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Commentary on the First Lateran Council

Daniel J. Castellano


1. Historical Background
     1.1 AD 900-1050
     1.2 The East-West Schism
     1.3 Ascent of the Papacy (1073-1122)
2. Concordat of Worms
3. Council of the Lateran
4. Canons
5. Conclusion

The Lateran Council of 1123, consisting of nearly all the prelates in Latin Christendom—almost a thousand bishops and abbots[1]—was a momentous event to contemporaries, who regarded it as the dawn of a new era. Its primary purpose was to ratify the Pactum Calixtinum, now known as the Concordat of Worms (1122), which ended the fifty-year struggle over imperial investiture of bishops. This treaty permanently established the legal basis for the Church's independence from temporal authority, making possible the formation of a new Christendom. At the same time, it represented the completion of a century-long reform movement that restored monastic and clerical discipline, making possible the flourishing of Christian life and culture that would characterize the High Middle Ages. The success of these endeavors was achieved by the development of a papacy strong enough to defend the rights of monasteries and the episcopate. The Lateran Council was a powerful display and celebration of the Pope's spiritual supremacy over the new order that had emerged in Christian Europe.

The importance of the Council is partly obscured by the fact that its acts are no longer extant, so we know of it only from its disciplinary canons and oblique references by historical witnesses. Ignorance of the Council's proceedings is no great loss, insofar as most of its content had already been determined beforehand. The Pactum Calixtinum had already been signed by emperor and pope, while the canons were mostly reaffirmations of existing discipline. Still, the lost acta might have provided some insight as to how participants viewed the Council, in comparison with the great ecumenical councils held in the East.

Pope Calixtus (Callistus) II repeatedly referred to the synod as a “general council” in his epistles, but we do not know for certain if there was representation from the East (as there was at the Third Lateran Council). This raises the question of whether the council was truly ecumenical, or only a general council of the West. Medieval Latin canonists did not concern themselves with enumerating the general councils, and they took for granted the Pope's universal jurisdiction and right to convene universal councils (as Rufinus, bishop of Assisi, attested at the Third Lateran[2]), so this would not have been a meaningful question to them. The enumeration of Ecumenical Councils presently accepted by Catholics was developed in the sixteenth century, following the recommendations of Cardinal Bellarmine.[3] The question of the council's ecumenicity is largely academic, since it promulgated no dogmatic decrees.

Setting aside the legalistic question of the Council's precise canonical status, it is still meaningful to explore the historical question of how it came about that the West rather than the East should start to convene impressively large international councils of Christian prelates, and that a German rather than a Greek should come to be recognized as the "Roman Emperor" who was the major temporal power in Christian Europe. To address this question is to examine how the political and cultural center of Christendom shifted from Constantinople back to Rome.


1. Historical Background

1.1 AD 900-1050

After the settlement of the Photian controversies at the end of the ninth century, the churches of Rome and Constantinople were in infrequent communication, though not out of any hostility toward each other. The popes of the tenth century were preoccupied with various crises, such as the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire, war with the Muslims in Spain, and various political conflicts in Italy that greatly compromised the independence of the papacy. The Byzantine Empire, by contrast, was in a period of relative tranquility and prosperity, having consolidated its strength in a smaller geographic area. The Greeks faced no great crises that would occasion any need for united action with the West.

Although there were few high-level contacts between the Latin and Greek churches, they were not isolated from each other. Numerous Latin rite Christians lived in Constantinople and its environs, while there was much interaction between Latin and Greek theology and liturgy in Byzantine-occupied southern Italy.

Latin and Greek missionaries seem to have competed for the conversion of the Slavs to their respective rites in the tenth century, as with the Bulgars in the ninth, but this was not a source of major conflict. The choice of rite was ultimately determined by the leaders of the converted nations, and this did not cause any formal division in the Church. The Hungarians, Poles and Czechs adopted the Latin rite (or a Slavonic translation of it, in the case of the Czechs), while the Slavs in the Balkan peninsula and the Ukraine adopted the Byzantine rite. After some vacillation, St. Vladimir the Great brought Kievan Rus under the Greek liturgy after his conversion in 987, yet he remained in friendly contact with the Pope, showing that he considered himself in communion with Rome no less than Constantinople.[4]

Although the Christian churches were winning the conversions of entire nations, the popes found themselves at their nadir, being mere pawns in the political ambitions of rival families fighting for control of Rome. This weakness of the popes did not reflect a disdain for the office of the papacy. On the contrary, it is precisely because of the importance of the Pope's spiritual and ecclesiastical authority that temporal sovereigns sought to dominate it as a valuable possession. Yet the political manipulation of papal elections sometimes produced pontiffs of depraved character from the Roman lay nobility, diminishing the office's moral authority and scandalizing the faithful.

In 962, the shamelessly immoral Pope John XII, seeking to consolidate his spiritual and temporal authority over Rome, agreed to crown the German king Otto I as Emperor of the Romans, a title famously granted to Charlemagne in 800, but fallen into desuetude after the dissolution of the Frankish empire. John agreed that future pope-elects should make pledges to the emperor before consecration. This pact resulted in a period where the papacy was dominated by the German Emperor. In 963, Otto imposed his own antipope Leo VIII over John XII. He later forcibly deposed John's lawful successor, Benedict V, who died in a German prison (965). He successfully suppressed Roman resistance to his next favorite, John XIII (965-72), but Benedict VI was murdered by anti-imperial Romans in 974, early in the reign of Otto II. From this point onward, the emperors competed with Roman families (notably that of Crescentius) and the Tusculans for control of the papacy.

Benedict IX (1032-45), son of the Tusculan count Alberic III, was the most dissolute of pontiffs, utterly defiling the Lateran with unspeakable crimes. Having no love for the life of a clergyman, he offered to resign the office if his godfather John Gratian would pay him a large sum of money. Gratian, well known for his scrupulous character, did so in order to rid the Church of an unworthy pope. In this he was supported by St. Peter Damian, himself an uncompromising defender of canonical and moral rectitude. Still, when Gratian was subsequently elected as Pope Gregory VI, it could be plausibly claimed that he had effectively purchased the office. King Henry III, wishing to be crowned as Holy Roman Emperor by a pope of undisputed legitimacy, summoned the Council of Sutri, which pressured Gregory to resign in December 1046.[5]

Now crowned as Emperor, Henry claimed the privilege of nominating popes, but his first two selections died shortly after consecration. On the recommendation of the Romans, he nominated the saintly Bruno of Egisheim, who was freely elected and acclaimed as Pope Leo IX in 1049. Immediately, Pope St. Leo embarked on a campaign of Church reform, rooting out illicit clerical marriage and concubinage, and abolishing the purchasing of episcopal appointments. These reforms spread throughout Central Europe, as far north as Scandinavia, aided by the Pope's personal visits, reform synods, and the austere Benedictine monasticism promoted by the order of Cluny, which enjoyed independence from the episcopate, being directly obedient to the Holy See. In all these endeavors, the power and independence of the pontiff from temporal princes was the pillar of ecclesiastical reform.

