Investiture Controversy


The Investiture Controversy, also referred to as the Investiture Contest or Investiture Dispute, was a conflict lasting from 1076 to 1122 between the papacy of the Catholic Church and the Salian Dynasty of German monarchs who ruled the Holy Roman Empire. The papal-imperial conflict was focused on the appointment of bishops, priests, and monastic officials through the practice of lay investiture, in which these church officials were selected for their positions and installed through the exchange of the vestments and physical symbols of the respective offices by secular rulers rather than by the pope. The dispute was largely an ideological one between the coalitions of Pope Gregory VII (r. 1073-1085) and Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (r. 1084-1105) and the King of the Germans (r. 1056-1105), although the conflict persisted beyond their deaths and had political ramifications for centuries to come.

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