Term Paper

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Final History Paper
The Lay Investiture Conflict In the mid-11th Century, the was the Lay Investiture Conflict, which was a struggle between Pope Gregory VII and King Henry IV over who had authority to name and invest the bishops of the kingdom. The Pope believed that the naming and investing of bishops, lay investiture, should be a church matter, while King Henry believes in the traditional social order which is that the lords and kings have the right to appoint bishops in the lands they control and rule. The first main argument King Henry brings up in his letter is about keeping the traditional social order the way it is. King Henry’s main focus is to make the social order remain as it’s been in the past, which allows him as a king to keep the power to appoint bishops in his territory. The first reason for this is because it has been a Royal Family tradition for years and he doesn’t want to lose that power. With King Henry able to pick the bishops in his land, he can pick guys that he knows well and can trust which will lead to the kingdom running more smoothly and unified. Another point Henry bring up is how insulted he was that the Pope suspended the bishops he appointed when the king, according to lay investiture, had the right to do. Finally the Pope is accused by King Henry of teaching heterodoxy, not conforming with accepted or orthodox standards or beliefs, by trying to make reforms to the traditional social order. The King then quotes the bible, “If anyone, either I or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” [Galatians 1:18]. This is saying that the Pope is not a man of God if he doesn’t conform to the accepted views of lay investiture, because that’s against Gods will. The King had to choose his words carefully because he had to show that he is a humble man of God, as well as to not look like he was attacking the Pope. King Henry mentions in his letter how he is a religious man of God. Henry defends his authority to rule over the German church since it is on the land that he is the King and made a point that he is an appointed sovereign by God and is worthy of religious responsibilities. He also was sanctified by a ceremony when he was anointed which means he can rule the clergy because he is religious. King Henry says that the Pope is abusive and power hungry and the people put up with it to preserve honor of Apostle See. The King also says the kingdom was at peace until the Pope started the conflict, which started the rebellion of the kingdom. King Henry quotes Saint Peter by saying, “Fear God, honor the king,” [1 Peter 2:17] which explains that since the Pope dishonored the king, he doesn’t fear God, which meant he ordained God. The King brings up these arguments to show how religious and worthy he is to appoint the bishops since he is a man of God and it shows how the Pope is a corrupted, power hungry man. King Henry points out acts by the Pope that make the Pope seem corrupted and power hungry. The King claims the Pope believes everyone else knows nothing and he knows everything, which is what King Henry explains with a prophecy from a previous Pope, “From the abundance of his subjects, the mind of the prelate is often exalted, and he thinks he as more knowledge than anyone else, since he sees that he has more power than everyone else.” This prophecy shows that the Pope is bound for using his power for destruction since the prophecy states exactly how the Pope acts. The Pope tries to take away the kinds kingship which isn’t the Popes authority at all, and Henry points out that the Pope thinks of himself as God since God gave Henry the kingship and Pope Gregory wants to take it away. Pope Gregory’s main focus is to show that he is more powerful in the kingdom than the King because of the religious power the Pope holds. Pope Gregory’s main focus point in his letter was to assert his supremacy