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False Decretals

(631 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
The False Decretals (also known as Pseudoisidorian Decretals) are the most influential part of a comprehensive collection of church statutes that also includes the Collectio Hispana Gallica Augustodunensis, the Capitularies of Benedict the Levite, and the Capitula Angilramni. They had their origin in approximately 850 in the kingdom of the West Franks. Though naming Isidore Mercator of Seville as their author, they seem to have been written by clergy of the archbishopric of Reims. For their historical background we must look to the growing integration of the church in…

Pelagianism

(1,893 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
1. Definition Pelagianism is an important theological trend that was an offshoot of a fourth-century ascetic movement (Asceticism 2). It takes its name from Pelagius (ca. 354-after 418), a British (Irish?) monk, who went to Rome in about 385. 2. Pelagius’s Teaching The preaching of Pelagius had a practical ascetic thrust. He attacked a Christianity that had no results. With his demand that the whole church should be holy, he gained numerous adherents among the clergy and nobility, among them Celestius (5th cent.). In a commentary on Paul’s epistles (406–9), Pelagius took iss…

Pelagius II.

(135 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[English Version] Pelagius II., Papst 579–590, von gotischer Herkunft. Sein Pontifikat war geprägt von den Auseinandersetzungen mit den Langobarden, gegen die er wegen ausbleibender kaiserlicher Hilfe die Franken als Bündnispartner zu gewinnen suchte. Über sein Wirken berichtet der Liber pontificalis, er habe sein eigenes Haus für die Armenversorgung gestiftet und sich um den Bau mehrerer Kirchen verdient gemacht. Das Schisma von Aquileia, das um den noch immer schwelenden Dreikapitel-Streit entsta…

Pelagius II, Pope

(139 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (pontificate 579–590), of Gothic ancestry. His pontificate was dominated by conflicts ¶ with the Lombards, against whom he sought an alliance with the Franks when help from the emperor was not forthcoming. Of his actions, the Liber pontificalis records that he donated his own house for the care of the poor and earned respect for building several churches. He tried in vain to end the schism of Aquileia, a product of the still smoldering Three Chapters Controversy. Relations with the Byzantine church…

Loccum Abbey

(218 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Loccum Abbey, a Cistercian monastery lying 50 km northwest of Hanover, founded in 1163 as a filiation of Volkenroda, Thuringia. It was granted papal exemption in 1183 and an imperial charter in 1152. Its imperial immediacy was confirmed in 1530. The monastery gradually made the transition to the Reformation in the late 16th century, although it retained its autonomy. In 1677, G.W. Molanus organized the hospice according to the principles of Protestant monasticism ( Leges Hospitii). From 1792 onward, J.C. Salfeld transformed it into a “Prediger-Seminarium…

Cassian, John (Saint)

(395 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (360, Dobruja – 430/435, Marseille). Born in a Christian home, Cassian undertook a pilgrimage to Palestine and Egypt, where for more than a decade he was a student of the monastic fathers. During the Origenistic controversies he left Egypt c. 399/400, went to Constantinople and John Chrysostom, went to Rome after the latter's banishment, and ultimately settled in southern Gaul, where in 415 he founded a monastery and a convent. With his writings, in which he reflected on the experiences of ascetic life, he became the teacher of western monasticism (Benedict, Rule of). In D…

Rupert of Deutz

(310 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (1075/1080, probably near Liège – 1129, Deutz), monastic theologian from the Benedictine abbey of St. Lawrence near Liège. Rupert’s criticism of the simony of Bishop Otbert of Liège during the Investiture Controversy led to his banishment for several years, an exile lamented in his Carmina de sancto Laurentio. In 1108/1109 he was ordained to the priesthood. A few years later, he wrote De divinis officiis, a meditation on the church year, which drew criticism from William of Saint-Thierry on account of its eucharistic doctrine. His De voluntate Dei, a treatise on evi…

Pontian, Pope (Saint)

(165 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (230 – Sep 28, 235). The theological significance of Pontian rests on his express approval of the condemnation of Origen by Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria. His episcopate fell in the period of the schism that had begun under Callistus I. During the persecution of Christians by Maximinus Thrax (235–238), both Pontian and his rival Hippolytus of Rome (217–235) were deported to Sardinia. The date Sep 28, 235, on which he resigned his office, thus ending the schism, is the earliest as…

Kammin

(203 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] is a city on the Dievenow in Pomerania; since 1176 an episcopal seat, first founded in Wolin in 1140 following the missionary journeys of Otto of Bamberg. The diocese received broad independence (Exemption) since it was subject to the Holy See in Rome, but not to the archdioceses of Gniezno or Magdeburg. In the 13th/14th centuries, the diocese, initially restricted to the territories subject to the dukes ¶ of Pomerania, expanded to the west (Mecklenburg) and southeast (Uckermark, Neumark). In 1248, the bishops of Kammin gained sovereignty over an …

Dorotheus of Gaza

(185 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (500/510, Antioch – 560/580, near Gaza) lived for years in a monastery near Gaza, where he was a student of Barsanuphius and John the Prophet. In 540 he founded his own monastery. His writings include works of spiritual instruction, several letters, a vita, and a collection of aphorisms. Building on Evagrius Ponticus, Basil the Great, and John Chrysostom, Dorotheus developed a cenobitic spirituality rooted in baptism. Under the guidance of a spiritual leader, …

