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Erastus and Erastianism

The name "Erastianism" is often used in a somewhat loose sense as denoting an undue subservience of the Church to the State. This was not, however, the principal question on which the system of Erastus turned, but rather a subsidiary one and a deduction from it. This can be explained by a short account of his life and works.

The real name of Erastus was Thomas Lieber or Liebler. He used the latinized form in his works, and accordingly has become known by that name. He was born at Baden, in Switzerland, of humble parents, 7 September, 1524; and died 31 December, 1583. For his education be went to Basle in 1540, and two years later, he found a patron by whose assistance he was able to enter the university. His zeal for learning may be estimated from the fact that although by disease he lost the use of his right arm, he learnt to write with his left hand, and is said to have been able to take down his notes more fluently than others who had no similar impediment. During his residence at Basle there was an outbreak of plague. Erastus was one of the victims; but he did not suffer severely, and on his recovery, schools having been suspended, he left Basle and proceeded to Bologna, where he studied philosophy and medicine. He was afterwards for a time also at the University of Padua. In 1553 he went to Germany and obtained an appointment as court physician to the Prince of Hennenberg. We next find him in 1558 as court physician to the elector Palatine, Otho Heinrich, and occupying at the same time the chair of medicine in the University of Heidelberg.

Although his work and lectureship were both connected with medicine, the chief interest of Erastus had always been in theology. Heidelberg was at that time the scene of severe controversial strife. Erastus, who was himself a follower of Zwingli, threw himself heart and soul into the conflict against the Lutherans. The Elector Frederick III (who had succeeded Otho Heinrich in 1559) was then enforcing the teaching of Calvinistic doctrines, and Beza was actively defending them as against Breny in Stuttgart. A conference was arranged to take place at the monastery of Maulbronn in 1564, and by request of the elector, Erastus took a prominent part therein. He published a statement defending the doctrine of Zwingli, and on its being attacked, he wrote a second defence the following year. The conference was far from successful in settling the dispute, which continued in an aggravated form. In 1568, Erastus wrote his celebrated "Theses" against what he called the "excommunicatory fever", which we shall discuss presently. They were violently attacked by Beza, and Erastus answered the following year by his "Confirmatio Thesium". Notwithstanding his efforts, a full presbyterian system was set up in 1570 at Heidelberg, and the council proceeded to excommunicate Erastus on the ground of his alleged Unitarianism. After a long further controversy, he succeeded in convincing them that this allegation was false ; and the excommunication was removed in 1575; but his position had become a difficult one, and five years later he resigned his office. He returned to Basle, where he taught ethics for a short time, until his death. On his tomb in St. Martin's church he is described as "an acute philosopher, a clever physician, and a sincere theologian ". He left behind him the reputation of an upright life, with great amiability of character, coupled with an absorbing zeal for learning. He took an active part in combating the superstitions of astrology ; but he showed that he was not free from the prejudices of his day by advocating the killing of witches.

The great work by which Erastus is known is his "Seventy-five Theses", to which we have already alluded. They were never printed in his lifetime, but during his last illness he expressed a desire that they should be published, and Castelvetro, who married his widow, carried out his wishes. The "Theses" and "Confirmatio thesium" appeared together in 1589, the printer's name and place being suppressed from motives of prudence. The central question about which the "Theses" turned was that of excommunication. The term is not, however, used by Erastus in the Catholic sense as excluding the delinquent from the society or membership of the Church. The excommunication to which alludes was the exclusion of those of bad life from participation in the sacraments. He explains what he means in the introduction to the Theses" which he wrote at the end of his life. "It is about sixteen years ago", he writes, "since some men were seized on by a certain excommunicatory fever, which they did adorn with the title of ecclesiastical discipline . . . . They affirmed the manner thereof to be this; that some certain presbyters should sit in the name of the whole Church and should judge who were worthy or unworthy to come unto the Lord's Supper." The first eight theses are devoted to a detailed explanation of the various senses in which the word excommunication is used, and in the ninth Erastus defines the issue with which he is concerned: "This, then, is the question, whether any command or any example can be produced from Holy Scripture requiring or intimating that such persons [i.e. sinners ] should be excluded from the sacraments." In the following thesis (x) he says: "Our answer is that none such can be found, but rather that many, as well examples as precepts, of an opposite tendency, occur everywhere in the Bible ." The following twenty-eight theses are devoted to developing and maintaining his conclusions, before proceeding in the last half of his work to answer possible objections.

The chief argument on which Erastus bases his whole system is an analogy between the Jewish and Christian Dispensations, and it is exactly here that the fallacy of his conclusions becomes manifest. A Catholic, indeed, would be less likely to fall into the error of looking upon the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Mass as in any close way analogous to the Sacrifices of the Old Law, and the slaying of the paschal lamb ; or the relation of the ceremonial law to the political law of the Jews as in any way realized or realizable in the most Christian of states. To a Protestant who looked upon the Bible as the sole source of Revelation this was different. Erastus argued that by the Law of Moses no one was excluded from the offering of the paschal sacrifice, but every male was commanded to observe it under pain of death; and with respect to the ordinary sacrifices in the Temple, not only was no one excluded from them, but there was a positive command for all to assist at least three times a year, on the chief feasts, viz. Pasch, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. In illustration of the Jewish tradition, he also pointed to the conduct of St. John, who administered his baptism to all, good and bad indifferently. He laid great stress also on Christ Himself having admitted Judas to the participation of the Holy Communion at its institution; though he grants that this is not certain, as some commentators are of opinion that the traitor had already gone out, at any rate Judas was never publicly or even privately excluded; and, in any case, he shared in the celebration of the pasch, showing that Christ promulgated no law of exclusion.

