Popes in history

Leo III crowned Charlemagne king of the Franks. Later there was the “Investiture controversy”.


And the concord of Worms and an ecumenical council. Were the Popes out of line here? I think the Priests have been Celibate since Gregory VII if I am correct. I am not sure why that changed. Does anyone know much about this stuff?


What makes you think the Popes were out of line?

Benedicat Deus,

I don’t know that they were. But they were different back then than now. More powerful maybe. Controversies existed then and now. Sounds like your in favor of the old social strata. Ecclesiastics on top then monarchs and the peasantry. They were the easiest to control.

Sorry but I don’t understand your point or question. Can you clarify please?

The secular rulers have always tried to reduce our Holy Mother Church to slavery to the state; and their supporters always vilified the popes who opposed them, accusing them of over-reaching ambition. Imagine if presidents or congresses had the power to appoint bishops!

I’d say as a Catholic and history scholar that kind of works both ways. The church it’s teachings and beliefs from the Investiture controversy and before is what I’m asking about. There was a eccumenical council that mentioned that. The Church being above the secular rulers doesn’t sound like something they would favor but the church would.


I would suggest reading Hilairre Belloc’s book “Europe and the Faith” to understand Europe of the middle ages.

The Roman Empire in the west did not “fall” in the sense that we commonly thing. Due to continual civil wars between armies of Rome (the so called "barbarian invations) the central government from Rome broke down. People throughout Western Europe would have still thought of themselves as part of the Roman civilization, which became increasingly identified with the Church. As Bello said “The Church was Europe, Europe was the Church”. All of the local kings would have thought themselves subservient to the Roman Emporer in the East, but due to the failure of communications, this became more and more an abstraction. The Pope, as the head of the Church, was looked at as the head of Europe. People would not have thought themselves French, or Spaniards, or Gauls, they would have identified themselves based on the local area the lived in or as members of Christendom, which the Pope was the head.
So the crowning of Charlemagne was very much though of as a restoration of the Western Empire and it would have been only natural for the Pope to crown him.

The fact that the Kings and Emporers wanted to invest their own bishops highlights the fact that the separation of the temporal and ecclesiastic was not as well defined a conflict as we have today.

The Barbarians as I remember it would have been more like the Scandinavians and norse. That were sacking and looting Rome. I don’t think the Romans considered them citizens. They I am sure traded with them.


No, that is not correct. The Barbarians were Roman armies. Throughout the first 4 centuries after Caesar, the Romans relied more and more on tribes to make up their armies. The times when real Barbarians actually invaded the frontiers of Rome (more accurately called raids), they were always defeated (often by armies of Rome made up of the same ethnicity who were trying to invade). The Visigoths, Huns, etch so well known to history as the barbarians who invaded Italy, Gaul, Northern Africa would have all thought they were auxiliaries to the Roman army.

I see. Yes it seems I need a refresher. I have heard two opposing stories concerning Lucius Septimus Severius. I heard he help hide some Christians and that he started the Christian persecutions. Totally opposite. Constantine of course if it wasn’t for him the Church might have survived. But would be different than it is today.


Now I would be correct wouldn’t I if I said that Caledonia and Hibernia were “outside” of the Rome. And it’s not much known in history but fwiw, the Romans pulled down all the statues of Jesus that were erected in the Americas.


Yes, Scotland and Ireland were considered outside of Rome. As to the latter part of your post, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Well that last part is not well known. I just mentioned it. I think there might be church issues with it and secular historians might question it to. But Scotland and the Emerald Isle was my point.

I’m a little unclear about which part of all this you think is out of line. You’ve mentioned five things:
*]Pope Leo III crowning Charlemagne as king of the Franks
*]the Investiture controversy
*]the Concordat of Worms
*]an Ecumenical Council, probably Lateran I
*]a change regarding priestly celibacy after Pope Gregory VII
Are you saying the popes were out of line on all of those points? Because I think they can be defended:
*]There was nothing wrong with Pope Leo III crowning Charlemagne
*]The secular rulers had no right to confer the bishopric on laypeople
*]The Concordat of Worms was right to say that secular rulers may not confer the bishopric on laypeople
*]Lateran I had a right to decree that secular rulers may not give away Church property, and that laypeople may not assume the powers of a priest without being ordained by a bishop
*]Priestly celibacy goes back a lot farther than Pope Gregory VII, and he had a right to require priests to be celibate in his Church
Is there any particular one of these you want to focus on?

In what way?

Gee, I spend a lot of time arguing with Orthodox who think the popes are WAY too powerful today!

And you’re saying they were too powerful back then.

Can’t please everybody, I guess.

Sorry, what was the question again?

Hi Bill, priests, men and women have been celibate much longer, the reality is that issues arose because of the the main issue, which if I had to name it I would have to say its temptation. Getting married doesn’t safeguard against it. Imho I think celibacy is an admirable healthy path and virtue and frankly I 100 percent agree with the Church. Its also easier to be celibate than obedient imho. :smiley:

But yes your right there are documented areas such as Pope Gregory and Trent.

Priests are usually celibate. There are married priests in the Catholic Church. These priests would be converts from other faiths (Orthodoxy, Anglicanism) which permit marriage (the Orthodox don’t permit marriage after ordination, but a married man may be ordained.).

In what way?

I don’t think I got an answer to this, How do you think they were out of line?

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