For all the problems of the Middle Ages, I find some things still astounding. After ordering the death of Thomas a Beckett, the pope excommunicated the knights that did the deed and sent them on Crusade for 14 years.
Here is the amazing thing. Henry II, to show his remorse, walked barefoot to Canterbury Cathedral and allowed the monks there to whip him. I can't imagine a political leader in our time showing that sort of humility.