Diocese of Sovana On the following day, 22 FebruaryPope Gregory VII pronounced a sentence of excommunication against Henry IV with all due solemnity, divested him of his royal dignity and absolved his subjects from the oaths they had sworn to him. The act of excommunicating a king was incredibly bold, but not without precedent. Pope Zachary had brought significant challenges to rulers of his era a full years earlier, in a move Thomas Hobbes would famously call "one of the greatest abuses of the papacy in the history of the Church". Whether it would produce this effect, or would be an idle threat, depended not so much on Gregory VII as on Henry's subjects, and, above all, on the German princes.
The facts of Hildebrand's youth and education are hazy.
He was born in Tuscany, perhaps at Soana, at an undetermined date: He went to Rome early in his life and became a professed religious. The tradition that Hildebrand was a monk, perhaps at the Benedictine house of Santa Maria del Priorato on the Aventine, is strong, although recently Blumenthal suggested that he was instead a regular canon.
For a time he was a student of the learned and exiled Bishop Laurentius of Amalfi, and also was active in the service of Pope Gregory VI —Gregory vii hildebrand whom he had a familial connection.
That exile is the first precisely datable event in the future pope's life. A later tradition that Hildebrand became a monk at Cluny almost certainly is erroneous, although he may well have stayed in that house for a time before his return south.
Leo's pontificate is generally considered to mark the emergence of a reform movement centered on Rome and which became predominant among other initiatives for renewal in the eleventh-century church.
Pope Leo brought to Rome a group of reform-minded churchmen from both Italy and the north, and Hildebrand's career developed in conjunction with important individuals such as Peter Damian and Humbert of Moyenmoutier. He was designated by Leo as abbot and rector of the Benedictine house of San Paulo fuori le Mura, and his importance in the evolving administrative operations of the church is seen in his appointment several times in the s as a papal legate north of the Alps.
During one such legation, in in France, Hildebrand presided over a synod at Tours that considered the question of the eucharistic views of Berengar of Tours, whose career would stretch into the s and who would be called to Rome during Gregory's pontificate for an examination of his teachings.
It would be a mistake to view Hildebrand as the chief papal adviser at this juncture, but with appointment as archdeacon under Nicholas II —and with the death of Humbert and the election of Alexander II inhis importance grew.
During Alexander's long reign he has been considered, perhaps with only slight exaggeration, as the power behind the papal throne. Alexander II died on April 21, During the ceremony for his burial Hildebrand was acclaimed by the Roman populace as Alexander's successor.
That public display was at variance with the terms of the well-known decree of Pope Nicholas IIwhich placed the choice of a pope essentially in the hands of the cardinal bishops.
In the spring of public acclaim preceded selection by the cardinals, and this variance with the decree of later opened Hildebrand to the charge that his elevation to the papacy was illegitimate. He chose the papal name Gregory, probably in honor both of Gregory I, one of the fathers of Latin Christianity and a venerable monastic pope, and of his relative and onetime patron, Gregory VI.
Gregory's consecration as bishop of Rome was on June 30,a date carefully selected for it is the feast day of the two great saints of the Roman church, Peter and Paul. The significance of Gregory VII's twelve-year reign must be assessed within the framework of the reforming movements underway at the time throughout Latin Christendom.
For decades sensitive churchmen had criticized abuses in religious structure and administration. Chief among those problems was simony, the gaining of an ecclesiastical office by means of payment rather than according to canonical norms.
Various circles of ecclesiastical reform in the eleventh century were also adamant in condemning sexual incontinence among the higher orders of the clergy. The offensive against simony and clerical sexual activity marked an effort to purify the hierarchy and the sacramental life of the Latin church, and the notion of puritas ecclesiae "purity of the church" became a common reform theme.
From the pontificate of Leo IX, however, and especially from the reign of Nicholas II, the papacy was increasingly in a position of leadership in these efforts to purify the church. Repeatedly, in papal letters, conciliar decrees, and through legatine missions, the Roman church fostered reform, aiming particularly at eradicating the aforementioned abuses.
It must be stressed, however, that these initiatives did not involve merely administrative changes in the ecclesiastical structure. The theological and practical importance of the changes being sought reached deep into the religious mentality of Latin Christendom, and had profound effects on eucharistic theology, the cult of saints, attitudes toward property, and the role of laymen in designating appointees to church positions.
Concomitant with this evolving reform activity an ecclesiology developed centering on the Roman see. The roots of this doctrine reach deep into the history of Latin Christianity, but from the mid-eleventh century the potential and the prerogatives of the Roman church gained increased attention as reform progressed.
Reform of the church in general and increased visibility and power for the Roman church occurred side by side. This new perception of Roman authority was not, however, the invention of eleventh-century thinkers. The dossiers of claims, traditions, and incidents on which Roman leadership rested reach as far into the past as the New Testament and the so-called Petrine passages Mt.St.
Gregory VII, original name Hildebrand, Italian Ildebrando, (born c. , near Sovana, Papal States—died May 25, , Salerno, Principality of Salerno; canonized ; feast day, May 25), one of the greatest popes of the medieval church, who lent his name to the 11th-century movement now known as the Gregorian Reform or Investiture Controversy.
Gregory VII Born Hildebrand c. in Tuscany, Pope/St. Gregory VII was one of the great church reformers. Educated in Rome, Hildebrand was chaplain to Gregory VI, whose exile he shared. When Gregory VI died in , Hildebrand entered a monastery where he remained until Leo IX called him to Rome to serve as treasurer of the church. Pope Gregory VII (–) was one of the most important and controversial popes of the Middle Ages. His elevation to the papacy came after a long and influential career in the papal court, and he may well have become pope earlier had he wished. So convinced have historians been of his. Pope Gregory VII, Hildebrand, was the th Roman Catholic Pontiff from to Pope Gregory VII is known in Catholic Church history as one of the most enthusiastic and influential pontiffs.
Gregory VII Born Hildebrand c. in Tuscany, Pope/St. Gregory VII was one of the great church reformers. Educated in Rome, Hildebrand was chaplain to Gregory VI, whose exile he shared.
When. Pope Gregory VII (Latin: Gregorius Septimus; –May 25, ), born Hildebrand (Italian: Ildebrando di Soana), was an Italian priest of the Roman Catholic Church and the th Pope from April 22, until he died in Early life.
Hildebrand was born in Sovana in Tuscany. Hildebrand, who succeeded in as Gregory VII (reigned –85), is perhaps best known for his struggle with Henry IV, but he had long served the church, and some scholars regard him as the main force behind papal reform.
Indeed, the movement derives A tumultuous crowd of Roman citizens and. gregory vii hildebrand: –85 It was a great misfortune for Christianity that an interval of chaos and weakness separated the pontificate of Leo IX from that of one of . Pope Gregory VII (Latin: Gregorius VII; c.
– 25 May ), born Hildebrand of Sovana (Italian: Ildebrando da Soana), was pope from 22 April to his death in