I. Sources For The Whole Period from 1049 to 1085:— Migne: Patrol. Lat., vols. 140–148.—Damiani Epistolae, in Migne, vol. 144.—Bonizo or Bonitho (Bishop of Sutri, 1091; prisoner of Henry IV., 1082; a great admirer of Gregory VII.): Liber ad amicum, sive de persecutione ecclesiae (in Jaffé’s Monum. Gregor., p. 628 sqq., where he is charged with falsehood; but see Giesebrecht and Hefele, IV. 707). Phil. Jaffé (d. 1870): Regesta Pontif. Rom., pp. 366–443, 2d ed. I. 629–649.—Jaffé: Monumenta Gregoriana (see below).—K. Francke: Libelli de lite imperatorum et Pontificum Saeculi XI. et XII. conscripti, 3 vols. Hannov. 1891–1897, contains the tractarian lit. of the Hildebrandian age. On other sources, see Wattenbach: Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter, II. 220 sqq. and Mirbt: Publizistik, 6–95.
II. Works on the Whole Period from 1049 to 1085: — Höfler: Deutsche Päpste, Regensb., 1839 sqq., 3 vols.—C. Will: Anfänge der Restauration der Kirche im 11ten, Jahrh., Marburg, 1859–1862, 2 parts.—Ths. Greenwood: Cathedra Petri, books X. and XI. London, 1861.—Giesebrecht: Gesch. der deutschen Kaizerzeit, vols. II. and III. (Braunschweig, 5th ed. 1881).—Rud. Baxmann: Die Politik der Päpste von Gregor I. bis auf Gregor VII., Elberfeld, 1868, 1869. 2 vols. vol. II. 186–434.—Wattenbach: Geschichte des röm. Papstthums, Berlin, 1876 (pp. 97–136).—Gregorovius: Hist. of the City Of Rome.—Hefele: Conciliengeschichte, IV. 716–900, and V. 1–185.—L. v. Ranke: Weltgeschichte, vol. VII.—Bryce: Holy Roman Empire.—Freeman: Hist. of Norman Conq. of England, vol. IV. Oxford, 1871, and Hist. of Sicily.—F. Neukirch: Das Leben des Petrus Damiani bis 1059, Gött., 1875.—J. Langen: Geschichte der röm. Kirche von Gregor VII. bis Innocent III., Bonn, 1893.—Hauck: Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, vols. III. IV.—W. F. Barry: The Papal Monarchy from 590–1303, N. Y. 1902.
III. Special Sources and Works on Hildebrand:— His letters (359), the so-called Registrum, in Migne, vol. 148, Mansi, XX. 60–391, and best in Jaffé, Monumenta Gregoriana, Berol., 1865, 712 pp. (in "Bibliotheca Rerum Germanicarum," vol. II.). The first critical edition. Jaffé gives the Registrum in eight books, with fifty-one additional letters collected from MSS., and Bonithonis episcopi Sutrini ad amicum. Gregory’s biographies by Cardinal Petrus of Pisa, Bernried, Amalric, Lambert, etc., in Muratori: Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. III.; and Watterich: Pontif. Boni. Vitae, Lips., 1862, I. 293 sqq.; Acta Sanct. Maii, die 25, VI. 102–159.
