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What is lay investiture and why did it create conflict

The investiture controversy can also be called as the lay investiture controversy. It was the most significant battle between nonspiritual and religious powers which occurred in medieval Europe(Eichbauer p.34). The conflict began in the 11th century, and those who involved were, the Holy Roman Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. The primary cause of the war was who was to control the appointments of the bishops (investiture). The controversy lasted for many years of bitterness and civil wars in Germany(Falkeid p.67).

In the year 1073, Gregory VII who was a reformist monk was chosen to serve as a pope. This is the time the conflict began between the emperor and the elected pope by then. The top official of the Germany clergy became against Gregory who was chosen as a pope. King Henry professed that Gregory was no longer pope and the Romans were supposed to elect another pope(Falkeid p.67). When Gregory heard this information he took a step and terminated Henry IV, he announced that Henry IV was no longer an Emperor and pardoned Henry IV’s subjects from the oaths they had vowed to him. The termination of the king created the different impression to both German and Italy(Eichbauer 34). According to the report thirty years before, Henry III had overthrown popes which Henry IV tried to copy, but he ever prospered since he never acquired enough support from the people. Emperor Henry IV was opposed to the ban vehemently because it would mean the loss of power as well as a considerable decrease in financial gains. The long-lasting order would be altered, which could not but upset the government. According to my view would support the Pope’s position on this matter. Traditional religious dogmas renounce such an issue as bribery. Since this contrary practice was allowed under the Lay Investiture, the only plausible way of avoiding it was not letting emperors and kings appoint bishops(Falkeid p.67). I do not agree with Henry IV because his methods of the inauguration, as well as the approaches of his predecessors, were not righteous.

The conflict between Thomas becket and king Henry II

Thomas Becket acted as archbishop of the Canterbury who worked independently with a lot of figure. During this time king henry II was in power, the king wanted to restore the royalty, culture and customs of his generation like King Henry I. Like any other leader, Henry II wanted to expand his administration over the church and reduce its function. This created conflict between the king and Thomas becket which revolved around the constitution of the Clarendon, a document that was condemned by the pope. The conflict made Thomas becket to flee to England where he went to seek a refugee specifically in France. There in the exile, he stayed for six years, during this period king henry II tried to restore peace. Becket returned to Canterbury. However, king henry II defaulted on his vows that he made during the festival and on reaction, becket brought a number of agreements on royal dignities and the clergymen. Some tycoons sought to look for the king‘s favour who proceeded to Canterbury cathedral in order to challenge becket. Some officials claimed that they wanted to scare Becket and arrest him, Or rather to murder him. After the rise of the argument the barons killed Becket on the step of the altar in Canterbury cathedral to oppose him. The king voiced regretful for the assassination, but he never took any accomplishment to capture the becket’ killers. My view I agree with the decision of the king Henry II because the religion is not separate from the affairs of the government. Instead, they should liaise, but a king should have more power than the any other leader from church

Work cited

Eichbauer, Melodie H. “The Bishop with Two Hats: Reconciling Episcopal and Military Obligations in Causa 23 of Gratian’s Decretum.” Civilians and Warfare in World

History, Routledge, 2017, pp. 130–150.

Falkeid, Unn. The Avignon Papacy Contested: An Intellectual History from Dante to Catherine of Siena. Vol. 21, Harvard University Press, 2017.



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