Church state relationship and theory of two swords

church state relationship and theory of two swords

Lesson 6: Two Swords Doctrine - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. The Relationship of Church and State Lesson 6 The imagery of two swords comes from the Gospel of Luke. seem similar to the modern notion of “the Separation of Church and State,” it was quite different. The one holy Catholic and truly Apostolic Church has two types of The Church has the authority to teach (doctrine), on matters of faith, morals The temporal authority of the Church includes authority over Vatican City-State.

You know, most clement son, that, although you take precedence over all mankind in dignity, nevertheless you piously bow the neck to those who have charge of divine affairs and seek from them the means of your salvation, and hence you realize that, in the order of religion, in matters concerning the reception and right administration of the heavenly sacraments, you ought to submit yourself rather than rule… for if the bishops themselves, recognizing that the imperial office was conferred on you by divine disposition, obey your laws so far as the sphere of public order is concerned… with what zeal, I ask you, 8 Ibid.

Daniel 4 ought you to obey those who have been charged with administering the sacred mysteries? Emphasis added 11 It is clearly observed here that the Popes clearly recognized the royal power over the affairs of the world as the proper sphere of kings from the beginning of this interplay between church and state.

Two Swords

The conferral of the legitimizing power upon the papacy was nothing more than an accident of circumstances; moreover, it was one which the early Popes sought to throw off once they recognized exactly what had happened, seeking to maintain proper boundaries. However, the force of history is difficult to resist, and temporal power, whether accepted or rejected, when vested in a certain place, is doomed to be grasped at by those who would seek to possess it entirely.

Relationship between State and Church during Medieval Period

The harmony between the empire and the church observed in this era would only stand as long as there were good kings who deferred to the Pope in matters of legitimizing succession out of reverence and circumstantial need, and as long as there are Popes who realize this power was only conferred upon them by the existence of a power vacuum, and not a per se power of their office.

With this caveat in mind, we must now proceed to the next act of this great drama. As the reader might suppose by now, the requisite harmony which would preserve the amiable peace and cooperation between ecclesiastical and imperial authority did not last forever. Beginning in the early 13th century, certain kings, especially Frederick Barbossa, Holy Roman Emperor and grandfather of Frederick IIbegan to clash with the Church simply because he desired greater power.

They too, in part, fell victim to this, and thus sought to use their spiritual authority as seen in the 11 Ibid. Daniel 5 language of the quote above to justify holding onto the legal power that had been granted them out of necessity by stating it was an inherent power given them from the beginning.

The timing of these clashes corresponds to the development of jurisprudence in medieval society at large, which had as its goal the regulation of the dynamic of power between Church and state.

The desire to legitimize power allocation by both sides encouraged a renewed effort to codify law, according to Roman jurisprudence: Roman jurisprudence reintroduced the idea that a legal system could be a coherent body of ordered deductions from rational principles… On the practical level… there was a widespread popular demand for rational and equitable legal procedures. In such circumstances any ruler whose courts could provide fair and enforceable judicial decisions found his status greatly enhanced, and kings who sought to increase their powers came to rely more on the efficiency of their judges than the sanctity of their office… moreover, the study of Roman law provided a very exalted theory of legislative sovereignty together with a wholly nonpapal account of the origins of imperial authority.

church state relationship and theory of two swords

However, such an ambition would not be recognized until the advent of his grandson, Frederick II. The increased interest in law and the depth of study it produced was not monopolized by the Holy Roman Emperor; indeed at Rome a similar movement was happening.

Certain clergy in Rome grew very comfortable with the expanded position of power the Church and the papacy were afforded by the secular powers due to the telling absence of the old Roman Empire. A move was made that irrevocably set the Church on the path of collision with the Holy Roman Empire and other powers in the future: This document supported the age-old church claim that the Emperor Constantine donated the entire western half of the Roman Empire to the Church.

Since law was quickly developing as the chief means for legitimizing claims to power, documents were of the greatest importance in producing proof of precedent; the simple word of clerics was no longer enough. From its inception, the document had one goal: Daniel 6 determine and decree that the same be placed at his disposal, and do lawfully grant it as a permanent possession to the holy Roman Church. It also sought to arm the Church with concrete defenses of her rights and proper responsibilities.

For those ends, many clerics were educated in canon law. None of these stands out more than Gratian, who published his Decretum in AD. However, his commentators were not so objective. Many canonists who became bishops, administrators, and even cardinals and popes22 sensed that Barbossa was aiming to seize the temporal power which the Church and the Holy Father had so long enjoyed: Their intellectual activity gains added interest from the fact that it was carried on at a time when the actual political relationships between ecclesiastical and secular rulers were often tense and sometimes violent.

The Two Swords Theory: Papacy and Empire in the Middle Ages | Avery E Daniel -

In the sphere of church and state relations the central problem that emerged in academic theory was precisely the one that we have seen underlying the real-life conflict between Barbossa and the popes: This struggle brings us to the midth century. The essence of the issue remains unchanged, but the accidents have greatly changed.

