3. Archbishop

It was in fulfilment of an express wish of the Prussian government that Droste-Vischering became Spiegel's successor. It was expected that his mature age, his piety, and his inclination toward charitable work would hold his hierarchal tendencies in equilibrium, and it was hoped to produce


a favorable sentiment among the Catholic nobility by the appointment of one of its. members. Before the election Droste-Vischering was confidentially asked whether as bishop of he would maintain the agreement of June, 1834, and would be willing to apply this in a conciliatory way; and not until he expressly assured the government of this in a letter (Mirbt, Quellen, p. 356) did the cathedral chapter receive the communication that the king desired his election. At first he held to the agreement; but in a few months his views underwent a complete transformation. The news of the government's arrangement with Spiegel had penetrated to Rome in spite of all secrecy and had caused the Curia to make energetic protests, which the Prussian ambassador unsuccessfully sought to refute by means of a denial of the agreement, more bold than skilful. Moreover, at that very time Ultramontanism began to enter the Rhine provinces by way of Belgium and at once employed its skill in arousing dissatisfaction. Droste-Vischering now all at once began to maintain that he had not known of the agreement of 1834 when he made his promise, and that he had given his consent because the minister assured him that it was in harmony with the brief of Pius VIII. The increasing complaints about the procedure of the archbishop at last compelled the minister, Von Altenstein, to interfere. The president of the administration at Düsseldorf, Count Stolberg, appeared in Cologne in company with Bunsen, to treat personally with Droste-Vischering; but the conferences led to no understanding; the archbishop refused absolutely to acknowledge the arrangement of 1834 and declared that he wished to follow it only in so far as it was in accord with the brief.

4. The University of Bonn.

There now arose a second contest with the government over its procedure against the supporters of Georg Hermes. When Droste-Vischering entered upon his office the works of this theologian had already been condemned by Gregory XVI. (Mirbt, Quellen, pp. 357-358). Although the brief in question had not been laid before the Prussian government and therefore had not received the royal placet, the government nevertheless respected the verdict of the pope, and endeavored to forestall possible difficulties by having the professors of the Roman Catholic faculties notified that it expected that they would avoid everything which might be contrary to the pope's decision. That did not satisfy the archbishop, however, and, since the theological faculty of Bonn was the chief supporter of this tendency, he took measures against this educational institution. He began by exercising against the publications of its professors a criticism and censorship which was beyond his competence. He, moreover, sent a circular to the priests of the city of Bonn who heard confession, ordering them to use their influence so that no one should react the writings of Hermes and that no student should attend lectures disseminating such ideas. He allowed himself to use expressions which threw suspicion on the professors of theology at Bonn, and he cast doubt upon their orthodoxy. When they offered to prove their soundness he rejected their proposals and he refused to substantiate his charges, but did not withdraw them. The dormitory (Konvikt), which was partly supported by the city, suffered so much from the archbishop's interference that sixty of the seventy inmates left the house; he himself caused the priests' seminary in Cologne to be closed. Finally he went so far as to lay eighteen propositions before the newly consecrated priests for signature, containing among other things the promise to appeal from the decisions of the archbishop to nobody except to the pope. This was a direct attack on the right of the State to take cognizance of appeals concerning the misuse of ecclesiastical power. The above mentioned mission of Count Stolberg was intended to change the mind of the archbishop on this subject also, and an understanding was actually reached in this controversy; but it was not of practical significance, since the negotiations about the more important matter of mixed marriages were a failure.

The government recognized the necessity of decisive action. On receipt of the news that the archbishop was exciting the population of Cologne, there was held in Berlin a council of ministers under the presidency of the king, and on Nov. 20, 1837, Archbishop Droste-Vischering was arrested and taken to the fortification of Minden.

The impression of this event was ex 5. Droste- traordinary. On Dec. 10 Gregory Vischering's XVI. pronounced a fulminant allocu-

Downfall. tion in the presence of the cardinals,

in which he took the side of the deposed archbishop without waiting for reports from Berlin, and declared that the freedom of the Church was violated, the episcopal dignity derided, the rights of the Church trodden under foot. Bunsen, the Prussian ambassador at the Curia, had to be recalled. The Prussian government tried to justify its procedure in the eyes of the public by means of a memorial, and when an answer to this was published in Rome it endeavored to refute it by a second account of the condition of things. The government was also supported by the cathedral chapter of Cologne in so far forth that the latter declared itself ready to continue to conduct affairs; and it succeeded in keeping in check the nobility and clergy who took delight in being in the opposition; at the same time it showed a personal courtesy to the archbishop by permitting him to retire to his ancestral castle of Darfeld. But it was not successful in quieting the excited Catholic Population. Whether it would have had the power to maintain the position which it had taken is hard to say; but, as a matter of fast, after King Frederick William IV. succeeded Frederick William III. in 1840 the government at once changed its course and began a retreat which must be designated as the utter defeat of the State. Although Droste-Vischering was not allowed to return to Cologne Bishop Von Geissel from Speyer undertaking to administer the archdiocese as coadjutor with the right of succession, he neverthe-


less received from the king in reparation of his honor the declaration that the king had never entertained the thought that he had taken a part in machinations of political and revolutionary character. Moreover, the requirements previously made about mixed marriages were allowed to drop, the placet was waived, and in 1841 there was founded in the Prussian Kultusministeriurrt a special Roman Catholic department which lasted down to 1871. Droste-Viechering spent the rest of his days in Münster far from public life. In no respect was he an important man, but he possessed great energy and perseverance. Since he aided his Church in winning a great triumph he was praised by Görres as an Athanasius, but his blustering manner reminds one rather of Epiphanies.

Carl Mirbt.

Bibliography: For the life consult: J. von Görres, Athanasius, Regensburg, 1837 (a Catholic eulogy; of. J. G. Schlemmer, Görres in seinem Athanasius als Vertheidiger des Erzbischofs von Droste zu Vischering. Nuremberg, 1838); C. A. Hase, Die beiden Erzbischöfe, Leipsic, 1839; P. C. Marheineke, Der Erzbischof C. A. von Droste zu Vischering als Friedenstifter, Berlin, 1843; F. A. Muth, in Deutschlands Episcopat in Lebensbildern, Würzburh, 1873. On the Cologne controversy, of fundamental importance for the relations of the Prussian state to the Catholic Church, consult: G. F. H. Rheinwald, Allgemeines Repertorium für die theologische Literatur, vols. xxii.-xxxvii., 1838-42 (lists of contemporary literature); C. C. J. von Bunsen, Aus seinen Briefen, Leipsic, 1868, Eng. transl., London, 1869; E. Friedberg, Grenzen zwischen Staat und Kirche, Tübingen, 1872; idem, Grundlagen der preussischen Kirchenpolitik unter Friedrich Wilhelm IV., Leipsic, 1882; H. Schmid, Geschichte der katholischen Kirche Deutschlands, Munich, 1874; H. von Sybel, Klericale Politik im 19. Jahrhurutert, Bonn, 1874; C. Mirbt, Die preussische Gesandtschaft am Hofe den Papstes, Leipsic, 1899; H. Brück, Geschichte der katholischen Kirche im 19. Jahrhundert, vol. ii., Münster, 1903.


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