A further argument is drawn from the nature of the sacraments themselves, again bringing into prominence the different of view between Protestants and Catholics ; for Erastus looked upon the "preaching of the Word" as equal in sacredness with the sacraments. "I ask", he said, "are the sacraments superior in authority and dignity to the Word? Are they more useful and necessary ? None of those who have been saved were saved without the Word; but without sacraments, especially without the Lord's Supper, there doubtless might be, and there have been many saved who, however, did not despise these ordinances. So seems the Apostle to have judged when he wrote that he was sent not to baptize but to preach the Word. Do not almost all divines hold the sacraments to be visible words and to exhibit to the eyes what words express to the ear? Why, then, do we go about to exclude nobody from the word, while from the sacraments, especially the Lord's Supper, we would exclude some, and that contrary to, or without, the express command of God ?" (thesis xxxviii).

He deals at some length (thesis xv) with the Jewish law as to the "unclean", contending that uncleanness was by no means intended to typify sin ; for, in that case, he argues, since the unclean were excluded from sacrifice while the sinful were not, it would follow that those who were blameless -- for legal uncleanness was incurred by such acts as contact with the dead, etc. -- were, from being types of sinners, punished more severely than sinners themselves; this he considers a reductio ad absurdum . He contended that uncleanness was a figure, "not of a work, but of a quality -- even our depraved nature ; and he adds, "neither did it prefigure in what manner this ought to be punished [in the Church on earth], for Moses taught this in plain and explicit terms, but what should be our condition in a future life. In meeting the question of the expulsion from the synagogues alluded to by Christ, Erastus contended (thesis xxii) that this was a merely civil act: for the synagogues were also law courts; and, in fact, those who were expelled from the synagogues were not excluded from the Temple. He added also that he would see no difficulty, even otherwise, in admitting that abuses might have crept into the Jewish as into the Christian Church, and that the Pharisees might have acted in a spirit out of keeping with the true and proper interpretation of the Law.

Out of the seventy-five theses of Erastus, the first seventy-two are devoted to the question of excommunication : it is only in the last three that the general relation of the Church to the State, which comes as a corollary to his theory, is discussed. This can be given in his own words. "I see no reason", he says, "why the Christian magistrate at the present day should not possess the same power which God commanded the magistrate to exercise in the Jewish commonwealth. Do we imagine that we are able to continue a better constitution of Church and State than that?" (thesis lxxiii). He then proceeds to discuss the position of the magistrate in the Jewish nation, and argues in the following thesis (lxxiv) that "if that Church and State were most wisely founded, arranged, and appointed, any other must merit approbation which approaches to its form as nearly as present times and circumstances will permit. So that wherever the magistrate is godly, there is no need of any other authority under any other pretension or title to rule or punish the people -- as if the Christian magistrate differed nothing from the heathen. . . I allow indeed the magistrate ought to consult, when doctrine is concerned, those who have particularly studied it; but that there should be any such ecclesiastical tribunal to take cognizance of men's conduct, we find no such thing anywhere appointed in the Holy Scripture ! It may reasonably be asked how the system of Erastus could work in a state which is professedly un-Christian, and the last thesis is devoted to answering that question. "But in those church the members of which live under an ungodly government (for example Popish or Mohammedan ), grave and pious men should be chosen according to the precept of the Apostle, to settle disputes by arbitration, compose quarrels, and do other offices of that sort. These men ought also, in conjunction with the ministers, to admonish and reprove them who live unholy and impure lives; and if they do not succeed, they may also punish, or rather recall them to virtue, either by refusing to hold private intercourse with them or by a public rebuke, or by any other such mark of disapprobation. But from the sacraments which God has instituted, they may not debar any who desire to partake."

The full system of Erastus was never accepted or promulgated by any definite sect or band of followers; but the influence of his opinions was very considerable; both in Germany and in Great Britain. The Presbyterians of course have always vigorously repudiated his doctrines; but in the Westminster Assembly (1643-7) there was a strong Erastian party. After a long controversy, a definite resolution, affirming that the Church has its own government distinct from the civil power, was carried almost unanimously, the sole dissentient being the well-known divine, John Lightfoot. On the general questions of the relation between Church and State, it must be admitted that the opinions popularly denoted by the word Erastian have unmistakable influence on the Established Church of England, though there has always been a party resisting the encroachments of civil power. We can, perhaps, take Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity" as an authoritative exposition of this phase of Anglicanism. Hooker was a contemporary of Erastus, and in his preface he gives an account of the controversy of the latter with Beza. The eighth volume, however, in which he deals with the question before us did not appear until 1648, many years after his death. Its authenticity has been questioned; but it is now generally conceded that it is based on rough notes made during his lifetime. He adopts the analogy of Erastus between the Jewish nation and a Christian state. Starting from the truism that a good monarch should look to the spiritual good of his subjects no less than to the temporal, he defends at once the title of the king to be head of the Church. He considers that the consent of the laity is required before an ecclesiastical law can be binding, and looks upon Parliament as their mouthpiece, and accordingly defends the right of Parliament to legislate on ecclesiastical matters. He defends the king's power of appointing bishops and his jurisdiction over ecclesiastical courts.

