Pope Gregory VII

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Pope Gregory VII

Pope Gregory VII (c. 1015/1020/1028 – May 25, 1085), born Hildebrand of Sovana (Italian: Ildebrando da Soana), was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 22 April 1073 to his death in 1085. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church.

One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Emperor Henry IV that affirmed the primacy of papal authority and the new canon law governing the election of the pope by the College of Cardinals. He was also at the forefront of developments in the relationship between the emperor and the papacy during the years before he became pope. He was the first pope in several centuries to rigorously enforce the Western Church's ancient policy of celibacy for the clergy and also attacked the practice of simony.

Gregory VII excommunicated Henry IV three times. Consequently, Henry IV would appoint Antipope Clement III to oppose him in the political power struggles between the Catholic Church and his empire. Hailed as one of the greatest of the Roman pontiffs after his reforms proved successful, Gregory VII was, during his own reign, despised by some for his expansive use of papal powers.

Quotes[edit]

  • That it has pleased God to make Holy Scripture obscure in certain places lest, if it were perfectly clear to all, it might be vulgarized and subjected to disrespect or be so misunderstood by people of limited intelligence as to lead them into error.
    • In response to the request made in 1079 by Vratislaus, duke of Bohemia, seeking permission to use Slavonic in local church services.
    • Awake! magazine December 2011, page 7; They Tried to Keep God’s Word From the Masses.
  • Dilexi iustitiam et odi iniquitatem; propterea morior in exilio.
    • I have loved righteousness and hated iniquity, and therefore I die in exile.
    • Last words, as quoted in Joseph Priestley A General History of the Christian Church Vol. 1 (1802), p. 361.

External links[edit]

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