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False Decretals

(The Decretals of the Pseudo-Isidore)

False Decretals is a name given to certain apocryphal papal letters contained in a collection of canon laws composed about the middle of the ninth century by an author who uses the pseudonym of Isidore Mercator, in the opening preface to the collection. For the student of this collection, the best, indeed the only useful edition, is that of Hinschius, "Decretales Pseudo-Isidorianæ" (Leipzig, 1863). The figures in parenthesis occurring during the course of this article refer the reader to the edition of Hinschius. The name "False Decretals" is sometimes extended to cover not only the papal letters forged by Isidore, and contained in his collection, but the whole collection, although it contains other documents, authentic or apocryphal, written before Isidore's time.

The Collection of Isidore falls under three headings:

(1) A list of sixty apocryphal letters or decrees attributed to the popes from St. Clement (88-97) to Melchiades (311-314) inclusive. Of these sixty letters fifty-eight are forgeries; they begin with a letter from Aurelius of Carthage requesting Pope Damasus (366-384) to send him the letters of his predecessors in the chair of the Apostles ; and this is followed by a reply in which Damasus assures Aurelius that the desired letters were being sent. This correspondence was meant to give an air of truth to the false decretals, and was the work of Isidore.

(2) A treatise on the Primitive Church and on the Council of Nicæa, written by Isidore, and followed by the authentic canons of fifty-four councils. It should be remarked, however, that among the canons of the second Council of Seville (page 438) canon vii is an interpolation aimed against chorepiscopi .

(3) The letters mainly of thirty-three popes, from Silvester (314-335) to Gregory II (715-731). Of these about thirty letters are forgeries, while all the others are authentic. This is but a very rough description of their contents and touches only on the more salient points of a most intricate literary question.

THEIR APOCRYPHAL CHARACTER

Nowadays every one agrees that these so-called papal letters are forgeries. These documents, to the number of about one hundred, appeared suddenly in the ninth century and are nowhere mentioned before that time. The most ancient Manuscripts of them that we have are from the ninth century, and their method of composition, of which we shall treat later, shows that they were made up of passages and quotations of which we know the sources; and we are thus in a position to prove that the Pseudo-Isidore makes use of documents written long after the times of the popes to whom he attributes them. Thus it happens that popes of the first three centuries are made to quote documents that did not appear until the fourth or fifth century; and later popes up to Gregory I (590-604) are found employing documents dating from the sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries, and the early part of the ninth. Then again there are endless anachronisms. The Middle Ages were deceived by this huge forgery, but during the Renaissance men of learning and the canonists generally began to recognize the fraud. Two cardinals, John of Torquemada (1468) and Nicholas of Cusa (1464), declared the earlier documents to be forgeries, especially those purporting to be by Clement and Anacletus. Then suspicion began to grow. Erasmus (died 1536) and canonists who had joined the Reformation, such as Charles du Moulin (died 1568), or Catholic canonists like Antoine le Conte (died 1586), and after them the Centuriators of Magdeburg, in 1559, put the question squarely before the learned world. Nevertheless the official edition of the "Corpus Juris", in 1580, upheld the genuineness of the false decretals, many fragments of which are to be found in the "Decretum" of Gratian. As a partial explanation of this it is enough to recall the case of Antonio Agustin (died 1586), the greatest canonist of that period. Agustin seriously doubted the genuineness of the documents, but he never formally repudiated them. He felt he had not sufficient proof at hand, so he simply shirked the difficulty. And it is also to be remembered that, owing to the irritating controversies of the time, anything like an impartial and methodical discussion of such a subject was an utter impossibility. In 1628 the Protestant Blondel published his decisive study, "Pseudo-Isidorus et Turrianus vapulantes". Since then the apocryphal nature of the decretals of Isidore has been an established historical fact. The last of the false decretals that had escaped the keen criticism of Blondel were pointed out by two Catholic priests, the brothers Ballerini, in the eighteenth century.

How the Forgery was done

Isidore was too clever to invent these documents in toto out of his own head. For the most part he plagiarized them in substance, and often in form. For the background he made use of certain data such as the "Liber Pontificalis", a chronicle of the popes from St. Peter onward, which was begun at Rome during the first twenty years of the sixth century. For instance, in the "Liber" it is recorded that such a pope issued such a decree that had been lost or mislaid, or perhaps had never existed at all. Isidore seized the opportunity to supply a pontifical letter suitable for the occasion, attributing it to the pope whose name was mentioned in the "Liber". Thus his work had a shadow of historical sanction to back it up. But it was especially in the form of the letters that the forger played the plagiarist. His work is a regular mosaic of phrases stolen from various works written either by clerics or laymen. This network of quotations is computed to number more than 10,000 borrowed phrases, and Isidore succeeded in stringing them together by that loose, easy style of his, in such a way that the many forgeries perpetrated either by him or his assistants have an undeniable family resemblance. Without doubt he was one of the most learned men of his day. From Blondel in the seventeenth century to Hinschius in the nineteenth, even up to quite recently, efforts have been made to discover all the texts made use of in the False Decretals. They make up quite a library. It is clear that the forger could not have had at hand the entire text from which he drew. He must have been content with extracts, selections, florilegia. But thereon we can only fall back on conjecture.

Isidore might have united the hundred documents he had forged in one single homogeneous collection, which would have been exclusively his work, and then secured its circulation, but, clever man that he was, he chose a different plan. To baffle suspicion he inserted or interpolated all his forgeries in an already existing collection. There was a genuine canonical collection which had been drawn in Spain about 633, and was known as the "Hispana", or Spanish. It contained (cf. Migne, P. L., LXXXIV, 93-848) first of all the texts of the councils from that of Nicæa; secondly the decretals of the popes from Damasus (366-384). Isidore took the volume and prefixed to it the first sixty of his forged decretals from Clement to Miltiades inclusive; these now became the first part of the collection of Isidore. As part II of his collection he retained part I of the Hispana collection, i.e. the genuine collection of councils since Nicæa (325). And as part III of his new volume added part II of the old Hispana, i.e. the genuine pontifical letters since Pope Damasus, but he inserted here and there among them the letters he had forged under the names of the various popes between Damasus and Gregory I (590-604). He was not yet safe, however. So, in order to give a more imposing appearance to the work, he inserted other documents not forged by him, but borrowed bodily from other collections of canon laws. Besides all this he interpolated many additions to authentic documents and added several prefaces to bolster up the fraud. To simplify this description it has been assumed that the forger made use of the unadulterated text of the Hispana. But as a matter of fact he used a French edition, and a very incorrect one at that, of the Hispana, and which was known on that account as the "Hispana Gallica", or French Hispana, which has never been edited, and which is to be found in the Manuscript 411 of the Latin Documents in the Library of Vienna. Furthermore, the forger tampered with the text of this French Hispana, so that his copy becomes, so to speak, a third edition or revision of the old Hispana. This is known as the "Hispana Gallica Augustodunensis", or "of Autun ", so called because the Latin Manuscript, 1341, of the Vatican, which contains it, came from Autun. This collection likewise has remained unedited.

The Isidorian collection was published between 847 and 852. On the one hand it must have been published before 852, because Hincmar quotes the false decretal of Stephen I (p. 183) among the statutes of a council ( Migne, P. L., CXXV, 775), and on the other hand it cannot have been published before 847, because it makes use of the false capitularies of Benedict Levitas, which were not concluded until after 21 April, 847. As to the place where the Decretals were forged, critics are all agreed that it was somewhere in France. The documents used by the forger, and especially those relating more nearly to his own epoch, are nearly all of French origin. And, as we have already pointed out, the frame chosen for the forgeries was the French edition of the Hispana. He also makes use of the "Dionysio-Hadriana" collection, which was the code of the Frankish Church, and of the Quesnel collection, which had a French origin. Moreover, he refers to the Councils of Meaux and of Aachen of 836, and to that of Paris of 829, etc. On Legal matters he quotes the "Breviarium" of Alaric. When he refers to civil affairs it is those of France he illustrates by. Lastly, it was in France that his work was first quoted, and there it had its greatest vogue. But while critics are all agreed that the forgery was done in France, they differ very widely when it comes to fixing the locality. Some are in favour of Le Mans and the province of Tours ; others incline towards the province of Reims. We shall have occasion to refer to these differences later on; for the present we may be satisfied that the false decretals were forged in the North of France between 847 and 852.

Now, what was the condition of the Church in France at that time ? It was but a few brief years after the Treaty of Verdun (843), which had put a definitive close to the Carlovingian empire by founding three distinct kingdoms. Christendom was a prey to the onslaught of Normans and Saracens ; but on the whole the era of civil strife was over. In ecclesiastical circles Church reform was still spoken of, but hardly hoped for. It was especially after the death of Charlemagne (814) that reform began to be considered, but the abuses to be corrected dated from long before Charlemagne's time, and went back to the very beginnings of the Frankish church under the Merovingians. The personal government of the king or emperor had many serious drawbacks on religious grounds. In the mind of the bishops reform and ecclesiastical liberty were identical, and this liberty they required for their persons as well as for the Church. Doubtless Charlemagne's government had been advantageous to the Church, but it was none the less an oppressive protection and dearly bought. The Church was frankly subject to the State. Initiatives which ought to have been the proper function of the spiritual power were usurped by Charlemagne. He summoned synods and confirmed their decisions. He disposed largely of all church benefices . And in matters of importance ecclesiastical tribunals were presided over by him. While the great emperor lived these inconveniences had their compensating advantages and were tolerated. The Church had a mighty supporter at her back. But as soon as he died the Carlovingian dynasty began to show signs of ever-increasing debility, and the Church, bound up with, and subordinate to, the political power, was dragged into the ensuing civil strife and disunion. Church property excited the cupidity of the various factions, each of them wished to use the bishops as tools, and when defeat came the bishops on the vanquished side were exposed to the vengeance of their adversaries. There were charges brought against them, and sentences passed on them, and not canon law, but political exigencies, ruled in the synods. It was the triumph of The lay element in the Church. Success, even when it came, had its drawbacks. In order to devote themselves to political questions the bishops had to neglect their spiritual duties. They were to be seen more often on the embassies than on visitations. As supplies in their dioceses they had to call in auxiliaries known as chorepiscopi . What wonder, then, that these abuses gave rise to complaints? Especially after 829 the bishops were clamouring for ecclesiastical liberty, for legal guarantees, for immunity of church property, for regularity of church administration, for the decrease of the number of chorepiscopi and of their privileges. But all in vain; the Carlovingian nobles, who profited by these abuses, were opposed to reform. Powerless to better itself, could the Frankish Church count on Rome ? At this very time the situation of the papacy was by no means inspiring; the Church at Rome was largely subject to the lay power in the hands of the imperial missi . Sergius II (844-847) has not escaped the reproach of Simony. Leo IV (847-855) had to defend his person just like any simple Frankish bishop. In the face of such a wretched situation the juridical prescriptions of Isidore are ideal.

