Church and State in Medieval Times

The Middle ages is the period from 5th to 15th century in which Europe proceeded to modern Era in the later part of it. The church was itself the state in the 1000 years. But in the Era of 11th to 14 centuries things started to change and there be a visible rift produced between the rulers or state and the church.

In the 11th and early 12th century, the Investiture Controversy took place. The controversy was about the privilege of the rulers in the Roman Empire to appoint the bishops and abbots. Till the time of the 11th century reforms called Gregorian Reforms the rulers were appointing the bishops and abbots without a problem but in the middle of the 11th century, the appointment of the bishops by the temporal rulers became controversial.

Other of the major disputes that arose between the State and Church are in the 1300’s. The issue was about the powers that were to be possessed by the King (Philip IV of France) or monarchy and the Church leaders (Boniface VII). It was the time when the church was taxed for the first time in history. This action was opposed by Boniface who considered it a violation of the church rights. Philip took a strong action against Boniface and it was seen as a dent in the power of the church.

The great western Schism lasted from 1378 till 1417. Schism was a result of the demands for the papacy to be re-established in Rome. There were two pops functioning at the same time. Efforts were made to reach a consensus and in the conflict was finally resolved in the Council of Constance in 1414-1418. This conflict between two groups of clergy in Schisms created a distrust of the Christian religious leaders all over Europe and people started questioning their religious authority.