Modern works: Joh. Voigt (Prof. of Hist. in Königsberg, d. 1863): Hildebrand als Papst Gregorius VII. und sein Zeitalter, 1815, 2d ed. Weimar, 1846, pp. 625. The first attempt at an impartial estimate of Gregory from the Protestant historical standpoint. The first edition was translated into French and Italian, and gave rise to a remarkable Latin correspondence with Clemens Villecourt, bishop of La Rochelle, which is printed in the preface to the second edition. The bishop tried to convert Voigt to the Catholic Church, but in vain.—Sir Roger Greisly: The Life and Pontificate of Gregory VII., London, 1832, pp. 372. Impartial, but unimportant.—J. W. Bowden: The Life and Pontificate of Gregory VII. London, 1840, 2 Vols. pp. 374 and 411. —- Ard. Newman: Hist. Essays, II. 249–336.—Sir James Stephen: Hildebrand, in "Essays on Ecclesiastical Biography," 1849, 4th ed. London, 1860, pp. 1–58. He calls "Hildebrand the very impersonation of papal arrogance and of spiritual despotism."—Söltl: Gregor VII., Leipzig, 1847.—Floto: Kaiser Heinrich IV. und sein Zeitalter. Stuttg., 1865, 1856, 2 vols. Sides with Henry IV.—Helfenstein: Gregor VII. Bestrebungen nach den Streitschriften seiner Zeit., Frankfurt, 1856.—A. F. Gfrörer (first a rationalist, then a convert to ’Rome, 1853; d. 1861): Papst Greg. VII. und sein Zeitalter. 7 vols. Schaffhausen, 1859–1861.—Giesebrecht: l.c., vol. III.—A. F. Villemain: Hist. de Grégoire VII. 2 vols. Paris, 1873. Engl. trans. by J. B. Brockley, 2 vols. London, 1874.—S. Baring-Gould, in "The Lives of the Saints" for May 25, London, 1873.—W. Martens: Die Besetzung des päpstlichen Stuhls unter den Kaisern Heinrich III und Heinrich IV. 1887; *Gregor VII., sein Leben und Wirken, 2 vols. Leipzig, 1894.—W. R. W. Stephens: Hildebrand and his Times, London, 1888.—O. Delarc: S. Gregoire VII. et la réforme de l’église au XI. siècle, 3 vols. Paris, 1889.—C. Mirbt (Prof. in Marburg): Die Stellung Augustins in der Publizistik des Gregorianischen Kirchenstreits, Leipzig, 1888. Shows the influence of St. Augustine on both parties in the Gregorian controversy over the relation of Church and State; Die Wahl Gregors VII., Marburg, 1892; *Die Publizistik im Zeitalter Gregors VII., Leipzig, 1894, pp. 629. An exhaustive treatment of the copious tractarian Lit. of the Hildebrandian age and its attitude on the various objects of Gregory’s policy; art. Gregor VII., in Herzog, VII. 96–113.—Marvin R. Vincent: The Age of Hildebrand, N. Y. 1896.—Also J. Greving: Paul von Bernried’s Vita Gregorii VII., Berlin, 1893, pp. 172.
§ 4. Hildebrand and his Training. The history of the period begins with a survey of the papacy as the controlling power of Western Christendom. It embraces six stages: 1. The Hildebrandian popes, 1049–1073. 2. Gregory VII., 1073–1085, or the assertion of the supreme authority of the papacy in human affairs. 3. From Gregory’s death to the Concordat of Worms, 1122, or the settlement of the controversy over investiture. 4. From the Concordat of Worms to Innocent III., 1198. 5. The Pontificate of Innocent III., 1198–1216, or the papacy at its height. 6. From Innocent III. to Boniface VIII., 1216–1294, or the struggle of the papacy with Frederick II. and the restoration of peace between the papacy and the empire.
The papacy had reached its lowest stage of weakness and degeneracy when at Sutri in 1046, under the influence of Henry III., two popes were deposed and a third was forced to abdicate.3 But the worthless popes, who prostituted their office and outraged the feelings of Christendom during the tenth and the first half of the eleventh century, could not overthrow the papacy any more than idolatrous kings could overthrow the Jewish monarchy, or wicked emperors the Roman Empire. In the public opinion of Europe, the papacy was still a necessary institution established by Christ in the primacy of Peter for the government and administration of the church. There was nothing to take its place. It needed only a radical reformation in its head, which would be followed by a reformation of the members. Good men all over Europe anxiously desired and hoped that Providence would intervene and rescue the chair of Peter from the hands of thieves and robbers, and turn it once more into a blessing. The idea of abolishing the papacy did not occur to the mind of the Christians of that age as possible or desirable.
At last the providential man for effecting this necessary reformation appeared in the person of Hildebrand, who controlled five successive papal administrations for twenty-four years, 1049–1073, then occupied the papal chair himself for twelve years, 1073–1085, and was followed by like-minded successors. He is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of popes, and one of the most remarkable men in history. He excited in his age the highest admiration and the bitterest hatred. Opinions about his principles and policy are still divided; but it is impossible to deny his ability, energy, earnestness, and achievements.
