The rise of the Papacy in the 12th and 13th century

The history of the Order of the Temple closely coincided with the development of papal power during the 12th and 13th centuries. How did the papal power develop?

The 12th and 13th centuries were transformative periods for the papacy, marked by significant administrative reforms, increased political power, and theological developments. This era, often referred to as the High Middle Ages, witnessed the papacy consolidating its influence over both ecclesiastical and secular realms. The organization of the papacy during this time set the foundations for its role in the subsequent centuries.

The 12th century saw the papacy begin to centralize its administrative functions, a trend that continued and expanded in the 13th century. Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085), though predating this period, laid much of the groundwork with his reforms aimed at reducing secular interference in church matters. These reforms were furthered by subsequent popes, leading to a more hierarchical and centralized church structure.

One of the most significant developments was the establishment of the Papal Curia. The Curia, a word first used in the Church by a papal document in 1089 during the reign of "crusader-Pope" Urban II, became the central governing body of the church. It was set up in the manner of a royal ecclesiastical court to help run the Church. It consisted of various offices and officials who assisted the pope in administrative tasks. The Curia included:

  1. The Chancery: Responsible for the creation and dissemination of official documents.
  2.  The Camera Apostolica: Managed the financial affairs of the papacy.
  3.  Penitentiary: Dealt with issues related to confession and penance.

These reforms allowed the papacy to exert greater control over the church and ensured more efficient governance.

This blog is original work by TemplarsNow. Main sources: Morris, Collin, 1989, The Papal Monarchy: Western Church from 1050 to 1250; Ullmann, Walter, 2002, A Short History of the Papacy in the Middle Ages; Tierney, Brian, 1988, The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300 and Barraclough, Geoffrey, 1979. The Medieval Papacy. The illustration shows Pope Boniface VIII (1235-1303) consulting his cardinals, who assisted him in the governance of the Church and advised him on matters of faith and discipline. Scribes of the papal chancery (the office responsible for the production of official documents) are shown recording the proceedings; source Wikimedia, Public Domain

Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patron, tipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

No comments: