Nicholas II (c.1010–61), pope (1058–61), a Roman named Gerard, b. Lorraine, France; successor to Pope Stephen IX. A strong proponent of papal reform, he issued (1059) the Papal Election Decree in an effort to minimize political interference in papal elections. He favored the elimination of simony, clerical marriage, and lay influence in the church. Nicholas II also attempted to restore a common life for cathedral clergy and to eliminate the abuse and alienation of ecclesiastical property.
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