How did investiture affect church reform?

Investiture affected church reform in that it changed the way that Catholic clergy, particularly the Pope, were appointed. Prior to this 12th Century conflict, secular rulers appointed church officials. This often resulted in corruption. When Church officials attempted to remove the power of investiture from secular authorities, disputes arose. Eventually, the system was reformed, and secular rulers lost the power to appoint people to positions within the Catholic church.

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A large controversy surrounding investiture in the Catholic Church arose in the 11th Century, which led to some of the earliest notable church reforms of the High Middle Ages. The traditional power to appoint officials in the Church was held by secular rulers. This is what it meant to invest ...

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A large controversy surrounding investiture in the Catholic Church arose in the 11th Century, which led to some of the earliest notable church reforms of the High Middle Ages. The traditional power to appoint officials in the Church was held by secular rulers. This is what it meant to invest someone with positions. With kings and emperors handing out these powerful positions, cronyism, nepotism, and bribery became all too common. It got especially convoluted when that the Holy Roman Emperor got to choose the Pope. The Pope, in turn, could choose the next Holy Roman Emperor.

Calls for reforming this system arose when a group of Gregorian reformers advocated to remove the power of secular rulers over Church leaders. They felt that the Pope should be under nobody's authority except for God's. This meant drastically reforming the process of investiture. When Henry IV became Holy Roman Emperor at age six, it became clear how absurd it would be if he appointed a Pope. The reformers made a public statement in 1059 stating that secular rulers should no longer have the power of investiture of the Pope.

From that point forward, the Pope would be chosen by the Cardinals. In 1075, Pope Gregory VII took it a step further by removing all church investitures from secular hands. Henry IV objected to this and attempted to remove Gregory VII from the papacy. This resulted in Gregory excommunicating Henry. This feud was never settled to anyone's true satisfaction. However, it did result in long-lasting reforms that stripped secular rulers of the power of investiture. This was ratified in 1122 with the Concordat of Worms.

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