Pope St. Leo IX was renowned as a great pontiff not only for his spiritual reforms, but for his assertion of papal power in temporal affairs. By excommunicating Duke Godfrey of Lorraine, he ended a German civil war and won Godfrey's fealty. He boldly led a small army of Swabians to free Benevento from Norman warlords, and though his force was defeated, his captors beseeched his pardon as penitents. The Pope's restored authority was not grounded in force of arms, as some superficial historians have supposed. The military achievements of Leo and his successors were few, yet the Popes were often able to command the obedience of the mighty.


1.2 The East-West Schism

The revival of the papacy and reform of the Latin Church might have seemed an auspicious time to renew ties with the East. The Greeks, understandably, had refused to recognize the immoral and craven lay popes of the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. Now that the See of Peter again had a worthy occupant, there seemed to be no reason for the Greeks not to formally declare their communion with the West.

By the mid-eleventh century, however, anti-Latin sentiment had become more prevalent among the Greeks. Photius' polemics against the filioque again began to find an audience, though this was likely more an effect than a cause of resurgent hostility toward the West. Centuries of cultural estrangement, combined with occasional political disputes and the age-old conviction of Greek superiority over "barbarians" all contributed to an aversion toward any union with the West that implied dependency or subordination. Although the Greeks had previously recognized special prerogatives of the Pope as the protos or first among the patriarchs, there was now no appetite to give that primacy any formal juridical definition. On the contrary, patriarchs of Constantinople would seek to diminish the importance of papal primacy, making it a purely honorary title devoid of any authority.

Underlying these anti-Latin tendencies was an emerging sense, especially among monastics, that all major theological development had been completed, and what remained was contemplation and mystery. While there were still some philosophical theologians among Greek hierarchs in the eleventh century and beyond, many monastics and ecclesiastics expressed an anti-developmental or minimalist attitude toward theology. This may partly account for why no ecumenical council was summoned in the East, despite the revival of the Byzantine Empire in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The definitions of the Church Fathers and their Councils should suffice for all time. Liturgy, being considered no less essential than doctrine, was also to be preserved unaltered. Latin deviations from Greek norms in theological or liturgical forms were considered to be corruptions, even heresies, departing from apostolic purity.

These cultural tendencies were not strong enough to occasion a formal schism with the West, but they would be exploited to that end by a Constantinopolitan patriarch too full of ambition to be second to anyone. Michael Cerularius, born into a minor aristocratic family, had only been a monk for two years when he was made patriarch of Constantinople, likely because he was a favorite of the imperial party. It can hardly be denied that Cerularius was desirous of personal aggrandisement, as is proved by his later conspiracy against the emperor and his adoption of imperial purple. The Greek historians Psellos (11th c.), Skylitzes (11th c.), and Zonaras (12th c.) all attest to his political ambitions. (He was not portrayed as a hero of Orthodoxy until the late thirteenth century, after the failed reunion of 1274.) Here we have no resemblance to the character of Photius, who was widely regarded as a deeply pious and saintly man.

In order to delegitimize any claims of Roman primacy, Cerularius initiated an unprovoked campaign against the Latin rite, which had long been accepted and practiced even in Constantinople. Exploiting popular and monastic prejudices, he denounced the Latin use of unleavened bread (on the grounds that it was not really bread) and the custom of fasting on Saturday, considering these to be Judaizing errors, as well as its permission of eating blood (which was barbaric, since blood was the animal's soul).[6] The patriarch expressed these opinions privately since his accession in 1042, but waited until late 1052, when Pope Leo had troubles with the Normans, to publicize these views and foment discord with the Roman Church. Just a year earlier, Argyros the Byzantine Duke of Italy had proposed an imperial alliance with the Pope against the Normans, which would likely require a formal declaration of union with Rome by the Greek patriarch.

Cerularius disseminated a vitriolic pamphlet in Latin denouncing Roman practices, and outlawed the liturgical use of unleavened bread in Constantinople. When the Latin churches refused to comply, he ordered them closed, and consecrated hosts were sacrilegiously trampled by Studite monks. Cerularius also sent an extensive letter from his suffragan archbishop Leo of Achrida to Bishop John of Trani in Apulia, and "to all the bishops of the Franks, and to the most revered Pope," with polemical arguments against Latin practices. Cerularius' actions might be seen as retaliation for the Normans' installation of Latin sees in southern Italy, but the Normans never suppressed the Byzantine rite, and were remarkably tolerant even toward Muslims. The patriarch certainly knew that the Pope was held captive in Benevento (which is why he sent the letter via John of Trani), and was not responsible for any Latinization in southern Italy. In fact, the Popes had not only tolerated, but even exhorted the Greeks in Italy to retain their liturgical usage. The likely intent of Cerularius' anti-Latin campaign was, if not to create a formal schism, to at least discredit the Roman Church so that there should be no subordination to her.

The current understanding of papal primacy was expressed in Pope Leo's letter to Patriarch Peter of Antioch.[7] The Pope addresses Peter respectfully as coepiscopus (just as he had to the Carthaginians), not treating him as a mere suffragan. The patriarch had given notice to Rome of his promotion to the episcopate by the "election of the clergy and the people" along with his profession of faith. The Pope commends the patriarch for acting "according to ancient religious customs" in his regard for "the first and apostolic see, which however unworthily we preside, you have taken care to notify."

Indeed, by your apostolic see consulting with our apostolic see, you carefully consider to be unwilling to deviate from the love of the Lord and from the decree of concord of all the holy Fathers, that inviolably in all the lands of the Church in the world, the holy Roman and apostolic see is set as the head (caput praepositur), to which the greater and more difficult causes of all the Church are to be referred for decisions.

The Pope does not presume to interfere in the internal affairs of the Eastern churches, nor does he claim that Rome is the only apostolic see. He only affirms the ancient rule, universally respected, that the most serious cases affecting the entire Church should be referred to Rome. This was the practice of Alexandria when she was second in dignity to Rome, and the Greeks mentioned this right of appeal to Rome among the canons of the Council of Sardica (344). Pope Leo is on solid ground when he asserts: "Thus all the venerated councils, thus the laws of men promulgate, thus the Holy of Holies, King of kings and Lord of lords confirms."

