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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…


(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 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.

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…


(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.

(170 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[English Version] Pelagius I., Papst 16.4.556 – 4.3.561, bereits als Diakon von großem Einfluß (röm. Apokrisiar in Konstantinopel), versuchte jedoch vergeblich, die Plünderung Roms durch die Goten (546) abzuwenden. Im Dreikapitel-Streit nahm P. eine zweideutige Haltung ein. Zunächst sprach er sich gegen eine Verurteilung aus, setzte sich dann aber unter kaiserlichem Druck für die Anerkennung des Reichskonzils von Konstantinopel (: IV.,2.) ein. Daraufhin wurde er von Justinian I. zum Papst erhoben. …

Hilarion of Gaza, Saint

(204 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[German Version] (291–371), was a Palestinian monk, whose life is described by Jerome in the Vita Hilarionis (= VH; c. 390). According to this, Hilarion, who had acquired a philosophical education in Alexandria, was converted and became a student of Anthony, then settled in nearby Gaza as a hermit and performed miracles; he became the founder of Palestinian monastic life. After the death of Anthony (356) Hilarion fled from fame, sought solitude, and embarked on many years of peregrination; this led him to Cyprus,…

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…


(170 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[English Version] Vigilius, Papst 29.3.537 – 7.6.555, röm. Diakon und Apokrisiar in Konstantinopel, wurde nach der Eroberung Roms durch oström. Truppen zum Papst erhoben. Sein Pontifikat war von der Übermacht der byz. Kirchenherrschaft bestimmt. Während V. gegenüber abendländischen Gemeinden die päpstl. Oberhoheit beanspruchte (Briefwechsel mit Arles), mußte er sich im Dreikapitel-StreitJustinian I. beugen. Zunächst weigerte er sich, dem Edikt von 544 zuzustimmen, gab auf dem Konzil von 553 (Konsta…


(147 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[English Version] Pontian, römischer Bischof 230 – 28.9.235. P. trat dadurch theol. in Erscheinung, daß er die Verurteilung des Origenes durch den alexandrinischen Bf. Demetrius ausdrücklich billigte. Sein Episkopat fällt in die Zeit des seit Calixtus I. andauernden Schismas. Während der Christenverfolgung des Maximinus Thrax (235–238) wurde P. zus. mit Hippolyt (Gegenbf. 217–235) nach Sardinien verschleppt. Der 28.9.235, an dem er sein Amt niederlegte und damit das Schisma beendete, markiert das äl…


(176 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[English Version] Slüter, Joachim (1490 Dömitz/Elbe – 19.5.1532 Rostock), Studium in Rostock, hielt dort seit 1523 als Kaplan an St. Petri unter großem Zulauf ev. Predigten. Eine Disputation, für die er 1525 Thesen vf., wurde vom Rat untersagt. Vorübergehend gelang es dem bfl. Offizial, S. aus Rostock zu verdrängen, bereits 1526 kehrte dieser aber wieder zurück und wurde durch seine niederdt. Schriften – Gesangbuch, Katechismus und Gebetbuch – zum Sprachrohr der Reformation in Mecklenburg. Unterstü…


(286 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[English Version] von Deutz (1075/1080 vermutlich Umgebung von Lüttich – 1129 Deutz), monastischer Theologe aus dem Benediktinerkloster St. Laurentius bei Lüttich. Im Investiturstreit wurde R. wegen seiner Kritik an der Simonie des Bf. Otbert von Lüttich für mehrere Jahre verbannt, worüber er in den »Carmina de sancto Laurentio« Klage führte. 1108/09 wurde R. zum Priester geweiht. Wenig später entstand »De divinis officiis«, eine Meditation des Kirchenjahres, die wegen ihrer Abendmahlslehre auf die…


(98 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[English Version] Siricius, Papst 384–399, trat als Gegner der asketischen Kreise des Hieronymus und des Paulinus von Nola in Erscheinung. In seinen Briefen erstellte er Gutachten zu Fragen des kirchl. Lebens und zum Umgang mit Häretikern. Mit ihnen beginnt die Überlieferung der päpstl. Dekretalen, die den Synodalentscheidungen als eigene Rechtsquelle zur Seite treten. Heinrich Holze Bibliography PL 13, 1131–1196; 67, 231–238 RPR(J) 1, 21885, Nachdr. 1956, 40–42 LP 1, 1886, 216f. E. Caspar, Gesch. des Papsttums, Bd.1, 1930 F.R. Gahbauer (BBKL 10, 1995, 530/31) W. Schwaiger (LTh…


(119 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[English Version] Silverius, Papst 8.6.536 – 11.11.537 (Verzicht; gest. 2.12.537 Insel Ponza oder Palmaria im Golf von Gaeta, geb. Frosinone, Kampanien). Der LP berichtet, daß S. auf Druck des Ostgoten Theodahad zum Bf. erhoben wurde. Als die Byzantiner unter Belisar Rom belagerten, setzte sich S. für die kampflose Übergabe der Stadt ein, wurde jedoch wenig später seines Amtes enthoben. Über sein kirchl. Wirken sind nur Klerikerweihen bekannt. Heinrich Holze Bibliography LP 1, 1886, 290–295 RPR(J) 1, 21885, Nachdr. 1956, 115f. E. Caspar, Gesch. des Papsttums, Bd.2, 1933 J. Richa…
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