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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - The Church.doc

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Kenneth Bartlett

HIS109Y1 - Lecture 6 The Church September 26th/2012 The church was rich in power and authority because of its spiritual connections and its ownership of land. I gained its spiritual power from the belief that you needed the church and its authorities to get you into heaven. - In Europe, there was only one official church, the Roman Catholic (until the protestant reformation). If you were outside this, you were outside society. This included Islamic peoples as well as similar religions like Greek Orthodox. When the HRE collapsed, so did the idea of a centralized sovereignty. Through the Mid- dle Ages, many people fought for the right to rule in the name of sovereignty. In order to claim this power, you used one of these 2 sources: -> by exercising the power of the emperor by extension (lords) -> the power of the church - a forgery document of Monks (750-800) stated that the Emperor Constantine had con- verted to Christianity and had moved the capital of the empire from Constantinople to Rome. The document also gave the authority of the emperor to the Pope. This was false but it was widely believed to be valid. Now many people acted in the name of the em- peror and many in the name of the Pope. This was not disproved until the middle of the 15th century - now the pope believed that he had authority over spiritual matters and over secular matters - this caused tension because the medieval mind wanted ONE leader. - some nobles claimed to be ruling in the name of the pope (and by the ruling of that document the power of the emperor) while others claimed to be ruling in the name of the emperor Guelf: people followed the Pope Ghibelline: followed the Emperor * mnemonic device: pope is shorter than emperor; guelf is shorter than ghibelline 13th century - this division between the church and the emperor caused open warfare - many noble rulers tried to resurrect the title of an emperor, including Charlamay who was crowned as HRE on Christmas day. The pope argued that since he was the one to crown the emperor, he still had the ultimate authority - Popes began to make greater & greater claims of sovereignty; they were able to do this because the HRE was weak and divided - the greatest claim was by Innocent II who claimed the “plenitudo potestatis” (I can do anything including interference in temporal/secular affairs) - he was not able to deliver on this like his successors were. They implemented bureau- cratic structures to accomplish these means, truly using secular power - the church grew in power since they were able to out organize and out “tax” the HRE which was still divided - the church also claimed canon law: saying that all property of the church belonged to the Pope; giving him influence over marriage and death certificates, property licenses, wills and the taxation of individual parishes - the courts of the church were important to settling disputes. Appeals were possible in the central court in Rome called the Rota (1260). This was a huge source of income and authority of the Pope Money... - The church also created a centralized taxation system (became the model for later secular taxation systems). Prior to this, the church could only collect from Bishops and Abbots. - the church felt they had the right to collect a tax from all clerks and members of the church - In 1199, the Pope needed $ to sponsor crusades so he asked for 1/40 of the $ from all church members. This set a precedent that allowed the church to increase taxation. Even after the war against the HRE ended and he no longer needed the money, he con- tinued to tax. Papal Authority Extending Past Rome... - the pope imposed Reservations: Offices (like bishop or archbishop) that the pope can appoint based upon his own choosing,
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