As Scriptural proof, the Pope cites the Gospel of St. Luke: "Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren." (Lk. 22:31-32) Since Jesus prayed for this, the prayer cannot fail to have efficacy. It is in honor of Jesus' prayer and not any regard for human pretensions that the Popes assert that the faith of Peter can never fail. This unfailing faith is necessary in order for the Church to remain united, always having a point of reference, an arbiter of last resort, who can authoritatively confirm the brethren in their faith.

The Antiochene see is third in dignity to Rome, and the Pope advises the new patriarch to defend this dignity most highly, "not for the sake of your glory, but for that of the see, which you preside for a time." Pope St. Leo did not assert apostolic rights for personal aggrandisement, but for the sake of the office, which was ordained for the good of the Church.

Nec revoceris ab hac intentione cujuslibet pompa vel arrogantia, quia constanter defendas honorum, quem Antiochenae Ecclesiae reliquerunt omnia sanctorum Patrum concilia.

Nor should you retreat from this intention, on account of whatever pomp or arrogance, because you consistently defend the honor which all the councils of the holy Fathers left to the Antiochene Church.

If the occasion arises, this honor will be defended by the decree of "the greatest mother, of course the Roman and first see, with her beloved daughters." Pope Leo is probably thinking of Michael Cerularius, who, like many of his predecessors, sought to subordinate the other Eastern patriarchates, claiming supreme jurisdiction over the entire Greek empire.[8] "All of this we say therefore, because we have heard that some attempt to diminish the dignity of the ancient Antiochene Church."

The Pope finds that Peter of Antioch's professed faith is the same as that of the Roman Church. Pope Leo then gives his own confession, which includes: "Credo etiam Spiritum sanctum... a Patre et Filio procendentem, coaequalem et coessentialem et coomnipotentum, et coaeternum per omnia Patria et Filio..." The procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son does not entail any subordination of the Spirit. Likewise, the Spirit's procession is not the same as the "begetting" of the Son: "...Patrem ingenitum, Filium unigenitum, Spiritum sanctum nec genitum nec ingenitum, sed a Patre et Filio procedentem veraciter praedicem." Most importantly, Pope Leo sees no contradiction between this Creed and that of the Eastern patriarch.

It is doubtful that Cerularius would have accepted any form of papal primacy entailing his own juridical subordination. Much less could he accept the strenuous form of papal primacy articulated in Pope Leo's letter of response to the patriarch,[8] which sternly emphasized the Roman pontiff's universal ecclesiastical supremacy and his temporal authority in the West. After rebuking those who would sow tares by accusing the Roman Church of error, as if "our Father who is in heaven had hidden from Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, the rite of the visible sacrifice." The Roman Church had steadfastly confirmed the brethren in the unfailing faith of Peter through the ages. Various patriarchs of Constantinople, by contrast, had fallen into error, notably Macedonius, Nestorius, and Anthinus.

The Pope then goes on to show that various emperors had declared the Roman Church to be the head of all the Churches, and in this vein cites the Donation of Constantine, then believed to be authentic, at length. Yet Pope Leo's argument for papal primacy did not depend on this centuries-old forgery, for he continues, "we have on this matter a testimony greater than that of Constantine... Scarcely do we accept man's testimony, we who are filled with the witness of Him who came down from heaven, and is above all, and who said, 'Thou art Peter, etc." Papal primacy was not some mere human convention, but was divinely ordained.

As in his letter to Peter of Antioch, Pope St. Leo cites Luke XXII, and explains "confirming the brethren" with the metaphor of a hinge:

Et sicut cardo immobilis permanens ducit et reducit ostium, sic Petrus et sui successores liberum de omni Ecclesia habent judicium, cum nemo debeat eorum dimovere statum, quia summa sedes a nemine judicatur.

And just as a hinge pin, remaining immobile, leads and brings back the door, so Peter and his successors have free judgment of every Church, so no one should set aside their status, because the highest see is judged of no man.

Again, Pope St. Leo emphasizes that Petrine primacy belongs to the Roman see, not to its occupant's personal glory. This privilege of judging cases from anywhere in the Church is needed so that the Church is never divided, and it is in mind of this service that every Pope since Gregory the Great has opened his epistles with the humble title servum servorum Dei. For this service of confirming the brethren to be efficacious, Rome must be a court of final appeal, and so the see is judged of no man.

It is in this last assertion that we find the basis for Pope Leo's vigorous exposition of Petrine primacy to Cerularius, for the latter has dared to pass judgment on the Roman Church. The Pope is aware of the core issue behind the quibbling about liturgical practice, and takes direct aim at the Greeks' pretension that they alone preserve apostolic tradition, while the Latins are somehow inferior in faith and culture. It is to attack such stubborn pride that he reminds them of their numerous heretical patriarchs, and of the establishment of the Roman Church by the chief of the Apostles, with its privileges vouchsafed by the promise of Christ, not by any imperial pomp.

The Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX, having learned of Pope Leo's captivity and Argyros' defeat before the Normans, agreed with Argyros that a Roman-Byzantine alliance was for the benefit of all, and persuaded patriarch Michael to write a partly conciliatory letter to the Pope, received in September 1053. Yet Pope Leo was displeased by further rumors he had heard of the patriarch's deeds, and so was dissatisfied by the letter's entreaty.

Still in captivity, Pope Leo sent an embassy to Constantinople the following spring, but was frustrated by his own legates, who needlessly antagonized the Greeks by condemning their liturgical practices, though Cerularius’ obstinacy left them little chance of success in the first place. The legates excommunicated Cerularius in July 1054, though their authority to do so, unbeknownst to them, had expired with the death of Pope Leo in April. Cerularius, in return, excommunicated the legates (not the Pope). The putative excommunication of the patriarch resulted in a perceived formal schism between the Churches of Rome and Constantinople. After Cerularius was deposed and died in 1059, however, there was no longer any cause for the uncanonical schism to continue. These events alone cannot account for why the East and West would later persist in de facto schism.

In the second half of the eleventh century, the popes and patriarchs were preoccupied with affairs in their regions, resulting in further estrangement, though not outright hostility. On the few occasions when a papal embassy attempted a formal reunion, the patriarch of Constantinople would decline because either he, or those in his Church, would not recognize papal primacy. This refusal was due not only to traditional Greek pride that would not subordinate itself to the “barbarous” Latins, but also to new fears of an ascendant papacy of formidable authority and power. A revival in interest in Photius began in the eleventh century, and grew stronger in the twelfth. Yet this played a minor role in East-West estrangement. Rather, Photius became popular because of growing anti-Latin sentiment, found even among those unfamiliar with Photian writings.


1.3 Ascent of the Papacy (1073-1122)

A real transformation of the status of the papacy occurred under Pope St. Gregory VII (1073-85). He re-imposed the ancient discipline of celibacy and prosecuted simony, restoring the dignity of the clergy. He strenuously asserted the liberty of the Church (libertas ecclesiae) against the customary prerogatives of princes in ecclesiastical affairs. The papacy was no longer to be a pawn of the temporal authority. On the contrary, it was the right of the spiritual authority to pass judgment on kings and emperors, as demonstrated by the excommunication of Henry IV and the frustration of the latter’s attempt to impose an antipope.

Most of the reforms under Pope Gregory VII were really a restoration of the independence that the Church had previously enjoyed centuries earlier. Yet, following Pope Leo IX, Gregory did not hesitate to exercise temporal claims no less strenuously than his spiritual authority. In fact, the Pope’s temporal power was seen as essential to preserving the autonomy needed for his spiritual authority, and likewise spiritual penalties (e.g., excommunication) could be invoked against those who violated the Church’s temporal rights.

It is a mistake to think that the late eleventh-century popes were desirous of political power as such. In all their actions, they treated their temporal power as a mere means for promoting their spiritual goals. Protecting the revenues of the papacy and of monasteries was essential to guaranteeing their independence of princes and lords. This was not motivated by personal avarice, as clerics and monks maintained ascetic practices with ever greater zeal in their own lives. Spiritual reform and temporal power were complementary, not contradictory.

It is in this context that we should understand the idea of the First Crusade (1096-99), which was conceived first by Pope Gregory and finally by Pope Urban II (1088-99) as a penitential pilgrimage. This endeavor was a strange blend of spiritual devotions and conventional warfare, haphazardly organized. Although the idea of the crusade was novel, it was really a continuation and fulfillment of the eleventh-century notion that temporal power, including armed might, should be at the service of the spiritual power.

With the remarkable success of the First Crusade, a synergy between the papacy and the military might of the Franks seemed to be in the process of restoring Christendom, as the ancient sees of Antioch and Jerusalem were re-established as Latin patriarchates in the Crusader states. The Byzantine emperors tended to be on good terms with the popes, being in the West’s debt for driving off the Turks.

One area where Gregory VII and subsequent popes had not been able to succeed completely was in the lay investiture controversy. Since the early Middle Ages, German princes were long accustomed to the prerogative of effectively selecting and appointing bishops, especially when the papacy was weak. They were loath to part with this privilege, especially since bishops were also feudal lords, and thus in some respects subject to temporal princes.

Emperor Henry IV died in 1106, and his son Henry V was hardly less jealous of the right of lay investiture. He went so far as to imprison Pope Paschal for two months in 1111, until the latter conceded the right of imperial investiture. The pope subsequently rescinded the agreement, as it was obtained by violence. The spectacle of an imprisoned pope, which earned the condemnation of all Christendom, showed that all the gains in the Church’s independence remained in jeopardy over the issue of lay investiture.

In 1118, the Roman cardinals defiantly elected a pope without notifying the emperor. In response, the imperial faction assaulted and imprisoned the pope-elect. The Romans, however, liberated and enthroned him as Pope Gelasius. Henry V declared the election to be invalid, and imposed his own antipope Gregory VIII, the former Archbishop of Braga who had been excommunicated in 1117 for crowning Henry at Rome. Gregory continued to occupy Rome until after Gelasius’ death in 1119. The cardinals elected and crowned in exile Pope Calixtus (Callistus) II, who drove out the usurper in 1121.

Since Henry failed to achieve the capitulation of the papacy by force, and other European monarchs had already conceded that they could invest bishops only as temporal lords, he finally came to a similar agreement at Worms in 1122, known as the Pactum Callixtinum, and later as the Concordat of Worms. This was considered an epic achievement, ushering in a new era of Christendom, as the ancient harmony between Pope and Emperor had finally been restored.


2. Concordat of Worms (1122)

The peace of Christendom was made possible by the strenuous assertion of ecclesiastical authority by Pope Calixtus II, who excommunicated Henry at Rheims in 1119 when the latter sought to intimidate the synod there with an armed force. This solemn act caused many German bishops to withdraw their loyalty to the emperor, and princes were emboldened in their wars against the weakened imperial authority. For Calixtus and many bishops, the abolition of lay investiture was indispensable to the reform of the Church, since the custom occasioned simony and made ecclesiastical matters subject to political authority.

With much of his empire defecting from him, Henry agreed to submit to the judgment of a diet at Würzburg (September 1121). This assembly of dukes and bishops resolved to restore to the emperor and other parties what had been lost in recent conflicts, and to refer papal-imperial relations to a general council:

...damit auf einem kraft apostolischer Vollmacht angekündigten allgemeinen Concile alles, was durch menschliches Unheil nicht entschieden werden könne, durch das des heiligen Geistes entschieden werde.

...so that they announced upon a powerful apostolic authority a general Council of all, what could not be decided by human wisdom might be settled by the decision of the Holy Ghost.[9]

This appeal to the Holy Spirit implied that the diet envisioned a council with authority such as that enjoyed by the seven great ecumenical synods. A "council of all" however, now had different significance than it would in the first millennium. It is taken for granted that this will consist of all civil and ecclesiastical authorities in the German Empire, which was then called simply Imperium Romanum.[10] Much as the early ecumenical councils consisted of imperial commissioners and bishops from throughout the Byzantine Empire (the Imperium Romanum of its day), later to be ratified by the Pope, representing the bishops of the West, so too would this new general council begin with an imperial synod, later to be confirmed by the Pope and prelates from the rest of Christendom.

Thus the proposed general council truly began with the diet that would take place in September 1122 in Stadt der Wangionen, a city loyal to the emperor, which shortly afterward would be called Worms (according to Ekkehard of Aura, writing in 1125). This council consisted of bishops, papal legates, and imperial representatives. Its first act was to lift the excommunication of the emperor, and after patient negotiation, the following compromise on investiture was attained on 23 September.

I, bishop Calixtus, servant of the servants of God, do grant to thee beloved son, Henry—by the grace of God august emperor of the Romans—that the elections of the bishops and abbots of the German kingdom, who belong to the kingdom, shall take place in thy presence, without simony and without any violence; so that if any discord shall arise between the parties concerned, thou, by the counsel or judgment of the metropolitan and the co-provincials, may'st give consent and aid to the party which has the more right. The one elected, moreover, without any exaction may receive the regalia from thee by the sceptre (per sceptrum), and shall do unto thee for these what he rightfully should.