We may contrast with this the Catholic system of the union of Church and State which has always been the Church's ideal, and has often been in great measure realized, and in our own days has been brought into prominence by the solemn pronouncements of Pius IX The power of the State is maintained to be of God, either immediately, or mediately through the will of the people; and the civil government exists side by side with the ecclesiastical government. Each is complete in its own sphere. The pope has "temporal power, using the term in its true sense, i.e. of his right to certain interference with the temporal government of states when the principles of religion are at stake. On the other hand, any interference on part of the State with ecclesiastical appointments, as, for example, by nomination of bishops or by veto on such nomination, or even on the election f the pope, such as has sometimes existed in the case of some Catholic powers, is conceded by courtesy, in consideration of services rendered and by no means acknowledged as a right. The Theses of Erastus and the Confirmatio Thesium were reprinted at Amsterdam in 1649. An English translation of the Theses, without the Confirmatio, appeared in London in 1659 -- a very literal rendering, in places hardly intelligible. A new translation of the Theses, by Dr. Robert Lee, with a valuable preface, was published at Edinburgh in 1844.

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Held early in the fourth century at Elliberis, or Illiberis, in Spain, a city now in ruins not far ...

Ely

ANCIENT DIOCESE OF ELY (ELIENSIS; ELIA OR ELYS). Ancient diocese in England. The earliest ...

Elzéar of Sabran

Baron of Ansouis, Count of Ariano, born in the castle of Saint-Jean de Robians, in Provence, ...

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Emanationism

The doctrine that emanation (Latin emanare , "to flow from") is the mode by which all things ...

Emancipation, Ecclesiastical

In ancient Rome emancipation was a process of law by which a slave released from the ...

Ember Days

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora , four times) are the days at the beginning of ...

Embolism

(Greek: embolismos , from the verb, emballein , "to throw in") Embolism is an insertion, ...

Embroidery

ECCLESIASTICAL EMBROIDERY That in Christian worship embroidery was used from early times to ...

Emerentiana, Saint

Virgin and martyr, d. at Rome in the third century. The old Itineraries to the graves of the ...

Emery, Jacques-André

Superior of the Society of St-Sulpice during the French Revolution , b. 26 Aug., 1732, at Gex; ...

Emesa

A titular see of Phœnicia Secunda, suffragan of Damascus, and the seat of two Uniat ...

Emigrant Aid Societies

Records of the early immigration to the North American colonies are indefinite and ...

Emiliana and Trasilla, Saints

Aunts of St. Gregory the Great, virgins in the sixth century, given in the Roman Martyrology, ...

Emiliani, Saint Jerome

Founder of the Order of Somascha; b. at Venice, 1481; d. at Somascha, 8 Feb., 1537; feast, 20 ...

Emmanuel

Emmanual ( Septuagint Emmanouel ; A.V., Immanuel ) signifies " God with us" ( Matthew 1:23 ), ...

Emmaus

A titular see in Pa1æstina Prima, suffragan of Cæsarea. It is mentioned for the ...

Emmeram, Saint

Bishop of Poitiers and missionary to Bavaria, b. at Poitiers in the first half of the seventh ...

Emmeram, Saint, Abbey of

A Benedictine monastery at Ratisbon (Regensburg), named after its traditional founder, the ...

Emmerich, Anne Catherine

An Augustinian nun, stigmatic, and ecstatic, born 8 September, 1774, at Flamsche, near ...

Empiricism

(Lat. empirismus, the standpoint of a system based on experience). Primarily, and in its ...

Ems, Congress of

The Congress of Ems was a meeting of the representatives of the German Archbishops Friedrich ...

Emser, Hieronymus

The most ardent literary opponent of Luther, born of a prominent family at Ulm, 20 March, 1477; ...

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Encina, Juan de la

(JUAN DE LA ENZINA). Spanish dramatic poet, called by Ticknor the father of the Spanish ...

Enciso, Diego Ximenez de

Dramatic poet, b. in Andalusia, Spain, c. 1585; date of death unknown. All trace of him is lost ...

Enciso, Martín Fernández de

Navigator and geographer, b. at Seville, Spain, c. 1470; d. probably about 1528 at Seville. It ...

Encolpion

(Greek egkolpion , that which is worn on the breast). The name given in early Christian ...

Encratites

[ ’Egkrateîs (Irenæus) ’Egkratetai (Clement of Alexandria, ...

Encyclical

( Latin Litterœ Encyclicœ ) According to its etymology, an encyclical (from the ...

Encyclopedia

An abridgment of human knowledge in general or a considerable department thereof, treated from a ...

Encyclopedists

(1) The writers of the eighteenth century who edited or contributed articles to the ...

Endlicher, Stephan Ladislaus

Austrian botanist (botanical abbreviation, Endl. ), linguist, and historian, b. at Pressburg, ...

Endowment

( German Stiftung , French fondation , Italian fondazione , Latin fundatio ) An ...

Energy, The Law of Conservation of

Amongst the gravest objections raised by the progress of modern science against Theism, the ...

Engaddi

( Septuagint usually ’Eggadí ; Hebrew ‘En Gédhi, "Fountain of the ...

Engel, Ludwig

Canonist, b. at Castle Wagrein, Austria ; d. at Grillenberg, 22 April 1694. He became a ...

Engelberg, Abbey of

A Benedictine monastery in Switzerland, formerly in the Diocese of Constance, but now in that ...

Engelbert

Abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Admont in Styria, b. of noble parents at Volkersdorf ...

Engelbert of Cologne, Saint

Archbishop of that city (1216-1225); b. at Berg, about 1185; d. near Schwelm, 7 November, 1225. ...

Engelbrechtsen, Cornelis

(Also called ENGELBERTS and ENGELBRECHT, and now more usually spelt ENGELBRECHTSZ). Dutch ...

England (1066-1558)

This term England is here restricted to one constituent, the largest and most populous, of the ...

England (After 1558)

The Protestant Reformation is the great dividing line in the history of England, as of Europe ...

England (Before 1066)

I. ANGLO-SAXON OCCUPATION OF BRITAIN The word Anglo-Saxon is used as a collective name for ...

England, John

First Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A.; b. 23 September, 1786, in Cork, Ireland ...