CANON LAW ACCORDING TO THE FALSE DECRETALS

We are not here concerned with the whole collection, but only with the laws contained in the forged documents. At the outset, let it be noted that Isidore's prescriptions have to do with a very limited number of cases and recur over and over again under slightly varying forms. Yet the forger's legal system is far from having any perfect cohesion. Inconsistencies, and even contradictions, are to be met within it. In the following synopsis, which is necessarily short, no notice is taken of these legal stumblings of Isidore; we are content to simply sum up the teachings of the false decretals, under their principal headings.

In matters concerning the relations of the political and ecclesiastical powers, Isidore sets forth the ordinary ideas of his time as to the supremacy of the spiritual over the temporal authority. Of his own authority alone, the ruler cannot assemble a regular synod ; he must have pontifical authorization to do so (p. 228). That is a new requirement. A bishop may be neither accused nor condemned before a secular tribunal (pp. 98, 485). The Theodosian Code, from which the forger borrows in this matter, granted the privilegium fori only for minor faults. In such matters the Frankish law was not very explicit and was open to various interpretations. What is novel in Isidore is the general character of the law withdrawing bishops from the secular courts. Then again he recognizes in bishops a certain jurisdiction in secular matters. Roman law had already recognized this. He goes on to deal with the immunity of church property, which cannot be diverted from its original purpose without sacrilege. The evangelization of Christendom is a complex story which modern criticism has retold for us, by showing the slow onward march of the Faith. But Isidore's ideas thereon were those of his time, and therefore for the most part legendary. According to him, the organization of parishes was laid down by Clement of Rome, as early as the close of the first century, and was to be modelled on the ecclesiastical divisions of Rome and of the catacombs. This meant that dioceses were also a primitive institution, and that metropolitan divisions also existed in primitive times. The Apostles were thought to have accepted the territorial divisions of the Roman Empire, which had been handed down since then as ecclesiastical provinces. There is not much historical basis for such an explanation. It stands to reason that in Isidore we must clearly distinguish between this fantastic view of history and his explanation of hierarchical organization. On all essential points the forger reproduces the current ideas of his time. But he deserves attention when he speaks of chorepiscopi, or those auxiliary bishops we have already referred to. According to him they are usurpers; so far as power of order goes, they have priestly orders and nothing more. Every episcopal function exercised by them is null; all their sacramental acts ought to be reiterated. As a matter of fact, Isidore was wrong; chorepiscopi had full power of order and might validly administer both confirmation and ordination. Isidore forged theology as well as letters. He strongly affirms the authority of the bishops. That is his great concern. With him nothing else counts (pp. 77, 117, 145, 243). The bishop is monarch in his own diocese, but he does not stand alone; bonds unite him to his neighbours, and thus we have the metropolitan idea. The capital of each ecclesiastical province has a juridical right or title to be a centre of assembly for the bishops ; this right is derived from the primitive division made by the popes. The province is to be governed by the provincial council, presided over by the metropolitan. On the prerogatives of this dignitary Isidore reproduces the prescriptions of the ancient law prior to the eighth century. After the middle of the eighth century the metropolitans had increased their prerogatives, and Isidore tries to ignore this de facto situation; for him nothing counts but canonical texts; the metropolitan is primus inter pares , and he can do nothing without the consent of his colleagues. The forger goes on to mention higher jurisdictions, those of primates and of patriarchs. But on these matters he shows but a slight knowledge of church government in Africa and in the East, and we have one of the most glaring examples of his incoherence.

The Authority of the Pope

In the many texts where the pope is in question Isidore is true to his task of plagiarizing. Very often he copies passages borrowed from ancient sources. This fact alone helps in a great measure to explain his insistence on the rights of the papacy. In many cases Isidore is but the mouthpiece repeating the sayings of the earlier popes, and we know how clear and uncompromising those early popes were on the question of their prerogatives. For example, call to mind the popes between Innocent I (401-417) and Hormisdas (514-523) and the series of their declarations. All that was well known in the ninth century, at least in theory. And it was all embodied by Isidore. But on the relations between pope and bishops he shows a certain inconsistency. Following the traditional teaching, he declares that the Apostolate and the episcopate were directly instituted by Jesus Christ. Yet at times he seems to be on the point of denying the potestas ordinaria of the bishops. He makes Pope Vigilius (p. 712) say: "Ipsa namque ecclesia quæ prima est ita reliquis ecclesiis vices suas credidit largiendas ut in partem sint vocatæ sollicitudinis non in plenitudinem potestatis."

Taking this passage strictly and by itself, it would seem to deny the potestas ordinaria of the bishops. But nevertheless the sentence is not an intentional forgery ; it is merely another case where Isidore is a plagiarist. He had got hold of a famous text by St. Leo ( Migne, P. L., LIV, 671), addressed to the Bishop of Thessalonica. From the end of the fourth century this bishop had been named by the popes as their representative in the province of Illyricum. Hence the Bishop of Thessalonica exercised by delegation certain rights belonging to the popes in these countries by reason of their title of Patriarch of the West. About 446, St. Leo had to find fault with the Bishop of Thessalonica, not in his character of bishop, but as legate, or vicar, of the Holy See. And on that occasion the pope pointed out to his vicar in Illyricum that he had received merely a partial delegation, not a plenitude of power. It is clear, then, that the text in question referred to a peculiar relation between the pope and a special bishop. Addressed to the vicar of Illyricum, St. Leo's words are quite accurate; but, applied to all bishops, they cease to be so, and might easily create much confusion. Isidore further demands that provincial councils be held at regular intervals. He asserts for the pope the right to authorize the calling of all councils and to approve their decisions. Laid down in this general and imperative manner, these claims were something new. Nothing like it had been of obligation for the holding of provincial councils ; as for approving of the decrees of councils, it was a common occurrence in antiquity. When matters of serious importance were in question the popes claimed the right of approval, but there was no formal or general precept asserting such right. And in any case Isidore's legislation thereon never became the practice.

Ecclesiastical Trials

The procedure to be followed in the trial of ecclesiastics is of special interest to Isidore. According to him, the judging of clerics of all ranks up to and including the priesthood belongs as a last resource to the provincial councils and the primates. He says nothing about priests appealing to Rome, and in this he agrees with the fourteenth canon of the Council of Sardica. Apropos of the trials of bishops he shows some inconsistency in his legislation. On the one hand, he upholds the law as it existed prior to his time, and on the other hands he lays down a new law. Hence we find two series of texts which it is not easy to reconcile. The first series agrees with the existing law. A provincial council is the ordinary judge of bishops. The pope interferes only on appeal made to him by one of the interested parties. However, in the case where the impartiality of the judge is seriously doubtful, the bishop need not wait for the council to pass sentence, but may take his case straight to Rome. Stated in this general way, the latter provision is new. But as it is based on the idea of plain justice, it is not altogether foreign to the ancient ecclesiastical law. It was expressly mentioned in Roman law, from which Isidore borrowed it. How may the pope set about hearing an appeal? The ancient law did not exclude, but did not make provision for, sentence being passed at Rome itself. It recognized the pope's right to appoint a court of appeal composed of bishops from the neighbourhood of the accused; furthermore, he had the right to be represented there by a legate, who would naturally have a preponderating rôle at the trial. Such were the rulings of the Council of Sardica. But as a matter of fact, from the fifth century we have cases where the pope summoned episcopal appeals to be heard in Rome itself. So it is not a great surprise that Isidore should leave the pope free to decide where the final trial should take place. But, as we pointed out, side by side with this first series of decisions along the lines of the ancient law, we find another series which lays down a new law. Therein it is said that in the trial of bishops, the function of the provincial council is limited to hearing both sides of the case and referring it to the pope for judgment. Sentence can only be passed with his approbation. This is new legislation. But once more Isidore is not really inventing; he is merely giving clear and direct expression to the tendencies of his day. In face of the dangers created for the bishops by political disturbances, by the fear of being condemned for party feeling or through motives of revenge, the bishops themselves were eager that charges against them should not be decided without the approval of the pope.

One of the most characteristic peculiarities of the false decretals is the procedure laid down for the trial of bishops. Isidore declares over and over that it was the will of the Apostles that there be as few charges as possible made against bishops, and that, when there are any, their trial should be made as difficult as possible. This is a point worth remembering. The accusation of bishops will be a difficult thing, their defence an easy matter. Isidore's legislation on this head, when systematized, so efficaciously hindered any judicial action against a bishop that the reader is almost inclined to treat it as a joke. However, we must be just; it was not all an invention on Isidore'a part. His procedure in the main reproduces the requirements of Roman law ; it draws on the decisions of the Roman apocrypha of the time of Symmachus (498-514), and it levies tribute from the laws of the Barbarian kingdoms. In a case of this kind, anything like a careful and thorough criticism requires that great attention be paid to the question of the sources employed. Isidore piles up obstacles against the accusation of bishops, but the obstacles are not all of Isidore's own devising. Any bishop dispossessed of his see by violence, and who is summoned to the courts, has a right to raise the plea of actio spolii , i.e. to fall back on the fact of dispossession in order to avoid trial, until he has been provisionally restored to his possessions and dignities. This appeal before trial is one of the main points in the Isidorian procedure. The only one who is competent to bring a charge against a bishop is the council of his province. Foreign tribunals are excluded, and the provincial council must have a full quorum. The charge must be made in the presence of accused and accusers. If one of the interested parties absconds, the whole judicial machine comes to a standstill.

