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Born in Essex, 1593; died in London, 6 July, 1676. Through his mother, Mary Plowden who married Richard White of Hutton, Essex, he was grandson of the lawyer, Edmund Plowden. Educated at St. Omer , Valladolid, and Douai, he was ordained priest on 25 March, 1617; he studied at the Sorbonne, became bachelor of divinity, and returned to Douai to teach theology, which he did, with intervals, till 1630, when he became president of the English College, Lisbon. In 1633 he resigned and returned to England, where he devoted himself to the writing of about forty works, which caused a bitter theological controversy. Not only was he accused of employing new expressions and manners of speech not usual in Scholastic theology, but his views on purgatory, hell, and the infallibility of the pope, were unsound. Exception was also taken to his politico-religious views, especially his teaching in favour of passive obedience to any established government. Several of White's opinions were censured by the Inquisition in decrees dated 14 May, 1655, and 7 Sept., 1657, and many of his friends and former students publicity disclaimed his principles. Finally, he withdrew the censured opinions and submitted himself and his writings to the Holy See. He was chiefly opposed by George Leyburn, the president of Douai, and Robert Pugh, the latter of whom wrote a life of him, not known now to exist, also a work called "Blacklo's Cabal", in which he accuses him of opposition to the regulars and to episcopal authority, and disloyalty to the pope. White, however, counted amongst his friends some of the leading secular clergy , who defended the solidity of his fundamental doctrine and maintained his loyalty to the Church, while disclaiming the doctrines to which exception was taken and which he had retracted.

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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

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Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

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Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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