Now, the problem became one of taxes. The reader may wonder why taxes would now be the focal point of this fight; after all, was not the Church always paying taxes before now? How could taxes be a levy of power in one way or another? It is in this way: It was a common custom that the Church neither pay nor be charged taxes; in many realms, the Church received a portion of tax revenue from the royal coffers to support it, as is still the case in Germany.

church state relationship and theory of two swords

If the Church gives in to the demand for taxes, it surrenders its claim to temporal power in the eyes of all at the time to the French king, and by proxy all other kings who would seek to follow his example.

Inhe issued the papal bull Unam Sanctam. In it, he declared: Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic.

The Two Swords of the Church | the reproach of Christ

We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in Canticles proclaims… this is the tunic of the Lord, the seamless tunic, which was not rent but which was cast by lot John XIX Therefore, of the one and only Church there is one body and one head, not two like a monster; that is Christ and the Vicar of Christ, Peter and the successor of Peter…therefore if the Greeks or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and his successors, they must confess not being the sheep of Christ… we are informed by the texts of the gospels that in this Church and in its power there are two swords, namely, the spiritual and the temporal.

For when the Apostles say behold there are two swords, that is in the Church, since the Apostles were speaking, the Lord did not reply that there were too many, but sufficient. Certainly the one who denies that the temporal sword is in the power of Peter has not listened well to the word of the Lord commanding: Put up thy sword into thy scabbard Matthew XVI, Both therefore, are in the power of the Church, that is to say, the spiritual and the material sword, but the former is to be administered for the Church by the latter by the Church; the former by the hands of the priest; the latter by the hands of kings and of soldiers, but at the will and sufferance of the priest.

Finally, after many centuries of platitudes and assertions, here was a pope stating with the full authority of the See of Peter in the form of a papal bull that the Church through the person of the Vicar of Christ had complete authority in both ecclesial and secular matters.

What is more, from his tone which would not have been missed by the educated audience reading it it could certainly be argued that the pope was aiming to speak infallibly on this issue. Unam Sanctam One and Holy.

Fordham University Medieval Sourcebook. That language is significant for another reason; it allows the Pope de facto to declare those who do not acknowledge his power excommunicate. They are cut off entirely from the sacraments necessary for salvation of their souls.

church state relationship and theory of two swords

This document not only gives Boniface a huge boost to his claim of supreme authority, but it also equips him with a legitimized weapon against the King of France and all other kings. No other Pope before him held such a weapon, because they had not supplied themselves with the apparatus to use it!

God also sent a man to rule and punish them. This, Augustine called, is the City of Earth.

church state relationship and theory of two swords

He also created another institution which was City of Heaven. In the City of Earth there were self-interest seeking persons and, in the latter, there were angels who always sacrificed their personal interests. According to Augustine the church was the representative of God on earth and the only spokesman so far as the sermons or orders of God were concerned. Moreover, the king was sent by God to punish the sinners.

He was accountable only to God. This view of Augustine indicates that the state had no separate existence outside the church. John of Salisbury was another medieval thinker who said that the authority of the state must accept the supremacy of the church.

He denied the supremacy of the emperor. Though he was the supporter of the doctrine of two swords he believed that the king would receive the temporal sword from the Pope or church and will rule the state in accordance with the advice of the church.

Ownership of the sword could not be entrusted to the king. Thomas Aquinas was another renowned medieval thinker. In his writings, especially On Kingship, he had elaborated the controversial issue of the relationship between the church and the state.

Thomas Aquinas was an orthodox Christian and, naturally, it could not be expected that he would support the supremacy of the secular authority.

He, however, believed that the secular authority must have certain amount of autonomy without which he could not administer the state. The emperor could claim allegiance from the individuals but he must recognize the hegemony of the church. Estimating his position between the church and the state, Sabine states that his position may be described as that of a moderate populist. He did not take any extreme stand as to the conflict between the two institutions.

Thomas adopted the Aristotelian technique of middle-way. He said that it would be the duty of the government to see that the true end is achieved and, according to Thomas, this true end is the realization of honesty, goodness, virtue and, to attain the blessings of God.

From this it is obvious that Thomas Aquinas had softened the earlier stands of medieval thinkers.

church state relationship and theory of two swords

He intended to give autonomy to the secular authority. We now come to Dante Alighieri The laws of Canon Law in so far as these are not direct expression of teachings on faith or morals are of the temporal authority of the Church. Decisions such as to approve or disapprove of a claimed private revelation, a written work, a particular translation of the Bible, or some other endeavor, are of the temporal authority.

Rulings in particular cases, as when a marriage tribunal decides whether or not to grant an annulment, or a Bishops decides to suspend the faculties of a priest, or to close a parish church, are of the temporal authority. The spiritual authority Magisterium of the Church issues dogmas and doctrines, but the temporal authority issues rules and rulings.

The Magisterium teaches either infallibly dogmas or non-infallibly doctrines that are not dogmas. The Magisterium acts either infallibly or non-infallibly limited possibility of error. But the temporal authority is fallible. The temporal authority of secular governments is, in theory, under the authority of the Church. The Church permits secular governments to exercise some temporal authority.