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History of the Christian Church, Volume V: The Middle Ages. A.D. 1049-1294.
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§ 9. Alexander II. and the Schism of Cadalus. 1061–1073.


Pope Nicolas II. died July 27, 1061. The cardinals elected, in some unknown place outside of Rome, Anselm, bishop of Lucca, Sept. 30, 1061. He was conducted to Rome in the following night by Norman soldiers, and consecrated, Oct. 1, as Alexander II. His first act was to administer the oath of fealty to Richard, the Norman leader.

The anti-Hildebrandian party of the Roman nobles, headed by Count Girard of Galeria (an excommunicated robber), with the aid of the disaffected Lombard clergy, and the young emperor Henry IV., elected Cadalus (or Cadalous), bishop of Parma, anti-pope. He was consecrated Oct. 28, 1061, as Honorius II., and maintained a schism of ten years. He had been repeatedly charged with simony, and had the sympathy and support of the married or concubinary clergy and the simoniacal laity, who hoped that his success would lead to a modification of discipline and legalization of clerical marriage. The opposition thus became an organized party, and liable to the charge of heresy, which was considered worse than carnal sin. Damiani and Humbert defended the principle that a priest who is guilty of simony or concubinage, and believes himself innocent, is more criminal than he who knows himself to be guilty. Damiani hurled the fiercest denunciation of a Hebrew prophet against the anti-pope. Cadalus entered Rome with an armed force, and maintained himself in the castle of St. Angelo for two years; but at length he sought safety in flight without a single follower, and moved to Parma. He died in 1072. His party was broken up.

Alexander held a council at Mantua, May 31, 1064, and was universally recognized as the legitimate pope; while Cadalus was anathematized and disappeared from history.

During the pontificate of Alexander, the war against simony and Nicolaitism went on under the lead of Hildebrand and Damiani with varying success. The troubles in Lombardy were renewed. Archbishop Wido of Milan sided with Cadalus and was excommunicated; he apologized, did penance, and resumed office. After his death in 1071 the strife broke out again with disgraceful scenes of violence. The Patarine party, supported with gold by the pope, gained the ascendancy after the death of Cadalus. The Normans repelled the Mohammedan aggression and won Southern Italy and Sicily for the Church of Rome.

This good service had some weight on the determination of Hildebrand to support the claim of William of Normandy to the crown of England, which was a master-stroke of his policy; for it brought that island into closer contact with Rome, and strengthened the papal pretension to dispose of temporal thrones. William fought under a banner blessed by the pope, and founded the Norman dynasty in England, 1066. The conquest was concluded at Winchester by a solemn coronation through three papal delegates, Easter, 1070.

But in Germany there arose a powerful opposition, not indeed to the papacy, which was the common ground of all parties, but to the Hildebrandian policy. This led to the conflict between Gregory VII. and Henry IV. Alexander threatened Henry with excommunication in case he persisted in his purpose to divorce his queen Bertha.



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