Pope Gregory Research Paper

1241 Words5 Pages
Like Saint Augustine in the sixth century, Pope Gregory VII tried to reform the church in the eleventh century. During his first synod in 1074 C.E., Gregory " decreed that no one could be admitted to orders without a vow of celibacy and that the laity was forbidden to attend the services of an unchaste priest, deacon, or subdeacon." This statement stemmed from the pope 's ability of his plenitudo potestatis or fullness of power. The pope would have this authority, because the position of the pope marks a lineage that is supposed to lead back to St. Peter, who the Christian religion was built on. If an individual did not follow Gregory 's decrees, they would receive escalating punishments. As a way to enforce his laws, Gregory would write…show more content…
With counseling, however, Gregory discerned that the priests could be saved. Nevertheless, Gregory issued notices to members who directly disobeyed his councils on celibacy. For example, Gregory wrote to the Bishop of Dol that " ' 'in the very bishopric he had so destructively obtained, was not ashamed to enter openly into marriage and to take a harlot rather than a wife, by whom he then also begot children, so that he who had already prostituted his soul [to simony] might likewise dedicate his body in shame to the devil by his lewd and foul lust...." In this case, the Bishop of Dol broke two of the Gregorian reform movements--simony and concubinage. This showcases that not everyone listened to his reforms. While he did completely attain his goal of celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church, through negative language of equating these priests with the devil, Pope Gregory was able to move public opinion on issues of…show more content…
England conversely placed the principle amount of blame on women compared to men. Higher church officials held a negative view towards concubines, as one stated that " I speak to you, o charmers of the clergy, appetizing flesh of the devil, that castaway from paradise, you, poison of the minds, death of souls, venom of wind and of eating, companions of the very stuff of sin, the cause of our ruin." In this account, women were equated with being spawns of the devil sent to soil the souls of priests. In England, however, this viewpoint distorts even further to women in general. It was thought that " The polluting, sexual presence of women 'defiled the lips and hands ' of priests and, therefore, the sacraments." This statement would account with the practice that women could not be in the presence of men unless they were a relative to the priest. Punishment also seemed to extend outside of the Roman Catholic Church to women who practiced concubinage. Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1225 C.E. stated that The concubines of priests and clerks who will be beneficed or ordained into sacred orders shall be deprived of an ecclesiastical burial, unless they truly and entirely correct themselves…. Neither shall they receive the kiss of peace nor the blessing of bread in church…. If they have given birth they shall not be purified, unless they have sworn to the archdeacon or his officer an adequate guarantee of fulfillment of penance to be made in the next
Open Document