I Henry… do remit to God, and to the holy apostles of God, Peter and Paul, and to the holy catholic church, all investiture by ring and staff (per annulum et baculum); and do grant that in all the churches that are in my kingdom or empire there may be canonical election and free consecration.

Henry’s renunciation of any right to select and consecrate bishops is an astonishing concession, considering the great lengths he and his father went to assert such rights. He had considered that the sacral character of the emperor entitled him to confer even spiritual lordship upon bishops, but the Concordat of Worms distinguishes spiritual authority—signified by the episcopal ring and pastoral staff or crosier—from temporal lordship, received from the emperor “by the sceptre,” signifying judicial authority. (Unlike other lords, bishops did not receive the sword, due to clerical abstinence from bearing arms.) This denial of the emperor’s ability to confer spiritual authority was perhaps the first step toward the eventual desacralization of monarchy, though this distinction of authorities did not logically require it.

Yet the Pactum Callixtum was not a total capitulation by the emperor. On the contrary, Calixtus conceded that the emperor had the right to be present at elections of bishops, in order to confirm their fairness and settle disputes. This right of imperial confirmation obtained throughout the Empire, excepting Burgundy and Italy.

Attesting to the importance of this definitive pact between Pope and Emperor, Calixtus had the text of the concordat painted on the wall of a hall adjoining his chapel of St. Nicholas of Bari at the Lateran Palace. (The fresco decoration of the chapel was likely completed under antipope Anacletus II.) [Mann, p. 179]

The concordat was observed by the German emperors in letter and spirit until 1152. Frederick I (1152-90) was able to manipulate outcomes to ensure his candidate got elected, but Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) restored truly free elections in the German Empire.

The right of the emperor to decide disputed elections was rarely invoked, and frequently waived. By the thirteenth century, royal investiture of bishops with the sceptre had become purely ceremonial, as the emperor had no real role in the selection and confirmation of bishops. Indeed, from the thirteenth century onward (after death of Frederick II in 1250), the emperor’s universal temporal authority over feudal lords and princes would become more theoretical than actual.

At the time of the concordat, nonetheless, the pact could be justly seen as a victory for both parties. On the one hand, it bolstered Henry’s legitimacy and his control of the German Empire, while on the other hand, it secured the autonomy of the Church, so that bishops were not subordinates of the king.

Until now, we have not commented on the Latin presumption that the German Emperor wielded a universal temporal power analogous to that once attributed to the Byzantine emperors. This shift of imperial recognition from Constantinople to the West, which began with the coronation of Charlemagne in 800, was not mere Western bias. By 1122, the German emperor was far more powerful than that of Constantinople, governing lands of greater extent, population, and military might. Accordingly, it made far more sense to seek the assent of this monarch on any matters pertaining to Christendom in general. Still, the restored papacy was not going to allow the German emperors the prerogatives that the Byzantine emperors had enjoyed in earlier Councils. The Pope was not the “emperor’s patriarch” as the patriarchs of Constantinople had been, despite the violent efforts of Henry V and his father. Geographic distance between pope and emperor, along with the temporal power associated with the Papal States, made possible a greater degree of independence than the patriarchs of Constantinople could enjoy. The Pope, therefore, would convene the definitive general Council himself, and hold it in Rome. Its decrees would be issued in the Pope’s name.


3. Council of the Lateran

Pope Calixtus summoned the general council even before the diet of Worms had convened, since its primary function was simply to confirm the pact with the authority of a truly general council.[11] It may seem strange that such a council should be deemed necessary when no dogma of the faith was at stake, but even the Apostles invoked the guidance of the Holy Spirit to resolve purely prudential matters at the Council of Jerusalem. The lay investiture controversy had threatened the very constitution of the Church, so it was fitting to appeal to the Holy Spirit who vivifies the Mystical Body of Christ.

In the spring of 1122, 300 bishops and 600 abbots were gathered from throughout Latin Christendom, these numbers rivaling, even surpassing the earlier Councils. The prevalence of abbots reflects the great influence that monasticism then had on Church life, in the West no less than the East, especially in this age of reform.

For a Council to be ecumenical, it is necessary to invite bishops from all parts of the Church, so we should ask why the Greeks were apparently not invited to this synod. Recall that the Councils held in Constantinople generally only had bishops from the Constantinopolitan patriarchate attending, due to the difficulty of travel. The other patriarchs, including the Pope, were represented by legates. As the current Council was held in the Roman see, the Pope similarly summoned bishops from his own patriarchate, and then requested legates from the other patriarchs. Alexandria was under Muslim rule, while Antioch and Jerusalem now had Latin patriarchs, as a result of the Crusades. (The previous patriarchs had been expelled.) This left only Constantinople. It was not customary or proper to invite bishops of other patriarchates directly, but only through their patriarch. Yet the Greek patriarch of Constantinople was not in communion with Rome, a fact for which must account.

At the time of the Lateran Council, the patriarch of Constantinople was John IX Agapetos, who would seem a promising candidate for reconciliation with Rome. He was a scholarly, philosophizing theologian, favoring the clergy over the monastics who were then hostile to Latin liturgy and theology. Still, he could not accept Pope Pascal II’s condition for union, given in 1112, that the Pope has primacy over “all the churches of God throughout the world.” Even if he had accepted it, too many Greek clergy would have resisted. Aversion to papal primacy was too deeply ingrained in Greek Orthodox culture for any patriarch or emperor to reconcile with Rome even if they so desired, as some did.

Greek bishops were not excluded from the Council because of any hostility toward them, but as a result of the de facto schism with their patriarch. It was impractical and improper to invite the Greek bishops without the consent of their patriarch, and in any event they would have likely refused, either out of obedience to their superior or from their own anti-Latin sentiments.

Even with this exclusion, the Council still represented the entire West (the lion’s share of Christendom at that time) and the newly restored patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem. With all this participation, plus consent of Pope and Emperor, it certainly seemed like an ecumenical council, so it is hardly to be wondered that contemporaries regarded it as such and intended it to be such. The triumphant spectacle of such a great general Council reflected the spirit of optimism that filled the air, and served as a living witness of the restoration of Christendom, that ecumenical harmony of Church and Empire.

All the events building up to the synod convey the sense that the First Lateran Council was a big deal. It was not some minor patriarchal synod of bishops summoned by the Pope. Just as Nicaea was the model of Councils following the liberation of the Church under Constantine, so the First Lateran Council is the model of Councils for the new papo-imperial order after Worms. The Greeks could not accept or join this order, since that would require admitting that they were now just regional players, no longer at the center of the Christian imperium.