Hildebrand was of humble and obscure origin, but foreordained to be a prince of the Church. He was of small stature, and hence called "Hildebrandellus" by his enemies, but a giant in intellect and character. His figure was ungainly and his voice feeble; but his eyes were bright and piercing, bespeaking penetration, a fiery spirit, and restless activity. His early life is involved in obscurity. He only incidentally alludes to it in his later Epistles, and loved to connect it with the supernatural protection of St. Peter and the Holy Virgin. With a monkish disregard of earthly relations, he never mentions his family. The year of his birth is unknown. The veneration of friends and the malice of enemies surrounded his youth with legends and lies. He was the son of a peasant or goatherd, Bonizo, living near Soana, a village in the marshes of Tuscany, a few miles from Orbitello. The oft-repeated tradition that he was the son of a carpenter seems to have originated in the desire to draw a parallel between him and Jesus of Nazareth. Of his mother we know nothing. His name points to Lombard or German origin, and was explained by his contemporaries as hell-brand or fire-brand.4 Odilo, the abbot of Cluny, saw sparks of fire issuing from his raiment, and predicted that, like John the Baptist, he would be "great in the sight of the Lord."
He entered the Benedictine order in the convent of St. Mary on the Aventine at Rome, of which his maternal uncle was abbot. Here he had a magnificent view of the eternal city.5 Here he was educated with Romans of the higher families.6 The convent was under the influence of the reformatory spirit of Cluny, and the home of its abbots on their pilgrimages to Rome. He exercised himself in severe self-discipline, and in austerity and rigor he remained a monk all his life. He cherished an enthusiastic veneration for the Virgin Mary. The personal contemplation of the scandalous contentions of the three rival popes and the fearful immorality in the capital of Christendom must have raised in his earnest soul a deep disgust. He associated himself with the party which prepared for a reformation of the hierarchy.
His sympathies were with his teacher and friend, Gregory VI. This pope had himself bought the papal dignity from, the wretched Benedict IX., but he did it for the benefit of the Church, and voluntarily abdicated on the arrival of Henry III. at the Synod of Sutri, 1046. It is strange that Hildebrand, who abhorred simony, should begin his public career in the service of a simonist; but he regarded Gregory as the only legitimate pope among the three rivals, and followed him, as his chaplain, to Germany into exile.
"Victrix causa Deis placuit, sed victa Catoni."7 He visited Worms, Spires, Cologne, Aix-la-Chapelle, the old seats of the empire, and spent much time at the court of Henry III., where he was very kindly treated. After the death of Gregory at Cologne, 1048, Hildebrand went to Cluny, the nursery of a moral reformation of monasticism. According to some reports, he had been there before. He zealously gave himself to ascetic exercises and ecclesiastical studies under the excellent abbot Hugo, and became prior of the convent. He often said afterwards that he wished to spend his life in prayer and contemplation within the walls of this sacred retreat.
But the election of Bishop Bruno of Toul, the cousin of Emperor Henry III., to the papal chair, at the Diet of Worms, brought him on the stage of public action. "Reluctantly," he said, "I crossed the Alps; more reluctantly I returned to Rome." He advised Bruno (either at Cluny or at Besancon) not to accept the triple crown from the hands of the emperor, but to await canonical election by the clergy and people of Rome. He thus clearly asserted, for the first time, his principle of the supremacy of the Church over the State.
Bruno, accompanied by Hildebrand, travelled to Rome as a pilgrim, entered the city barefoot, was received with acclamations, canonically elected, and ascended the papal chair on Feb. 12, 1049, as Leo IX.
From this time on, Hildebrand was the reigning spirit of the papacy. He understood the art of ruling through others, and making them feel that they ruled themselves. He used as his aide-de-camp Peter Damiani, the severe monk and fearless censor of the immoralities of the age, who had conquered the world within and helped him to conquer it without, in the crusade against simony and concubinage, but died, 1072, a year before Hildebrand became pope.8
§ 5. Hildebrand and Leo IX. 1049–1054.