Pelagius I, Pope

(193 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (pontificate Apr 16, 556 – Mar 4, 561). Already an influential figure while still a deacon (Roman apocrisiary in Constantinople), in 546 he tried in vain to persuade the Goths not to sack Rome. In the Three Chapters Controversy, Pelagius took an equivocal position. Initially he spoke out against condemning them, but later, under pressure from the emperor, supported recognition of the imperial Council of Constantinople (IV, 2). As a result, Justinian I made him pope. The Liber pontificalis mentions a rumor that he was in part to blame for …

Siricius, Pope

(98 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (384–399) came forward as an opponent of the ascetic circles associated with Jerome and Paulinus of Nola. In his letters, he gave advice on questions of the life of the church and dealing with heretics. His pontificate marked the beginning of the tradition of the papal decretals as an independent legal source alongside synodal decisions. Heinrich Holze Bibliography PL 13, 1131–1196; 67, 231–238 RPR( J) 1, 21885, repr. 1956, 40–42 LP 1, 1886, 216f. E. Caspar, Geschichte des Papsttums, vol. I, 1930 F.R. Gahbauer, BBKL X, 1995, 530/531 W. Schwaiger, LThK 3 IX, 2000, 631.

Bruno of Segni

(169 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (1040/1050, Asti – Jul 18, 1123, Segni, near Rome) was educated in the monastery of St. Perpetua near Asti and studied in Bologna. In 1073, he became a canon of the cathedral at Siena. In 1079, he debated with Berengar of Tours in Rome; shortly thereafter he was elected bishop of Segni. Under Gregory VII and his successors, he was one of the most influential members of the curia. In 1103, he entered the abbey of Monte Cassino and in 1107 became its abbot. Initially, he retained his ecclesiastical offices, but after ¶ the Investiture Controversy (1111) he withdrew …

Sternberg

(159 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (Mecklenburg). Sternberg is a town north of Schwerin where pogroms took place after Jews were charged with desecrating the host. After a hearing and trial, the accused were burnt at the stake, a prelude to the expulsion of all Jews from Mecklenburg. In the years that followed, the miraculous hosts in Sternberg made it a popular pilgrimage site. Duke Magnus underwrote the building of a chapel of the Sacred Blood. An Augustinian monastery was also built, whose promoters included J. v. Staupitz and Johann v. Paltz. In his An den christlichen Adel, Luther called for the dem…

Marcellinus

(207 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (bishop of Rome Jun 30, 295/296 – Oct 25, 304). His pontificate marks “a dark chapter in the history of the Roman church” (Caspar, 98). He is mentioned in 30th place in the Liber pontificalis , but in many lists of the 4th/5th centuries his name is lacking, his period in office being assigned to his successor Marcellus I. This is because of misconduct during the Diocletian persecution (Persecutions of Christians: I): “He was led to the sacrifice, so that he should perform the incense rite, and he…

Silverius, Pope

(141 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Jun 8, 536 – Nov 11, 537 (deposed; died Dec 2, 537, on the island of Ponza or Palmaria in the Gulf of Gaeta; born in Frozinone, Campania). The Liber pontificalis records that Silverius had been elevated to the episcopate at the instigation of Theodahad, Ostrogoth king of Italy. When the Byzantines under Belisarius laid siege to Rome, Silverius urged surrendering the city without resistance, but he was relieved of his office shortly afterwards. All that is known of his work as bishop of Rome comes from records of ordinations. Heinrich Holze Bibliography LP 1, 1886, 290–295 RPR…

Mark, Pope (Saint)

(170 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (bishop of Rome from Jan 18 to Oct 7, 336). When Miltiades was pope, Mark (then a deacon) probably held a leadership position alongside the bishop in the Roman church (Eus. Hist. eccl. X 5.18). There is no evidence of how he reacted to the conflicts over the Nicene Creed (Synod of Tyre in 335; banishment of Athanasius to Trier 335/337). Of Mark the Liber pontificalis says only: “He decreed that the bishop of Ostia, who consecrates the bishop of Rome, should wear the pallium and be consecrated in turn by the bishop of Rome” (2…

Zosimus, Pope (Saint)

(123 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Zosimus, of Greek descent, was pope from Mar 18, 417 to Dec 26, 418. His pontificate is controversial, because during the Pelagian controversy (Pelagius/Pelagians) he advocated rehabilitating Celestius, who had presented a confession of faith but was forced to retract his support by a synod in Carthage in 418. Zosimus also created unrest among the Gallic bishops, because in an effort to reinforce Roman primacy he bestowed metropolitan rights on the bishop of Arles. Heinrich Holze Bibliography Sources: CPL 1644–1647 CSEL 35/1, 99–117 LP 1, 223–224 RPR 1, 49–51 Mansi 4,…

Marcellus I

(167 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (bishop of Rome May 27/Jun 26, 308 – Jan 16, 309). After a vacancy of several years caused by the persecutions, Marcellus succeeded Marcellinus. According to the Liber pontificalis he was of Roman origin. As bishop, Marcellus reorganized the Roman ¶ congregation, and made “25 titular churches in Rome in effect into parishes, because of the baptism and penance of many converts from the heathen, and because of martyrs to be buried” (LP 164). His moral severity, however, led to fierce controversies. Damasus I wrote on his g…

Zephyrin, Saint

(200 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] Zephyrin, Saint, bishop of Rome 198–217, 14th name in the earliest Roman episcopal list. The Liber pontificalis states that he issued directives regarding the eucharistic liturgy and the ordination of clergy. Zephyrin is a controversial figure on account of his theology, which tended toward modalism. Hippolytus of Rome calls him a “simple man without education,” who (influenced by his colleague and successor Callistus I) stated his creed: “I know that there is one God, Jesus Christ; nor except him do I know any other that is begotten and amenable to suffering” (Hipp. Hae…
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