Papal Supremacy: Innocent Iii Essay

2777 words - 11 pages

Who was greater: the Pope or the Emperor/Kings? Ever since the legalization of Christianity in 313, popes and emperors have been involved in numerous disputes about who was the head of Christian society. Emperors claimed authority, making reference to precedence such as Constantine and the Council of Nicea in 325. The papacy on the other hand, argued papal primacy with such ideas as the Petrime theory, the history of orthodoxy, and the fact that the Pope controlled the old Roman capital.The Concordat of Worms of 1122 CE brought an end to the investiture controversy. However, some historians argue that in the centuries that followed, the papacy overstepped its jurisdiction when it began to exert control over the political sphere as well. Pope Innocent III coming after a long line of popes of who had exerted such control is one that is most intensely attacked. Did he overstep the boundaries of the papacy and interfere in the political affairs or was he merely acting in a sphere in which he had all the right to do so? Innocent did not waste too many opportunities to explain how his appearance in temporal affairs was justified. In fact, he provided justification in almost all of his letters, decrees, and policies. By examining a few of the many examples, it is apparent that Pope Innocent III mostly used the rhetoric of god to justify his place in political affairs. Although, he may at times have used other persuasive strategies such as logic, precedent, and historical events, his strongest element of justification was that his actions were in fact the will of god.In a letter to the prefect of Acerbius and the nobles of Tuscany, Innocent III insisted that his power was greater than the power of the Kings. He clarified this by using a metaphor of the sun and the moon. Establishing that the moon derives its light from that of the sun, he explains that in the same way the "royal power derived the splendor of its dignity from the pontifical authority." Innocent implicitly stated that all power and authority resided in the hands of the papacy, more specifically the pope. The King received his authority and power from the Pope. He did not insinuate that the King was less than the pope, but instead the pope was greater than the King, and by doing so he established that the king's power came from something greater that was above him, the pope. The pope's place therefore was above the King. How did he come to the conclusion that the pope was greater than the sun? He did this by using the rhetoric of god, examined the paragraph that follows, but also logic. Because the king had no power of his own, just as the moon had no light of its own, it had to get it from somewhere else: the pope and the sun, respectively. Therefore because the moon and the king were nothing without the pope and the sun, it is logical that the pope was in fact greater than the king because the pope had what the king lacked.However more importantly, Innocent makes reference to god in his...

Find Another Essay On Papal Supremacy: Innocent III

Why the 4th and 5th Crusades Ended in Failure

1236 words - 5 pages The Fourth Crusade and Fifth Crusade, both of which were initiated by Pope Innocent III, ended in failure. The reasons that these crusades were both unsuccessful are because of the Papacy’s lack of power, influence, and support, the widespread heresy at the time that caused discord and conflict amongst the Christians, as well as poor or illogical decision making by those in power. In 1198 the recently elected Pope Innocent III began preaching

Lay Investiture Essay

1223 words - 5 pages upright. This also was a basis that the church reformers said that caused the corruption in the church. As time went by, the corruption of the church became a major concern and strong reform groups began to form. Emperor Henry III was one of the first reformers, as he called synods, in 1046, throughout Italy, deposing three claimants to the papal throne and elevating Clement II, the first of a series of imperial appointees. This reform movement

General Info on the Church of England or Anglican Church in Australia and The acts of Parliament that helped and hindered the settlement

1596 words - 6 pages everywhere in the early Middle Ages. After the Norman Conquest (1066), continental influence in England strengthened the connections between the English church and the papacy. The vigorous assertions of power successfully made by popes from Gregory VII to Innocent III between the late 11th and the early 13th centuries were felt in England, as elsewhere, and clerical influence and privilege were widely extended in secular affairs. Several times during the

The English Reformation

3482 words - 14 pages reform. Wyclif, himself, had been employed by Edward III "to develop arguments to enable Edward III's government to direct clerical wealth from papal coffers to his own, so as to assist in the prosecution of war against France." He continued to argue for the monarchy's cause against the Church by claiming that the pope represented the humanity of Jesus, while the monarch represented his divinity. "It thus followed that it was the duty of the king to

The Holy Roman Empire between 1197-1218

2370 words - 9 pages excommunication of him and his whole legion from the church, and got the Papal legions to run him out of Italy. Once Emperor Henry VI died his four-year old son Fredrick II was named King of Sicily. The widowed mother of Fredrick II ruled for him but could not handle the pressure of the Norman nobles who rejected Frederick’s right to being the king. Constance asked for help of Pope Innocent III, who stepped in, seeing who could gain favor in Sicily

