(An important source for this post is Karl F. Morrison’s “The Gregorian Reform” published in Christian Spirituality, Origins to the Twelfth Century, New York, 1988.)

The Gregorian reform is an important event in the story of Western Christianity. The initial aim of these reforms (which lasted from the Council of Reims in 1049 under Pope Leo IX until the first Lateran Council in 1123 under Pope Calixtus II) was two-fold: in Morrison’s words, it first sought “to realize on earth patterns of life set forth in Scripture” and, second, to achieve church unity. In theory, then, the aim was a positive one. The driving thought of these reforms were two principles that had always been present in the Church of Rome, but could nver be implemented: sacerdotalism (the clergy as apart from and beyond the laity) and church unity realized in papal monarchy.