The following are the rules governing accusations. A layman can bring no charge against a bishop. This rule, which occurs also in the Roman apocrypha of the time of Symmachus, may be explained by the different judicial status of clerics and laymen at the time of Isidore. Clerics were judged according to Roman law, whereas many laymen were subject to Germanic law, and the procedure under these two laws was different and even hostile. Moreover, at times laymen would not recognize clerics as having the rights to accuse them in the courts; and thus the clerics might well declare laymen incompetent in their courts. Then, too, it must not be lost sight of that Isidore's principle was never observed in practice; a modus agendi was always found. Isidore's second principle was that a cleric could never bring a charge against his superior. It is evident that thus the number of possible accusers became very restricted. The accusation must be made not in writing, but by word of mouth. Only those might bring charges who fulfilled exceptional conditions in respect to rank and standing. In this way it was easy to get rid of a troublesome accuser. The witnesses must be of equal merit with the accuser, and it took seventy-two witnesses to condemn a bishop. This again is not an invention of Isidore's. It was an old custom that a bishop might only be condemned by a council of seventy or seventy-two bishops. The numbers are an allusion either to the seventy elders of the Jewish people or to the Seventy-Two Disciples. But Isidore managed to complicate the situation by applying the number to the witnesses ; though even if it were applied to the judges, the difficulty would not be lessened in practice. It was no easy matter to get together so numerous a tribunal. In the ninth century Photius declared that these two traditional numbers were not necessary ; in any case Isidore's legislation was never enforced. The hearing of the charge follows Roman law, and minute regulations were drawn up to secure all the necessary scope and impartiality to the arguments for and against. Any admission of guilt had to be absolutely spontaneous, and no signature obtained by force was valid.

In his preface Isidore declares the purpose of his work. His aim is to build up a collection of canons more complete than any other by uniting together all the canons dispersed among the various existing collections. What must we think of this declaration? There is some truth in it, but his collection takes on a character all its own by the fact that it includes a hundred documents forged in Isidore's workshop. He might easily have made that more complete collection, without having recourse to forging documents for it. And, as a matter of fact, is his collection more complete than any other? Even a summary examination soon shows that there are many lacunæ in this collection of Canon law. It omits all mention of many important matters, governing of rural parishes, ecclesiastical benefices, tithes, simony, the monastic life, questions concerning the matrimonial laws privileges and dispensations, and the pallium. The governing of parishes and the question of benefices were of vital interest when Isidore lived. Though not quite so acute as during the tenth and eleventh centuries, these points of law became occasions of conflict between the Church and the feudal society in progress of formation. They were already preoccupying men's minds, and as Isidore does not refer to them he can hardly claim to have wished to supply a complete ecclesiastical code. So we are driven to conclude that he had a very special object in view in composing his partial code. How are we to discover what this object was? Evidently by examining the documents he forged. There, if at all, are to be found his dominant ideas. And such an examination is by no means difficult after what we have just said concerning the legal side of the false decretals. Isidore's object is so clearly defined that it requires no very laboured analysis to discover it. His chief aim is to assure the dignity and fruitfulness of the episcopal office. In his view the diocese is the life-giving centre of the whole ecclesiastical organism, and the vitality of this centre is his chief concern. All his legislation has this same object. But perhaps it may be argued that, while he is indeed concerned to safeguard the authority of the bishops, he is even more careful to increase that of the pope. This was a view long in favour among both Gallicans and Protestants, but it is no longer the fashion. In our day critics are, on the whole, agreed that the immediate object of Isidore was to win respect for the episcopal authority. If he touches on the prerogatives of the pope, it is never in the interests of Rome, but always in those of the bishops. It was for this that he tried to facilitate appeals to Rome. But in his idea the rôle to be played by the pope would not restrict the rights of the bishops. It has been observed that Isidore does not mention the temporal power of the popes, and that he never thinks of turning to profit Constantine's pretended donation to the Church of Rome, nor does he seem to aim at increasing the French protectorate at Rome. Yet if his object had been to favour the Holy See, how differently would he have gone to work. Now, if we compare these aims of Isidore with the actual situation of the Frankish Church when the forger was at work, between the years 847 and 852, it will be evident that false decretals are directly opposed to the chief abuses of which the bishops were the victims at that time : condemnations of a political character, neglect of the episcopal office and the establishment of chorepiscopi. This explains the lacunæ in Isidore's ecclesiastical code. He was fighting against urgent and glaring abuses. A contemporary is always at a disadvantage in forming a clear opinion of his age, of those deep causes of which the slow but measured action must inevitably transform society. And hence it was that Isidore confined himself to things that were more or less on the surface in the everyday life around him. If he foresaw other dangers in the path of the Church, he certainly made no attempt to provide against them.

It remains true, however, that Isidore was a forger. But there are forgers and forgers. Let us not forget that the false decretals are from the same workshop that forged the capitularies of Angibramne (Angilram) and the false capitularies of Benedictus Levita. When the capitularies had been forged it was but a natural step to the forging of pontifical letters. For this new work Isidore owed much to the "Liber Pontificalis", or chronicle of the popes. Thus when the Liber tells us that such a pope issued such a decree long since lost, the forger noted the fact and set to work to invent a decree for his collection along the lines hinted at by the "Liber". This is a method well known in diplomatic work, and one that has left us the acta rescripta , of which we have many specimens in ancient charters. These acta rescripta are documents which, at a date long subsequent to that they bear, and because the originals or ancient copies of them had been damaged or lost, were drawn up by the aid of the remnants of the originals, or from extracts therefrom, or analyses of them, or at times from mere tradition concerning their contents (cf. Giry, "Manuel de diplomatique", Paris, 1894, pp. 12, 867, etc.). In Isidore's opinion many of the false decretals were merely such acta rescripta. It was not a very honest proceeding, and Isidore was far from being scrupulous. With a faint modification it might be said of him as of another forger in the seventeenth century, the crafty Father Jérôme Vignier, "He was the greatest liar in Paris." But men of the ninth century must not be judged according to modern ideas of literary morality. Neither can the false decretals be looked at as a purely literary work. They are a Landmark in the evolution of law. In every society law develops or evolves itself like other things, but under conditions of its own, and step by step with the social life it regulates, and which it must keep pace with in order to regulate. The state of society, the ensemble of its customs, change more or less according to time and place, and are never stationary. And slight changes, when multiplied to any degree, end by causing a chasm between former legislation and the newly born needs of a changed society. The written laws no longer meet the requirements of the social state they ought to regulate, and a readjustment of legal provisions becomes necessary. History shows us that this may take place in many ways, according to the nature of the desired change and the surroundings in which it takes place. It may be effected by the gradual substitution of new laws for those that have grown antiquated or, less courageously, by what is known as a creative interpretation of existing laws of which we have many examples in Roman law ; and again, in desperate cases, the change may be brought about by forgeries, when no other means seems practicable. Now, in the middle of the ninth century, the rules of canonical legislation did not seem to be the best possible to meet the existing state of ecclesiastical affairs. The reform councils of the ninth century had tried to bring about the new laws demanded by the situation, but the lay power had blocked the way. And thus the evolution of law, finding an obstacle to its growth on one side, was constrained to seek freedom on another. Unable to advance in normal fashion, a canonist whose intentions were more commendable than his acts bethought him of calling in the aid of the forger. It is impossible to condone such forgeries, but the history of the case puts us in a better position to judge them, and even to discover extenuating circumstances in their favour, by emphasizing the powerful forces at work in the society of the period, and which were acting with what one may call historical fatalism. Moreover, the false decretals are the work of private enterprise and have no official character. The theory that they were planned in Italy has been long since abandoned. They are of purely Gallican origin, and if they deceived the Church, the Church accepted them in good faith and without any complicity.

THE SPREAD

We saw above, in the case of Hincmar, that Isidore's forgeries were known among the Franks as early as 852. In Germany we hear of them a little later. We find traces of them in the Acts of the councils of Germany dating from that of Worms in 868, but in Spain we find no reference to them, and they seem to have been hardly known there. They found their way into England towards the close of the eleventh century, probably through Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury. Their reception in Italy is of greater importance. It occurred probably during the pontificate of Nicholas I (858-867). It seems certain that he knew of the decretals, and it is possible that he may have even possessed a copy of them, and showed proof of this on the occasion of the appeal to Rome made by Bishop Rothade of Soissons, who had got into difficulties with his metropolitan, Hincmar of Reims. Rothade reached Rome about the middle of 864. He had already caused his appeal to be presented to the pope, but he now explained his case in detail. It was to his interest to quote the authority of the false decretals, and he did not fail to do so. This is proved by a Letter written by Nicholas I on 22 January, 865, dealing with Rothade's appeal. Pope Adrian II (867-872) was acquainted with them, and in a letter dated 26 December, 871, he approves of the translation of Actard, Bishop of Nantes, to the metropolitan See of Tours, and quotes apropos one of the false decretals. Quotations made by Stephen V (885-891) are not conclusive proof that he directly used Isidore's text; and the same may be said of occasional references to it during the tenth century, which occur in the letters of the popes or of the papal legates. However, other authors in Italy show less reserve in using the false decretals. Thus, at the end of the ninth and the beginning of the tenth century they are quoted by Auxilius in the treatises he wrote in defence of the ordinations performed by Pope Formosus (891-896). It is true that Auxilius was born among the Franks, as was also Rathier, Bishop of Verona, who likewise quotes Isidore. Attone of Vercelli, however, was an Italian, and he quotes him. At the end of the ninth century and during the tenth, extracts from the false decretals begin to be included in canon law collections — in the collection dedicated to Bishop Anselm of Milan, in the Réginon collection about 906, among the decrees of Burchard, Bishop of Worms. Nevertheless, until the middle of the eleventh century the false decretals did not obtain an official footing in ecclesiastical legislation. They were nothing more than a collection made in Gaul, and it was only under Leo IX (1048-1054) that they took firm hold at Rome. When the Bishop of Toul became pope and began the reform of the Church by reforming the Roman Curia, he carried with him to Rome the apocryphal collection. Anselm of Lucca, the friend and adviser of Gregory VII, composed an extensive collection of canons among which those of Isidore figure largely. The same thing happened in the case of Cardinal Deusdedit's collection made about the same time. And finally, when in 1140 Gratian wrote his "Decree" he borrowed extensively from Isidore's collection. In such manner it gained an important place in schools of law and jurisprudence. It is true that the Gratian collection had never the sanction of being the official text of ecclesiastical law, but it became the textbook of the schools of the twelfth century, and, even with the false decretals added to it, it retained a place of honour with the faculty of canon law. It was it that supplied the text of the "everyday" instructor on the things most essential to be known. And the faculty of law styled itself faculty of the Decree ; which shows how important a place in the schools was given to the Isidorian texts inserted in the decretals.

INFLUENCE

For a long time the Gallicans and the Protestants dwelt on the innovation contained in these apocrypha and on the rights, altogether novel, which they conferred on the popes and which would never have come to pass had it not been for these forgeries. Nowadays Isidore's aim is understoo

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Félix, Célestin Joseph

French Jesuit, b. at Neuville-sur-l' Escaut (Nord), 28 June 1810; d. at Lille, 7 July, 1891. He ...

Fénelon, François de Salignac de la Mothe-

A celebrated French bishop and author, b. in the Château de Fénelon in ...

Féval, Paul-Henri-Corentin

Novelist, b. at Rennes, 27 September, 1817; d. in Paris, 8 March 1887. He belonged to an old ...

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Förster, Arnold

German entomologist; b. at Aachen, 20 Jan., 1810; d. in the same city, 12 Aug., 1884. His father ...

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Führich, Joseph

(Born 1800; died 1876.) Joseph Führich was as Catholic in his art as in his life. He was ...

Fünfkirchen

( Hungarian PÉCS, QUINQUE ECCLESIENSIS) Located in Hungary, in the ecclesiastical ...

Fürstenberg, Franz Friedrich Wilhelm von

A statesman and educator, b. 7 August, 1729, at Herdringen in Westphalia ; d. 16 September, 1810, ...

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Façade

The face or front of any building. In ecclesiastical architecture the term is generally used to ...

Faa di Bruno, Francesco

An Italian mathematician and priest, born at Alessandria, 7 March, 1825; died at Turin, 26 ...

Faber, Felix

German writer, born about 1441 at Zurich, of a famous family commonly known as Schmid; died in ...

Faber, Frederick William

Oratorian and devotional writer, b. 28 June, 1814, at Calverley, Yorkshire, England ; d. in ...

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Theologian, b. at Leutkirch, in Swabia, 1478; d. in Vienna, 21 May, 1541. He studied ...

Faber, Johann

Johann Faber of Heilbronn, controversialist and preacher; b. 1504, at Heilbronn in Wittenberg ; ...

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Theologian, born at Fribourg, Switzerland, c. 1470; died about 1531. He entered the Dominican ...

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Writer and preacher, born at Altomünster, Germany, 24 February, 1586; died at Tyrnau, 26 ...

Faber, Peter, Saint

Born 13 April, 1506, at Villaret, Savoy ; died 1 Aug., 1546, in Rome. As a child he tended his ...

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(Or Fabri.) Theologian, philosopher and noted commentator of Duns Scotus ; born in 1564, at ...

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(FABIANUS) Pope (236-250), the extraordinary circumstances of whose election is related by ...

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A Roman matron of rank, died 27 December, 399 or 400. She was one of the company of noble Roman ...

Fabre, Joseph

Second Superior General of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, born 14 November, 1824, at Cuges, ...

Fabri, Honoré

(Lefèvre.) Jesuit, theologian, b. about 1607 in the Department of Ain, France ; d. at ...

Fabri, Philip

(Or Fabri.) Theologian, philosopher and noted commentator of Duns Scotus ; born in 1564, at ...

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A Latin term, meaning, etymologically, the construction of a church, but in a broader sense the ...

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(Surnamed ab Aquapendente ). Distinguished Italian anatomist and surgeon, b. in the little ...

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English chronicler, died 28 February, 1513. He was a London clothier, a member of the Drapers' ...

Facciolati, Jacopo

Lexicographer and philologist, b. at Torreglia, near Padua, Italy, 4 Jan., 1682; d. at Padua, 26 ...

Fact, Dogmatic

(1) Definition By a dogmatic fact , in wider sense, is meant any fact connected with a dogma ...

Faculties of the Soul

I. MEANING Whatever doctrine one may hold concerning the nature of the human soul and its ...

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( Latin Facultates ) In law, a faculty is the authority, privilege, or permission, to ...

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A sixth-century Christian author, Bishop of Hermiane in Africa, about whose career very little ...

Faenza

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Canonist, b. in Italy, place and date of birth uncertain; d. in 1678. Some writers place his ...

Fagnano, Guilio Carlo de' Toschi di

Mathematician, born at Sinigaglia, Italy, 26 September, 1682; died there 18 May, 1766. He made ...

Faillon, Etienne-Michel

Historian, born at Tarascon, France, 3 January, 1800; died at Paris, 25 October, 1870. He studied ...

Faith

I. THE MEANING OF THE WORD ( Pistis , fides). In the Old Testament , the Hebrew means ...

Faith, Hope, and Charity (Saints)

The names of two groups of Roman martyrs around whom a considerable amount of legendary lore has ...

Faith, The Rule of

The word rule ( Latin regula , Gr. kanon ) means a standard by which something can be ...

Faithful, The

( Latin fideles , from fides , faith.) Those who have bound themselves to a religious ...

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Painter, b. at Valencia of an ancient noble family in 1641; d. 14 May, 1711. He was a pupil of ...

Faldstool

(Latin faldistorium ; also facistorium, faudestolus, faudestola ). A movable folding ...

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Born 6 Oct., 1707; died 30 Jan., 1784. He was the son of Thomas Falkner, a Manchester ...

Fall River

DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER (RIVERORMENSIS), U.S.A. A suffragan see of the Province of Boston ; ...

Fallopio, Gabriello

Anatomist, "one of the most important of the many-sided physicians of the sixteenth century" ...

Falloux du Coudray

Frédéric Alfred Pierre, Vicomte de Falloux du Coudray Born at Angers, 7 March, ...

False Decretals

(The Decretals of the Pseudo-Isidore) False Decretals is a name given to certain apocryphal ...

Falsity

( Latin Falsitas .) A perversion of truth originating in the deceitfulness of one party, and ...

Famagusta

A titular see in the Island of Cyprus. The name appears to be derived from the Greek ...

Familiars

Strictly speaking, seculars subject to a master's authority and maintained at his expense. In this ...

Family

A term derived from the Latin, famulus , servant, and familia , household servants, or the ...

Fano

(FANENSIS.) Fano, the ancient Fanum Fortunæ, a city of the Marches in the province of ...

Fanon

A shoulder-cape worn by the pope alone, consisting of two pieces of white silk ornamented with ...

Faraud, Henri

Titular Bishop of Anémour and first Vicar Apostolic of Athabasca-Mackenzie , Canada ; ...

Farfa, Abbey of

Situated about 26 miles from Rome, not far from the Farfa Sabina Railway station. A legend in the ...

Fargo

(FARGUS; FARGENSIS) Diocese ; suffragan of St. Paul, U.S.A., embracing the whole of the State ...

Faribault, George-Barthélemy

An archaeologist, b. at Quebec, Canada, 3 Dec., 1789; d. 1866. He was a first cousin of ...

Faribault, Jean-Baptiste

A trader with the Indians and early settler in Minnesota, U.S.A.; b. 19 October, 1774, at ...

Farinato, Paolo

An Italian painter, b. at Verona 1524; d. there, 1606. He belonged to the old Florentine ...

Faringdon, Blessed Hugh

( Vere COOK). English martyr ; b. probably at Faringdon, Berkshire, date unknown; d. at ...

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An ecclesiastical historian, b. at San Daniele del Friuli in the present Italian province of ...

Farnese, Alessandro

The name of two cardinals. For the elder see POPE PAUL III. The young Alessandro Farnese -- ...

Faro

(PHARENSIS) A suffragan of Evora, Portugal, and extending over the province of Algarve. The ...

Faroe Islands

Geography and Statistics A group of Danish islands rising from the sea some four hundred miles ...

Fast

In general abstinence from food or drink, a term common to the various Teutonic tongues. Some ...

Fatalism

Fatalism is in general the view which holds that all events in the history of the world, and, in ...

Fate

( Latin fatum, from fari, to tell or predict ). This word is almost redundant in the ...

Fathers of Mercy, The

A congregation of missionary priests first established at Lyons, France, in 1808, and later at ...

Fathers of the Church

The Appeal to the Fathers Classification of Patristic Writings Apostolic Fathers and the Second ...

Fathers, The Apostolic

Christian writers of the first and second centuries who are known, or are considered, to have had ...

Faunt, Lawrence Arthur

A Jesuit theologian, b. 1554, d. at Wilna, Poland, 28 February, 1590-91. After two years at ...

Fauriel, Charles-Claude

A historian, b. at St-Etienne, France, 27 October, 1772; d. at Paris,15 July, 1844. He studied ...

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Martyrs, members of a noble family of Brescia ; the elder brother, Faustinus, being a priest, ...

Faustus of Riez

Bishop of Riez ( Rhegium ) in Southern Gaul (Provence), the best known and most distinguished ...

Faversham Abbey

A former Benedictine monastery of the Cluniac Congregation situated in the County of Kent ...

Faye, Hervé-Auguste-Etienne-Albann

An astronomer, b. at Saint-Benoît-du-Sault (Indre, France ), Oct., 1814; d. at Paris, 4 ...

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Fe 62

Fear (from a Moral Standpoint)

(CONSIDERED FROM A MORAL STANDPOINT.) Fear is an unsettlement of soul consequent upon the ...

Fear (in Canon Law)

(IN CANON LAW.) A mental disturbance caused by the perception of instant or future danger. ...

Feast of Fools

A celebration marked by much license and buffoonery, which in many parts of Europe, and ...

Feasts, Ecclesiastical

( Latin Festum ; Greek heorte ). Feast Days, or Holy Days, are days which are celebrated in ...

