Prince- Bishop of Würzburg and Bamberg, b. at Lohr on the Main, 16 September, 1730; d. at Würzburg, 16 February, 1795. After studying theology at Mainz, Würzburg, and Rome, and jurisprudence at Vienna he became president of the secular Government of Würzburg in 1762. When he was sent in 1768 as Ambassador to Vienna to get the imperial investiture for Adam Friedrich, Count von Seinsheim, the Prince- Bishop of Würzburg, Emperor Joseph II made him imperial privy councillor and inspector of the Imperial Chamber (Supreme Court of the empire) at Wetzlar. In 1776 he took part as imperial commissioner in the Diet of Ratisbon. He succeeded Adam Friedrich as Prince- Bishop of Würzburg, 18 March, 1779, and as Prince- Bishop of Bamberg on the following 12 April. His rule was a blessing for Church and State. Being himself deeply religious he endeavoured to imbue his clergy and people with the spirit of true faith and piety. As far as the Church and his episcopal position permitted, he yielded to the rationalistic tendencies of the age, but was a stanch defender of papal rights against the adherents of Febronianism. As temporal ruler he never allowed personal considerations to outweigh the welfare of the people, and used his private means for the erection and improvement of charitable institutions . At Bamberg he founded a hospital which at that time was a model of its kind, and at Würzburg he greatly improved and partly rebuilt the already existing hospital of St. Julius. He improved the entire educational system, bettered the economic conditions of rural life and of the civil administration, and set the finances of his principalities on a firm basis. Von Erthal is the author of a work in German, refuting the revolutionary principles of his age, which is entitled: "Ueber den herrschenden Geist dieser Zeiten und uber das Verhalten des rechtschaffenen Christen bei denselben" (Würzburg, 1793). Some of his sermons were collected and published after his death (Bamberg, 1797).
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.
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