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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/842

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BRESLATJ


762


BRESLAU


Ladislaus, a grandson of St. Hedwig, and Archbishop of Salzburg, was Administrator of the Diocese of Breslau until his death in 1270. He was followed by Thomas II (1270-92), who was involved for years in a violent dispute with Duke Henry IV as to the prerogatives of the Church in Silesia. In 1287 a reconciliation was effected between them at Ratis- bon, and in 1288 the duke founded the collegiate church of the Holy Cross at Breslau. Before his death, on the Eve of St. John in 1290, the duke con- firmed the rights of the Church to sovereignty over the territories of Neisse and Ottmachau. Thomas II consecrated the high altar of the cathedral; he was present at the Oecumenical Council of Lyons (1274) and in 1279 held a diocesan svnod. Johann III, Romka (1292-1301), belonged to" the Polish party in the cathedral chapter. His maintenance of the prerogatives of the Church brought him, also, into conflict with the temporal rulers of Silesia; in 1296 he called a synod for the defence of these rights. In the election of Heinrich I, of Wiirben (1302-19), the German party in the cathedral chapter won, but this victory cost the new bishop the enmity of the op- posing faction. He w-as made guardian of the youth- ful Dukes of Breslau, and this appointment, together with the factional disputes, led to the bringing of grave accusations against him. The researches of more recent times have proved the groundlessness of these attacks. He was kept in Avignon a number of years by a suit before the Curia which was finally settled in his favour. Notwithstanding the troubles of his life he was energetic in the performance of his duties. He carried on the construction of the cathedral, and in 1305 and 1316 held diocesan synods. The office of Auxiliary Bishop of Breslau dates from his episcopate. After his death a divided vote led to a vacancy of the see. The two candidates, Weit and Lutold, elected by the opposing factions, finally resigned, and Pope John XXII transferred Nanker, Bishop of Cracow, to Breslau (1326-41).

The constant division and subdivision of Silesian territory into small principalities for the members of the ruling families resulted in a condition of weak- ness that necessitated dependence on a stronger neighbour, and Silesia thus came, from the year 1327, under the control of Bohemia. A quarrel broke out between Bishop Nanker and the suzerain of Silesia, King John of Bohemia, when the king seized the castle of Militsch which belonged to the cathedral chapter. The bishop excommunicated the king and those members of the Council of Breslau who sided with him. On account of this he was obliged to flee from Breslau and take refuge in Neisse, where he died. Preczlaus of Pogarell (1341-1376) was elected bishop while pursuing his studies at Bologna, and was consecrated bishop at Avignon. Through his friendship %\'ith Carl, the .-on of King John, he was soon able to settle the discord that had arisen under his predecessor. The diocese prospered greatly under his rule. He bought the Duchy of Grottkau from Duke Boleslaw of Brieg and added it to the episcopal territory of Neisse. The Bishops of Breslau had, therefore, after this the titles of Prince of Neisse and Duke of Grottkau, and took precedence of the other Silesian rulers who held principalities in fief. Carl IV, the emperor at this date, wished to separate Breslau from the Archdiocese of Gnesen and to make it a suffragan of the newly erected Archbishopric of Prague, but the plan failed, owing to the opposition of the Archbishop of Gnesen. Preczlaus added to the cathedral the beautiful Lady Chapel, in which he was buried and where his tomb still exists. Dietrich, dean of the cathedral, w-ho was elected as successor to Preczlaus, could not obtain the papal confirmation, and the Bishop of Olmtitz, who was chosen in his place, soon died. After a long contest with the Bohemian King and German Emperor Wenzel,


Bishop Wenzel of Lebus, Duke of Liegnitz, was trans- ferred to Breslau (1382-1417). The new bishop de- voted himself to repairing the damage inflicted on the Church in Silesia by the despotic procedure of the Emperor Wenzel. He held two synods, in 1410 and 1415, with the object of securing a higher standard of ecclesiastical discipline; and he settled the right of inheritance in the territory under his dominion by promulgating the church decree called " Wenzel 's law". Resigning his bishopric in 1417, Wenzel died in 1419. The episcopate of Conrad, Duke of Oels, the next bishop (1417-47), fell in the trying time for Silesia of the Hussite wars. Conrad was placed at the head of the Silesian confederation which was formed to defend the country against hostile incur- sions. In 1435 the bishop issued a decree of whicli the chief intent was to close the prebends in the Diocese of Breslau to foreigners, and thus prevent the Poles from obtaining these offices. The effort to shut out the Polish element and to loosen the connexion with Gnesen was not a momentary one; it continued, and led gradually to a virtual separation from the Polish archdiocese some time before the formal separation took place. The troubles of the times brouglit the bishop and the diocese into serious pecuniarj' difficulties, and in 1444 Conrad resigned but his resignation was not accepted, and he re- sumed his oliice. In 1446 he held a diocesan synod and died in the following year. Conrad's successoi was the provost of the cathedral of Breslau, Petei Novak (1447-56). By wise economy Bishop Petei succeeded in bringing the diocesan finances into a better condition and was able to redeem the greatei part of the church lands which his predecessor hac been obliged to mortgage. At the diocesan synoc of 1454 he endeavoured to suppress the abuses that had ari.sen in the diocese.

Jodokus of Rosenberg (1456-67) was a Bohemiar nobleman and Grand Prior of the Knights of St John. His love of peace made his position a verj difficult one during the fierce ecclesiastico-politica contention that raged between the Hussite King o Bohemia, George of Podiebrad, and the people o Breslau, who had taken sides with the German party Jodokus was followed by a bishop from the region o the Rhine, Rudolf von Rudesheim (1468-82). A papal legate, Rudolf had become popular in Breslai through his energetic opposition to George of Podie brad; for this reason the cathedral chapter requestec his transfer from the small Diocese of Lavant ii Carinthia, after he had confirmed their privileges From this time these privileges were called "tin Rudolfian statutes". Under his leadership the parti opposed to Podiebrad obtained the victory, am Rudolf proceeded at once to repair the damage whicl had been occasioned to the Church during this strife mortgaged church lands were redeemed; in 1473 am 1475 diocesan synods were held, at which the bishoj took active measures in regard to church discipline As coadjutor, he had selected a Swabian, Johann IV Roth, Bishop of Lavant, a man of humanistic train ing. Urged by King Matthias of Hungary, to whon Silesia was then subject, the cathedral chapter, some what unwillingly, chose the coadjutor as bisho) (1482-1,506). His episcopate was marked by violen quarrels with the cathedral chapter. But at th same time he was a promoter of art and learning, am strict in his conception of church rights and duties He endeavoured to improve the spiritual life of th diocese by holding a number of sj-nods. Before h died the "famous worker in bronze, Peter Vischer o Nuremberg, cast his monument, the most beautifu bishop's tomb in Silesia. His coadjutor with right o succession was Johann V (1506-20), a member of th noble Hungarian family of Turzo. Johann V tool an active part in the intellectual life of the time anc sought at the diocesan sjmods to promote learnini