Pope Nicholas II the reforming Pope

Pope Nicholas II also known as Gerard of Burgundy

Pope Nicholas II, whose real name was Gerard of Burgundy, has been elected during very peculiar circumstances. The story was this:

In the year 1058, a man named John Mincius, who was the Cardinal Bishop of Velletri, was elected Pope by an election arranged by the count of Tusculum. He took the name Benedict X.

But there was a group of cardinals who had opposed this election, with the accusation that votes had been bought and that other irregularities had taken place. This group was forced to flee Rome because of their accusations.

But than comes Hildebrand of Sovana in the picture. Being in Rome, he heard of the election of Pope Benedict X and decided to oppose it.

He met with the other opposing Cardinals and he proposed them to elect Gerard of Burgundy, who was then Bishop of Florence, as Pope instead.

They all agreed and so the Church got his new Pope, called Nicholas II.

The reforming of Papal Elections

Our new Pope started immediately with his work of reforming Papal elections. Before his time as Pope, Papal elections have always been controlled by the Roman Aristocracy. But if the ruling Emperor was strong enough, he could impose his will from a distance.

He has managed to bring 113 bishops to Rome in order to consider some reforms. In these reforms were included a declaration of independence on the part of the Church. From now on the Popes could be selected by the cardinals in assembly at Rome.

So sisters and brothers in Christ, we can see how God leads His Church amidst all these tribulations and how our Church manages to walk in the paths that our Lord has traced.

Mostly it's after some decades that we understand why History has taken place the way it did.

The alliances of the Pope 

He concluded an alliance with the Normans in the year 1059. He did this so he could receive protection for the Roman See, it's possessions and the freedom of Papal elections.

He also received help from the Norman army to force Benedict X to capitulate in the autumn of the year 1059.

He sadly died on July 27th, 1061.


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