Febronianism

The politico-ecclesiastical system outlined by Johann Nikolaus von Hontheim, Auxiliary Bishop of ...

Feckenham, John de

Last Abbot of Westminster, and confessor of the Faith ; b. in Feckenham Forest, ...

Feder, Johann Michael

A German theologian, b. 25 May, 1753, at Oellingen in Bavaria ; d. 26 July, 1824, at ...

Feilding, Rudolph William Basil

The eighth Earl of Denbigh, and ninth Earl of Desmond, b. 9 April, 1823; d. 1892. He was educated ...

Feilmoser, Andreas Benedict

A theologian and Biblical scholar, b. 8 April, 1777, at Hopfgarten, Tyrol; d. at Tübingen, ...

Felbiger, Johann Ignaz von

A German educational reformer, pedagogical writer, and canon regular of the Order of St. ...

Felician and Primus, Saints

Suffered martyrdom about 304 in the Diocletian persecution. The "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" ...

Felician Sisters, O.S.F.

Founded 21 November, 1855, at Warsaw, Poland, by Mother Mary Angela, under the direction of ...

Felicissimus

A deacon of Carthage who, in the middle of the third century, headed a short-lived but dangerous ...

Felicitas and Perpetua, Saints

Martyrs, suffered at Carthage, 7 March 203, together with three companions, Revocatus, Saturus, ...

Felicitas, Saint

MARTYR. The earliest list of the Roman feasts of martyrs, known as the "Depositio Martyrum" ...

Felix and Adauctus, Saints

Martyrs at Rome, 303, under Diocletian and Maximian. The Acts, first published in Ado's ...

Felix and Nabor, Saints

Martyrs during the persecution of Diocletian (303). The relics of these holy witnesses to the ...

Felix I, Pope Saint

Date of birth unknown; d. 274. Early in 269 he succeeded Saint Dionysius as head of the Roman ...

Felix II

Pope (more properly Antipope ), 355-358; d. 22 Nov., 365. In 355 Pope Liberius was ...

Felix III (II), Pope Saint

(Reigned 483-492). Born of a Roman senatorial family and said to have been an ancestor of ...

Felix IV (III), Pope Saint

(Reigned 526-530). On 18 May, 526, Pope John I died in prison at Ravenna, a victim of the ...

Felix of Cantalice, Saint

A Capuchin friar, b. at Cantalice, on the north-western border of the Abruzzi; d. at Rome, 18 ...

Felix of Nola, Saint

Born at Nola, near Naples, and lived in the third century. After his father's death he ...

Felix of Valois, Saint

Born in 1127; d. at Cerfroi, 4 November, 1212. He is commemorated 20 November. He was surnamed ...

Felix V

Regnal name of Amadeus of Savoy, Antipope (1440-1449). Born 4 December, 1383, died at ...

Feller, François-Xavier de

An author and apologist, b. at Brussels 18 August, 1735; d. at Ratisbon 22 May, 1802. He ...

Feneberg, Johann Michael Nathanael

Born in Oberdorf, Allgau, Bavaria, 9 Feb., 1751; died 12 Oct., 1812. He studied at Kaufbeuren and ...

Fenn, John

Born at Montacute near Wells in Somersetshire; d. 27 Dec., 1615. He was the eldest brother of Ven. ...

Ferber, Nicolaus

A Friar Minor and controversialist, born at Herborn, Germany, in 1485; died at Toulouse, 15 ...

Ferdinand II

Emperor, eldest son of Archduke Karl and the Bavarian Princess Maria, b. 1578; d. 15 February, ...

Ferdinand III, Saint

King of Leon and Castile, member of the Third Order of St. Francis, born in 1198 near ...

Ferdinand, Blessed

Prince of Portugal, b. in Portugal, 29 September, 1402; d. at Fez, in Morocco, 5 June, 1443. He ...

Ferdinando, Luigi, Count de Marsigli

Italian geographer and naturalist, b. at Bologna 10 July, 1658; d. at Bologna 1 Nov., 1730. He ...

Ferentino, Diocese of

(FERENTINUM) In the province of Rome, immediately subject to the Holy See. The town was in ...

Fergus, Saints

St. Fergus Cruithneach Died about 730, known in the Irish martyrologies as St. Fergus ...

Feria

( Latin for "free day"). A day on which the people, especially the slaves, were not obliged ...

Ferland, Jean-Baptiste-Antoine

A French Canadian historian, b. at Montreal, 25 December, 1805; d. at Quebec, 11 January, ...

Fermo, Archdiocese of

(FIRMANA). In the province of Ascoli Piceno (Central Italy ). The great antiquity of the ...

Fernández de Palencia, Diego

A Spanish conqueror and historian; b. at Palencia in the early part of the sixteenth century. ...

Fernández, Antonio

A Jesuit missionary; b. at Lisbon, c. 1569; d. at Goa, 12 November, 1642. About 1602 he was ...

Fernández, Juan

A Jesuit lay brother and missionary; b. at Cordova ; d. 12 June, 1567, in Japan. In a letter ...

Ferns

DIOCESE OF FERNS (FERNENSIS). Diocese in the province of Leinster ( Ireland ), suffragan of ...

Ferrara

A RCHDIOCESE OF F ERRARA (F ERRARIENSIS ). Archdiocese immediately subject to the Holy ...

Ferrari, Gaudenzio

An Italian painter and the greatest master of the Piedmontese School, b. at Valduggia, near ...

Ferraris, Lucius

An eighteenth-century canonist of the Franciscan Order. The exact dates of his birth and death ...

Ferre, Vicente

Theologian, b. at Valencia, Spain ; d. at Salamanca in 1682. He entered the Dominican Order ...

Ferreira, Antonio

A poet, important both for his lyric and his dramatic compositions, b. at Lisbon, Portugal, in ...

Ferrer, Rafael

A Spanish missionary and explorer; b. at Valencia, in 1570; d. at San José, Peru, in ...

Ferrer, Saint Vincent

Famous Dominican missionary, born at Valencia, 23 January, 1350; died at Vannes, Brittany, 5 ...

Ferrières, Abbey of

Situated in the Diocese of Orléans , department of Loiret, and arrondissement of ...

Ferstel, Heinrich, Freiherr von

Architect; with Hansen and Schmidt, the creator of modern Vienna ; b. 7 July, 1828, at Vienna ; ...

Fesch, Joseph

Cardinal, b. at Ajaccio, Corsica, 3 January, 1763; d. at Rome, 13 May, 1839. He was the son of a ...

Fessler, Josef

Bishop of St. Polten in Austria and secretary of the Vatican Council ; b. 2 December, 1813, at ...

Fetherston, Blessed Richard

Priest and martyr ; died at Smithfield, 30 July, 1540. He was chaplain to Catharine of Aragon ...

Feti, Domenico

An Italian painter ; born at Rome, 1589; died at Venice, 1624. He was a pupil of Cigoli ...

Fetishism

Fetishism means the religion of the fetish. The word fetish is derived through the Portuguese ...

Feuardent, François

A Franciscan, theologian, preacher of the Ligue, b. at Coutanees, Normandy, in 1539; d. at ...

Feuchtersleben, Baron Ernst von

An Austrian poet, philosopher, and physician; born at Vienna, 29 April, 1806; died 3 September, ...

Feudalism

Etymology This term is derived from the Old Aryan pe'ku , hence Sanskrit pacu , "cattle"; ...

Feuillants

The Cistercians who, about 1145, founded an abbey in a shady valley in the Diocese of Rieux ...

Feuillet, Louis

(FEUILLÉE) Geographer, b. at Mane near Forcalquier, France, in 1660; d. at Marseilles ...

Feyjóo y Montenegro, Benito Jerónimo

A celebrated Spanish writer, b. at Casdemiro, in the parish of Santa Maria de Molias, Galicia, ...

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Fi 52

Fiacc, Saint

(Lived about 415-520.) A poet, chief bishop of Leinster, and founder of two churches. His ...

Fiacre, Saint

Abbot, born in Ireland about the end of the sixth century; died 18 August, 670. Having been ...

Ficino, Marsilio

A philosopher, philologist, physician, b. at Florence, 19 Oct., 1433; d. at Correggio, 1 Oct, ...

Ficker, Julius

(More correctly Caspar von Ficker). Historian, b. at Paderborn, Germany, 30 April, 1826; d. at ...

Fideism

(Latin fides , faith). A philosophical term meaning a system of philosophy or an ...

Fidelis of Sigmaringen, Saint

Born in 1577, at Sigmaringen, Prussia, of which town his father Johannes Rey was burgomaster; ...

Fiesole

DIOCESE OF FIESOLE (FÆSULANA). Diocese in the province of Tuscany, suffragan of Florence. ...

Figueroa, Francisco de

A celebrated Spanish poet, surnamed "the Divine", b. at Alcalá de Henares, c. 1540, d. ...

Figueroa, Francisco García de la Rosa

Franciscan, b. in the latter part of the eighteenth century at Toluca, in the Archdiocese of ...

Fiji, Vicariate Apostolic of

Comprising the islands belonging to the Fiji Archipelago. This archipelago forms the central ...

Filby, Blessed William

Blessed William Filby Born in Oxfordshire between 1557 and 1560; suffered at Tyburn, 30 May, ...

Filelfo, Franscesco

A humanist, b. at Tolentino, 25 July, 1398; d. at Florence 31 July, 1481. He studied grammar, ...

Filial Church

(Latin filialis , from filia , daughter), a church to which is annexed the cure of souls , ...

Filicaja, Vincenzo da

Lyric poet; born at Florence, 30 December, 1642; died there 24 September, 1707. At Pisa he was ...

Filioque

Filioque is a theological formula of great dogmatic and historical importance. On the one ...

Fillastre, Guillaume

French cardinal, canonist, humanist, and geographer, b. 1348 at La Suze, Maine, France ; d. at ...

Filliucci, Vincenzo

Jesuit moralist; b. at Sienna, Italy, 1566; d. at Rome 5 April, 1622. Having entered the Society ...

Filliucius, Felix

(Or, as his name is more often found, in its Italian form, FIGLIUCCI). An Italian humanist, a ...

