The founding of the Holy Roman Empire increased the prestige of the Pope

 The founding of the Holy Roman Empire increased the prestige of the Pope, but accumulation of the wealth in Rome slowly resulted in the erosion of the status of the Pope. Many of the Popes did not lead saintly life as expected and were found immersed in worldly pleasures. By the 10th century, pope’s prestige had been lowered due to lack of piety at the Papal Quarters. Various rulers objected to the appointment of certain persons as Bishops in their kingdom by the Pope. This led to what is known as the `struggle between the church and the state’ and this resulted in undermining the status of the Pope.

 

There was a dispute between Pope Gregory VII (1073 to 1083) and Henry IV, the emperor of the Holy Roma Empire over the appointment of the Bishop of Milan. When this ugly dispute ended, the Pope had to leave Rome and see his end outside Rome. There was a similar dispute between Pope Alexander III and Emperor Frederick Bar Barossa during the 12th century.

 

Holy Christian centers like Jerusalem had fallen into the hands of the Islamic Empire. For the liberation of these centers, the European countries jointly, organized campaigns called `Crusades’ which were totally eight in number from the 11th to 13th century. Though these Crusades created unity to some extent among the Christians, the position of the Pope was weakened. The Crusades did not prove to be a success as was claimed. But they helped Europe to have contacts with the Arab world, and helped the Europeans to gain economically and culturally.

 

But the monastic orders strengthened the hands of the Pope. St. Benedict in Italy (6th century), sr. Francis in Italy (13th century) and St. Dominic in France (13th century) were the founders of /major monastic orders. These monasteries, like the Buddha Sanghas (of mendicants), not only plunged themselves in social services, but also spreading Christianity, and enhanced the prestige of the Pope.