Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/159

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

and Hungary. The new doctrine taught at Wittenberg was soon brought into the Austrian provinces. Miners were the first to spread the new teaching. Noble families frequently sent their sons to German universities, and even to Wittenberg, and these students often returned with Protestant ideas, and even brought Protestant preachers with them. The constant danger from the Turks in Austria was exceedingly opportune for the new religious movement. One of the first preachers of the new doctrine in Vienna was Paul of Spretten (Speratus), a Swabian, who had been driven out of Salzburg on account of his Lutheran views. The new doctrine entered Hungary and Transylvania through merchants who brought Lutheran books with them, and it took hold, more especially, among the German population of the Zipser region and among the Saxons of Transylvania. Mátyás Biro, known as Devay, from the place of his origin, Deva in Transylvania, has been called "the Luther of Hungary". Most of the Hungarian bishops had falleen at the battle of Mohács, and the subsequent disputes concerning the succession to the throne distracted the monarchy. For these reasons the new doctrines spread rapidly, and Devay was able to bring over to it such noble families as the Batthyany and Bocskay. It was then that Calvinism began to be called in Hungary Magyar hit (Hungarian faith), Lutheranism Nemes hit (German faith), and Catholicism Igaz hit (Right faith). Equal success accompanied the preaching of John Gross of Cronstadt in Transylvania, despite the efforts of Georgy Utyeszenich to check him. Utyeszenich (also called, after his mother, Marinuzzi) was prior of the Pauline monastery at Szenstochov near Cracow, and governed Transylvania as guardian of John Sigismund Zápolyas. Gross added Honter to his name in memory of his deliverance by an elder bush (in the Transylvanian dialect hontert) from death by drowning. In order to secure the crown for her son, John Sigismund Zápolyas, his mother, Isabella, was obliged to sanction the decisions of the diet which met at Thorenburg (Torda) near Klausenburg. These granted to adherents of the Augsburg Confession equal rights with the Catholics. In Bohemia and Moravia Lutheranism first found adherents among the Germans and especially among the sect of the Utraquists. Just as the Hapsburg Dynasty showed itself at this period to be the shield of Christianity against the advance of Islam, so also it proved itself by its constancy and zeal to be the support of the Faith against the religious innovations. Pope Pius IV conceded the cup to the laity in the Archdioceses of Gran and Prague, a concession, however, withdrawn by St. Pius V. Ferdinand I sought in many ways to be of aid: by his mandates, by the inspection of convents and parishes, by his care in selecting competent ecclesiastics, by the introduction of the newly established Society of Jesus, and by proposals which were sent to the Council of Trent in support of reforms. The mandates of Ferdinand were of little use, but the inspections and the enforcement of the decisions of the Council of Trent had effect. The Bishops of Vienna, Fabri (Heigerlein), and Frederick Nausea (a Latinization of Gran; Nausia, horror, disgust) were unusual men. With unflagging zeal both preached on Sundays and feast days in the Cathedral of St. Stephen and took part in the religious movement by the publication of theological pamphlets. Nausea's sermons are characterized in a rude rhyme of the day:-

Viel tausend Menschen standen da Es predigt Bischof Nausea, Wie er denn pflegt zu aller Zeit Sein' Schäflein zgebn selbst die Weid.

"Many thousands gather where Bishop Nausea preaches, and himself, as his wont is, feeds his flock".-In the Austrian provinces the Jesuits were the most important factor in the defence of the Faith and the elevation of Christian life. Ferdinand I obtained from St. Ignatius the founding of a Jesuit college in Vienna. The first two Jesuits came to Vienna in 1551. They were followed, the next year, by St. Peter Canisius, the first German member of the order, were assigned the abandoned Carmelite monastery Am Hof, obtained two chairs in the theological faculty, and founded a gymnasium with a theological seminary attached. St. Peter Canisius was named court preacher, and for a time was administrator of the Diocese of Vienna. He still influences the present day through his "Summa Doctrinæ Christianæ"; an abridgment of which, called the catechism of Canisius, is still in use. A few year later the Jesuits founded at Prague a gymnasium, a theological school, and a university for philosophical and theological studies, which in contradistinction to the "Carolinum" was called the "Clementinum". They also founded schools at Innsbruck and at Tyrnau. The tutor and court preacher of Maximilian II, Ferdinand's eldest son, was Sebastian Pfauser, a man of Protestant tendencies. It was feared that Maximilian would embrace the new creed, but the papal nuncio, Bishop Hosius of Ermland, pointed out to him those inconsistencies in the Protestant doctrine which prove its falsity. Maximilian II gave permission to lords and knights to follow the Augsburg Confession in their own castles, cities, and villages. David Chytræus of Rostock drew up for the Protestants a form of church service. In Bohemia the Evangelicals united with the Bohemian and Moravian Brethren, and called the new agreement the "Bohemian Confession". They had a consistory of fifteen to which the Evangelical clergy were subordinate. Maximilian's position in the part of Hungary controlled by them was a difficult one, because rebels concealed their political schemes under the cloak of a struggle for relgious freedom. His brother Charles was master of the inner Austrian provinces, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, and Görz. He summoned the Jesuits to Graz and, in the religious pacification of Brück, granted the free exercise of religion at Graz, Klagenfurt, Laibach, and Judenburg. In return he demanded that the Protestants should leave him and his coreligionists undisturbed in their faith, rights, and estates; besides this the Lutheran preachers and teachers were obliged to leave the cities, market towns, and estates under the personal rule of the archduke. In order to counterbalance the endowed schools of the Styrian provinces the Archduke Charles founded the University of Graz (Carolina) in 1586. Charles's son Ferdinand (later the Emperor Ferdinand II) was educated at Ingolstadt, and while there he declared, "I would rather give up land and people and go away in nothing but a shirt than sanction what might be injurious to religion". When he became ruler he appointed commissioners who cleared the land of these preachers (ranters). The bishops George Stobäus of Lavant and Martin Brenner of Seckau (the Hammer of the Heretics) were at the head of these reformatory commissions. But no blood was shed in this counter-reformation.

At the distribution of provinces Archduke Ferdinand, husband of Philippina Welser, had received the Tyrol. The diet of 1570 decided the religious position of that province. The governor, Jacob of Pagrsbach, declared firmly that to grant the wishes of the Protestants would be contrary to the customs and ordinances of the land and, further, that it would be folly to rend religion, the strongest tie which binds hearts together. All classes agreed with him. Rudolph II, Maximilian's eldest son and successor, lived in the Hradschin at Prague, where he carried on his studies in alchemy and art. The Archduchy of Austria was ruled by his brother Ernst. Ernst