Final Perseverance

( Perseverantia finalis ). Final perseverance is the preservation of the state of grace till ...

Finan, Saint

Second Bishop of Lindisfarne ; died 9 February, 661. He was an Irish monk who had been ...

Finbarr, Saint

(Lochan, Barr). Bishop and patron of Cork, born near Bandon, about 550, died at Cloyne, 25 ...

Finch, Ven. John

A martyr, b. about 1548; d. 20 April, 1584. He was a yeoman of Eccleston, Lancashire, and a ...

Finglow, Ven. John

An English martyr ; b. at Barnby, near Howden, Yorkshire; executed at York, 8 August, 1586. He ...

Finland

Note: This article was taken from the 1909 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, and is presented ...

Finnian of Moville, Saint

Born about 495; died 589. Though not so celebrated as his namesake of Clonard, he was the ...

Finotti, Joseph M.

Born at Ferrara, Italy, 21 September, 1817; died at Central City, Colorado, 10 January, 1879. ...

Fintan, Saints

St. Fintan of Clonenagh A Leinster saint, b. about 524; d. 17 February, probably 594, or at least ...

Fioretti di San Francesco d'Assisi

Little Flowers of Francis of Assisi , the name given to a classic collection of popular legends ...

Fire, Liturgical Use of

Fire is one of the most expressive and most ancient of liturgical symbols. All the creeds of ...

Firmament

(Septuagint stereoma ; Vulgate, firmamentum ). The notion that the sky was a vast solid ...

Firmicus Maternus

Christian author of the fourth century; wrote a work "De errore profanarum religionum". Nothing ...

Firmilian

Bishop of Cæsarea in Cappadocia, died c. 269. He had among his contemporaries a reputation ...

First-Born

The word, though casually taken in Holy Writ in a metaphorical sense, is most generally used by ...

First-Fruits

The practice of consecrating first-fruits to the Deity is not a distinctly Jewish one (cf. ...

Fiscal Procurator

( Latin PROCURATOR FISCALIS). The duties of the fiscal procurator consist in preventing ...

Fischer, Antonius

Archbishop of Cologne and cardinal, b. at Julich, 30 May, 1840; d. at Neuenahr, 30 July, 1912. ...

Fish, Symbolism of the

Among the symbols employed by the primitive Christians, that of the fish ranks probably first in ...

Fisher, Philip

(An alias , real name THOMAS COPLEY) Missionary, b. in Madrid, 1595-6; d. in Maryland, U. ...

Fisherman, The Ring of the

The earliest mention of the Fisherman's ring worn by the popes is in a letter of Clement IV ...

Fitter, Daniel

Born in Worcestershire, England, 1628; died at St. Thomas' Priory, near Stafford, 6 Feb., 1700. ...

Fitton, James

Missionary, b. at Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. , 10 April, 1805; d. there, 15 Sept., 1881. His ...

Fitz-Simons, Thomas

American merchant, b. in Ireland, 1741; d. at Philadelphia, U.S.A. 26 Aug., 1811. There is no ...

Fitzalan, Henry

Twelfth Earl of Arundel, b. about 1511; d. in London, 24 Feb., 1580 (O.S. 1579). Son of William, ...

FitzGibbon, Catherine

(Catherine FitzGibbon.) Born in London, England, 12 May, 1823; died in New York, 14 August, ...

Fitzherbert, Anthony, Sir

Judge, b. in 1470; d. 27 May, 1538. He was the sixth son of Ralph Fitzherbert of Norbury, ...

Fitzherbert, Maria Anne

Wife of King George IV; b. 26 July, 1756 (place uncertain); d. at Brighton, England, 29 March, ...

Fitzherbert, Thomas

Born 1552, at Swynnerton, Staffs, England ; died 17 Aug., 1640, at Rome. His father having died ...

Fitzpatrick, William John

Historian, b. in Dublin, Ireland, 31 Aug., 1830; d. there 24 Dec., 1895. The son of a rich ...

Fitzralph, Richard

Archbishop of Armagh, b. at Dundalk, Ireland, about 1295; d. at Avignon, 16 Dec., 1360. He ...

Fitzsimon, Henry

(Fitz Simon). Jesuit, b. 1566 (or 1569), in Dublin, Ireland ; d. 29 Nov., 1643 (or 1645), ...

Fixlmillner, Placidus

Astronomer, b. at Achleuthen near Kremsmünster, Austria, in 1721; d. at Kremsmünster, ...

Fizeau, Armand-Hippolyte-Louis

Physicist, b. at Paris, 23 Sept., 1819; d. at Nanteuil, Seine-et-Marne, 18 Sept., 1896. His ...

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Fl 39

Fléchier, Esprit

Bishop; b. at Pernes, France, 1632; died at Montpellier, 1710; member of the Academy, and ...

Flórez, Enrique

Spanish theologian, archeologist, and historian; born at Valladolid, 14 February, 1701; died at ...

Flabellum

The flabellum, in liturgical use, is a fan made of leather, silk, parchment, or feathers ...

Flaccilla, Ælia

( Plakilla ) Empress, wife of Theodosius the Great , died c. A. D. 385 or 386. Like ...

Flagellants

A fanatical and heretical sect that flourished in the thirteenth and succeeding centuries, Their ...

Flagellation

The history of the whip, rod, and stick, as instruments of punishment and of voluntary penance, ...

Flaget, Benedict Joseph

First Bishop of Bardstown (subsequently of Louisville ), Kentucky, U.S.A. b. at Contournat, ...

Flanagan, Thomas Canon

Born in England in 1814, though Irish by descent; died at Kidderminster, 21 July, 1865. He was ...

Flanders

(Flemish VLAENDEREN; German FLANDEREN; French FLANDRE). Designated in the eighth century a ...

Flandrin, Jean-Hippolyte

French painter, b. at Lyons, 23 March, 1809; d. at Rome, 21 March, 1864. He came of a family of ...

Flathead Indians

A name used in both Americas, without special ethnologic significance, to designate tribes ...

Flathers, Ven. Mathew

( Alias Major). An English priest and martyr ; b. probably c. 1580 at Weston, Yorkshire, ...

Flavia Domitilla

A Christian Roman matron of the imperial family who lived towards the close of the first ...

Flavian, Saint

Bishop of Constantinople, date of birth unknown; d. at Hypæpa in Lydia, August, 449. ...

Flavias

A titular see of Cilicia Secunda. Nothing is known of its ancient name and history, except that ...

Flavigny, Abbey of

A Benedictine abbey in the Diocese of Dijon, the department of Côte-d'Or, and ...

Flaviopolis

A titular see in the province of Honorias. The city, formerly called Cratia, originally belonged ...

Flemael, Bertholet

(The name was also spelled FLEMALLE and FLAMAEL). Painter, b. at Liège, Flanders, in ...

Fleming, Patrick

Franciscan friar b. at Lagan, Couny Louth, Ireland, 17 April, 1599; d. 7 November, 1631. His ...

Fleming, Richard

(FLEMMING, FLEMMYNGE). Bishop of Lincoln and founder of Lincoln College, Oxford; b. of a ...

Fleming, Thomas

Archbishop of Dublin, son of the Baron of Slane, b. in 1593; d. in 1665. He studied at thy ...

Fletcher, John

A missionary and theologian, b. at Ormskirk, England, of an old Catholic family ; educated at ...

Flete, William

An Augustinian hermit friar, a contemporary and great friend of St. Catherine of Siena ; the ...

Fleuriot, Zénaide-Marie-Anne

A French novelist, b. at Saint-Brieuc, 12 September, 1829; d. at Paris, 18 December, 1890. She ...

Fleury, Abbey of

( More completely FLEURY-SAINT-BENOÎT) One of the oldest and most celebrated ...

Fleury, André-Hercule de

Born at Lodève, 26 June, 1653; died at Paris, 29 January, 1742. He was a ...

Flodoard

(Or FRODOARD) French historian and chronicler, b. at Epernay in 894; d. in 966. He was ...

Flood of Noah

Deluge is the name of a catastrophe fully described in Genesis 6:1 - 9:19 , and referred to in the ...

Floreffe, Abbey of

Pleasantly situated on the right bank of the Sambre, about seven miles southwest of Namur, ...

Florence

(Latin Florentia ; Italian Firenze ). ARCHDIOCESE OF FLORENCE (FLORENTINA). Located in ...

Florence of Worcester

English chronicler; all that is known of his personal history is that he was a monk of ...

Florence, Council of

The Seventeenth Ecumenical Council was, correctly speaking, the continuation of the Council of ...

Florentina, Saint

Virgin ; born towards the middle of the sixth century; died about 612. The family of St. ...

Florian, Jean-Pierre Claris, Chevalier de

Born at the château of Florian (Gard), 6 March, 1755; died at Sceaux, 13 September, 1794. An ...

Florians, The

(Floriacenses), an altogether independent order, and not, as some consider, a branch of the ...

Florida

The Peninsular or Everglade State, the most southern in the American Union and second largest east ...

Florilegia

Florilegia (Lat., florilegium, an anthology) are systematic collections of excerpts (more or ...

Florus

A deacon of Lyons, ecclesiastical writer in the first half of the ninth century. We have no ...

Floyd, John

English missionary, wrote under the names Flud, Daniel à Jesu, Hermannus Loemelius, George ...

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Fo 64

Fogaras

ARCHDIOCESE OF FOGARAS (FOGARASIENSIS). Archdiocese in Hungary, of the Greek-Rumanian Rite. It ...

Foggia

DIOCESE OF FOGGIA (FODIANA). Diocese in the province of the same name in Apulia (Southern ...

Foillan, Saint

( Irish FAELAN, FAOLAN, FOELAN, FOALAN.) Represented in iconography with a crown at his ...

Folengo, Teofilo

An Italian poet, better known by his pseudonyrn MERLIN COCCALO or COCAI; b. at Mantua in 1496; ...

Foley, Henry

Born at Astley in Worcestershire, England, 9 Aug., 1811; died at Manresa House, Roehampton, 19 ...

Foligno

DIOCESE OF FOLIGNO (FULGINATENSIS). Diocese in the province of Perugia, Italy, immediately ...

Foliot, Gilbert

Bishop of London, b. early in the twelfth century of an Anglo-Norman family and connected ...

