In nomine Domini, named for its Latin incipit ("In the name of the Lord"), is a papal bull of Pope Nicholas II and canon of the Council of Rome, promulgated on April 13, 1059,[1] establishing cardinal-bishops as the sole electors of the pope, with the consent (as determined by the cardinal-bishops) of cardinal-deacons and cardinal-priests (followed by the laity and the Holy Roman Emperor[2]),[3] which laid the groundwork for the hierarchical preeminence of cardinals within the Roman Catholic Church.[4][5] Suffrage was extended to all cardinals during the schism of Antipope Clement III in 1084, and the co-operation of the inferior clergy was dispensed with in 1189,[2] beginning the establishment of the College of Cardinals, which did not fully come into force until the election of Pope Innocent II in 1130.[6]

The bull further states that any antipope elected contrary to the procedure laid out within it should be "subjected, as Antichrist and invader and destroyer of all Christianity, to a perpetual anathema."[7]

The bull replaced the recently-challenged right of nomination of the Holy Roman Emperor with a vague right of approbation, following the advice of recently-elevated Cardinal Hildebrand[2] (the future Pope Gregory VII).[8] Nicholas II's predecessor, Pope Stephen IX had been elected during a period of confusion following the death of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, and, twelve months later, the death of Pope Victor II, whom Henry III had installed as pope.[2] Stephen IX's election had obtained the consent of the empress-regent, Agnes de Poitou, despite the omission of the traditional preliminaries and the waiting of the cardinals for the Imperial nomination.[2]

The bull was followed by an alliance between the papacy and Robert Guiscard, who was made Duke of Apulia and Calabria (which he had already conquered) and Sicily (which he would have to recover from the Saracens) in exchange for an annual tribute and guaranteeing the security of the Holy See (which began with the demolition of the castles of several Roman nobles).[2] Nicolas II's successor, Pope Alexander II was consecrated without the approbation of the empress-regent (still Agnes de Poitou), and was thus opposed by the Imperial nominee Antipope Honorius II.[2]

In nomine Domini gained traction following the submission of Emperor Henry III to Pope Gregory VII at Canossa in 1077, although the emperor did not formally renounce the privilege of papal appointment until the Concordat of Worms in 1122.[9]

In nomine Domini also increased the power of the cardinals during a sede vacante, which was expanded and codified in the decretal of Pope Alexander III, Licet de vitanda, at the time of the Third Council of the Lateran (1179).[5]


  1. 12th indiction
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Geffcken, Friedrich Heinrich. 1877. Church and State: Their Relations Historically Developed. Longmans, Green, and Co. pp. 193–94.
  3. "Cardinales Episcopi, cum religiosis clericis, Catholicisque laicis, licet paucis, jus potestatis obtineant eligere Apostolicæ sedis pontificem, ubi cum rege congruentius judicaverunt."
  4. Rotberg, Robert I. 2001. Politics and Political Change. MIT Press. ISBN 0262681293. p. 51; Miranda, Salvator. 1998. "Essay of a General List of Cardinals (112-2006)."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wikisource-logo "Cardinal" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
  6. Levillain, Philippe. 2002. The Papacy: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 0415922283. p. 1356.
  7. Doeberl: Monumenta Germaniae selecta," 3rd vol.
  8. Hildebrand, however, would attain the assent of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor following his own election as Pope Gregory VII in 1073, fulfilling a promise he had made to Henry III and knowing that Henry IV could not truly refuse.
  9. Josep M. Colomer and Iain McLean. (1998). "Electing Popes: Approval Balloting and Qualified-Majority Rule". The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 1-22.

See also

External links

ru:In Nomine Domine

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