Modern Orthodox theologians, from the nineteenth century onward, have proposed that a Council becomes ecumenical not from papal ratification, but from reception by the Church. Yet even Orthodox critics have noted that this theory is anti-historical, as the early Councils were considered to be immediately binding, with no notion of needing to be ratified by “the people.” Clearly, this “receptionist” theory is an anachronistic projection of modern democratic ideology (“consent of the governed”) onto early Christendom, where authority came from the top down.

The alternative favored by many modern Orthodox, that a Council is “ecumenical” by virtue of teaching what was taught by the Church Fathers, is hardly more satisfactory. It shares the circularity of Luther’s method for determining canonical Scripture: anything that teaches justification by faith alone; i.e., anything with which Luther agreed. How are we to know whether a Council teaching is that of the Fathers, who spoke with diverse voices? Without an authoritative interpreter of the Patristic tradition, we are left only with private interpretation. The centuries-long failure of the Orthodox to produce a coherent authority principle for ecumenical councils only strengthens the case that such authority is to be found in papal ratification. The Orthodox who reject this conclusion will find themselves adopting a Protestant ecclesiology of authority.

The primary task of the Council was confirming the Concordat of Worms, both pieces of which were displayed publicly. After they were solemnly approved, they were placed in the Roman archives. Among other business, the Council appointed a commission (6 April) to determine if Pisan archbishops would still have the privilege of consecrating Corsican bishops. This was denied, and the privilege was discontinued. The Pope's signature had the title catholicae ecclesiae episcopus, a custom apparently dating back to Leo IX[12], in parallel with other bishops, who would sign as "[Diocese name] episcopus." Clearly the Pope was claiming to be bishop of the universal Church, though whether this jurisdiction was "immediate" and "ordinary" had yet to be formally defined in the canons.


4. Canons

The canons are brief and uncontroversial in their legal content. Their significance arises from the historical context in which they were proclaimed. These canons codify and enforce the victory of the reformers against clerical immorality, simony, and lay investiture.

The ordering of the 22 canons varies by manuscript. [See also discussion taken from H. J. Schroeder, Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils: Text, Translation and Commentary, (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1937) http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/lateran1.asp] Further, it is not certain that all of these should be attributed to the Council. Symeon of Durham's Historia Regnum, a contemporary chronicle completed in 1129, includes only canons 1-5, 7-10, and 13-14. Gratian's Decretum assigns the last five canons to the papacy of Urban II (1088-1099).

By the first canon, simony was forbidden and simoniacs were to be deprived of office. By the second canon, those who were excommunicated by their bishop could not be received by other bishops. This at once guaranteed the authority of bishops and the unity of the Latin Church.

The third canon strictly required canonical elections for bishops. If this was not done, “let both consecrator and consecrated be deposed beyond hope of restoration.” This shows greater severity than the leniency previously shown to uncanonical elections, especially in the East. (Recall the eventual admission of Photian ordinations.) This strictness guaranteed the integrity of the office of bishops and the unity of the Church. A uniform legal order was being imposed over the Latin Church.

No cleric could grant anyone the care of souls without consent of a bishop, under pain of excommunication. (Canon 4) Again, the Church is establishing a unified authority structure.

The ordinations by antipope Gregory VIII (Burdinus) and the bishops he appointed are all considered null and void. (Canon 5) There is less leniency shown here than toward Photius. Burdinus had been Henry V’s pick. By this total rejection of the effects of lay interference in the Church, the Council eliminates any incentive for attempts to subordinate the papacy.

The Latin of Canon 6 is ambiguous as to which offices require the presbyterate or the diaconate. "Nullus etiam in praepositum, nullus in archidiaconum ordinetur, nullus in decanum, nisi praesbeter vel diaconus ordinetur." This literally means that no one can be ordained a provost, an archdeacon or dean if he is not ordained a priest or deacon. Tanner's translation likely interprets the sense correctly by specifying that the diaconate suffices to become archdeacon, but priesthood is required for the other two offices.

Priests, deacons and subdeacons were forbidden “to live with concubines and wives, and to cohabit with other women, except those whom the council of Nicaea permitted to dwell with them solely on account of necessity, namely a mother, sister, paternal or maternal aunt, or other such persons, about whom no suspicion could justly arise.” (Canon 7) This is a restoration of the ancient Latin discipline, which had lapsed throughout much of the West.

We further resolve, in accordance with the statute of the most blessed pope Stephen, that lay persons, however religious they may be, have no power to dispose of any ecclesiastical business; but following the apostolic canons, let the bishop have the care of all ecclesiastical matters... (Canon 8)

The “statute of the most blessed pope Stephen” (meaning Pope St. Stephen I, 3rd cent.) is one of the forged decretals in the pseudo-Isidoran collection, then believed to be authentic. The Council does not bind anyone to accept that such a decree was really written by Pope St. Stephen, anymore than the earlier Councils bound anyone to accept that the “apostolic canons” were really written by the Apostles. The Church’s infallibility is guaranteed only regarding doctrines of faith and morals, and facts that are in a relation of logical dependence with such doctrines. This is distinct from Divine Revelation (Scripture and Tradition), which is free from any error whatsoever on account of its Author, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

The ninth canon forbids marriage between blood relatives, “because both the divine and secular laws prohibit them.” Marriage is one area that is subject to both ecclesiastical and temporal jurisdiction, as would be elaborated in later centuries.

To those who set out for Jerusalem and offer effective help towards the defence of the christian people and overcoming the tyranny of the infidels, we grant the remission of their sins, and we place their houses and families and all their goods under the protection of blessed Peter and the Roman church, just as has been decreed by our lord Pope Urban. Whoever dares to distrain or carry off their houses, families and goods, while they are on their way, shall be punished with excommunication. (Canon 10)

Full “remission of sins” is given to those who help defend the Crusader states, established after the successful First Crusade summoned by Pope Urban II. Here “remission of sins” refers to the same benefit commonly promised to religious pilgrims. It does not dispense with the need to repent of one’s sins—such repentance was presumed in a penitent—but it absolves one from all penances, that is, the canonically prescribed penalties or punishments. Thus, the “remission of sins” is akin to what would later be called a “plenary indulgence.”

[The remission of sins promised to Crusaders did not nullify the need for sacramental confession, as is proved by the fact that the bishop did hear confessions before battle, as related by Guibert of Nogent repeatedly in Gesta Dei per Francos. Guibert notes that others who could not confess were saved by martyrdom.]

The Church protects their property and goods from any temporal power that would take them, under pain of excommunication.

Recall that the First Crusade was seen as a kind of pilgrimage; in fact, it was called an iter per remissionem peccatorum. The term “crusade” later arose from the fact that such pilgrims wore crosses.