Englefield, Sir Henry Charles, Bart.

Antiquary and scientist, b. 1752; d. 21 March, 1822. He was the eldest son of Sir Henry ...

English College, The, in Rome

I. FOUNDATION Some historians (e.g., Dodd, II, 168, following Polydore Vergil, Harpsfield, ...

English Confessors and Martyrs (1534-1729)

Though the resistance of the English as a people to the Reformation compares very badly with the ...

English Hierarchy, Reorganization of the

On 29 September, 1850, by the Bull "Universalis Ecclesiae", Pius IX restored the Catholic ...

English Literature

It is not unfitting to compare English Literature to a great tree whose far spreading and ever ...

English Revolution of 1688

James II, having reached the climax of his power after the successful suppression of Monmouth's ...

Ennodius, Magnus Felix

Rhetorician and bishop, b. probably at Arles, in Southern Gaul, in 474; d. at Pavia, Italy, 17 ...

Enoch

(Greek Enoch ). The name of the son of Cain ( Genesis 4:17, 18 ), of a nephew of Abraham ...

Enoch, Book of

The antediluvian patriarch Henoch according to Genesis "walked with God and was seen no more, ...

Ensingen, Ulrich

(ULRICH ENSINGER) Belonged to a family of architects who came from Einsingen near Ulm, ...

Entablature

A superstructure which lies horizontally upon the columns in classic architecture. It is divided ...

Enthronization

(From Greek ’enthronízein , to place on a throne). This word has been employed ...

Envy

Jealousy is here taken to be synonymous with envy. It is defined to be a sorrow which one ...

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Eoghan, Saints

(1) EOGHAN OF ARDSTRAW was a native of Leinster, and, after presiding over the Abbey of ...

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Epée, Charles-Michel de l'

A philanthropic priest and inventor of the sign alphabet for the instruction of the deaf and ...

Epact

(Greek épaktai hemérai; Latin dies adjecti ). The surplus days of the ...

Eparchy

( eparchia ). Originally the name of one of the divisions of the Roman Empire. Diocletian ...

Eperies

DIOCESE OF EPERIES (EPERIENSIS RUTHENORUM). Diocese of the Greek Ruthenian Rite, suffragan to ...

Ephesians, Epistle to the

This article will be treated under the following heads: I. Analysis of the Epistle; II. ...

Ephesus

A titular archiespiscopal see in Asia Minor, said to have been founded in the eleventh century ...

Ephesus, Council of

The third ecumenical council, held in 431. THE OCCASION AND PREPARATION FOR THE COUNCIL The ...

Ephesus, Robber Council of

(L ATROCINIUM ). The Acts of the first session of this synod were read at the Council of ...

Ephesus, Seven Sleepers of

The story is one of the many examples of the legend about a man who falls asleep and years after ...

Ephod

( Hebrew aphwd or aphd ; Greek ’ís, ’ephód, ...

Ephraem, Saint

(EPHREM, EPHRAIM). Born at Nisibis, then under Roman rule, early in the fourth century; died ...

Ephraemi Rescriptus, Codex

(Symbol C). The last in the group of the four great uncial manuscripts of the Greek Bible, ...

Ephraim of Antioch

( Ephraimios ). One of the defenders of the Faith of Chalcedon (451) against the ...

Epicureanism

This term has two distinct, though cognate, meanings. In its popular sense, the word stands for a ...

Epiklesis

Epiklesis ( Latin invocatio ) is the name of a prayer that occurs in all Eastern liturgies ...

Epimachus and Gordianus, Saints

Martyrs, suffered under Julian the Apostate , 362, commemorated on 10 May. Gordianus was a judge ...

Epiphania

A titular see in Cilicia Secunda, in Asia Minor, suffragan of Anazarbus. This city is ...

Epiphanius

Surnamed SCHOLASTICUS, or in modern terms, THE PHILOLOGIST, a translator of various Greek works in ...

Epiphanius of Constantinople

Died 535. Epiphanius succeeded John II (518-20) as Patriarch of Constantinople. It was the time ...

Epiphanius of Salamis

Born at Besanduk, near Eleutheropolis, in Judea, after 310; died in 403. While very young he ...

Epiphany

Known also under the following names: (1) ta epiphania , or he epiphanios , sc. hemera ...

Episcopal Subsidies

( Latin subsidia , tribute, pecuniary aid, subvention) Since the faithful are obliged to ...

Episcopalians

The history of this religious organization divides itself naturally into two portions: the period ...

Epistemology

( Epistéme , knowledge, science, and lógos , speech, thought, discourse). ...

Epistle (in Scripture)

Lat. epistola ; Greek ’epistolé ; in Hebrew, at first only the general term ...

Epping, Joseph

German astronomer and Assyriologist, b. at Neuenkirchen near Rhine in Westphalia, 1 Dec., 1835; ...

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Er 24

Erasmus, Desiderius

The most brilliant and most important leader of German humanism, b. at Rotterdam, Holland, 28 ...

Erastus and Erastianism

The name "Erastianism" is often used in a somewhat loose sense as denoting an undue subservience ...

Erbermann, Veit

(Or Ebermann). Theologian and controversialist, born 25 May, 1597, at Rendweisdorff, in ...

Ercilla y Zúñiga, Alonso de

Spanish soldier and poet, born in Madrid, 7 August, 1533; died in the same city, 29 November, ...

Erconwald, Saint

Bishop of London, died about 690. He belonged to the princely family of the East Anglian Offa, ...

Erdeswicke, Sampson

Antiquarian, date of birth unknown; died 1603. He was born at Sandon in Staffordshire, his ...

Erdington Abbey

Erdington Abbey, situated in a suburb of Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, belongs to the ...

