Gregorian Reform: Papal Authority vs the Monarchy

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The Gregorian Reform’s most forceful advocate, Pope Gregory VII, is known as one of the great reformer popes and was a driving force in the eleventh-century religious reform movement. He initiated a series of reforms that dealt with the independence and moral integrity of the clergy; he was the first pope in several centuries that rigorously enforced the Church's ancient policy of celibacy for the Catholic clergy, attacked the practice of simony, and defended the papal authority in the Investiture Controversy. The Gregorian Reform’s main concerns were the moral integrity and independence of the clergy but it also had a large and lasting impact on the authority of the pope in the western world. Before the Gregorian Reform there were many corruptions in the church: the most detrimental being non-celibate priests along with simony. Gregory VII saw these offenses, how they were tearing away at the church as a whole, and wanted to abolish these practices. It was through the reform and purification that then led to a more organized church, with a strong hand placed firmly on the ruling class of the medieval era. In 325 AD the Council of Nicaea forbade marriage and concubinage among the lower ranks of the clergy, which were still customary too much of the Western church. The reform of the 11th century was determined to eliminate this behavior at all costs. While Pope Gregory VII did not introduce the celibacy of the priesthood into the Church, he did take up the fight against the indecency with greater energy unlike his predecessors. The image most often used to describe the role of the priest is one of marriage to the Church. Just as marriage is the total gift of self to another, the priesthood requires the total gift of self to the Church. One of the most powerful advocators of priest celibacy came from St. Augustine, the renowned philosopher of western thought, as he
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