There once was a strong man named Pope Gregory VII. And then a defiant man named Emperor Henry IV.
The Pope Wins
The Pope! The Pope! The Pope!
Pope Gregory declared the pope alone had the power to choose bishops. He also claimed to have the power to remove emperors from their throne. But Emperor Henry ignored the pope's rules and named his own bishop.
Henry attempted to remove Gregory as Pope. But the Pope fired back and then excommunicated Henry. Moreover, the Pope released Henry's subjects from their loyalty oaths to the emperor.
Concordat of Worms
The Concordat of Worms
We can now both appoint bishops!
Across Europe, members of the clergy and secular ruler took sides. And the people chose their side-The Pope,
The Pope is the only leader I will except.
In an effort to end his excommunication Henry visited the Pope in an Italian castle. In fact, some stories say that Henry stood in the snow outside the castle for three days before the Pope would see him.
I'm sorry for what I have done. May I please be un-excommunicated?
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. But it also allowed emperors to give fiefs, or grants of land, to bishops in order to win loyalty.