King Henry IV Declares Gregory VII No Longer Pope at Synod of Worms

King Henry IV Declares Gregory VII No Longer Pope at Synod of Worms

Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV
Source: Wikipedia

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At the Synod of Worms, German king Henry IV declares that Pope Gregory VII is no longer pope.

The Synod of Worms was originally convened by Henry IV in January for the express purpose of getting rid of Gregory; out of the 38 Catholic bishops in Germany, 24 have attended.

This is a key event in the "Investiture Conflict" between the German monarchy and the papacy. Both the pope and the German emperor claim the authority to "invest" bishops and abbots (appoint people to those offices).

The pope, of course, asserts this authority because the offices are ecclesiastical; because Henry IV is resisting, he will be excommunicated.

The reason why the emperor is resisting is because in Germany these offices are also political. The German emperor relies on them rather than on the nobility to rule the land.

By trying to deny him the ability to appoint family and supporters to be bishops and abbots, the pope is trying to deny him direct control over the lands he rules.

Because the papacy wins this conflict, Germany will be thrown into a civil war for 50 years, and it won't reemerge until the Hohenstaufen dynasty is able to assert control over the lands.

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