Wednesday, March 21, 2007

One Hundred Sixty-second Pope: Callixtus II - 0 comments

Callixtus II is very important in this point in history, mainly because he eased the political tensions between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire. I haven't gotten into details about this much, but it would serve us well to take a brief overview.

The focus of the struggle revolves around the Investiture Controversy, which basically was about who has the power to appoint church officials.* Before say, the middle of the 11th century, the Pope shared this power with the Holy Roman Empire; but Gregory VII tried to pull that permission back to Rome. This weakened the HRE's hold over its people, which you'll remember at this point consists of a big chunk of Europe, most of it in modern-day Germany. It caused no end of trouble to both sides for about fifty years, until Callixtus II managed to settle it with HRE Henry V at the Concordat of Worms. He managed a fairly peacful term after that, dying in 1124.

Now, the Concordat doesn't fix their problems for good; afterall, the papacy and the HRE have been inextricably intertwined ever since Pope Leo III and Charlemagne set up the Empire. A King of the Christians to wield political power, and the Pope in Rome to wield religious power . . . it seemed like such a good idea back in 800AD.

*Interestingly, this is exactly the same approach that China is taking right now, in 2007, to assert its power over the Catholic Church - consecrating bishops without papal approval.


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