Christian Religious Dissent before Luther

955 words - 4 pages Pope Innocent III in 1209 to wipe out the Albigensian movement. (Albigencian)Another dissenter who did not stray as far from the church was Saint Francis of Assisi. He was born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181. Although his early life was one of privilege, after a series of dreams and visions, he gave up all his worldly goods and lived a life of poverty. As he preached, he gathered followers and when they numbered eleven he gave them a short Rule. He

Book Review, "Pelagious and the Fifth Crusade" by Donovan

1451 words - 6 pages The era of Medival Europe that spawned the crusades was very fascinating on many levels. At this time the church and the state were fighting for supremacy and the church found something that it could use as a prod against the secular rulers. The Christian faith permeated the every day lives of the vast majority of people in Europe at this time. Of course any good Christian would see the need to support the church in its aim to take back the Holy

The Most Significant Events in Christian History

1756 words - 7 pages participators in the crusades. Pope Innocent III, perhaps more than any other pope, "embodied the most extreme measure of ecclesiastical and political power (Weaver 111)." Innocent declared that God established this church and appointed the pope to be his viceroy and that all kings should adhere to the viceroy's policies in order to properly rule (Von Voorst 157). Pope Innocent III wrote a letter to Prince John of England (older brother

King Henry VIII

2295 words - 9 pages allowing Catherine of Aragon to marry the next heir apparent which was Prince Henry. A papal dispensation, or permission from the pope, needed to be issued in order for Prince Henry to marry his brother’s widow. According to the book of Leviticus, the marriage was prohibited and “if a brother is to marry the wife of a brother they will remain childless”. After the death of her husband, Catherine denied that her marriage had been consummated and

Saint Thomas More

1276 words - 5 pages against Henry’s design regarding divorce, the papal supremacy, and the laws against the Heretics. This made him think otherwise and he withdrew himself from the royal favor and in 1532 he resigned his post as chancellor. This cost him about one hundred pounds of his income. He then wrote for the tomb of the Chelsea Church that he intends to devote his last years to prepare himself of his life to come. For the next year Thomas secluded himself from

Influence of Catholic Church in Medieval England

2158 words - 9 pages understand that “It is the bishops who are the judges of the Christian emperors, and not the emperors who are the judges of the bishops” (Schnürer 34). Pope Innocent III excommunicated King John of England because of an argument over appointing an archbishop, resulting in religious jolt that awakened people to realize the true supremacy of religious leaders and began to recognize the Pope as the spiritual representative of Jesus on Earth. Monks

Similar Essays

Frederik Ii Essay

2370 words - 9 pages lasting damage to their empire. By the time it was over, the frictions and misunderstandings be- tween East and West, which had begun with the First Crusade, had turned into permanent hatred. (http://www.groene.nl) On 11th November 1215 Innocent III opened the Fourth Lateran Coun- cil in Rome. Above all, this Council symbolized the power and supremacy of the pope within the Church. At the end of the Council, Innocent III once again proclaimed a

Pope Innocent Iii Essay

1253 words - 6 pages Unintended Consequences’, World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2009) [via LEARN] G. Barraclough, The Medieval Papacy (New York, NY: Norton, 1968) B. Bolton, Innocent III: Studies on Papal Authority and Pastoral Care J. C. Moore (ed.), Pope Innocent III and his World (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999) C. Morris, The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989) F. Oakley, The Western Church

Frederick Ii Essay

1582 words - 6 pages at this point begin harbouring anti-papal policies or was he simply carrying out his own vision of the Empire?No source is more reliable in this issue than Frederick himself, who was present within papal affairs after Innocent III had honoured his promise to Constance of Sicily to look after her son - the future king of Germany. The young king had grown up in the Norman court (his mother's origins) which was "full of Arabs," according to the

Crusaders' Success Related To Papal Monarchy

665 words - 3 pages , which was led by the “European Royalty.” Pope Innocent III led the Fourth Crusade, and “it was a disaster from the point of view of a united Christendom” (459). “The pope could not control its direction and the Crusaders in 1204 wound up seizing Orthodox Christian Constantinople instead of marching on the Holy Land” (459). The Fifth Crusade began at sea, and attacked Egypt, but ended in failure as well. The Sixth Crusade, was led “by the Emperor