Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/163

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

for souls, who devoted himself especially to the theological schools. After him came Vincenz Eduard Milde (d. 1853) who had gained a good reputation as a theorist in pedagogics and as a practical teacher. An important part in arousing the Church was taken by the following court preachers of that period: Vincenz Darnaut, who prepared an Old Testament history; Frint, author of a compendium of religious knowledge (6 vols.), the man at whose suggestion the emperor in 1816 established the advanced school for secular clergy at St. Augustine, and the founder of the Vienna "Theologische Zeitschrift"; Vincenz Eduard Milde was the author of a textbook of the general theory of pedagogics (2 vols.); Johann Michael Leonhard, who published "Christian Doctrines" in four parts and textbooks for grammar schools; Johann Platz, who continued Frint's periodical and published "Dogmatic Sermons"; Job, confessor to the queen mother, Caroline Augusta; Albert Schlör, who produced "Meditations upon the Entire Gospel for Ecclesiastics and Priests", a work still fruitful. The priests whom the emperor received into Austria after the secularization of the abbeys in the empire were also very active. Thirty-five monks who came from St. Blasien, in the Black Forest to St. Paul in Carinthia pursued serious studies; twenty-five from Wiblingen entered Austrian abbeys. Among these were Sebastian Zängerle, who, "praying, working, and bravely fighting", bequeathed his diocese of Seckau in excellent condition to his successor; and Gregor Thomas Ziegler, who, while professor of dogmatics at Vienna, wrote "On Theological Rationalism", "Foundation of the Catholic Faith", and a "Life of Job". Their efforts were aided by the converts Frederick von Schlegel and Zacharias Werner. Metternich was Schlegel's patron. Schlegel's lectures on modern history and on ancient and modern literature, delivered at Vienna, had a beneficial effect, and the "Konkordia", which he founded, advocated Catholic interests. Werner's conversion was finally effected by the confession of St. Peter. In reading the "Imitation of Christ" his eye happened to fall on the only words of Peter contained in the work (Im., III, liii, 1). He called the "Imitation of Christ" the "pith of all books". (Tolle, lege.) During the sessions of the Congress he preached at Vienna with such intense feeling that at times he wept as he recalled with remorse his youthful errors. For a while Hohenwarth entertained him in his palace and Dalberg gave him a gold pen which he presented to the shrine at Mariazell. Werner, who died eleven days after preaching a notable sermon on the feast of the Epiphany, in 1823, was buried at Maria Enzersdorf beside Blessed Clement Maria Hofbauer. Hofbauer was a man of saintly character and prayerful life who, as confessor and preacher, exercised an extraordinary influence over many and was a source of light and instruction for Vienna and Austria. He was born at Tasswitz in Moravia, entered the Redemptorist Order at Rome as its first German member, and was active in the order at Warsaw. He suffered for the Faith, being confined in the fortress of Küstrin, and after coming to Vienna was appointed assistant to the rector of the Italian church through the influence of Archbishop Hohenwarth. He was finally made confessor to the Ursulines. Without noisy effort he produced deep effects. Among his penitents were: Adam von Müller, court councillor and author, whose last words were "Only those facts are worthy of notice which the Catholic Church recognizes as true"; Schlegel; Zacharias Werner; the Princess Jablonowska and Princess Bretzenheim; Privy Councillor Francis de Paul Szechenyi; Professors Fourerius Ackermann, Zängerle, Ziegler; Bishops Rauscher and Baraga. He converted Silbert Klinkowström and Veith. Hofbauer learned on his death-bed that the emperor had recognized the congregation as an order, and, filled with joy, he passed away, praising God, 15 March, 1820. Tondler, who followed in Hofbauer's footsteps, was born only six days after his death. Hofbauer was beatified in 1886. Cardinal Rauscher said of him: "Father Hofbauer made the final arrangement of the Concordat possible; he gave to the spirit of the time a better direction".

There were at this time, unfortunately, priests who instead of offering to their fellow-men the pure wheat of the truth sought to give them the chaff of fantastic dreams. Among others, Martin Boos taught that "the Saviour only demands from sinners that they believe in him and make his merits their own. For this reason the formation of a particular society of believers in the living faith is necessary". Boos supported his views by referring to Professor Sailer, but was imprisoned a whole year by the consistory at Augsburg. After this he had a parish at Gallenkirchen, in Upper Austria, but was obliged to resign his position. Thomas Pöschel, a curate, at Ampfelwang, in Upper Austria, received a heavenly revelation that the millennium had begun. This was to be preceeded by the arrival of Antichrist, who had just appeared in the person of Napoleon. Pöschel died at Vienna in the infirmary for priests. The "Manharter" in Tyrol took the name of the peasant Manhart, who, influenced by the assistant curate Kaspar Hagleitner, maintained that the acts of the Tyrolese ecclesiastics who had sworn fealty to Napoleon were invalid. The Archbishop of Salzburg, Augustine Gruber, and Cardinal Cappellari (Gregory XVI) quieted the peasants.

In 1848, when, as was said at the bishops' conference at Würzburg, "the judgment of God was passed on thrones and peoples", the devastating storm broke out in Austria. Even Füster, a professor of theology at the University of Vienna and a university preacher, led students astray. The Prince-Archbishop of Vienna, Vincenz Eduard Milde, issued a warning to the entire clergy "to keep within the limits of their calling". Nevertheless, the revolutionary spirit sooon threatened the Church. Public demonstrations were made against Archbishop Milde and the papal nuncio, because Pius IX was said to have blessed the Italians who marched out to fight the Austrians. The Redemptorists were driven out of Vienna, and the Jesuits out of Graz. Ronge, whose followers abused the words German and Catholic by calling themselves "German-Catholic", preached in the Odeon at Vienna and in the taverns at Graz. Unfortunately, Ronge was joined by Hermann Pauli, assistant at Erdberg, and by Hirschberger, chaplain at the home for disabled soldiers. Pauli and Hirschberger came to a sad end: the former died in an insane asylum, the latter committed suicide.

With these exceptions, the clergy of Vienna behaved admirably. In May the curate, Sebastian Brunner, came to the defence of the Church against the hostile press by issuing the "Kirchenzeitung", and the bishops of various dioceses sent memorials and addresses to the ministry, the imperial diet and the emperor, such as: a statement of the bishops of the Archdiocese of Moravia drawn up by Kutschker, petition of the Prince-Bishop of Lavant to the Imperial Diet; petition of the Archbishop of Görz to the Ministry; "What are the Relations of Church and State? An Answer by the bishops of Bohemia"; memorial of the Archbishopric of Salzburg to the Imperial Diet; memorial of the Archdiocese of Vienna to the Diet; memorial of the bishops of the Archdiocese of the maritime district to the constitutional imperial diet at Kremsier. All these brochures sought the independence of the Church, the breaking of her fetters so that she might be free to raise her hand to bless.