This is outrageous! Pope Leo III, you have my royal protection to return to Rome!
King Charlemagne, I need your help! My rivals threaten me in Rome!
It's been a long walk across the Alps.
Charlemagne, I hereby crown you emperor!
I can't believe this is happening! My coronation! This is a dream come true!
This is an insult to the Byzantine emperor! The Pope should not be able to crown an emperor!
All hail Pope Gregory VII!
My first order as Pope is to declare my supreme authority! Here is a list displaying how I shall accomplish this.
He really has some strong ideas!
This is a direct attack on my power and rights!
In 799, Pope Leo III visited Charlemagne after his rivals planned to blind and remove him from office. Charlemagne was the king of the Frankish Kingdom and a devout Christian who sought to improve the Church. Under Charlemagne's royal protection, Pope Leo III returned to Rome. The following year, Charlemagne traveled to Rome to support the pope.
That silly Pope cannot control my royal affairs!
Who does he think he is? For this, he is now excommunicated. Bishop, don't let that rival bishop take over Milan!
Of course, Your Holiness.
As a reward for Charlemagne's actions, Pope Leo III crowned him emperor on Christmas Day. Charlemagne's coronation established the principle that only the pope could crown an emperor but was also seen as an insult to the Byzantine emperor, worsening relations between the Eastern and Western churches. Charlemagne believed that God had made him emperor while the Pope believed the Church had made Charlemagne emperor.
But I forgave him!
Pope Gregory VII, I am here to remove you from office!
In 1073, a monk named Hildenbrand became Pope Gregory VII. He then issued a list of rules that declared his supreme authority over both Church and secular leaders, the ability to choose bishops alone, and the power to remove emperors from the throne. Henry IV, leader of the Holy Roman Empire, reacted negatively and started a conflict between himself and the Pope.
The Concordat of Worms has finally brought us together!
Hopefully, this will lead to peace.
The first event in the conflict occurred when Henry IV appointed a bishop for the city of Milan without consulting Pope Gregory VII. In response, Pope Gregory VII hired his own rival bishop for the city. To punish Henry IV, Pope Gregory VII excommunicated him and freed his subjects from their feudal oaths. During the conflict, the people of Europe chose sides.
You are officially the Bishop of Milan!
After his excommunication, Henry IV went to an Italian castle to meet Pope Gregory VII after three days of waiting. Pope Gregory finally met him and forgave him for his actions. Even though Pope Gregory VII forgave him, the conflict continued, leading Henry to march his army to Rome and force Gregory out of office. Even after Henry and Gregory died, the struggle went on.
In 1122, the Concordat of Worms, an agreement between the Church and the Holy Roman Empire, took place. The Concordat of Worms gave the Church the sole authority to appoint bishops. Although, it also gave emperors to give fiefs to bishops in order to win their loyalty. Regardless, popes and rulers continued to argue over the next couple of centuries.