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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 gain…

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 the death of Vigilius and had to explain himself publicly. In Milan resistance among the African, Gallican, and Italian bishops reached the point of schism. Pelagius remained a controversial figure, but he acted to restore the economic situation of the church, which had been shattered by the chaos of war. Heinrich Holze Bibliography…

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.

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 (

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 a…

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 th…

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 …

Knipstro, Johannes

(191 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (May 1, 1497, Sandau, Altmark – Oct 4, 1556, Wolgast, Pomerania). As a Franciscan monk, Knipstro began his studies at Frankfurt an der Oder, but was then transferred to Pyritz (Pyrzyce), where he emerged in 1521 as one of the first Protestant propagandists in Pomerania. There followed stays in Stettin (Szczecin), Stargard, and Stralsund. In 1531 he was called to Greifswald to implement the Reformation. At the diet of Treptow (Trzebiatów) in1534, which resolved to introduce the Ref…

Vigilius, Pope

(178 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (Mar 29, 537 – Jun 7, 555), Roman deacon and apocrisiary in Constantinople, made pope after the conquest of Rome by Byzantine troops. His pontificate was dominated by the superior power of the Byzantine hierarchy. While Vigilius asserted papal supremacy over the Western churches (correspondence with Arles), in the Three Chapters Controversy he had to submit to Justinian I. Initially he refused to assent to the edict of 544, but he abandoned his resistance at the Council of Constan…

Slüter, Joachim

(190 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (1490, Dömitz an der Elbe – May 19, 1532, Rostock). After studying in Rostock, he was appointed chaplain at Sankt Petri there in 1523; his Protes…

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 h…

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 ho…

Marcellinus

(207 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich

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…
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