PASCHAL II, POPE(C. 1050–1118, PONTIFICATE 1099–1118). Although he was a timid Benedictine monk who sustained the first successful crusade and dedicated many churches, Paschal’s reputation is colored by the Investiture Controversy and the disastrous Concordat of Sutri. In his desire to increase the Church’s freedom from secular power, Paschal tried to prohibit lay investitures and called for bishops to relinquish many temporal powers, a stand that embroiled him in conflict with Emperor *Henry IV and caused Emperor *Henry V to take him prisoner. Paschal died without resolving the struggle.
Little is known of Paschal’s early life. He was born Rainerius in central Italy around 1050. As a youth, he entered a Benedictine monastery and became cardinal priest of San Clemente in Rome under Pope *Gregory VII. Under Pope *Urban II, he first served as legate in Spain and was afterward appointed abbot of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls in Rome. He was unanimously elected to succeed Urban II, though he himself protested.
Although the antipopes were not a major issue for Paschal during the reign of Henry IV, Church and empire could not resolve their conflict over the right of investiture. In 1102, Paschal excommunicated Henry IV and denounced lay investitures. He supported the revolt of the future Henry V, but the son would no more relinquish the power of investiture than his father. Paschal attacked Henry V at several synods, including Guastalla in 1106 and Troyes in 1107. Paschal’s successful negotiations with England and France in 1107 seemed to have little immediate effect on relations with Henry V, but those settlements would pave the way for the Concordat of Worms in 1122, four years after Paschal’s death.
During discussions at Rome and Sutri in February 1111, it was determined that Henry V would receive coronation in exchange for his oath of obedience and that lay investiture of bishops would be stopped. In an evident desire to insulate further the Church from the power of the crown, Paschal decided that
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Publication information: Book title: The Rise of the Medieval World, 500-1300:A Biographical Dictionary. Contributors: Jana K. Schulman - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 333.
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