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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…

Vigilius

(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…

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,…

Slüter

(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…

Rupert

(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…

Siricius

(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…

Silverius

(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…

Sternberg

(152 words)

Author(s): Holze, Heinrich
[English Version] (Mecklenburg). Kleinstadt nördlich von Schwerin, in der es 1492 zu Judenverfolgungen kam, nachdem der Vorwurf der Hostienschändung laut geworden war. Nach Verhör und Prozeß wurden die Beschuldigten verbrannt, was den Auftakt zur Vertreibung aller Juden aus Mecklenburg bildete. In den folgenden Jahren entwickelte sich S. wegen seiner wundertätigen Hostien zu einem vielbesuchten Wallfahrtsort. Herzog Magnus ließ eine Heiligblutkapelle bauen. Außerdem entstand ein Augustinerkloster,…

Pontian

(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…

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…

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.

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…
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