Ecclesiastical historian and bishop, born at Bingen, 25 October, 1831; died 4 November, 1903. He followed for some time the cooper's trade. After a course of studies under of a distinguished ecclesiastic, Dr. Joseph Hirschel, he entered the seminary at Mainz. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1855, exercised for some time the sacred ministry, made a postgraduate course at Munich under Döllinger, and at Rome, and in 1867 was appointed to the chair of ecclesiastical history in the seminary of Mainz. He continued to teach until his elevation to the episcopate, with the exception of the years from 1878 to 1887, when seminary was closed by the order of the Government. In 1889 he became a canon of the cathedral ; he received also several positions of trust in the administration of the diocese. In 1899 he was chosen Bishop of Mainz ; as such he directed the diocese with zeal and intelligence. The merit of Brück consists chiefly in his literary activity. Perhaps his best known work is his manual of church history , from "Lehrbuch der Kirchengeschichte" (Mainz, 1874; 8th ed., 1902). It has been translated into English, French, and Italian, all of which translations passed through second editions before 1899, an evidence that its excellent qualities were widely appreciated. The author shows himself possessed of extensive knowledge not only in history, but also in theology and canon law. A more special work is his "Geschichte der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland im neunzehnten Jahrhundert" -- History of the catholic Church in Germany in the Nineteenth Century", in five volumes (1887-1905). It contains a rich store of information, arranged with thoroughness and sound critical judgment, and was received with universal approval by Catholic scholars. He was also the author of an account of rationalistic movements in Catholic Germany (1865), a life of Dean Lennig (1870), and a work on secret societies in Spain (1881).
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 in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
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