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The bishops leading the churches in the Germanic countries. After the stabilization of the Germanic peoples for the entire 5th c. in the empire’s territories, the ecclesiastical structures of the Western empire underwent significant transformations. Because of the social disorder caused by the invasions of the Germanic peoples, the prohibition of transferring bishops weakened to the point that more than one bishop was removed with force from his see; it seemed fitting for the good of the church that any bishop who was impeded in his functions be transferred to another see. Just as had occurred with the emperors of the Roman Empire, the king of each Germanic nation was the leader and guarantor of the religious life of his people; therefore, the Germanic kings labored to maintain the unity of the religious faith as a guarantee of national unity. To this end they frequently called together the bishops so that they would gather in national synods, and the kings were the ones that confirmed and implemented the decisions of these councils. Even the pope’s decisions were applied in each nation only after the cautious authorization of the king. In this way one can explain the fact that the kings progressively appropriated the right to appoint bishops.

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