Efforts to change all this began in the eleventh century.
The church was declared independent from secular rulers after a series of popes lied that secular control was to blame for the lack of moral leadership.
The power to choose the pope rested with a group of priests from the major churches in and around Rome, according to the Lateran Council of 1059.
The power is retained by the college today.
Pope Gregory VII championed reform and the ex pansion of papal power.
He ordered all priests to give up their wives and children or face dismissal, invalidated the ordination of church officials who had purchased their offices, and placed nuns under the control of male authorities.
He was the first pope to emphasize the political authority of the papacy, ordering that any church official selected or appointed by a lay person should be deposed, and any lay person, including rulers, who appointed a church official should be excommunicated.
Henry IV, the ruler of Germany, was the first to protest this restriction of power.
Gregory responded by excommunicating the bishops who supported Henry and threatened to depose him.
According to legend, Henry stood outside in the snow for three days in 1077.
Gregory was obliged to readmit the emperor to the Christian community.
Although Henry bowed before the pope, he actually won a victory and was crowned the Holy Roman emperor in 1084.
monasteries and convents were often the targets of raids by local looters in the ninth and tenth centuries.
Some religious communities fled and others fell under the control of local feudal lords.
Powerful laymen ap pointed themselves or their relatives as abbots, took the lands and goods of monasteries, and spent monastic revenues.
The needs of the feudal system were fulfilled by Medieval monasteries.
They gave noble boys opportunities for careers in the church.
Most of the men who rose in the ranks of church officials were from high-status families.
The kinds of religious life open to women were defined by the social class.
The most powerful position a woman could hold in medieval society was the head of a convent.
People of lower social standing lived and worked in monasteries, but as lay brothers and sisters who did not perform religious duties.
There were different routines within individual monasteries.
Every monastery has a daily life centered on the liturgy or Divine Office.
As important as the labor of peasants and the military might of nobles was praying.
Prayers were said for peace, rain, good harvests, the civil authorities, the monks' and nuns' families, and their benefactors.
Monastic patrons lavished gifts on the monasteries, which became very wealthy, controlling large tracts of land and the peasants who farmed them.
They are available on compact disk, as downloads, and on several Web sites.
Hildegard was turned over to the care of an abbey.
Hildegard might have kept the Rhineland when she was eight years old.
Why do you think she received a good education?
Hildegard had accomplishments of her own.
She told few people about her mystical visions when she was a child, given her status as a woman in the sky.
It kindled my heart and breast like a flame, not burning but warming.
She wanted the church to approve her facsimile.
Hildegard left her abbey in 1147 to found a convent near Bingen.
She wrote to scholars, prelates, and ordinary people.
When she was over fifty, she left her community to preach to audiences of clergy and laity, and she was the only woman of her time whose opinions on religious matters were considered authoritative by the church.
Hildegard's visions have been explored by theologians and also by neurologists, who believe that she may have been inspired by a specific type of headaches called migraines.
She doesn't use her illness to develop her interpretations.
Her music is what she is best known for today.
Most of her compositions are written to be sung by the nuns in her convent, so they have strong lines for female voices.
When reform improved the situation in some monasteries, lay people showered gifts on monasteries with good reputations, but monasticism and spiritual fervor declined again.
The growth of cities provided a new challenge for the church in the 13th century.
The church did not meet the spiritual needs of many urban people.
They turned to heresies, which are versions of Christianity that are not approved by the papacy.
Many belief systems denied the value of material wealth.
An opinion, belief, or action minicans and Franciscans, who preached and ministered to city dwellers, were counter to the doctrine of the papal Inquisition, a special court designed to root out heresy.
The daily lives of ordinary people in medieval Europe were impacted by religion.
From country to country, to province to province, religious practices varied.