Previous to the eleventh century there had been quarrels between Emperor and Pope. Occasional Popes, such as Nicholas I (858-67), had asserted high prerogatives for the successor of St. Peter, but we have seen that the Church herself taught the co-ordinate and the mutual dependence of the ecclesiastical and secular powers. It was the circumstances of the tenth century which caused the Church to assume a less complacent attitude and, in her efforts to prevent her absorption by the State, to attempt the reduction of the State to a mere department of the Church.
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Very dense, information packed description of the several centuries leading up to the protest reformation. Lots of people, rulers, politics, conflicts, and crusades too, all causing challenges for the survival of the independence of the papacy. I think Catholics and Protestants alike benefit by studying church history in depth to understand why we believe as we do.