Charlemagne was a devout Christian ruler, who viewed his victories and tried to rule in a Christian manner. Even though he controlled a huge empire, he wanted the title of emperor. In the year 799, Pope Leo had left Rome after rivals there had planned to blind him and remove him from office.
I am the only one able to appoint bishops.
I am still going to appoint bishops.
The pope had fled across the Alps to Charlemagne's court. A few months later after he arrived at Charlemagne's court, Pope Leo returned to Rome under kings protection. The next year Charlemagne traveled to Rome to support the pope.
I will remove you as pope!!!
You can't do that. I will excommunicate.
On Christmas Day, Pope Leo crowned Charlemagne Emperor. Charlemagne's dream had finally come true. His coronation had lasting effects on Europe and the church. It first strengthened the power of the Church in Western Europe by proving that only the pope could crown an emperor. This idea was seen as an insult to Eastern Europe. This disagreement led to the great schism between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches,
Charlemagne believed that God had made him emperor in order to do God's work on Earth. Pope Leo, however, believed that the Church had made Charlemagne Emperor and that it was the emperor's duty to assist the Church in doing God's work on Earth. This led to a dramatic clash between emperor and the pope. In 1073, a monk became Pope Gregory VII. He had strong ideas about the powers of a pope such as, the pope alone having power to choose bishop.
The emperor at the time, Henry IV ignored the Pope's rules and named his own bishop. Henry tried to remove Gregory as pope, but the pope excommunicated Henry. The Pope also freed Henry's subjects from their feudal oaths of loyalty to the emperor. In order to end his excommunication, Henry visited the pope in an Italian castle. Although the pope forgave him, the conflict continued.
Henry later took revenge on the pope by marching and army to Rome and forcing the pope out of office. Conflicts and power struggle between popes and rulers continued long after Henry and Gregory died. In 1122 the Church and Holy Roman Empire reached an agreement called the Concordat of Worms. This agreement gave the Church the sole authority to appoint bishops.