Pope Nicholas II


Pope Nicholas II

Infobox Pope
English name=Nicholas II


birth_name=Gérard de Bourgogne
term_start=January 24, 1059
term_end=July 27, 1061
predecessor=Stephen IX
successor=Alexander II
birth_date=birthplace=Borgogna, France
dead=dead|death_date=death date|1061|7|27|mf=y
deathplace= Italy
other=Nicholas

Nicholas II (died July 27, 1061), born Gérard de Bourgogne, Pope from 1059 to July 1061, was at the time of his election the Bishop of Florence.

Relationship with the Normans

To secure his position, Nicholas II at once entered into relations with the Normans, now firmly established in southern Italy, and later in the year the new alliance was cemented at Melfi, where the Pope, accompanied by Hildebrand, Cardinal Humbert and the abbot Desiderius of Monte Cassino, solemnly invested Robert Guiscard with the duchies of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily, and Richard of Aversa with the principality of Capua, in return for oaths of fealty and the promise of assistance in guarding the rights of the Church.

The first fruits of this arrangement, which was based on no firmer foundation than the forged "Donation of Constantine", but destined to give to the papacy a position of independence towards both the Eastern and Western Empires, was the reduction in the autumn, with Norman aid, of Galeria, where the antipope had taken refuge, and the end of the subordination of the papacy to the Roman nobles.

ubordination of Milan

Meanwhile, Peter Damian and Bishop Anselm of Lucca had been sent by Nicholas II to Milan to adjust the difference between the Patarenes and the archbishop and clergy. The result was a fresh triumph for the papacy. Archbishop Wido, in the face of the ruinous conflict in the Church of Milan, was forced to submit to the terms proposed by the legates, which involved the principle of the subordination of Milan to Rome; the new relation was advertised by the unwilling attendance of Wido and the other Milanese bishops at the council summoned to the Lateran palace in April 1059. This council not only continued the Hildebrandine reforms by sharpening the discipline of the clergy, but marks an epoch in the history of the papacy by its famous regulation of future elections to the Holy See.

Election reform

Previously, Papal elections had been effectively controlled by the Roman aristocracy, unless the Emperor was strong enough to be able to intervene from a distance to impose his will. At the synod held in the Lateran at Easter, 1059, Pope Nicholas brought 113 bishops to Rome to consider a number of reforms, including a change in the election procedure. The electoral reform adopted by that synod amounted to a declaration of independence on the part of the church. Henceforth, popes were to be selected by the Cardinals, in assembly at Rome.

References

*1911
*catholic


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