Growth of the Papal Monarchy
The popes proceeding Gregory were not as adamant in their resolves, but they still had similar ideals to those of their predecessor. By this time, there was a hierarchical system in place in which the papal curia was at the top. The people who were in the papal curia were also known as cardinals, and they were advisors to the pope. They were the ones who elected the new pope when it came time. After that were the archbishops who were put in charge of an archdiocese. Below them were the bishops ruling over the dioceses, and under the bishops were the priests.
The Pontificate of Innocent III
The 13th century marked the apex of the power of the Roman Catholic Church. The pope essentially had power over secular and spiritual leaders. Pope Innocent III was a big part of this power when he was pope. He told the king of France that he needed to remarry his wife, even after he had gotten a number of people to annul his marriage. The pope then decided to elect the new German emperor as someone who he supported. He also told King John back in England that he should elect the archbishop of Canterbury according to the pope's wishes. The pope could always threaten to use the interdict, in which the priests were not allowed to give the sacraments to the people in an area, so that he could get what he wanted from the ruler of that area. This interdict became very useful for the pope.