Those who have put crosses on their clothes, with a view to journeying to Jerusalem or to Spain, and have later taken them off, we command by our apostolic authority to wear the crosses again and to complete the journey between this Easter and the following Easter. Otherwise, from that moment we cut them off from entry into church and forbid divine services in all their lands, apart from the baptism of infants and confessions for the dying. (Canon 10)

Here the Church claims the authority to penalize entire nations for desertion of a Crusade. The vow of a crusader was considered to fall under the spiritual authority. Yet even nations under interdict are permitted the sacraments of mercy: baptism of infants and last confession.

...we order the abolition of that immoral practice hitherto obtaining with respect to the dead Porticani, so that the goods of Porticani dwellers dying without heirs are not to be dispersed against the wishes of those dying. This, however, is to the extent that the Porticani remain obedient and faithful to the Roman church and to us and our successors. (Canon 11)

The Porticani were itinerant merchants who dwelled at the gates of Rome. The papacy offers protection of their estates in exchange for their obedience, as some had favored Henry V’s antipope.

In related canons (12-14), the Council forbids stealing offerings from the altars of Roman churches, using counterfeit money, or attacking pilgrims. These were common abuses in the city of Rome.

The fifteenth canon reaffirms the “peace and truce of God” decreed by previous popes since the tenth century. The “Peace of God” brought certain persons under the Church’s protection as non-combatants. These included clergy, religious, pilgrims, and peasants working on Church lands. The “truce of God,” starting in the eleventh century, sought to limit feudal warfare by forbidding armed conflicts on Sundays and various holy days, even all of Lent, depending on locale. The “truce of God”, though often ignored, represents an important early attempt to impose limits on the exercise of war by an international authority. The penalty for non-compliance was spiritual: i.e., excommunication.

Monks are commanded to be obedient to their bishops, and forbidden to celebrate public masses. “Moreover, let them completely abstain from public visitations of the sick, from anointings and even from hearing confessions, for these things in no way pertain to their calling.” (Canon 16) Again, the Council’s emphasis is on restoring the power of bishops, not only against the temporal authority, but against an unruly monasticism. It is in the second millennium that the Catholic Church moved decisively toward an authority structure headed by bishops rather than monks. This would eventually lead to most popes coming from the ranks of bishops rather than from monastic orders, dispensing with the ancient canon against changing sees.

The seventeenth canon forbids, “under pain of anathema, any military person to presume to seize or hold by force Benevento, the city of blessed Peter.”

The city of Benevento had belonged to the papacy since the time of Pope St. Leo IX, as a tribute from the Empire. It was soon taken by the Normans. Pope Leo led an army to recapture it, but was defeated. He was sharply criticised by St. Peter Damian for this apparent breach of the injunction against warfare by clergy. Pope Leo later, to his credit, obtained the obedience of the Normans by peaceful suasion, and Benevento belonged to the popes henceforth. In the early twelfth century, however, there was again reason to be wary of Norman designs on that city.

“Priests are to be appointed to parish churches by the bishops, to whom they shall answer for the care of souls...They may not receive tithes or churches from lay persons without the consent and wish of the bishops…” (Canon 18) Again, there is concern to make sure that priests are subject to the authority of bishops, who alone have supreme pastoral responsibility for a diocese.

We allow the service (servitium) which monasteries and their churches have paid from the time of Pope Gregory VII until now. We altogether forbid abbots and monks to have the possessions of churches and bishops by a thirty years provision. (Canon 19)

In 1078, Pope Gregory imposed a limit on the tribute or tax (servitium) that bishops could exact from monasteries, and the Council reaffirms this limit. At the same time, however, the Council forbids monks to obtain Church property by prescription.

The twenty-first canon declares that clerical marriages should be made void, while the persons involved must undergo penance. This is not a new or uniquely Latin canon, for even the Greeks forbid marriage of those already in Holy Orders. The sacrament of Orders is a supreme covenant of fidelity that is not to be superseded by matrimony.

We condemn the alienations which have been made everywhere, especially by Otto, Jeremias, and perhaps Philip, of the property of the exarchate of Ravenna. Moreover, we declare in general to be invalid the alienations made in whatever fashion by all persons, whether they were intruded or were canonically elected in the name of a bishop or an abbot, who should be consecrated in accordance with the usage of his own church, and the ordinations conferred by them without the consent of the clergy of the church or through simony. We also forbid absolutely that any cleric should presume to alienate in any way his prebend or any ecclesiastical benefice. Any such action in the past or the future shall be invalid and subject to canonical penalty. (Canon 22)

This does more than simply clean up the schism of Guibert of Ravenna’s (d. 1100) successors. It forbids the alienation of ecclesiastical property and income.

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5. Conclusion

The Pactum Calixtinum and subsequent Council of the Lateran reflect the culmination of a century-long reform movement that sought to free the Church from temporal dominion, be it political, monetary, or sensual. This was accomplished not by retreating from temporal affairs, but by forcefully asserting the special character of ecclesiastical privileges. Temporal authority was still valued as an instrument for imposing spiritual authority. This alliance between pope and emperor, prince and bishop, did not entail a secularization of the Church. On the contrary, this supposedly “worldly” era of the Church was accompanied by a most pronounced zeal for the ascetic ideals of clerical continence and anti-simony. The central principle at stake from the tenth century until Worms was not whether the Church is to be in the world, as is her mission, but whether she is to be subordinated to temporal society.

Even in the era of Roman persecution, the Christian Church resisted subordination to the state, seeing itself as an independent society in Christ. Thus Christians were accused by their enemies of disregarding the laws, an accusation not wholly without merit. A Christian necessarily evaluates the state and its laws according to spiritual criteria, and so can never be a statist.

With the institution of state-sanctioned Christianity in the fourth century, however, there were strong pressures for the Church in the East to submit to the Emperor, and to recognize him as a sacral figure. Many Greek bishops yielded to this pressure, though in fairness, this was often under extreme duress. At the same time, appeal to the imperial power served as a basis for exalting the Constantinopolitan church above all others. Yet this proved to be a double-edged sword, for as the see of Constantinople rose in dignity and authority by virtue of its proximity to the emperor, so did it become ignored and marginalized as the center of political power in Christendom shifted westward.

The Popes had always asserted a primacy of jurisdiction and teaching authority over the entire Church, though the exact nature of this primacy was never formally defined. The Greeks actually appealed to this primacy from time to time, as a bulwark against heretical emperors and patriarchs. Still, they rarely showed a true spirit of submission to the Roman Pontiff, perhaps because of the ignominy of recognizing superiority in a barbarian. This refusal to submit lies at the heart of the eastern schism, more so than any theological, liturgical or historical issue. The Russians, for example, have no historical grievances against the Roman Church, and the Greeks were willing to seek reunion just seventy years after the sack of Constantinople. If a Roman primacy that is more than merely honorary could be accepted, all other obstacles to reunion would greatly diminish in magnitude.

