Paschal II, Pope
PASCHAL II, POPE
Pontificate: Aug. 13, 1099, to Jan. 21, 1118; Benedictine; b. Rainerius, at Bieda, in central Italy. He entered a monastery as a boy (not Cluny as commonly supposed, but probably a dependent house of Vallombrosa), became cardinal priest of San Clemente under gregory vii, served as legate in Spain under urban ii, and was subsequently abbot of st. paul-outside-the-walls. His personal sanctity helped determine his election to succeed Urban II. His pontificate did not prove an easy one. The main problems he faced were (1) the existence of anti-popes; (2) the conflict with the secular powers, especially in Germany, France, and England; (3) the need to further the reform of the Church. Underlying them all was one theme—the struggle for control of episcopal elections.
His reign opened well. Emperor henry iv, after the death of Guibert of Ravenna (clement iii, antipope) in 1100, withdrew support from subsequent antipopes, Theoderic
(1100–02), Albert (1102), and Sylvester IV (1105–11); these no longer proved a serious threat to Paschal. Both Henry and the pope hoped to settle their differences, but neither of them would give way on the investiture issue. Paschal renewed the ban against Henry and prohibited lay investiture at the Roman synod in 1102. Subsequently he favored the revolt of Henry's son (1105). The son made a large number of promises, but as henry v he proved just as determined to retain control over investiture.
Despite meetings with the royal legates in 1106, 1107, and 1110, Paschal was disillusioned, and he condemned Henry V at the Synods of Guastalla (1106), Troyes (1107), Benevento (1108), and the Lateran (1110). Polemic literature on both sides aggravated the dispute. Henry finally marched on Rome, for he was determined to obtain imperial coronation and the right of investiture. The outcome was the fiercely debated concordat at Sutri (Feb. 9, 1111), by which, in return for free elections, Paschal granted church property in the Empire to Henry and agreed to crown him as emperor.
Both papal and imperial supporters condemned the agreement. Henry then took Paschal prisoner and forced him to recognize lay investiture (Privilege of Ponte Mammolo, Apr. 12, 1111). These actions seriously damaged the unity of the papal party. Ultimately Paschal repudiated the privilege (1112) and explicitly condemned lay investiture in 1116. He finally left Rome and returned only on Jan. 14, 1118, to die there a few days later. During this long struggle with Henry V, Paschal had also intervened to settle the dispute of anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, with henry i of england (1107). The interest of that settlement lies in its departure from the strict principles of the gregorian reform, thus providing a basis for subsequent settlements with France (also in 1107) and with Henry V (Concordat of worms, 1122).
Paschal has generally been criticized for his failure, and little has been said of his work for the Church in other regions, e.g., in the Latin Kingdom of jerusalem. Even his contemporaries—enemies and friends alike— condemned his actions (see the Liber de honore ecclesiae of Placidus of Nonantula, Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Libelli de lite 2:568). He did not solve the conflict with the Empire; but if success be the guiding principle, it may be asked how much he differed from the example of his more able predecessors. His attitude toward temporal possessions was ideally the right one. He certainly contributed toward depriving the regalia of their sacramental character, making the concordat of 1122 possible. His pontificate was one more step in the direction of sharply distinguishing lay and clerical powers and offices.
See Also: investiture struggle.
Bibliography: f. x. seppelt, Geschichte der Päpste von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des 20. Jh. 3:134–151. c. marcora, Storia dei papi (Milan 1961) 2:346–358. a. stacpoole, "Hildebrand, Cluny and the Papacy," Downside Review 81 (1963) 142–164, 254–272. j. g. rowe, "Paschal II and the Relation Between the Spiritual and Temporal Powers in the Kingdom of Jerusalem," Speculum 32 (1957) 470–501. p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. s. lÖwenfeld 1:702–772. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Constitutiones 1:134–152, 564–574. a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours 8:338–375. h. seibert, "Paschalis II," Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Freiburg, Basel, Rome, Vienna 1993) 7:1409–1410. g. m. cantarella, Pasquale II e il suo tempo (Naples 1997). i. m. resnick, "Odo of Cambrai and the Investiture Crisis of the Early Twelfth Century," Viator 28 (1997) 83–98. j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 160.
"Paschal II, Pope." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 11, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/paschal-ii-pope
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