The moral reformation of the papacy began with Hildebrand as leader.9 He resumed the work of the emperor, Henry III., and carried it forward in the interest of the hierarchy. He was appointed cardinal-subdeacon, treasurer of the Roman Church, and abbot of St. Paul’s. He was repeatedly sent as delegate to foreign countries, where he acquired an extensive knowledge of affairs. He replenished the empty treasury and became wealthy himself through the help of a baptized Jew, Benedictus Christianus, and his son Leo, who did a prosperous banking business. But money was to him only a means for exalting the Church. His great object was to reform the clergy by the destruction of two well-nigh universal evils: simony (Acts 8:18), that is. the traffic in ecclesiastical dignities, and Nicolaitism (Rev. 2:6, 15), or the concubinage of the priests. In both respects he had the full sympathy of the new pope, and was backed by the laws of the Church. The reformation was to be effected in the regular way of synodical legislation under the personal direction of the pope.
Leo, accompanied by Hildebrand, held several synods in Italy, France, and Germany. He was almost omnipresent in the Church, and knew how to combine monastic simplicity with papal dignity and splendor. He was believed to work miracles wherever he went, and to possess magic powers over birds and beasts.
In his first synod, held in Rome at Easter, 1049, simony was prohibited on pain of excommunication, including the guilty bishops and the priests ordained by them. But it was found that a strict prosecution would well-nigh deprive the churches, especially those of Rome, of their shepherds. A penance of forty days was, therefore, substituted for the deposition of priests. The same synod renewed the old prohibitions of sexual intercourse of the clergy, and made the concubines of the Roman priests servants of the Lateran palace. The almost forgotten duty of the tithe was enjoined upon all Christians.
The reformatory synods of Pavia, Rheims, and Mainz, held in the same year, legislated against the same vices, as also against usury, marriage in forbidden degrees, the bearing of arms by the clergy. They likewise revealed a frightful amount of simony and clerical immorality. Several bishops were deposed. 10 Archbishop Wido of Rheims narrowly escaped the same fate on a charge of simony. On his return, Leo held synods in lower Italy and in Rome. He made a second tour across the Alps in 1052, visiting Burgundy, Lorraine, and Germany, and his friend the emperor. We find him at Regensburg, Bamberg, Mainz, and Worms. Returning to Rome, he held in April, 1053, his fourth Easter Synod. Besides the reform of the Church, the case of Berengar and the relation to the Greek Church were topics of discussion in several of these synods. Berengar was condemned, 1050, for denying the doctrine of transubstantiation. It is remarkable with what leniency Hildebrand treated Berengar and his eucharistic doctrine, in spite of the papal condemnation; but he was not a learned theologian. The negotiation with the Greek Church only ended in greater separation. 11
Leo surrounded himself with a council of cardinals who supported him in his reform. Towards the close of his pontificate, he acted inconsistently by taking up arms against the Normans in defense of Church property. He was defeated and taken prisoner at Benevento, but released again by granting them in the name of St. Peter their conquests in Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily. The Normans kissed his toe, and asked his absolution and blessing. He incurred the censure of the strict reform party. Damiani maintained that a clergyman dare not bear arms even in defense of the property of the Church, but must oppose invincible patience to the fury of the world, according to the example of Christ.
Leo spent his remaining days in grief over his defeat. He died at Rome, April 19, 1054, in his fifty-third year, after commending his soul to God in a German prayer of humble resignation, and was buried near the tomb of Gregory I. As he had begun the reformation of the Church, and miracles were reported, he was enrolled in the Calendar of Saints. Desiderius, afterwards Victor III., wrote, "All ecclesiastical interests were reformed by Leo and in him a new light arose in the world."
§ 6. Victor II. and Stephen IX. (X.). 1055–1058.
