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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/843

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BRESLAU


763


BRESLAU


ind church discipline, and to improve the schools. IJn the ruins of the old stronghold of Fauernig he built the casile called Johannisberg, now the summer residence of the Prince-Bishop of BreslaiL

The religious disturbances of the sixteenth centurj- began to be conspicuously apparent during this episcopate, and soon after Johann's death Protestant- sni began to spread in Silesia, which country had, since 1.526, belonged to Austria. Princes, nobles, and omi councils were zealous promoters of the new relief; even in the episcopal principality of Neisse- Irottkau Protestant doctrines found approval and icceptance. The successors of Johann V were partly ■esponsible for this condition of affairs. Jacob von ^alza (1.520-39) was personally a stanch adherent jf the Church, yet the gentleness of his disposition •aused him to shrink from carrying on a war against he powerful religious movement that had arisen. To an even greater degree than Jacob von Salza his iucccssor. Balthasar von Proninitz (1.539-63), avoided 'oming into conflict with Protestantism. He was iiore friendly in his attitude to the new doctrine than iny other Bishop of Breslau. Caspar von Logau [1.562-74) showed at first greater energy than his

)redece.ssor in endeavouring to compose the troubles

if his distracted diocese, but later in his episcopate lis attitude towards Lutheranism and his .slackness n defending church rights gave great offence to

hose who had remained true to the Faith. These

lircumstances make the advance of Protestantism >a.sy to understand. At the same time it must be -emembered that the bishops, although also secular ■ulers, had a difficult position in regard to spiritual natters. At the a.ssemblies of the uobles, and at the iieetings of the diet, the bishops and the deputies of

he cathedral chapter were, as a rule, the only

r'at holies against a large and powerful majority on the side of Protestantism. The Austrian suzerains, who lived far from Silesia, and who were constantly preoccupied by the danger of a Turkish invasion, were not in a position to enforce the edicts which they is.sued for the protection of the Church.

The Silesian clergy had in great measure lost their high concept of the priestly office, altliough there were honourable exceptions. Among those faithful were the majority of the canons of the cathedral of Bres- lau; thej' distinguished themselves not only by their learning, but also by their religious zeal. It was in the main due to them that the diocese did not fall into spiritual ruin. The chapter was the willing assistant of the bishops in the reform of the diocese. Martin von Gerstmann (1.574-S5) began the renova- tion of the diocese, and the special means by which he hoped to attain the de.sired end were: the founding

)f a seminary for clerics, visitations of the diocese,

diocesan synods, and the introduction of the Jesuits. His successor, Andreas von Jerin (1.58.5-96;, a Swabian who had been educated at the German College at Rome, followed in his footsteps. At the diocesan synod of 1.592 he endeavoured to improve church discipline. Besides his zeal in elevating the life of the Church, he was also a promoter of the arts and learning. The silver altar with which he adorned his cathedral still exists, and he broug'.it the schools in the principality of Neis.se into a flourishing condi- tion. The bishop also rendered important .services to the emperor, as legate, at various times. Bona- ventura Hahn, elected in 1.596, as the successor of .Andreas von Jerin, was not recognized by the em- peror and wa,s obliged to resign his position. The candidate of the emperor, Paul .\lbert (1.599-1600), occupied the .see only one year. Johann VI (1600-8), a member of a noble family of Silesia named von Sitsch, took more .severe measures than his prede- cessors again.st Protestantism, in the hope of check- mg it, especially in the episcopal principality of Xeisse-Grot t kau.


Bishop Carl (1608-24), Archduke of Austria, had greater success than his predecessor after the first period of the Thirty Years War had taken a turn favourable to Austria and the Catholic party. The battle of the White Mountain (1620) broke not only the revolt in Bohemia, but also the opposition of the allied Protestants of Silesia. Bishop Carl began the restoration of the principality of Neisse to the Catholic Faith. The work was completed by his succes.sor, Carl Ferdinand, Prince of Poland (1625-.55). Carl Ferdinand spent most of his time in his own country, but appointed excellent ad- ministrators for the diocese, such as the Coadjutor- Bishop Liesch von Hornau, and -Archdeacon Gebauer. Imperial commissioners gave back to the Catholic Church those church buildings in the chief places of the principalities which had liecome the property of the sovereign through the extinction of fiefs. Ac- cording to the terms of the Treaty of Westphalia, the remaining churches, 693 in number, of such territories were secularized in the years 1653, 1654, and 1668. This led to a complete reorganization of the diocese. The person who effected it was Se- bastian of Rostock, a man of humble birth who was vicar-general and administrator of the diocese under the bishops Archduke Leopold Wilhelm (1656-62) and Archduke Carl Joseph (1663-64), neither of whom lived in the territory of Breslau. After Sebastiiin of Ro.stock became bishop (1664-71) he carried on the work of reorganization with still greater success than before. Friedrich, Landgrave of Hesse, Cardinal, and Grand Prior of the Order of St. John, was the next Bishop of Breslau (1671-82). The new bi.shop was of Protestant origin and had become a Catholic at Rome. Under his administration the rehabilitation of the diocese went on. He beautified the cathedra! and elaborated its services. For the red cap and violet almutium of the canons he sub- stituted the red mozetta. He was buried in a beautiful chapel which he had added to the cathedral in honour of his ancestress, St. Elizabeth of Thu- ringia. After his death the chapter presented Carl von Liechtenstein, Bishop of Olmutz, for confirma- tion. Their choice was opposed by the emperor, whose candidate was the Count Palatine Wolfgang of the ruling family of Pfalz-Neuburg. Count Wolf- gang died, and his brother Franz Ludwig (1683- 1732) was made bishop. The new ruler of the dio- cese was at the same time Bishop of Worms, Grand Master of the German Knights, Provost of EUwan- gen, and Elector of Trier, and later, he was made Elector of Mainz, He separated the ecclesiastical administration and that of the civil tribunals, and obtained the definition, in the Pragmatic Sanction of 1699, of the extent of the jurisdiction of the vicariate-general and the consistory. In 167.5, upon the death of the last reigning duke, the Silesian Duchy of Liegnitz-Brieg-Wohlau lapsed to the emperor, and a new .secularization of the churches was begun. But when Charles XII of Sweden se- cured for the Protestants the right to their former possessions in these territories, by the treaty of Altranstiidt, in 1707, the secularization came to an end, and the churches had to be returned, TIk- Emperor Joseph I endeavoured to repair the loss of these buildings to the Catholic Faith by founding the .so-called Josephine vicarships.

The next bishop, Philip, Count von Sinzendorf, Cardinal and Bishop of Raab (17.32-47), owed his elevation to the favour of the emperor. During his episcopate the greater part of the diocese was added to the territory of Prussia, King Frederick II of Pru.ssia (P'rederick the (ireat) desired to erect a "Catholii' Vicariate" at Berlin, which .should be the highest spiritual authority for the Catholics of Prus- sia. This would have been in reality a separation from Rome, and the project failed through the op-