Erhard of Ratisbon, Saint

Bishop of that city in the seventh century, probably identical with an Abbot Erhard of ...

Erie

DIOCESE OF ERIE (ERIENSIS). Established 1853; it embraces the thirteen counties of ...

Erin, The Twelve Apostles of

By this designation are meant twelve holy Irishmen of the sixth century who went to study at the ...

Eriugena, John Scotus

An Irish teacher, theologian, philosopher, and poet, who lived in the ninth century. NAME ...

Ermland

Ermland, or Ermeland (Varmiensis, Warmia), a district of East Prussia and an exempt bishopric. ...

Ernakulam, Vicariate Apostolic of

In May, 1887, the churches of Syrian Rite in Malabar were separated from those of the Latin ...

Ernan, Saints

Name of four Irish saints. O'Hanlon enumerates twenty-five saints bearing the name Ernan, ...

Ernst of Hesse-Rheinfels

Landgrave, b. 9 Dec., 1623, at Cassel; d. 12 May, 1693, at Cologne. He was the sixth son of ...

Ernulf

Architect, b. at Beauvais, France, in 1040; d. 1124. He studied under Lanfranc at the monastery ...

Errington, William

Priest, founder of Sedgley Park School, b. 17 July, 1716; d. 28 September, 1768. He was son of ...

Error

Error, reduplicatively regarded, is in one way or another the product of ignorance. But besides ...

Erskine, Charles

Cardinal, b. at Rome, 13 Feb., 1739; d. at Paris, 20 March, 1811. He was the son of Colin ...

Erthal, Franz Ludwig von

Prince- Bishop of Würzburg and Bamberg, b. at Lohr on the Main, 16 September, 1730; d. at ...

Erthal, Friedrich Karl Joseph, Freiherr von

Last Elector and Archbishop of Mainz, b. 3 Jan., 1719, at Mainz ; d. 25 July, 1802, at ...

Erwin of Steinbach

One of the architects of the Strasburg cathedral, date of birth unknown; d. at Strasburg, 17 ...

Erythrae

A titular see in Asia Minor. According to legend the city was founded by colonists from Crete. ...

Erzerum (Theodosiopolis)

DIOCESE OF ERZERUM (ERZERUMIENSIS ARMENIORUM). The native name, Garin (Gr. Karenitis ; ...

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Es 11

Esau

( ‘sw , hairy). The eldest son of Isaac and Rebecca, the twin-brother of Jacob. The ...

Esch, Nicolaus van

(ESCHIUS) A famous mystical theologian, b. in Oisterwijk near Hertogenbosch (Boisle-Duc), ...

Eschatology

That branch of systematic theology which deals with the doctrines of the last things ( ta ...

Escobar y Mendoza, Antonio

Born at Valladolid in 1589; died there, 4 July, 1669. In his sixteenth year he entered the ...

Escobar, Marina de

Mystic and foundress of a modified branch of the Brigittine Order b. at Valladolid, Spain, 8 ...

Escorial, The

A remarkable building in Spain situated on the south-eastern slope of the Sierra Guadarrama about ...

Esdras

(Or EZRA.) I. ESDRAS THE MAN Esdras is a famous priest and scribe connected with Israel's ...

Esglis, Louis-Philippe Mariauchau d'

Eighth Bishop of Quebec, Canada ; born Quebec, 24 April, 1710; died 7 June, 1788. After ...

Eskil

Archbishop of Lund, Skåne, Sweden ; b. about 1100; d. at Clairvaux, 6 (7?) Sept., 1181; ...

Eskimo

A littoral race occupying the entire Arctic coast and outlying islands of America from below Cook ...

Esnambuc, Pierre Belain, Sieur d'

Captain in the French marine, b. 1565, at Allouville, near Yvetot (Seine-Inferieure); d. at St. ...

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ESP

( tele , far, and pathein , to experience) A term introduced by F.W.H. Myers in 1882 to ...

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Es 14

Espejo, Antonio

A Spanish explorer, whose fame rests upon a notable expedition which he conducted into New ...

Espen, Zeger Bernhard van

(also called ESPENIUS) A Belgian canonist, born at Louvain, 9 July, 1646; died at ...

Espence, Claude D'

(ESPENCÆUS) A French theologian, born in 1511 at Châlons-sur-Marne; died 5 Oct., ...

Espinel, Vincent

Poet and novelist; born at Ronda (Malaga), Spain, 1544; died at Madrid, 1634. He studied at ...

Espinosa, Alonso De

Spanish priest and historian of the sixteenth century. Little is known of his early life. He is ...

Espousals

An Espousal is a contract of future marriage between a man and a woman, who are thereby ...

Espousals of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(DESPONSATIO BEATÆ MARIÆ VIRGINIS) A feast of the Latin Church. It is certain ...

Essence and Existence

( Latin essentia, existentia ) Since they are transcendentals, it is not possible to put ...

Essenes

One of three leading Jewish sects mentioned by Josephus as flourishing in the second century ...

Est, Willem Hessels van

(ESTIUS.) A famous commentator on the Pauline epistles, born at Gorcum, Holland, in 1542; ...

Establishment, The

(Or ESTABLISHED CHURCH) The union of Church and State setting up a definite and distinctive ...

Estaing, Comte d'

JEAN-BAPTISTE-CHARLES-HENRI-HECTOR, COMTE D'ESTAING (MARQUIS DE SAILLANS). A French admiral, ...

Esther

(From the Hebrew meaning star, happiness ); Queen of Persia and wife of Assuerus, who is ...

Estiennot de la Serre, Claude

Benedictine of the Congregation of Saint-Maur, b. at Varennes, France, 1639; d. at Rome, 1699. ...

