|Henry IV, Holy Roman |
Emperor from 1056-1106
Gregory lost the battle but the Church won the war. Emperors still continued to meddle in the election of bishops and abbots, as did the other European sovereigns, but the power of the Emperor over the Church was effectively broken—not shattered, but broken. Winning the independence of the Church from the Empire was probably the most successful aspect of the Gregorian Reform—certainly more successful than imposing celibacy or eliminating the buying and selling of Church offices. Perhaps in our next few postings we can look at some of the current issues of Church and politics and see what might need some reform today.