FABRICA ECCLESIÆ: Literally "a church building," but used as the technical name of that portion of the funds appropriated for the main tenance of the building. At first a part of the gen eral revenue was set aside for this purpose, but later this was kept up only in case of cathedrals and collegiate churches, where a special magister or procurator fabricta had charge of the fund. The difficulty, however, of obtaining the means neces sary to maintain church buildings led to the formstion of special fabric-funds in ordinary parishes, which became the object of many rules and regulations according to custom and local law. The pro vision of church utensils and the requirements of divine service, y the lighting, were also in cluded. There was no general regulation as to how the fund should be provided; usually it was made up from oblations, tithes, burial-fees, and the like. The fabric-funds. have had special importance in France and the adjoining German lands on the left bank of the Rhine, where they were allowed to con tinue when the church property was confiscated (de cree of Apr. 22, 1790) and have occasioned much subsequent legislation. See Church Building, Taxation For.
FABRICIUS, fa brish'i-vs, JOHANN: German theologian; b. at Altorf (13 m. e.n.e. of Nuremberg) Feb. 11, 1644; d. at Königslutter (9 m. w.n.w. of Helmstadt) Jan. 29, 1729. He studied theology at Helmstadt (1663-65), and then traveled extensively, especially in Italy, where he was preacher to a congregation of Evangelical merchants at Venice. In 1677 he accepted a call to a professorship at Alto but twenty years later went in the same capacity to Helmetadt, where he became abbot of Königslutter in 1701 and counselor of the consistory in 1703. His specialty was comparative symbolics, and to this was devoted his most important work, Conaideratio variorum controroeraiarum (Aelmetadt, 1704). 1n this book, however, he displayed a latitudinarianism which exposed him to severe criticism; and his position became still more difficult when he pronounced a formal opinion, prepared at the request of Duke Aston Ulrich and based on elaborate arguments, that the Princess Elizabeth Christine might conscientiously become a convert to the Roman Catholic faith to wed the King of Spain. This brought upon him a storm of opposition from the court-chaplains, but their arguments were refuted and they were deposed, while Fabricius and the duke were supported, on the whole, by the ruling of the theological faculty of Helmatadt and a number of other scholars. He then finally suc- ceeded in overcoming the religious scruples of the princess, and her conversion took place at Bamberg on May 1, 1707. In the previous year he had published anonymously a pamphlet entitled Ertirterte Frage Hewn Fabricia, dasa zwischzn der av98 burgischen Konfession and katholischen Relioon
kein aonder'licher Unterachied sei (Helmstadt [e], 1706). Throughout the Protestant world, and especially. in England and Holland, the most violent indignation was excited, and the elector of
Hanover, moved by his hopes of gaining the English crown, obliged Aston Ulrich to deprive Fabri- h tins of his professorship. He accordingly resigned t in 1709, but remained abbot of Königslutter, and occupied the closing years of his life in beautifying his estate and preparing his Historic bibliothecte Fobyriciance (6 vols., Wolfenbüttel, 1717-24).
Bibliography: Sources for a life are found in his own work last mentioned above. The subject is treated in the Geschichte der Dopnwtiac by W. Gals, ii. 183, Berlin, 1857, and in G. Frank's Geschichte der Theotoooe. 1'· 226' Leap sic, 1885. Consult also J. Beets. Geschichte der braunechweigierlur, Landeakircha. pp. 3WW· WolfenbVttel,1889.
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