Hildebrand was absent in France when Leo died, and hurried to Rome. He could find no worthy successor in Italy, and was unwilling to assume the burden of the papacy himself. He cast his eye upon Gebhard, bishop of Eichstädt, the ablest, richest, and most influential prelate of Germany, who was warmly devoted to the emperor. He proceeded at the head of a deputation, appointed by the clergy and people, to the German court, and begged the emperor to raise Gebhard to the papal chair. After long delay, Gebhard was elected at a council in Regensburg, March, 1055, and consecrated in St. Peter’s at Rome, April 13, as Victor II. He continued the synodical war against simony, but died as early as July 28, 1057, at Arezzo, of a fever. He was the last of the German popes.
The cardinal-abbot of Monte Cassino was elected and consecrated as Stephen IX. (X.), Aug. 3, 1057, by the clergy and people of Rome, without their consulting the German court; but he died in the following year, March 29, 1058.
In the meantime a great change had taken place in Germany. Henry III. died in the prime of manhood, Oct. 5, 1056, and left a widow as regent and a son of six years, the ill-fated Henry IV. The long minority reign afforded a favorable opportunity for the reform party to make the papacy independent of the imperial power, which Henry III. had wisely exerted for the benefit of the Church, yet at the expense of her freedom.
The Roman nobility, under the lead of the counts of Tusculum, took advantage of Hildebrand’s absence in Germany to reassert its former control of the papacy by electing Benedict X. (1058–1060). But this was a brief intermezzo. On his return, Hildebrand, with the help of Duke Godfrey, expelled the usurping pope, and secured, with the consent of the empress, the election of Gerhard, bishop of Florence, a strong reformer, of ample learning and irreproachable character, who assumed the name of Nicolas II. at his consecration, Jan. 25, 1059. Benedict was deposed, submitted, and obtained absolution. He was assigned a lodging in the church of St. Agnes, where he lived for about twenty years.
§ 7. Nicolas II. and the Cardinals. 1059–1061.
The pontificate of Nicolas II. was thoroughly under the control of Hildebrand, who became archdeacon and chancellor of the Roman Church in August or September, 1059. His enemies said that he kept Nicolas like an ass in the stable, feeding him to do his work. Peter Damiani calls him the lord of the pope, and said that he would rather obey the lord of the pope than the lord-pope himself.2 He also grimly calls Hildebrand his "holy Satan," 13because he had sometimes to obey him against his will, as when he desired to lay down his bishopric at Ostia and retire to a convent, but was not permitted to do so. He disliked the worldly splendor which Hildebrand began to assume in dress and mode of living, contrary to his own ascetic principles.
Two important steps were made in the progress of the hierarchy,—a change in the election of the pope, and an alliance with the Normans for the temporal protection of the pope.
Nicolas convened a Lateran Council in April, 1059, the largest held in Rome down to that time. It consisted of a hundred and thirteen bishops and a multitude of clergymen; but more than two-thirds of the prelates were Italians, the rest Burgundians and Frenchmen. Germany was not represented at all. Berengar was forced at this synod to submit to a formula of recantation (which he revoked on his return to France). He calls the bishops "wild beasts," who would not listen to his idea of a spiritual communion, and insisted on a Capernaitic manducation of the body of Christ. 14
A far-reaching act of this council was the transfer of the election of a pope to the "cardinal-bishops" and "cardinal-clergy."5 At the pope’s death the initiative was to be taken by the cardinal-bishops. In case they agreed they were to call in the cardinal-clergy. In case of agreement between both these classes of functionaries they were to present the candidate to the Roman clergy and people for ratification. The stress thus laid upon the cardinal-bishops is a new thing, and it is evident that the body of cardinals was accorded a place of importance and authority such as it had not enjoyed before. Its corporate history may be said to begin with these canons. The election of the pope was made its prerogative. The synod further prescribed that the pope should be chosen from the body of Roman clergy, provided a suitable candidate could be found among their number. In usual cases, Rome was designated as the place of holding the election. The cardinals, however, were granted liberty to hold it otherwheres. As for the emperor, the language of the canons leaves it uncertain whether any part was accorded to him in the ratification of the elected pope. His name is mentioned with respect, but it would seem that all that was intended was that he should receive due notification of the election of the new pontiff. The matter was, therefore, taken entirely out of the emperor’s hands and lodged in the college of cardinals. 16 As Henry was still young and not yet invested with the imperial dignity, it was a favorable opportunity for the papal circle to secure the perpetual control of the papal office for the Romans and the Roman clergy. With rare exceptions, as in the case of the period of the Avignon exile, the election of the pope has remained in the hands of the Romans ever since.
