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Pope Alexander II

Pope Alexander II 156th Roman Catholic Pontiff from 1061 to 1073

156th Pontiff (1061-1073)

Anselmo Baggio was born of noble parentage near Milan, Italy, and studied at the famous Monastery of Bec under the scholar, Lanfranc, who was a leader of the Patari which was a group which targeted priest misconduct.

Cardinal Anselmo, Bishop of Lucca in Italy, was enthroned as Pope Alexander II on October 1, 1061. Because the cardinal-electors failed to seek ascent from the German imperial court, the German imperial court elected Cardinal Cadalus of Parma, Italy, as Pope Honorius II on October 28, 1061, without any canon right and without the presence of a single cardinal.

In 1064 after much infighting, Pope Alexander II was formally recognized as the legitimate pope, and Honorius II was excommunicated, but he never conceded, insisting until his death in 1072 that he was the pope.

Pope Alexander II adopted his predecessor Pope Nicholas II's     fervor for reform.  Pope Alexander IIís papacy set the groundwork for Pope Gregory VII his successor and reformís greatest champion.

In 1063, Pope Alexander II passed a series of reform decrees, one of which specifically reflected the vigilance of the Patari in forbidding the laity to hear Mass celebrated by a priest who did not live a chaste life.

Political wars persisted.

Pope Alexander II blessed a banner of Saint Peter for William, Duke of Normandy, to take with him as protection to the famous Battle of Hastings in England in 1066.

Pope Alexander II elevated his teacher, Lanfranc of Bec, to the See of Canterbury by appointing him Primate of England.

Pope Alexander II died of natural causes and was laid to rest in the Roman Basilica of Saint John Lateran on April 21, 1073.

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