He was accused by Pope Gregory VII of simony and lay investiture in appointing his own choice to be the archbishop of Milan. Gregory accordingly summoned Henry to Rome to explain his conduct. Henry’s answer was to convene in 1076 a synod of German bishops that declared Pope Gregory a usurper and unfit to occupy the Roman See. In retaliation, Gregory excommunicated Henry and deposed him, absolving his subjects from their oaths of allegiance. Eventually, Henry was driven to make peace with the Holy Father because of a revolt among the German nobles. Henry appeared before Gregory in January 1077 at Canossa, a castle in the mountains of Italy. Dressed as a penitent, the emperor stood barefoot in the snow for three days and begged forgiveness until he was received "into the lap of the Holy Mother Church."
[tags]BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, Emperor-Henry-IV, Gregory-VII, history[/tags]