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Et 11

Eternity

( aeternum , originally aeviternum, aionion, aeon -- long). Eternity is defined by ...

Ethelbert

Archbishop of York, England, date of birth uncertain; d. 8 Nov., 781 or 782. The name also ...

Ethelbert, Saint

Date of birth unknown; d. 794; King of the East Angles, was, according to the "Speculum ...

Ethelbert, Saint

King of Kent; b. 552; d. 24 February, 616; son of Eormenric, through whom he was descended from ...

Etheldreda, Saint

Queen of Northumbria; born (probably) about 630; died at Ely, 23 June, 679. While still very young ...

Ethelwold, Saint

St. Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, was born there of good parentage in the early years of the ...

Etherianus, Hugh and Leo

Brothers, Tuscans by birth, employed at the court of Constantinople under the Emperor Manuel I ...

Ethethard

(ÆTHELHEARD, ETHELREARD) The fourteenth Archbishop of Canterbury, England, date of ...

Ethics

I. Definition Many writers regard ethics (Gr. ethike ) as any scientific treatment of the ...

Ethiopia

The name of this region has been derived, through the Greek form, aithiopia , from the two ...

Etschmiadzin

A famous Armenian monastery, since 1441 the ecclesiastical capital of the schismatic Armenians, ...

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Eu 66

Euaria

A titular see of Phoenicia Secunda or Libanensis, in Palestine. The true name of this city ...

Eucarpia

A titular see of Phrygia Salutaris in Asia Minor. Eucarpia ( Eukarpia ), mentioned by Strabo ...

Eucharist, as a Sacrament

Since Christ is present under the appearances of bread and wine in a sacramental way, the ...

Eucharist, as a Sacrifice

The word Mass ( missa ) first established itself as the general designation for the ...

Eucharist, Early Symbols of the

Among the symbols employed by the Christians of the first ages in decorating their tombs, those ...

Eucharist, Introduction to the

See also EUCHARIST AS SACRIFICE , EUCHARIST AS SACRAMENT , and REAL PRESENCE . (Greek ...

Eucharist, Real Presence of Christ in

In this article we shall consider: the fact of the Real Presence , which is, indeed, the central ...

Eucharistic Congresses

Eucharistic Congresses are gatherings of ecclesiastics and laymen for the purpose of ...

Eucharistic Prayer

This article will be divided into four sections: (I) Name and place of the Canon; (II) History of ...

Eucharius, Saint

First Bishop of Trier (Treves) in the second half of the third century. According to an ...

Eucherius, Saint

Bishop of Lyons, theologian, born in the latter half of the fourth century; died about 449. On ...

Euchologion

The name of one of the chief Service-books of the Byzantine Church ; it corresponds more or less ...

Eudes, Blessed Jean

French missionary and founder of the Eudists and of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity; ...

Eudists

(Society of Jesus and Mary) An ecclesiastical society instituted at Caen, France, 25 March, ...

Eudocia

(E UDOKIA ). Ælia Eudocia, sometimes wrongly called Eudoxia, was the wife of ...

Eudoxias

A titular see of Galatia Secunda in Asia Minor, suffragan of Pessinus. Eudoxias is mentioned ...

Eugendus, Saint

(AUGENDUS; French OYAND, OYAN) Fourth Abbot of Condat (Jura), b. about 449, at Izernore, ...

Eugene I, Saint, Pope

Eugene I was elected 10 Aug., 654, and died at Rome, 2 June, 657. Because he would not submit to ...

Eugene II, Pope

Elected 6 June, 824; died 27 Aug., 827. On the death of Pascal I (Feb.-May, 824) there took place ...

Eugene III, Pope

Bernardo Pignatelli, born in the neighbourhood of Pisa, elected 15 Feb., 1145; d. at Tivoli, 8 ...

Eugene IV, Pope

Gabriello Condulmaro, or Condulmerio, b. at Venice, 1388; elected 4 March, 1431; d. at Rome, 23 ...

Eugenics

Eugenics literally means "good breeding". It is defined as the study of agencies under social ...

Eugenius I

Archbishop of Toledo, successor in 636 of Justus in that see ; d. 647. Like his predecessor he ...

Eugenius II (the Younger)

Archbishop of Toledo from 647 to 13 Nov., 657, the date of his death. He was the son of a Goth ...

Eugenius of Carthage, Saint

Unanimously elected Bishop of Carthage in 480 to succeed Deogratias (d. 456); d. 13 July, 505. ...

Eulalia of Barcelona, Saint

A Spanish martyr in the persecution of Diocletian (12 February, 304), patron of the ...

Eulogia

(Greek eulogia , "a blessing"). The term has been applied in ecclesiastical usage to the ...

Eulogius of Alexandria, Saint

Patriarch of that see from 580 to 607. He was a successful combatant of the heretical errors ...

Eulogius of Cordova, Saint

Spanish martyr and writer who flourished during the reigns of the Cordovan Caliphs, Abd-er-Rahman ...

Eumenia

A titular see of Phrygia Pacatiana in Asia Minor, and suffragan to Hierapolis. It was founded ...

Eunan, Saint

(Or Eunan). Abbot of Iona, born at Drumhome, County Donegal, Ireland, c. 624; died at the ...

Eunomianism

A phase of extreme Arianism prevalent amongst a section of Eastern churchmen from about 350 ...

Euphemius of Constantinople

Euphemius of Constantinople (490-496) succeeded as patriarch Flavitas (or Fravitas, 489-490), who ...

Euphrasia, Saint

Virgin, b. in 380; d. after 410. She was the daughter of Antigonus, a senator of Constantinople, ...

Euphrosyne, Saint

Died about 470. Her story belongs to that group of legends which relate how Christian virgins, in ...