The alliance which Nicolas entered into, 1059, with the Normans of Southern Italy, was the second act in the long and notable part which they played in the history of the papacy. Early in the eleventh century four brothers of the house of Hauteville, starting from Normandy, began their adventurous career in Italy and Sicily. They were welcomed as crusaders liberating the Christian population from the rule of the Saracens and its threatened extension. The kingdom their arms established was confirmed by the apostolic see, and under the original dynasty, and later under the house of Anjou, had a larger influence on the destinies of the papacy for three centuries than did Norman England and the successors of William the Conqueror. Robert Guiscard, who had defeated the army of Leo IX., and held him a prisoner for nine months, was confirmed by Nicolas as duke of Apulia and Calabria. The duchy became a fief of Rome by an obligation to pay yearly twelve dinars for every yoke of oxen and to defend the Holy See against attacks upon its authority. Robert’s brother, Roger, d. 1101, began the conquest of Sicily in earnest in 1060 by the seizure of Messina, and followed it up by the capture of Palermo, 1071, and Syracuse, 1085. He was called Prince of Sicily and perpetual legate of the Holy See. One of his successors, Roger II., 1105–1154, was crowned king of Sicily at Palermo by the authority of the anti-pope Anacletus II. A half century later the blood of this house became mingled with the blood of the house of Hohenstaufen in the person of the great Frederick II. In the prominent part they took we shall find these Norman princes now supporting the plans of the papacy, now resisting them.
About the same time the Hautevilles and other freebooting Normans were getting a foothold in Southern Italy, the Normans under William the Conqueror, in 1066, were conquering England. To them England owes her introduction into the family of European nations, and her national isolation ceases. 17 § 8. The War against Clerical Marriage.
The same Lateran Council of 1059 passed severe laws against the two heresies of simony and Nicolaitism. It threatened all priests who were unwilling to give up their wives or concubines with the loss of their benefices and the right of reading mass, and warned the laity against attending their services. "No one," says the third of the thirteen canons, "shall hear mass from a priest who to his certain knowledge keeps a concubine or a subintroducta mulier."
These severe measures led to serious disturbances in Northern Italy, especially in the diocese of Milan, where every ecclesiastical office from the lowest to the highest was for sale, and where marriage or concubinage was common among priests of all grades, not excluding the archbishop.8 Sacerdotal marriage was regarded as one of the liberties of the church of St. Ambrose, which maintained a certain independence of Rome, and had a numerous and wealthy clergy. The Milanese defended such marriage by Scripture texts and by a fictitious decision of Ambrose, who, on the contrary, was an enthusiast for celibacy. Candidates for holy orders, if unmarried, were asked if they had strength to remain so; if not, they could be legally married; but second marriages were forbidden, and the Levitical law as to the virginity of the bride was observed. Those who remained single were objects of suspicion, while those who brought up their families in the fear of God were respected and eligible to the episcopate. Concubinage was regarded as a heinous offense and a bar to promotion. 19
But the Roman Church and the Hildebrandian party reversed the case, and denounced sacerdotal marriage as unlawful concubinage. The leader of this party in Lombardy was Anselm of Baggio (west of Milan), a zealous and eloquent young priest, who afterwards became bishop of Lucca and then pope (as Alexander II.). He attacked the immorality of the clergy, and was supported by the lowest populace, contemptuously called "Pataria" or "Patarines," i.e. "Ragbags."0 Violent and sanguinary tumults took place in the churches and streets. Peter Damiani, a sincere enthusiast for ascestic holiness, was sent as papal legate to Milan. He defended the Pataria at the risk of his life, proclaimed the supremacy of the Roman see, and exacted a repudiation of all heretical customs.
This victory had great influence throughout Lombardy. But the strife was renewed under the following pope and under Gregory VII., and it was not till 1093 that Urban II. achieved a permanent triumph over Nicolaitism at a great council at Piacenza.
§ 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.