Pope Innocent III The Strong Arm of the Catholic Church
From humble beginnings (not really) Pope Innocent III, nee Lotario di Segni, was born in 1161 to the really rich Conti family. Studies in Rome and Italy. Becomes Pope at age thirty-seven Later becomes known as the most powerful pope in history.
Innocent III: his mentors • Pope Innocent III was heavily influenced by Pontiff Alexander III, whose handling of Frederick Barbarossa of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and of Henry II. • Frederick says his authority is on par with Pope. Alex says no. Frederick attacks rome. Alex puts together army. Beats Fred and makes him kiss his feet. • Henry II issues Constitution of Clarendon, which placed the election of the Bishops under his control. Thomas Becket revolts, is brutally murdered. Alex turns England against Henry. He apologizes and is whipped
The reign of the innocent one • Changes title of Pope from “Vicar of Peter” to “Vicar of Christ” to claim more Divine power. • He began to insist that Secular leaders defer to him on all issues. Proclaims “the royal power derives the splendor of its dignity from the pontifical authority (b*tches!)…” • Founds the doctrine of Pontifical Sanction. Everything from laws to Empire policies go through him
Innocent’s reign cont’d • Papal sanction faces its greatest threat when the German nation attacks. Henry VI dies, and civil war erupts for throne. Innocent throws Germany into chaos by instigating the civil war and almost destroys Holy Roman Empire…singlehandedly. • Pope selects Frederick II as new emperor, and the emperor proclaims Innocent as his Feudal Warlord. This places pope above the emperor in HRE.
Innocent ain’t Innocent • Innocent III further consolidates the papal power with his episode with King John. The king refuses to allow Innocent’s candidate for Canterbury Archbishop set foot on English soil (he didn’t have a green card). • Innocent gets upset and basically shuts down Christianity in England and excommunicates John via interdict (authoritative prohibition), effectively dooming all of England to hell. John doesn’t give up. • Innocent makes an alliance with French king Philip Augustus and threatens to invade England. John only remains king by “surrendering” his crown to Innocent. He then declares England a papal fief and calls Emperordom as merely Pope’s vassal.
Still not over! • 1193: Innocent then has beef with Augustus, who marries a girl and leaves her the next day for another woman without getting divorce. He shuts down Christianity in France, and the people force Augustus to yield to Innocent. #Badass
Major contributions • Innocent does a lot for the Church (duh) • Orders bishops and church officials to inspect monastaries • He forbids secular authorities from taxing the Church and its property and then taxes those secular authorities! • He also taxes laity via 10% tithe • Makes lots of moolah for the church
Fourth lateran Council (1215) • Largest council In (intro to) Church History • Officially affirms doctrine of Transubstantiation • Requires the confession of all serious sins and Eucharist once a year • Rules guiding admission into Holy Orders are created • Condemns clerical immorality • Establishes free schools for poor • Makes it bishops’ responsility to search out heretics • Starts Inquisition
Innocent….until proven guilty • Starts Inquisition • Launches 4th crusade. Crusaders decide to conquer Constantinople, kick out muslims, but rape all Byzantine women and slaughter most of the city’s inhabitants….egg on his face.. • Launches Albigensian Crusade: kills 20,000 men, women, and children ranging from heretics to French nobles to consolidate power
Crime and punishment • 1216: dies. • Legend goes: Innocent III was believed to be in purgatory on the very day he died. He is said to have appeared to St. Lutgarda in her monastery at Aywieres in Brabant. Engulfed in flames, he declared to her, “I am Pope Innocent”. He continued to explain that he was in purgatory for three faults which had caused him to arrive in this state. Innocent asked St. Lutgarda to come to his assistance, saying, “Alas! It is terrible; and will last for centuries if you do not come to my assistance. In the name of Mary, who has obtained for me the favour of appealing to you, help me!” At that moment he disappeared and St. Lutgarda informed her sisters of what she had seen…