Folkestone Abbey

Folkestone Abbey -- more correctly FOLKESTONE PRIORY -- is situated in the east division of ...

Fonseca Soares, Antonio da

(ANTONIO DAS CHAGAS). Friar Minor and ascetical writer; b. at Vidigueira, 25 June, 1631; d. at ...

Fonseca, José Ribeiro da

Friar Minor ; b. at Evora, 3 Dec., 1690; d. at Porto, 16 June, 1752. He was received into the ...

Fonseca, Pedro Da

A philosopher and theologian, born at Cortizada, Portugal, 1528; died at Lisbon, 4 Nov., 1599. ...

Fontana, Carlo

An architect and writer; b. at Bruciato, near Como, 1634; d. at Rome, 1714. There seems to be no ...

Fontana, Domenico

A Roman architect of the Late Renaissance, b. at Melide on the Lake of Lugano, 1543; d. at ...

Fontana, Felice

Italian naturalist and physiologist, b. at Pomarolo in the Tyrol, 15 April, 1730; d. at Florence, ...

Fontbonne, Jeanne

In religion Mother St. John, second foundress and superior-general of the Sisters of St. Joseph ...

Fonte-Avellana

A suppressed order of hermits, which takes its name from their first hermitage in the Apennines. ...

Fontenelle, Abbey of

(Or ABBEY OF SAINT WANDRILLE). A Benedictine monastery in Normandy ...

Fontevrault, Order and Abbey of

I. CHARACTER OF THE ORDER The monastery of Fontevrault was founded by Blessed Robert ...

Fonts, Holy Water

Vessels intended for the use of holy water are of very ancient origin, and archaeological ...

Fools, Feast of

A celebration marked by much license and buffoonery, which in many parts of Europe, and ...

Foppa, Ambrogio

Generally known as CARADOSS0. Italian goldsmith, sculptor, and die sinker, b. at Mondonico in ...

Forbes, John

Capuchin, b. 1570; d. 1606. His father, John, eighth Lord Forbes, being a Protestant, and his ...

Forbin-Janson, Comte de Charles-Auguste-Marie-Joseph

A Bishop of Nancy and Toul, founder of the Association of the Holy Childhood , born in Paris, ...

Forcellini, Egidio

Latin lexicographer, b. at Fener, near Treviso, Italy, 26 Aug., 1688; d. at Padua, 4 April, ...

Ford, Blessed Thomas

Born in Devonshire; died at Tyburn, 28 May, 1582. He incepted M.A. at Trinity College, Oxford, 14 ...

Fordham University

Fordham University developed out of Saint John's College, founded by Bishop Hughes upon the old ...

Foreman, Andrew

A Scottish prelate, of good border family ; b. at Hatton, near Berwick-on-Tweed; d. 1522. His ...

Forer, Laurenz

Controversialist, b. at Lucerne, 1580; d. at Ratisbon, 7 January, 1659. He entered the Society ...

Foresters, Catholic Orders of

I On 30 July, 1879, some members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Boston, Massachusetts, ...

Forgery, Forger

If we accept the definition usually given by canonists, forgery ( Latin falsum ) differs very ...

Forli

(FOROLIVIENSIS) Diocese in the province of Romagna (Central Italy ); suffragan of Ravenna. ...

Form

(Latin forma; Greek eidos, morphe, he kata ton logon ousia, to ti en einai : Aristotle) ...

Formby, Henry

Born 1816; died at Normanton Hall, Leicester, 12 March, 1884. His father, Henry Grenehalgh Formby, ...

Formosus, Pope

(891-896) The pontificate of this pope belongs to that era of strife for political supremacy ...

Formularies

(LIBRI FORMULARUM) Formularies are medieval collections of models for the execution of ...

Forrest, William

Priest and poet; dates of birth and death uncertain. Few personal details are known of him. He ...

Forster, Fobrenius

Prince-Abbot of St. Emmeram at Ratisbon, b. 30 Aug., 1709, at Königsfeld in Upper Bavaria ...

Forster, Thomas Ignatius Maria

Astronomer and naturalist, b. at London, 9 Nov., 1789; d. at Brussels, 2 Feb., 1860. His literary ...

Fort Augustus Abbey

St. Benedict's Abbey, at Fort Augustus, Inverness-shire, is at present the only monastery for ...

Fort Wayne

DIOCESE OF (WAYNE CASTRENSIS). The Diocese of Vincennes, Indiana, U.S.A. established in ...

Fortaleza, Diocese of

(FORTALEXIENSIS) The Diocese of Fortaleza is co-extensive with the State of Ceará in ...

Fortescue, Blessed Adrian

Knight of St. John, martyr, b. about 1476, executed 10 July, 1539. He belonged to the Salden ...

Fortitude

(1) Manliness is etymologically what is meant by the Latin word virtus and by the Greek andreia ...

Fortunato of Brescia

Morphologist and Minorite of the Reform of Lombardy ; b. at Brescia, 1701; d. at Madrid, ...

Fortunatus

Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus A Christian poet of the sixth century, b. ...

Forty Hours' Devotion

Also called Quarant' Ore or written in one word Quarantore , is a devotion in which continuous ...

Forty Martyrs

A party of soldiers who suffered a cruel death for their faith, near Sebaste, in Lesser Armenia, ...

Forum, Ecclesiastical

That the Church of Christ has judicial and coercive power is plain from the constitution given ...

Fossano

DIOCESE OF FOSSANO (FOSSANENSIS). Fossano is a town in the province of Cuneo, in Piedmont, ...

Fossombrone

DIOCESE OF FOSSOMBRONE (FOROSEMPRONIENSIS). Diocese in the province of Pesaro, Italy, a ...

Fossors

(Latin fossores , fossarii from fodere , to dig). Grave diggers in the Roman ...

Foster, John Gray

Soldier, convert, b. at Whitfield, New Hampshire, U.S.A. 27 May, 1823; d. at Nashua, New ...

Fothad, Saint

Surnamed NA CANOINE ("of the Canon"). A monk of Fahan-Mura, County Doneval, Ireland, at the ...

Fouard, Constant

An ecclesiastical writer b. at Elbeuf, near Rouen, 6 Aug. 1837; his early life was a ...

Foucault, Jean-Bertrand-Léon

A physicist and mechanician, b. at Paris, 19 Sept., 1819; d. there 11 Feb., 1868. He received ...

Foulque de Neuilly

A popular Crusade preacher, d. March, 1202. At the end of the twelfth century he was ...

Foundation

( Latin fundatio; German Stiftung ) An ecclesiastical foundation is the making over of ...

Foundling Asylums

Under this title are comprised all institutions which take charge of infants whose parents or ...

Fountains Abbey

A monastery of the Cistercian Order situated on the banks of the Skell about two and a half ...

Fouquet, Jehan

(Or J EAN F OUQUET ) French painter and miniaturist, b. at Tours, c. 1415; d. about 1480. ...

Four Crowned Martyrs

The old guidebooks to the tombs of the Roman martyrs make mention, in connection with the ...

Four Masters, Annals of the

The most extensive of all the compilations of the ancient annals of Ireland. They commence, ...

Fowler, John

Scholar and printer, b. at Bristol, England, 1537; d. at Namur, Flanders, 13 Feb., 1578-9. He ...

Foxe's Book of Martyrs

John Foxe was born at Boston in Lincolnshire, England, in 1516, and was educated at Magdalen ...

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Fr 82

Fréchette, Louis-Honoré

Born at Notre-Dame de Lévis, P.Q., Canada, 16 November, 1839; died 30 May, 1908. He ...

Fréjus

DIOCESE OF FRÉJUS (FORUM JULII). Suffragan of Aix ; comprises the whole department of ...

Fra Angelico

A famous painter of the Florentine school, born near Castello di Vicchio in the province of ...

Fractio Panis

(BREAKING OF BREAD.) The name given to a fresco in the so-called "Capella Greca" in the ...

France

The fifth in size (usually reckoned the fourth) of the great divisions of Europe. DESCRIPTIVE ...

Frances d'Amboise, Blessed

Duchess of Brittany, afterwards Carmelite nun, b. 1427; d. at Nantes, 4 Nov., 1485. The daughter ...

Frances of Rome, Saint

(Bussa di Leoni.) One of the greatest mystics of the fifteenth century; born at Rome, of a noble ...

Franceschini, Marc' Antonio

Italian painter ; b. at Bologna, 1648; d. there c. 1729; best known for the decorative works he ...

Franchi, Ausonio

The pseudonym of CRISTOFORO BONAVINO, philosopher ; b. 24 February, 1821, at Pegli, province of ...

Francia

(FRANCESCO RAIBOLINI) A famous Bolognese goldsmith, engraver, and artist, b. about 1450; d. in ...

Francis Borgia, Saint

(Spanish F RANCISCO DE B ORJA Y A RAGON ) Francis Borgia, born 28 October, 1510, was the ...

Francis Caracciolo, Saint

Co-founder with John Augustine Adorno of the Conregation of the Minor Clerks Regular ; b. in Villa ...

Francis de Geronimo, Saint

(Girolamo, Hieronymo). Born 17 December, 1642; died 11 May, 1716. His birthplace was ...

Francis de Sales, Saint

Bishop of Geneva, Doctor of the Universal Church ; born at Thorens, in the Duchy of Savoy, 21 ...

Francis I

King of France ; b. at Cognac, 12 September, 1494; d. at Rambouillet, 31 March, 1547. He was the ...

Francis Ingleby, Venerable

English martyr, born about 1551; suffered at York on Friday, 3 June, 1586 (old style). According ...

Francis of Assisi, Saint

Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181 or 1182 -- the exact year ...

Francis of Fabriano, Blessed

Priest of the Order of Friars Minor ; b. 2 Sept., 1251; d. 22 April, 1322. His birth and ...

Francis of Paula, Saint

Founder of the Order of Minims; b. in 1416, at Paula, in Calabria, Italy ; d. 2 April, 1507, at ...

Francis of Vittoria

A Spanish theologian ; b. about 1480, at Vittoria, province of Avila, in Old Castile ; d. 12 ...

