In the tenth century the state of anarchy that existed in European politics was to some extent reflected in the Church. Moral leadership and spiritual zeal were largely lacking, especially among many of the higher clergy who lived more like feudal lords. The Cluniacs also argued that lay rulers must be reduced to subordinate positions and that the Church must be independent, owing allegiance to no earthly monarch – a conception that was to have ominous implications for both Church and state. The actions of the Church were not always determined by the whims of the Pontiff or by theological necessity but often by the demands of political expediency. The normal sanctions of the Church were ecclesiastical – and by implication spiritual – in nature: excommunication or interdiction (the prohibition of participation in religious observances), the threat of which was usually enough to deter any kind of contravention.