Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/290

This page needs to be proofread.




and ecclesiastical authorities; in 134S he had a regis- ter (itrbariurn) drawn up of all the estates and rights belonging to the see. Leopold III of Bebenburg (1353-63) was granted the right of coinage and re-established the disordered finances of the see. Frederick II of Truhendingen (1364-66) was followed by Louis, Margrave of Meissen (1366-74), who soon became Elector of Mainz. Lamprecht of Brunn (1374-98), formerly Bishop of Strasburg, imposed new ta.xes in order to reduce the indebtedness of the see. This led to a revolt of the citizens of Bam- berg, and the bishop was put to flight in 1379; in 1380 he conquered the city and imposed hea\'y penalties upon it. Albert, Count of Wertheim (1399- 1421), settled a quarrel of many years' standing with the Burgrave of Nuremberg and protected the Jews living in the diocese. Frederick III of A.ufsess (1421-31), one of the most religious princes of his age, convened a synod in order to restore ecclesiasti- cal discipline and to check the avarice and im- morality of the clergy; the opposition to these re- forms, especially that of the cathedral canons, forced him to resign the see (d. 1440). Anthony of Rotenhan (1432-59) was unable to improve the bad condition of the episcopal finances of the bishopric; in 1440 the citizens of Bamberg forced him to fice, but he soon afterwards took the city by storm and executed a number of the citizens. The diocese was several times devastated by the Hussites. More peaceful times now followed: George I of Schaumberg (14.59- 75), an able ruler, restored ecclesiastical discipline among the people, clergy, and monasteries, and en- couraged the newly discovered art of printing (the printer Pfister had a press at Bamberg as early as 1460). Philip of Henneberg (1475-87) continued the labours of his predecessor, redeemed a large number of the estates mortgaged by Anthony of Rotenhan to the Jews, and in 1478 drove the Jews out ot the diocese. Henry III Gross of Trockau (1487- 1501) was an energetic organizer and issued a num- ber of laws; in 1491 he held a synod. Veit I Truch- fiess of Pommersfelden (1501-03) and George II Marschalk of Ebnet (1503-05) had very brief reigns. The period of the Reformation was an unfortunate one for the diocese. Luther's doctrines very soon found entrance into its territory. The fortieth bishop, George III Schenk of Limburg (1.502-22), did much to encourage art and the erection of churches, but he showed himself weak in his opposition to the religious innovations and allowed the writings of the Reformers to be printed and spread in the diocese. Luther's doctrines also found friends and well- wishers in the cathedral chapter. Weigand of Red- witz (1522-56) desired to make a stand against the -progress of the Reformation, but 'was prevented by political and social conflicts. In 1524 the peasants, .excited by the preaching of evangelical freedom by the adherents of the new teacliings, revolted in several places and refused to pay tithes. The city of Bamberg also rebelled against the bishop; the citizens called on the peasants for aid, plundered the episcopal palace, the houses of the canons and clergy, the monasteries, and a large number of es- tates in the open country which belonged to the nobles and clergy. George von Truchsess, commander of the army of the Swabian Confederation, restored order; a number of the revolutionary leaders were executed, a heavy punishment was inflicted on the city of Bamberg, and the nobles who had suffered loss received unnecessarily large compensation. In spite of the bishop's zeal for souls, the Reformation spread through the diocese, and Protestantism gained a footing, especially in Nuremberg and in the Fran- conian pos.sessions of the Electors of Brandenburg. This period was followed by an era of calm during the episcopates of George IV Fuchs von Rugheim (1556-61), Veit II of Wurzburg (1561-77), John

George I Zobel of Giebelstadt (1577-80), Martin von Eyb (1580-83); none of these men, however, were able to correct abuses and reduce the debts of the see. The cathedral chapter was chiefly responsible for the troubles under which the diocese suffered; their nepotism, simony, avoidance of ordination to the priesthood, and, in many cases, their evil lives (concubinage was common) prevented reform. Ernst von Mengersdorf (1583-91) took energetic measures against the moral decay of ck^rgy and people; in 1585 he founded a seminary in Bamberg for the training of priests; he also did much to improve the material welfare of the people. Ncithart von Thiingen (1591-98) laboured with great success in behalf of the coimter-Reformation; he provided for the educa- tion of the clergy, enlarged the ecclesiastical semi- nary, and re-established the Catholic religion in his territory in accordance with the then accepted princi- ples of law. A less successful episcopate was that of John Philip von Gebsattel (1.599-1609), during whose reign the pest desolated the diocese. John Gottfried von Aschhau.scn (1609-22), who, after 1617, was also Bishop of Wtirzburg, took energetic measures against concubinage among the clergy. In 1612 he called in the Jesuits, to whom he gave the house and church of the Carmelites; he put the Jesuits in charge of the ecclesiastical seminary and made them the cathe- dral preachers. In this way the bishop insured the reform of his clergy and the spiritual renewal of Catholicism. There is one stain on his memory which also rests on that of his successor: the toleration and encouragement of trials for witchcraft.

Many misfortunes befell the diocese during the Thirty Years War; among these were heavy war imposts, spoliation, and devastation. In 1632 Bam- berg was conquered by the Swedes, and in 1633 was obliged to recognize Bernard of Weimar as its ruler. Bishop John George II Fuchs von Dornheim (1623- 33) died m Carinthia far away from his see. Franz von Hatzfeld (1633-42) was not able to enter his diocese until 1635. Melchior Otto Voit of Salzburg (1642-53) changed the gymnasium into a vmiversity in 1647; his successors, Philip Valentine Voit von Reineck (1655-72), Philip von Dernbach (1672-83), ilarquard Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg (1683- 93), followed his example in encouraging the spiritual activity of the Jesuits and other orders, in the im- provement of schools, and in reducing the indebted- ness of the diocese. A time of great prosperity was the period of the two Counts von Schonborn, Lothair Franz (1693-1729), and Frederick Charles (1729-46). After 1695 the former of these two bishops, Lothair Franz, was also Elector of Mainz; he built the prince- bishop's palace (now a royal residence), a large college for the Jesuits, as well as several castles, and was a great patron of art and learning; the latter, Freder- I ick Charles, added faculties of law and medicine to the imiversity and adorned the city with numerous public buildings. On account of his pulpit eloquence his contemporaries gave him the name of the German Fleury. The reigns of the next bishops, John Philip Anthony von Frankenstein (1746-53) and Franz Conrad, Coimt von Stadion (1753-57), were also peaceful. During the administration of Adam Frederick, Count von Seinsheim (1757-79), the diocese suffered greatly from the Seven Years War; during its progress the Prussians ravaged and phmdered the region, levied contributions on the inhabitants, and carried off the church treasures. When pestilence and famine followed the other miseries of war the bishop showed great liberality in providing for his starving subjects. Franz Lud- wig von Erthal (1779-95), who was at the same time Bishop of Wurzburg, was another prelate who aimed to promote the welfare of the diocese; he issued wise laws, tried to equalize the burdens of taxation, founded charitable institutions (the general hospitaj