Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

(Verbreck, van der Breck).

Controversialist, born at Hilvarenbeck, Brabant, Holland, 6 January, 1563; died at Vienna, 24 January, 1624. He entered the Society of Jesus, 22 March, 1583, taught theology for twenty-two years at Wuerzburg, Mainz, and Vienna, and was confessor to Emperor Ferdinand II from 1620 until the time of his death. He possessed a style clear and dignified, and noticeably free from the bitterness which marked the polemical literature of the day. His writings were directed principally against Calvin, Luther, and the Anabaptists ; of these, his "Manuale Controversarium," Mainz, 1623, treating of predestination, free will, the Eucharist, and the infallibility of the Church, passed through several editions. For a complete list, see Sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus" (I, col. 1091-1111), wherein are mentioned by title forty-six volumes. His chief theological work, "Summa Theologiae Scholasticae (4 vols. 4to, Mainz, 1612) is in great part a compendium of Francisco Suárez's Commentary on St. Thomas Aquinas. By a decree of the Congregation of the Index, 3 January, 1613, his book "Controversia Anglicana de postestate regis et pontificis" was put on the Index donec corrigatur , not so much to condemn certain exaggerations it contained as to prevent the faculty of theology at Paris from condemning it and at the same time adding some declarations against papal authority. The "Controversia" was corrected and published somewhat later with a dedication to Pope Paul V. Becan, in 1608, published at Mainz, "Aphorismi doctrinae Calvinistarium ex eorum libris, dictis et factis collecti," in reply to Calvin's "Aphorismi doctrinae Jesuitarum." Aphorismus XV, Jesuiti vero qui se maxime nobis opponunt, aut necandi aut si id commode fier non potest, ejiciendi, aut certe mendaciis ac calumniis opprimendi sunt" (The Jesuits, our chief adversaries, ought to be put to death , or if that cannot easily be done, they ought to be banished, or, at any rate, overwhelmed with lies and calumnies ), has been misconstrued so as to make it appear than Becan wished to say that Aphorismus XV contained the very words of Calvin. That such was not Becan's intention is clear from the title of the book, "Aphorismi ex eorum libris dictis et factis collecti" and the development shows that the author was only drawing what he considered to be a logical conclusion from the action of the Calvinists of the time. A lengthy discussion about this aphorism was carried on by A. Sabatier in the "Journal de Genève" (26 January, 1896; 10 May, 1896) and the "Revue Chrétienne" (1 March, 1896; 1 June, 1896), and by J. Brucker in the "Etudes" (15 April, and 15 July, 1896).

More Encyclopedia

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.

Catholic Encyclopedia

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.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

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

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains my hands for war and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go away,' they said. 'Leave ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 27th, 2016 Image

St. Frumentius
October 27: Called "Abuna" or "the fa¬≠ther' of Ethiopia, ... Read More