JACOB OF ELTZ AND THE COUNTER-REFORMATION IN TREVES:
At Easter, 1569, he was the first in Germany who solemnly swore to the decrees of Trent. Between Apr. and Oct., 1569, the council's decisions were announced in all parishes of the electorate. A liturgy elaborated by Jacob himself, with the assistance of certain Jesuits, was issued in 1574, as standard for worship, moral discipline, and matrimonial concerns. Portia's further counsels show why the previously attempted reforms were insufficient--there was lacking a competent clergy. What ecclesiastics were then available shared, for the most part, the general corruption of the Roman priests. Jacob, too, had directed his attention to this point at the very outset; he had sent for six scholars from the Roman Collegium Germanicum as assistants in 1568, and these were duly followed by others. Moreover, the Jesuits of Treves, where there had been a Jesuit establishment since 1560, stood in high honor with Jacob; in 1570 he fitted up for them the Minorite cloister in Treves, adding wealthy endowments so that their school soon flourished to such a degree that from 1573 to 1589 the average attendance is estimated at 1,000 students annually. In 1580 Jacob also founded a college for them at Coblenz. Yet the service rendered by all these useful auxiliaries became really sufficient only when through their help it became feasible to train up a suitable clergy. In vain did Portia, in 1577, bespeak the institution of a priestly seminary, and the project was first realized by Jacob's like-minded successor, John of Schönberg, in 1585. Jacob's reforming activity encountered difficulties in the attitude of the Treves cathedral chapter, which was not inclined to comply with the strict requirements of the Council of Trent; and again, the necessary placetum regium from the Brussels government for the Luxembourg domains of the archdiocese occasioned contentions over the prerogatives of the spiritual and the temporal power. On the other hand, the incorporation of the abbey of Prüm as a part of the archbishopric of Treves was a great gain; its opulent resources accrued to the benefit of Jacob's endeavors in the cause of reform. The rejection in 1580 by imperial decision of the claim of the city of Treves to hold charter immediately of the empire likewise strengthened the cause of the Counter-Reformation.
Jacob died June 4, 1581. Neither his personality nor his activity can be called great; but the way once having been pointed out, even lesser intellects, led by capable counselors, could carry through the Counter-Reformation. True, the status of the archdiocese was not entirely satisfactory at the time of Jacob's death; but his zealously Catholic-minded successor, John of Schönberg, continued the work along Jacob's lines, and completed the reforms by him begun. Out of the schools of the Jesuits there eventually grew up a generation submissive to the Church; and in many channels of activity the fathers of the Society of Jesus imparted their spirit to the population at large. In connection with the revival of church life, Jacob himself had shown the best of examples; the Roman nuncios continually praise his manner of life, his zeal, his loyalty to the papal see, and hold him up as a pattern for all German prelates. If he did not succeed in accomplishing the reform completely, the decisive turn came to pass under his administration.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. von Stramberg, Rheinischer Antiquarius i. 2, pp. 295 sqq., Coblenz, 1863; J. Marx, Geschichte des Erzstifts Trier, vol. i., Trier, 1858; A. Kluckhohn, Briefe Friedrichs des Frommen, Brunswick, 1867-70; M. Lossen, Der kölnische Krieg, Gotha, 1882; J. Ney, Die Reformation in Trier, 1559, Halle, 1906.
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