What is the significance of the "Investiture Controversy?" 

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The Gregorian reform that strengthened the independence of the Catholic Church in relation to the secular powers was intimately connected to the Investiture Controversy in late eleventh to early twelfth century Europe. This controversy started in 1073 with a conflict between Gregory VII and the German emperor, Henry IV; it ended with the Worms Concordat in 1122, which represented the political compromise between the papacy and the empire. The Investiture Controversy's most dramatic moment came in 1077 when the pope publicly humiliated Henry IV by making him stand in the snow at the gates of the Castle of Canossa for days as an act of repentance for his sins.

The papacy’s strength during the Investiture Controversy paved the way for its rise in political importance in the twelfth and the thirteenth centuries. The Catholic Church came to dominate Europe politically while remaining relatively independent from local and national feudal frameworks; this enhanced its ability to mobilize...

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