How did the practice of lay investiture weaken the church?  

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Lay investiture is a practice in which a secular monarch appoints a religious official. This practice, however, was a contentious issue in the Middle Ages and resulted in a major conflict between the Church and state, known as the Lay Investiture Controversy. In 1073, Gregory VII became pope and argued that...

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Lay investiture is a practice in which a secular monarch appoints a religious official. This practice, however, was a contentious issue in the Middle Ages and resulted in a major conflict between the Church and state, known as the Lay Investiture Controversy. In 1073, Gregory VII became pope and argued that investiture weakened the Church because it made religious officials more loyal to the king than to Rome. As bishops and archbishops often held lots of land from their king, they had to swear loyalty to him, as a feudal lord, and involve themselves in local and national politics. For Gregory VII, lay investiture was also part of a wider issue: the papacy could never have supreme authority over the world, as God had intended, if secular leaders were allowed to dictate who occupies which position.

In the end, Gregory VII won the conflict and the practice of lay investiture was finally brought to an end in 1122, with the signing of the Concordat of Worms.

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