Church vs. State : A Political Dilemma Considerations Of Key Developments Leading To And Aspects Of The Significant Clash Between Pope Gregory VII And Emperor Henry IV

Ohara, Patricia
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Charlemagne’s empire began to disintegrate in the tenth century. The influx of norsemen, Magyars, and Saracens resulted in the “re-barbarization” of Europe. The Church can be blamed for sharing in the decay of the political and moral values within the empire. When feudalism emerged in parts of Germany as a reaction to the chaos, the Church fell under the immediate sway of the more powerful local nobles and monarchs. A reforming tendency within the Church was first manifested in the monastic movement in France by Cluny. This had a definite bearing on European politics when, after the crisis of the papacy had resulted in the synod of Sutri in 1046, a series of reform-seeking popes began culminating (or so many historians believe) in the pontificate of Gregory VII. His primary goal was to emancipate the Church from lay domination.
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