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BECHE


381


BECKEDORFF


tliat the Greek Church entirely agreed with Rome .n matters of doctrine. Several synods were held sliortly afterwards, all \\-ith the same object in view; and in one of them it was discovered that a certain Penteclesiota had tampered with a passage of St. Gregory of Nyssa, where testimony was rendered to the procession of the Holy Ghost from Father and Son. Finally, he tried also to defend in ^^Titing the doctrines of the Latin Church, although at first lie had resolved not to notice the many pamphlets of the schismatics, lest he should make the dissen- .sions even greater.

The intercourse of Beccus with the emperor was not always pleasant. The patriarch pleaded much with his imperial master for the needy and for those imjustly condemned by the officers of the law. But the emperor grew weary of these importunities and restricted the patriarch's liberty of access to him. Matters were aggravated by the enemies of the union, who purposely calumniated Beccus, as if his conduct were immoral, as if he misused the treasures of the Church, and insulted or even cursed the emperor. Such accusations were not altogether unwelcome; and the emperor, to show his indigna- tion, curtailed the patriarch's jurisdiction over all the sacred places that were outside of Constantinople. Thereupon Beccus grew tired of his office, resigned, and withdrew to a monastery in March, 1279. But as the papal legates arrived soon after, he was in- duced to resume his duties and to treat with the representatives of the pope, which he did as related before. After the death of Michael Palseologus, which occurred 11 December, 1282, the union with Rome was at once denounced by the new Emperor Andronicus (1282-1328); and Beccus was forced to resign. In a synod held in 1283, he was forced to sign his name to a creed prepared by his enemies, and to abdicate the patriarchal office, after which he was banished to the city of Prusa in Bithynia. In 1284, he was again summoned to a synod in Con- stantinople; but he defended energetically the doctrines of the Western Church, for which he was confined to the fortress of St. Gregory on the Black Sea, where he underwent many privations. Nothing, however, could induce him to sacrifice his convic- tions. He still continued to write in favour of the Latin Church. Death brought an end to his suf- ferings about the year 1298.

The principal works of John Beccus (in P. G., CXLI) are the following: " Concerning the Union and Peace of the Churches of Ancient and New Rome"; "The Epigraphae", a collection of passages from the Fathers; "On the Procession of the Holy Ghost"; the polemical works against Photius, Andronicus Camateros, and Gregory of Cj'prus; the works addressed to his friends Theodore, Bishop of Sug- da;a in Moesia, and a certain Constantine; a letter to AgaUianos Alexios, a deacon of Constantinople; several orations and an ".\pologia"; his "Testamen- tum ' ' ^\Titten while in prison. In all of these WTitings there is a sincere conviction of the truth defended by him, and great enthusiasm for the peace of the Church through union with Rome, among whose Greek adherents Beccus holds easily the first place.

Georgiu-s Pachy.merks, Michael Pal.bologus, and .-Vn- DRoNicus Pal,eologus in P. a.. CXLIII. CXLIV; Nice- PHORUS Gregoras, HistoHa Byzantina, ibid,, CXLVIII; Ravjjaldus. Annales ecd, (Lucca. 1748), III; Hefele, Coti- ciliengeschichle (Freiburg, 1890), VI; KRn.\lBACHER, Grschichte rlerbi/zant, LilleraluT (Munich, 1897); Hergenrother in Kir- i-heiiler,, y. v.; Hurter. Nomendatar (Innsbruck. 18991 IV,

Francis J. Sch.\efer.

Heche, John {alias Thom.^s M.\rsh.vll), Blessed, English Benedictine abbot and martjT; date of birth imknown; d. at Colchester, England, 1 December, 1539. Educated at Oxford (probably at Gloucester Hall, now Worcester College), he look his degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1515, and within the next


fifteen years ruled the Abbey of St. Werburgh, Ches- ter, his name appearing as twenty-sixth on the roll of abbots of that foundation. He was elected Abbot of St. John's, Colchester, 10 June, 1530. and, with six- teen of his monks, took Henry VIII's Oath of Su- premacy, 7 July, 1534. The year 1535 brought the martyrdoms of the three Carthusian priors (4 May), of Bl. John Fisher (22 June), and of St. Thomas More (6 July), all five for the Divine right of the Roman Church to universal supremacy in spirituals. Beche was so deeply affected by these examples that his unguarded expressions of reverence and venera- tion for the martyrs, reported by spies, drew down upon him the resentment of the schismatical king. In November, 1538, the .\bbot of St. John's further exasperated Henry and his ministers by denying the legal right of a royal commission to confiscate his abbey. Within a year of this he was committed to the Tower on a charge of treason, was discharged from custody, and rearrested some time before the 1st of November. 1539. Witnesses were found to testify how the abbot had said that God would "take vengeance for the putting down of these houses of religion", that Fisher and More "died like good men and it was pity of their deaths", and that the reason for the king's revolt from Catholic unity was the king's desire to marry .Anne Boleyn. In his own examination the abbot yielded to human weakness and tried to explain away his former assertions of Catholic truth. In spite of these lapses he eventually received the crown of martyrdom. Tried at Colches- ter, by a special commission, in November, 1539. he no longer pleaded against the charge of contumacy to the newly established order of things. He was convicted and executed. An anonymous contem- porary partisan of Henry's schism, quoted by Dom Bede Camm in "Engl. Martyrs", I, 400, says of .\bbot Beche and others who died at that time for the same offences, " It is not to be as these trusty traitors have so valiantly jeopardized a joint for the Bishop of Rome's sake . . . his Holiness will look upon their pains as upon Thomas Becket's, seeing it is for like matter". The decree of Pope Leo XIII by which .\bbot John Beche received beatification bears date 13 May, 1895.

Camm. Lives of the Eng, Martyrs (London, 1904), I; Gasquet, Henry VIII and the English Monasteries (London, 1899). I, 398 and H, 373; Gairdner, Preface to Calendar of Papers and Domestic (London. 1895); Moore ed. Cartvlarium Monasterii S. Joannis de Colecestria (London, 1897): Record Office: Ci-um- well Correspondence, VI, 145.

E. Macpherson.

Beckedorfi, Georg Philipp Ludolf von, b. at Hanover, 14 April, 1778; d. at Griinhof, 27 February, 1858. He first studied theology at Jena, then medi- cine at Gottingen, where he obtained the degree of doctor in 1799. In 1810 he gave up the medical profession and accepted the office of tutor to the crown-prince of Anhalt-Bernburg. For seven years he lived at Ballenstedt. In the movement for the reunion of the churches, then agitating the various religious sects, he took an active part by able and timely publications. An appeal "To Young Men of Germany over the body of the murdered Kotzebue" brought him into a wider field of action. The Prus- sian Government secured his services, and he became a member, first of the High Pri\-y Council, then of the Ministry of Public Worship, and later on, supervisor of the public school system. In this capacity he con- tributed largely, in co-operation with Nicolovius, to the uplifting of popular education and published in nine volumes the "Year Book of the Prussian Schools ". The State recognized his efficiency by ap- pointing him attorney-general for the University of Berlin. His official duties and inclinations kept Beckedorff in close touch with the religious uniop movement and while studying the history and claims of the various sects, his conWction became stronger