Euroea

A titular see of Epirus Vetus in Greece, suffragan of Nicopolis. Euroea is mentioned by ...

Europe

NAME The conception of Europe as a distinct division of the earth, separate from Asia and ...

Europus

A titular see in Provincis Euphratensis, suffragan of Hierapolis. The former name of this city ...

Eusebius Bruno

Bishop of Angers, b. in the early part of the eleventh century; d. at Angers, 29 August, 1081. ...

Eusebius of Alexandria

Ecclesiastical writer and author of a number of homilies well known in the sixth and seventh ...

Eusebius of Cæsarea

Eusebius Pamphili, Bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, the "Father of Church History "; b. ...

Eusebius of Dorylæum

Eusebius, Bishop of Dorylæum in Asia Minor, was the prime mover on behalf of Catholic ...

Eusebius of Laodicea

An Alexandrian deacon who had some fame as a confessor and became bishop of Laodicea in ...

Eusebius of Nicomedia

Bishop, place and date of birth unknown; d. 341. He was a pupil at Antioch of Lucian the ...

Eusebius, Chronicle of

Consists of two parts: the first was probably called by Eusebius the "Chronograph" or ...

Eusebius, Saint

Bishop of Vercelli, b. in Sardinia c. 283; d. at Vercelli, Piedmont, 1 August, 371. He was ...

Eusebius, Saint

Bishop of Samosata (now Samsat) in Syria ; date of birth unknown: d. in 379 or 380. History ...

Eusebius, Saint

A presbyter at Rome ; date of birth unknown; d. 357(?). He was a Roman patrician and ...

Eusebius, Saint, Pope

Successor of Marcellus, 309 or 310. His reign was short. The Liberian Catalogue gives its duration ...

Eustace, John Chetwode

Antiquary, b. in Ireland, c. 1762; d. at Naples, Italy, 1 Aug., 1815. His family was English, ...

Eustace, Maurice

Eldest son of Sir John Eustace, Castlemartin, County Kildars, Ireland, martyred for the Faith, ...

Eustace, Saint

Date of birth unknown; died 29 March, 625. He was second abbot of the Irish monastery of ...

Eustachius and Companions, Saints

Martyrs under the Emperor Hadrian, in the year 188. Feast in the West, 20 September; in the East, 2 ...

Eustachius, Bartolomeo

A distinguished anatomist of the Renaissance period — "one of the greatest anatomists ...

Eustathius of Sebaste

Born about 300; died about 377. He was one of the chief founders of monasticism in Asia Minor, ...

Eustathius, Saint

Bishop of Antioch, b. at Side in Pamphylia, c. 270; d. in exile at Trajanopolis in Thrace , ...

Eustochium Julia, Saint

Virgin, born at Rome c. 368; died at Bethlehem, 28 September, 419 or 420. She was the third of ...

Euthalius

( ) A deacon of Alexandria and later Bishop of Sulca. He lived towards the middle of ...

Euthanasia

(From Greek eu , well, and thanatos , death), easy, painless death. This is here considered ...

Euthymius, Saint

(Styled THE GREAT). Abbot in Palestine; b. in Melitene in Lesser Armenia, A.D. 377; d. A.D. ...

Eutropius of Valencia

A Spanish bishop ; d. about 610. He was originally a monk in the Monasterium Servitanum , ...

Eutyches

An heresiarch of the fifth century, who has given his name to an opinion to which his teaching and ...

Eutychianism

Eutychianism and Monophysitism are usually identified as a single heresy. But as some ...

Eutychianus, Saint, Pope

He succeeded Pope Felix I a few days after the latter's death, and governed the Church from ...

Eutychius

Melchite Patriarch of Alexandria, author of a history of the world, b. 876, at Fustat (Cairo); ...

Eutychius I

Patriarch of Constantinople, b. about 512, in Phrygia; d. Easter Day , 5 April, 582. He became ...

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Ev 18

Evagrius

Ecclesiastical historian and last of the continuators of Eusebius of Caesarea, b. in 536 at ...

Evagrius

Born about 345, in Ibora, a small town on the shores of the Black Sea; died 399. He is numbered ...

Evangeliaria

Liturgical books containing those portions of the Gospels which are read during Mass or in the ...

Evangelical Alliance, The

An association of Protestants belonging to various denominations founded in 1846, whose object, ...

Evangelical Church

(IN PRUSSIA) The sixteenth-century Reformers accused the Catholic Church of having ...

Evangelical Counsels

( Or COUNSELS OF PERFECTION). Christ in the Gospels laid down certain rules of life and ...

Evangelist

In the New Testament this word, in its substantive form, occurs only three times: Acts, xxi, 8; ...

Evaristus, Pope Saint

Date of birth unknown; died about 107. In the Liberian Catalogue his name is given as Aristus. In ...

Eve

( Hebrew hawwah ). The name of the first woman, the wife of Adam, the mother of Cain, Abel, ...

Eve of a Feast

(Or VIGIL; Latin Vigilia ; Greek pannychis ). In the first ages, during the night before ...

Evesham Abbey

Founded by St. Egwin, third Bishop of Worcester, about 701, in Worcestershire, England, and ...

Evil

Evil, in a large sense, may be described as the sum of the opposition, which experience shows to ...

Evin, Saint

St. Abban of New Ross -- also known as St. Ewin, Abhan, or Evin, but whose name has been locally ...

Evodius

The first Bishop of Antioch after St. Peter. Eusebius mentions him thus in his "History": ...

Evolution, Catholics and

One of the most important questions for every educated Catholic of today is: What is to be ...

Evolution, History and Scientific Foundation of

The world of organisms comprises a great system of individual forms generally classified ...

