Documents Relating to the War of the Investitures
Decision of the Synod of Brixen; June 25, 1080
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In the year of our Lord's incarnation 1080, when, in the presence of the most serene king Henry IV. and by his order, in the 26th year of his reign, on Friday the 7th day before the Calends of July and in the 3rd indiction, there was assembled at Brixen in Noricum a convention of thirty bishops and an army of nobles not only from Italy but also from Germany: there was heard from the mouth of all one voice, as it were, terribly complaining over the truculent madness of a certain false monk called pope Gregory VII., and asking why the invincible king allowed the same to rage so long unhindered when Paul, the vase of election, testifies that a prince does not wield the sword without cause; and when Peter, the chief of the apostles, proclaims that not only is the king pre-eminent but that it is his place to send out commanders to punish, indeed, the evil, but to reward the good. In answer to these representations, therefore, it seemed just to the most illustrious king and to his princes that the judgment of the bishops and the sentence of the divine wrath against this same Hildebrand should precede the material sword; so that him the royal power might afterwards, with more right, declare an object of pursuit whom the bishops of the churches should first have deposed from his proud eminence. What one of the faithful, indeed who knows him would fear to hurl against him the javelin of damnation ? For from his earliest years he has striven through vain glory to commend himself in the world as more than man -no merits calling for it-and to prefer his own divinations and those of others to the divine orderings; to be a monk in dress and not by profession; to consider himself beyond ecclesiastical discipline, subject to no master; to assist, more than laymen, at obscene theatrical amusements; for the sake of sordid gain publicly to watch the tables of the money-changers in the path of the passers by. Having accumulated money, then, by such pursuits, he invaded the abbey of St. Paul's, supplanting the abbot. Then, inducing by deception a certain man named Mancius to sell him the office, he seized the archdeaconship; and, against the will of pope Nicholas, in the midst of a popular tumult he had himself raised to the office of administrator. Moreover, by the outrageous death, through poison, of four Roman pontiffs at the hand of a certain intimate of his-John Brachintus-he is convicted of being a murderer; as the minister of death himself, although repenting late, did testify with dire clamourings when in the very grasp of death-all others having kept silence. Finally this oftmentioned pest-bearer, on the very night when the body of pope Alexander was being honoured with the funeral ceremony in the church of St. Salvatore, guarded the gates and bridges, towers and triumphal arches of the city of Rome with bands of armed men, occupied the Lateran palace with an armed force that he had brought together with hostile intent, frightened the clergy-lest they, none of whom wished to elect him, should dare to resist-by threatening death through the drawn swords of his satellites, and carried by assault the long-besieged chair before the body of the dead man had obtained burial. But when some persons tried to call to his mind that decree of pope Nicholas promulgated by those 125 bishops under pain of anathema, Hildebrand himself approving,-the tenor of which was that if any one, without the consent of the Roman sovereign, should presume to become pope he should be considered no pope but an apostate: he denied all knowledge of a king and asserted his own right to declare void a decree of his predecessors. What more is there to say ? Not only Rome, indeed, but the whole Roman world bears witness that he was not chosen by God but that he forced his way most impudently by violence, fraud and bribery. For his fruits betray their root and his works manifest his intent, inasmuch as he subverts the order of the church; has perturbed the rule of a Christian empire; tries to kill the body and soul of a catholic and pacific king; defends as king a perjurer and traitor; has sown discord among the united, strife among the peaceful, scandals among brothers, divorce among husbands and wives; and has shattered whatever of rest he found being enjoyed by those leading a holy life. Therefore we, congregated together, as has been said, by God's authority, trusting in the legates and letters of the 19 bishops who were assembled at Mainz on the holy day of last Pentecost, do decree against this same most brazen Hildebrand, -who preaches sacrilege and arson, who defends perjury and homicide, who questions the catholic and apostolic faith concerning the body and blood of our Lord, who is an ancient disciple of the heretic Berengar, a manifest believer in dreams and divinations, a necromancer, dealing in the spirit of prophecy and therefore a wanderer from the true faith-that, he shall be canonically deposed and expelled and, unless on hearing this he descend from that seat, forever damned. (Here follow the signatures of the bishops, etc., first the cardinal,Hugo Candidus, then the king, etc.)

Henderson, Ernest F.
Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages
London : George Bell and Sons, 1896.

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