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Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger

Döllinger, Johann Joseph Ignaz von (yōˈhän yōˈzĕf ĭgˈnäts fən dölˈĭngər) [key], 1799–1890, German theologian and historian, leader of the Old Catholics. Ordained in 1822, he was subsequently professor of church history and ecclesiastical law at the Univ. of Munich, chief librarian of the university, and a member of the Academy of Sciences. Between 1845 and 1852 he had considerable influence as representative of the university in the Bavarian chamber and as one of the leading members of the Catholic party in the Frankfurt Parliament. Döllinger devoted his efforts to the cause of a German Catholic Church, independent of the state. Some lectures delivered in Rome (1857) were published in English as The Church and the Churches; or, The Papacy and the Temporal Power. This work, subsequently banned, expressed the opinion that the temporal sovereignty was not an essential accompaniment of the papacy. In 1863 followed a work known in English as Fables Respecting the Popes in the Middle Ages. When the Vatican Council was in session Döllinger opposed the doctrine of papal infallibility in a series of letters and papers, published under the pseudonym Janus as The Pope and the Council (1869). When that doctrine was pronounced a dogma in 1870, he refused to accept it. In 1871 he was defrocked and excommunicated. Although he was in sympathy with the Old Catholics, he never had intended that a separate sect should grow out of the movement, and he never formally became a member of the Old Catholic Church. Despite his excommunication, he continued his academic career; he was made rector of the Univ. of Munich and in 1873 president of the Academy of Sciences. Many of his works were translated into English.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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