Evora

Located in Portugal, raised to archiepiscopal rank in 1544, at which time it was given as ...

Evreux

DIOCESE OF EVREUX (EBROICENSIS) Diocese in the Department of Eure, France ; suffragan of the ...

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Ew 3

Ewald, Saints

(Or HEWALD) Martyrs in Old Saxony about 695. They were two priests and natives of ...

Ewin, Saint

St. Abban of New Ross -- also known as St. Ewin, Abhan, or Evin, but whose name has been locally ...

Ewing, Thomas

Jurist and statesman, b. in West Liberty, Virginia (now West Virginia ), U.S.A. 28 December, ...

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Ex 31

Ex Cathedra

Literally "from the chair", a theological term which signifies authoritative teaching and is ...

Examination

A process prescribed or assigned for testing qualification; an investigation, inquiry. ...

Examination of Conscience

By this term is understood a review of one's past thoughts, words and actions for the purpose of ...

Examiners, Apostolic

So called because appointed by the Apostolic See for service in Rome. In 1570 Pius V ...

Examiners, Synodal

So called because chosen in a diocesan synod. The Council of Trent prescribes at least six ...

Exarch

(Greek Exarchos ). A title used in various senses both civilly and ecclesiastically. In ...

Excardination and Incardination

(Latin cardo, a pivot, socket, or hinge--hence, incardinare, to hang on a hinge, or fix; ...

Exclusion, Right of

(Latin Jus Exclusivæ . The alleged competence of the more important Catholic ...

Excommunication

This subject will be treated under the following heads: I. General Notions and Historical ...

Executor, Apostolic

A cleric who puts into execution a papal rescript, completing what is necessary in order ...

Exedra

A semicircular stone or marble seat; a rectangular or semicircular recess; the portico of the ...

Exegesis, Biblical

Exegesis is the branch of theology which investigates and expresses the true sense of Sacred ...

Exemption

Exemption is the whole or partial release of an ecclesiastical person, corporation, or ...

Exequatur

(Synonymous with REGIUM PLACET) Exequatur, as the Jansenist Van Espen defines it, is a ...

Exeter, Ancient Diocese of

(EXONIA, ISCA DAMNONIORUM, CAER WISE, EXANCEASTER; EXONIENSIS). English see, chosen by Leofric, ...

Exmew, Blessed William

Carthusian monk and martyr ; suffered at Tyburn, 19 June, 1535. He studied at Christ's ...

Exodus ( See Pentateuch)

Pentateuch , in Greek pentateuchos , is the name of the first five books of the Old ...

Exorcism

( See also DEMONOLOGY, DEMONIACS, EXORCIST, POSSESSION.) Exorcism is (1) the act of driving ...

Exorcist

( See also DEMONOLOGY, DEMONIACS, EXORCISM, POSSESSION.) (1) In general, any one who ...

Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

( Exspectatio Partus B.V.M. ) Celebrated on 18 December by nearly the entire Latin Church. ...

Expectative

(From the Latin expectare , to expect or wait for.) An expectative, or an expectative grace, ...

Expeditors, Apostolic

(Latin Expeditionarius literarum apostolicarum, Datariae Apostolicae sollicitator atque ...

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

Exposition is a manner of honouring the Holy Eucharist, by exposing It, with proper solemnity, to ...

Extension

(From Latin ex-tendere , to spread out.) That material substance is not perfectly ...

Extension Society, The Catholic Church

IN THE UNITED STATES The first active agitation for a church extension or home mission society ...

Extra-Sensory Perception (ESP)

( tele , far, and pathein , to experience) A term introduced by F.W.H. Myers in 1882 to ...

Extravagantes

( Extra , outside; vagari , to wander.) This word is employed to designate some papal ...

Extreme Unction

A sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ to give spiritual aid and comfort and perfect ...

Exul Hibernicus

The name given to an Irish stranger on the Continent of Europe in the time of Charles the ...

Exultet

The hymn in praise of the paschal candle sung by the deacon, in the liturgy of Holy ...

Exuperius, Saint

(Also spelled Exsuperius). Bishop of Toulouse in the beginning of the fifth century; place ...

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Ey 7

Eyb, Albrecht von

One of the earliest German humanists, born in 1420 near Anabach in Franconia; died in 1475. After ...

Eyck, Hubert and Jan van

Brothers, Flemish illuminators and painters, founders of the school of Bruges and ...

Eycken, Jean Baptiste van

Painter, born at Brussels, Belgium, 16 September, 1809; died at Schaerbeek, 19 December, 1853. ...

Eymard, Venerable Pierre-Julien

Founder of the Society of the Blessed Sacrament , and of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, ...

Eymeric, Nicolas

Theologian and inquisitor, born at Gerona, in Catalonia, Spain, c. 1320; died there 4 January, ...

Eyre, Thomas

First president of Ushaw College ; born at Glossop, Derbyshire; in 1748; died at Ushaw, 8 May, ...

Eyston, Charles

Antiquary, born 1667; died 5 November, 1721; he was a member of the ancient family of Eyston, ...

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Ez 6

Ezechias

Ezechias (Hebrew = "The Lord strengtheneth"; Septuagint Ezekias ; in the cuneiform inscriptions ...

Ezekiel

Ezekiel, whose name, Yehézq'el signifies "strong is God ", or "whom God makes strong" ...

Ezion-geber

More properly Ezion-geber, a city of Idumea, situated on the northern extremity of the ...

Eznik

A writer of the fifth century, born at Golp, in the province of Taikh, a tributary valley of the ...

Ezra

(Or EZRA.) I. ESDRAS THE MAN Esdras is a famous priest and scribe connected with Israel's ...

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