The West, for its part, did not wait for the East, but embarked on its own world-historical project of Christendom. The model for this project, which would be realized throughout the High Middle Ages and early modern period, was established by the Concordat of Worms and the First Lateran Council. From this point onward, the Roman Catholic Church as we know it could look upon itself confidently as the fullness of Christ's missionary presence on earth, a perfect (i.e., complete) society without need of anything from without, either from the state or from churches beyond its lands.

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Primary Sources

Secondary Sources


[1] See Hefele, v. 5.1, xxxii, p. 631. Pandulf of Pisa in the Liber Pontificalis speaks of 997 bishops and abbots. Suger, abbot of Saint-Denis, who attended the Council, says there were over 300 bishops. Symeon of Durham, another contemporary, likewise says there were 300. The Chronicon Fossae Novae (completed in 1217) says there were 500 bishops. Most historians agree from this evidence that there were probably over 300 bishops and 600 abbots. These numbers are consistent with Falcone di Benevento's statement that all the prelates of Italy and "nearly all" (omnes fere) the bishops and abbots from beyond the Alps attended (assuming only higher ranking abbots are meant). Unfortunately for us, Falcone is concerned only with the Council's affect on Benevento, not wanting to burden the reader with other details of the Council's decrees, since others had already written of them. This further attests to the perceived importance of the Council at that time.

[2] In his opening address to the Third Lateran Council, Rufinus says of the Roman church: "This city of the sun, this church, head of the universe... she who has never been subjected to any other see, who dispenses the power of the keys and of judgment to all the other sees, who alone is the final court of appeal, who alone possesses the power to assemble a universal council..."

[3] St. Robert Cardinal Bellarmine, Disputationes de controversiis Christianae fidei adversus hujus temporis haereticos (1586-1593), v.II, bk.i, c.iv. While recognizing that some "general councils" are not absolutely general, but only within a nation or region, Cardinal Bellarmine counts the Lateran Synod of 1123 as the ninth of those that are absolutely general, or ecumenical. His definition:

Generalia dicuntur ea, quibus interesse possunt & debent Episcopi totius orbis, nisi legitime impediantur, & quibus nemo recte praesidet , nisi summus Pontifex, aut alius eius nomine. Inde enim dicuntur Oecumenica, id est, orbis terrae totius Concilia.

Those [councils] are said to be general which all the bishops of the world can and should attend, unless legitimately impeded, and which no one has the right to preside, except the Supreme Pontiff, or some other in his name. Whence they are said to be Ecumenical, that is, Councils of the whole world.

Cardinal Bellarmine's enumeration of eighteen Councils from Nicaea to Trent was used for the Roman edition of the Concilia Generalia published in 1608-1612 by order of Pope Paul V, and all later editions. This list is not infallible in aspects that do not affect any doctrine of the Church. Since the First Lateran Council promulgated no dogmas, its ecumenical status has no intrinsic connection to revealed truth and therefore is not a dogmatic fact.

[4] WH Carroll. The Building of Christendom, vol. 2, p. 433. St. Vladimir received papal embassies in 991 and 1000, and sent his own embassy to Rome in 994.

This was actually the second conversion of Russia. That achieved by Photius in the ninth century was short-lived, likely due to the defeat of Russian Christian rulers by pagan rivals.

[5] As WH Carroll observes (Ibid., p. 464.), the voluntary nature of Gregory's resignation is proved by the fact that neither he nor his companion Hildebrand—the most strenuous advocate of papal autonomy—ever disputed that he then ceased to be pope. The other popes "deposed" at Sutri—Benedict IX and Sylvester III—had no adherents and made no claim to the throne at that time. Still, Henry had their cases tried, as he wanted there to be no doubt about the legitimacy of his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor.

[6] At the Council of Jerusalem, the Apostles forbade eating blood [Acts 15:29], but Western Christians have always understood this as a reformable disciplinary canon, much like the Council's injunction against eating meat sacrificed to idols, to avoid giving scandal to early Jewish Christians. [cf 1 Cor. 8:4-13, 10:27-28] It is forbidden to the Jews and those who live among them by the Torah's laws for ritual cleanness, to show respect for the life or soul of an animal. [Lev. 7:26-27, 17:10-14] The Noahide laws, which apply even to gentiles, forbid eating flesh with lifeblood in it [Gen. 9:4], but the Jews have understood this as requiring only that one may not eat flesh cut from a living animal or drink its blood.

[7] Ep. CI in Patrologia Latina, date uncertain. It is dated 1054 in PL, since it is found with the letters to Cerularius, but its content suggests it is earlier. Mann dates it to early 1053, shortly after Peter III's accession in 1052.

[8] The title of "ecumenical patriarch," claimed by Constantinopolitan prelates for centuries, likely referred only to a pretended jurisdiction over all churches in the Byzantine Empire, not the entire Catholic Church. In the 1050s, Antioch was still part of the empire.

[8] Ep. C in Patrologia Latina.

[9] Judicio et consilio D. apostolici causam imperatoris determinandam reservantes. in: Ekkehard of Aura, Annals of Hildesheim.

[10] Frederick I (1152-90) was the first to call himself “Holy Roman Emperor,” to emphasize that this office is divinely ordained, independently of the Pope.

[11] That the Council's purpose was to confirm the pact is attested by Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis, who attended, and Falcone of Benevento, a reliable contemporary. See HK Mann, Lives of the Popes, v.8., p. 177.

[12] The formula "Ego NN ecclesiae catholicae episcopus was frequently used by popes from Urban II onward. Earlier, Alexander II signed a 1062 bull as "catholicae Ecclesiae episcopus," but he more commonly styled himself as the humble or unworthy bishop of the Apostolic See or Church. Before him, Nicholas II (1059) signed as episcopus sanctae catholicae et apostolicae Romanae Ecclesiae, so "catholic" was originally a descriptor of the Apostolic Church, not necessarily a claim of immediate jurisdiction over other churches. Still earlier, Victor II called himself sanctae Romanae et universalis papae (1055), and Leo IX signed as sanctae catholicae et apostolicae Ecclesiae, apparently identifying his Church with the one Church of the Nicene Creed. Evidently, the popes had regarded themselves as "universal bishop" in one sense or another long before Calixtus. [For further discussion, see: Georg May, Ego N.N. Catholicae Ecclesiae Episcopus: Entstehung, Entwicklung und Bedeutung einer Unterschriftsformel im Hinblick auf den Universalepiskopat des Papstes (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1995).]

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