Francis Regis Clet, Blessed

A Lazarist missionary in China ; b. 1748, martyred, 18 Feb., 1820. His father was a merchant ...

Francis Solanus, Saint

South American missionary of the Order of Friars Minor ; b. at Montilla, in the Diocese of ...

Francis Xavier, Saint

Born in the Castle of Xavier near Sanguesa, in Navarre, 7 April, 1506; died on the Island of ...

Francis, Rule of Saint

As known, St. Francis founded three orders and gave each of them a special rule. Here only the ...

Franciscan Crown

( Or Seraphic Rosary.) A Rosary consisting of seven decades in commemoration of the seven ...

Franciscan Order

A term commonly used to designate the members of the various foundations of religious, whether men ...

Franck, Kasper

A theologian and controversialist; b. at Ortrand, Saxony, 2 Nov., 1543; d. at Ingolstadt, 12 ...

Franco, Giovanni Battista

(Frequently known as IL SEMOLIE) Italian historical painter and etcher, b. at Udine in ...

Frank, Michael Sigismund

Catholic artist and rediscoverer of the lost art of glass-painting; b. 1 June, 1770, at ...

Frankenberg

JOHANN HEINRICH, GRAF VON FRANKENBERG. Archbishop of Mechlin (Malines), Primate of ...

Frankfort, Council of

Convened in the summer of 794, by the grace of God, authority of the pope, and command of ...

Frankfort-on-the-Main

Frankfort-on-the-Main, formerly the scene of the election and coronation of the German emperors, ...

Franks, The

The Franks were a confederation formed in Western Germany of a certain number of ancient ...

Franzelin, Johann Baptist

Cardinal and theologian ; b. at Aldein, in the Tyrol, 15 April, 1816; d. at Rome, 11 Dec., ...

Frascati

DIOCESE OF FRASCATI (TUSCULANA). One of the six suburbicarian (i.e. neighbouring) dioceses ...

Frassen, Claude

A celebrated Scotist theologian and philosopher of the Order of Friars Minor ; b. near ...

Fraternal Correction

Fraternal correction is here taken to mean the admonishing of one's neighbor by a private ...

Fraticelli

(Or F RATRICELLI ) A name given to various heretical sects which appeared in the fourteenth ...

Fraud

In the common acceptation of the word, an act or course of deception deliberately practised with ...

Fraunhofer, Joseph von

Optician, b. at Straubing, Bavaria, 6 March, 1787; d. at Munich, 7 June, 1826. He was the tenth ...

Frayssinous, Denis de

1765-1841, Bishop of Hermopolis in partibus infidelium , is celebrated chiefly for his ...

Fredegarius

The name used since the sixteenth designate the supposed author of an anonymous historical ...

Fredegis of Tours

(Fridugisus or Fredegisus). A ninth-century monk, teacher, and writer. Fredegis was an ...

Frederick I (Barbarossa)

German King and Roman Emperor, son of Frederick of Swabia (d. 1147) and Judith, daughter of Henry ...

Frederick II

German King and Roman Emperor, son of Henry VI and Constance of Sicily; born 26 Dec., 1194; died ...

Fredoli, Berenger

Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati ; b. at Vérune, France, c. ú d. at Avignon, 11 June, ...

Free Church of Scotland

(Known since 1900 as the UNITED FREE CHURCH) An ecclesiastical organization in Scotland ...

Free Will

RELATION OF THE QUESTION TO DIFFERENT BRANCHES OF PHILOSOPHY HISTORY Free Will in Ancient ...

Free-Thinkers

Those who, abandoning the religious truths and moral dictates of the Christian Revelation, and ...

Freeman, Ven. William

A priest and martyr, b. at Manthorp near York, c. 1558; d. at Warwick, 13 August, 1595. His ...

Freemasonry

The subject is treated under the following heads: I. Name and Definition;II. Origin and Early ...

Fregoso, Federigo

Cardinal ; b. at Genoa, about 1480; d. 22 July, 1541; belonged to the Fregosi, one of the four ...

Freiburg

City, archdiocese, and university in the Archduchy of Baden, Germany . THE CITY Freiburg in ...

Fremin, James

Jesuit missionary to the American Indians ; b. at Reims, 12 March, 1628; d. at Quebec, 2 July, ...

French Academy, The

The French Academy was founded by Cardinal de Richelieu in 1635. For several years a number of ...

French Catholics in the United States

The first Bishop of Burlington, the Right Reverend Louis de Goesbriand, in a letter dated 11 ...

French Concordat of 1801, The

This name is given to the convention of the 26th Messidor, year IX (July 16, 1802), whereby Pope ...

French Literature

Origin and Foundations of the French Language When the Romans became masters of Gaul, they imposed ...

French Revolution

The last thirty years have given us a new version of the history of the French Revolution, the ...

French, Nicholas

Bishop of Ferns, Ireland, b. at Ballytory, Co. Wexford, in 1604, his parents being John ...

Freppel, Charles-Emile

Born at Ober-Ehnheim, Alsace, 1 June, 1827; died at Paris, 22 Dec., 1891. He was Bishop of ...

Frequent Communion

Without specifying how often the faithful should communicate, Christ simply bids us eat His Flesh ...

Fresnel, Augustin-Jean

Physicist; b. at Broglie near Bernay, Normandy, 10 May, 1788; d. at Ville d'Avray, near Paris, ...

Friar

[From Lat. frater , through O. Fr. fredre, frere, M. E. frere; It. frate (as prefix ...

Friars Minor, Order of

(Also known as FRANCISCANS.) This subject may be conveniently considered under the following ...

Fribourg, University of

From the sixteenth century, the foundation of a Catholic university in Switzerland had often ...

Fridelli, Xavier Ehrenbert

(Properly FRIEDEL.) Jesuit missioner and cartographer, b. at Linz, Austria, 11 March, 1673; ...

Frideswide, Saint

(FRIDESWIDA, FREDESWIDA, French FRÉVISSE, Old English FRIS). Virgin, patroness of ...

Fridolin, Saint

Missionary, founder of the Monastery of Säckingen, Baden (sixth century). In accordance with ...

Friedrich von Hausen

(HUSEN) Medieval German poet, one of the earliest of the minnesingers; date of birth ...

Friends of God

( German G OTTESFREUNDE ). An association of pious persons, both ecclesiastical and lay, ...

Friends, Society of

The official designation of an Anglo - American religious sect originally styling themselves ...

Frigolet, Abbey of

The monastery of St. Michael was founded, about 960, at Frigolet, by Conrad the Pacific, King ...

Fringes (in Scripture)

This word is used to denote a special kind of trimming, consisting of loose threads of wool, silk, ...

Fritz, Samuel

A Jesuit missionary of the eighteenth century noted for his exploration of the Amazon River and ...

Froissart, Jean

French historian and poet, b. at Valenciennes, about 1337, d. at sentence -->Chimay early ...

Fromentin, Eugène

French writer and artist; b. at La Rochelle, 24 October, 1820; d. at Saint-Maurice, near La ...

Frontal, Altar

The frontal ( antipendium, pallium altaris ) is an appendage which covers the entire front of ...

Frontenac, Louis de Baude

A governor of New France, b. at Paris, 1622; d. at Quebec, 28 Nov., 1698. His father was captain ...

Frowin, Blessed

Benedictine abbot, d. 11 March, 1178. Of the early life of Frowin nothing is known, save that he ...

Fructuosus of Braga, Saint

An Archbishop, d. 16 April, c. 665. He was the son of a Gothic general, and studied in Palencia. ...

Fructuosus of Tarragona, Saint

A bishop and martyr ; d. 21 January, 259. During the night of 16 January, he, together with ...

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Fu 21

Fuchs, Johann Nepomuk von

A chemist and mineralogist, b. at Mattenzell, near Bremberg, Lower Bavaria, 15 May, 1774; d. at ...

Fulbert of Chartres

Bishop, b. between 952 and 962; d. 10 April, 1028 or 1029. Mabillon and others think that he was ...

Fulcran, Saint

Bishop of Lodève; d. 13 February, 1006. According to the biography which Bernard Guidonis, ...

Fulda

DIOCESE OF FULDA (FULDENSIS). This diocese of the German Empire takes its name from the ...

Fulgentius Ferrandus

A canonist and theologian of the African Church in the first half of the sixth century. He was ...

Fulgentius, Saint

A Bishop of Ecija (Astigi), in Spain, at the beginning of the seventh century. Like his brothers ...

Fulgentius, Saint

(FABIUS CLAUDIUS GORDIANUS FULGENTIUS). Born 468, died 533. Bishop of Ruspe in the province ...

Fullerton, Lady Georgiana Charlotte

Novelist; born 23 September, 1812, in Staffordshire, died 19 January, 1885, at Bournemouth. She ...

Fullo, Peter

Intruding Monophysite Patriarch of Antioch ; d. 488. He received the Greek surname Gnapheus ...

Fumo, Bartolommeo

A theologian, b. at Villon near Piacenza ; d. 1545. At an early age he entered the Dominican ...

Funchal

(FUNCHALENSIS.) Diocese in the Madeira Islands. Both in neo-Latin and in Portuguese the name ...

Fundamental Articles

This term was employed by Protestant theologians to distinguish the essential parts of the ...

Funeral Dues

The canonical perquisites of a parish priest receivable on the occasion of the funeral of any of ...

Funeral Pall

A black cloth usually spread over the coffin while the obsequies are performed for a deceased ...

Funk, Franz Xaver von

Church historian, b. in the small market town of Abtsgemünd in Würtemberg, 12 October, ...

Furness Abbey

Situated in the north of Lancashire about five miles from the town of Ulverston. Originally a ...

Furni

A titular see in Proconsular Africa, where two towns of this name are known to have existed. One ...

Furniss, John

A well-known children's missioner, born near Sheffield, England, 19 June, 1809; at Clapham, ...

Fursey, Saint

An Abbot of Lagny, near Paris, d. 16 Jan., about 650. He was the son of Fintan, son of Finloga, ...

Fussola

A titular see in Numidia. It was a fortified town, inhabited for the most part by Donatists ...

Fust, John

( Or FAUST.) A partner of Gutenberg in promoting the art of printing, d. at Paris about ...

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