, Frederick I Barbarossa, that inevitably surrendered to the legitimate pope, Alexander III (1159–81). The Alexandrine schism resulted in the decision of the third Lateran Council (1179) to call for a two-thirds majority vote of the cardinals to elect a pope. The papacy likewise confronted obstacles posed by the initiatives of Italian cities to secure freedom from imperial or episcopal regulate and also by the growth of heresies, particularly those of the Waldenses and also the Albigenses.

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Innocent III (1198–1216) responded via higher fervour to the difficulties challenged by the church. One of the youngest popes to ascend the throne, Innocent, a theologian and lawyer, reinvigorated the institution; as the vicar of Christ, he asserted that the pope stood in between God and humanity. He restored reliable federal government over the Papal States, and in the time of his reign England also, Bulgaria, and also Portugal all became papal fiefs. Innocent increased papal legal authority by claiming jurisdiction over matters relating to sin, and he connected himself in the political affairs of France and the Holy Romale Realm. He dubbed the Fourth Crusade (1202–04), which brought about the sack of Constantinople, and also the Albigensian Crusade, which was intended to finish heresy in southern France, and he apshowed legislation requiring Jews to wear one-of-a-kind clothes. Focutilizing additionally on spiroutine matters, he apverified the orders of St. Francis of Assisi (the Franciscans; 1209) and also St. Dominic (the Dominicans; 1215) and presided over the fourth Lateran Council in 1215, which instituted miscellaneous recreates and also apshowed the usage of the term transubstantiation to define the eucharistic transformation.