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Worms, Councils of

WORMS, COUNCILS OF

charlemagne and his successors frequently held conferences at Worms that have been termed diètes synodales or concilia mixta. Such meetings occurred in 770, 772, 776, 781, 786, 787, c. 790, 829, 836, and 857. Since in no instance is their ecclesiastical character certain, without evidence to the contrary, they must be regarded simply as Reichstagen. However, the meeting held in 868 to legislate for the lands of Louis the German was, without doubt, an ecclesiastical synod. Its principal business, other than the promulgation of about 80 statutes, was to approve a lengthy statement defending the Latin Church's position in the filioque controversy with the Greeks. Under the emperor henry iv a council convoked to meet in Worms at Christmas 1059 was never held. The city was the scene of the famous German diet and council of 1076, which opened the struggle between Pope and Emperor. gregory vii had sent a letter to Henry IV enumerating instances of his disobedience, especially of the new decree (1075) against lay investiture, and urging him to submission. The King's reply was to summon the German bishops to Worms, where they declared that they no longer recognized Gregory as pope. Thereupon, Henry wrote to "Brother Hildebrand" and the Roman people, announcing the decision. Rome replied with excommunication, and the investiture struggle was joined. The controversy was settled in 1122 at the very place it began, in a legatine council that concluded the Concordat of Worms. Two papal legates deposed the archbishop of Mainz at Worms 1153, even though St. Bernard himself defended the man.

Bibliography: c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux, tr. and continued by h. leclercq, 10 v. in 19 (Paris 190738) 3.2:956, 976, 982, 994, 998, 1034; 4.1:7678, 100, 213 (for meetings before 868), 458465 (for 868); 4.2:121012 (for 1059); 5.1:151156 (for 1076); 5.2:863 (for 1153); 6.1:77 (for a diocesan synod of Richard, bishop 124757); 8.1:198, 788 (for the diet of 1495), 215 (for the Synodale of 1496). Monumenta Germaniae Constitutiones (Berlin 1826) 1.1:106110, documents for 1076. b. gebhardt, Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte, ed. h. grundmann, 4 v. (8th ed. Stuttgart 195460) 1:256258. a. werminghoff, "Verzeichnis der Akten fränkischer Synoden von 742843," Neuses Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 24 (1899) 457502.

[r. kay]

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