Papal election, 1088
Papal election of March 12, 1088, convoked after the death of Pope Victor III, elected Cardinal Odon de Lagery who took the name of Urban II.
Pope Victor III died on September 16, 1087, at Montecassino. Shortly before his death he recommended the election of Cardinal Odon de Lagery as his successor. Rome at that time was under control of Antipope Clement III, who was supported by the Emperor Henry IV of Germany, and there was no hope for its quick recovery. In this situation the adherents of Victor III assembled on March 9, 1088, at Terracina under the protection of Norman army to elect the new Pope. Besides Cardinal-Bishops, who were the sole electors of the Pope, at the electoral assembly in the episcopal church of SS. Pietro e Cesareo there were present also the representatives of the two lower orders of cardinals, over 40 bishops and abbots, as well as Benedetto, prefect of Rome and Countness Matilda of Tuscany. Initially the usual three days of fasting and prayer were proclaimed, and the meeting adjourned till Sunday, March 12, 1088. On that day the cardinals and the rest of the present churchmen and laymen assembled again in the same church. The Cardinal-Bishops of Albano, Tusculum and Porto together proposed the election of Odon de Lagery, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, who was designated by Victor III. He accepted his election and took the name Urban II. The election had been publicly announced by Cardinal Peter Igneus of Albano. On the same day new Pope was enthroned and celebrated the inauguration mass. It was not until November 1088 that Urban II was able to travel to Rome.
According to the decree of Nicholas II In Nomine Domini (1059) Cardinal-Bishops of the suburbicarian sees were the sole electors of the Pope. In March 1088 there were six Cardinal Bishops:
Two Cardinals of the lower ranges, one Cardinal-Priest and one Cardinal Deacon assisted at the election:
- I. S. Robinson, The Papacy, 1073-1198: Continuity and Innovation, Cambridge University Press, 1990
- H.W. Klewitz, Reformpapsttum und Kardinalskolleg, Darmstadt 1957