Pope Innocent Iii Essay

1253 words - 6 pages

Pope Innocent III to many people is a savior of Christianity. He is thought of very highly because he was one of the most influential and powerful popes of the Middle Ages. Pope Innocent III not only made a mark on everyday citizens of his reign, but especially so to the Roman Catholics. The election of Pope innocent III happened to him at the age of thirty-seven on 8 January 1198, his real name was Lothar of Segni. Many popes before him had let the Christian values slip through their fingers, ultimately leaving no hope of salvation because of the corruption that was occurring in the Church and values being forgotten at every new pope. Pope Innocent III was the first pope to name himself the ‘Vicar of Peter’ to then name himself ‘Vicar of Christ’ as he was convinced as pope he was “Christ’s Vicar on Earth, charged with the duty of wielding the spiritual sword, so as to uphold religion, justice, and mortality everywhere.” Pope Innocent was doing such a good job that it only took him a few years to restore hope and respect of the Roman people.

Pope Innocent’s ultimate concerns were to fetch back the faith of Christ, because religious values were decreasing and the hope of salvation rested on his shoulders. His duty as Pope was to fix the downfall of the Church and by doing so he did not need to change much, but simply reinforce religious values. During his reign he accomplished many things, one accomplishment was bringing papacy to new heights, making it a more powerful than it had ever been. Pope Innocent III was in many ways an opportunist and he used opportunity on many occasions to better his authority and power among the people and papacy. This would be a very important tactic used at the time of Henry VI death in 1197, leaving no successor and there being no emperor Pope Innocent III saw this weakness in the empire and had established temporal power of the papacy. Pope Innocent III used the same tactic later in his reign on Frederick II, becoming his guardian after his mother dies. The way he established power was very tactical, as he never voiced direct claim to political power but that of the papacy.

One of the most renowned and critical viewed things he ever did as pope was working hard in operating crusades to recover the holy lands, thinking that if he brought about a new crusade it would revive the old crusading spirit, but what happened was nothing of the sort. One would be known as the Albigensian crusade and the other, as the Fourth Crusade. The plan for the Fourth Crusade was to attack Jerusalem through Egypt, but things changed dramatically and the crusade led to the Greek empire of Constantinople where they attacked and sacked the city, their was not enough money to carry on the crusade to Jerusalem, so they sold their services to the Venetians. This crusade went very wrong and was not in the plans for Pope Innocent III, Zara was sacked and Constantinople as well despite Pope Innocent forbidding these change in events....

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