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Forgery, Forger

If we accept the definition usually given by canonists, forgery ( Latin falsum ) differs very slightly from fraud. "Forgery", says Ferraris, who claims that his definition is the usually accepted one, "is a fraudulent interference with, or alteration of, truth, to the prejudice of a third person ". It consists in the deliberate untruthfulness of an assertion, or in the deceitful presentation of an object, and is based on an intention to deceive and to injure while using the externals of honesty. Forgery is truly a falsehood and a fraud, but it is something more. It includes fraudulent misdemeanours in matters regulated by the law, and endangering the public peace. These misdemeanours are divided by canon law writers into three classes — according as the crime is committed by word, by writing, or by deed. The principal crime in each of these classes being false witness, falsification of public documents, and counterfeiting money. A fourth category consists in making use of such forgery, and is equivalent to forgery proper. This classification, while slightly superficial, is exact, and presupposes the fundamental malice of the crime in question, viz., that it is prejudicial to public security and injurious to the interests of society at large, rather than to those of the individual.

Social order is seriously affected by false witness, which cripples the operation of justice ; by the change or alteration of public documents, which hinders a right and proper administration of public affairs, and lastly, by the coining of base money, which hampers trade and commerce. If forgery is committed by public officials in violation of their professional duties, the crime becomes more serious, and more prejudicial to public order. The interests of private individuals, therefore, while not excluded, are secondary when this offence is in question, and it is for this reason that the penalties incurred by forgery, or complicity therein, are independent of the amount of damage it inflicts on individuals. Oral forgeries, e.g. false oaths, false witness (canonists add the crime of the judge who knowingly pronounces an unjust sentence ), are treated under TRIAL; OATH; WITNESS; JUDGE. On the other hand false coinage does not immediately concern ecclesiastical law, though some attention is paid it in the "Corpus Juris Canonici" and in various canon law treatises. John XXII punished false coinage by excommunication (Extrav. "Gradiens", Joan. XXII, de crimine falsi) and compared forgers to alchemists (Extrav. "Spondent", inter comm.). In many dioceses this crime was long a reserved sin (e.g. in Naples ; "Prompta Bibliotheca", s. v.; see Neapolitan edition of Ferraris, s. v. Falsum , n. 35). By such penal measures the ecclesiastical authority merely assisted in suppressing a crime gravely prejudicial to civil welfare; it did not come before it as a crime against ecclesiastical law.

We are here concerned only with forgery properly so-called, i.e. the falsification of public documents and writings, especially Apostolic letters. What is here said of latter, is also applicable, in due measure, to all public documents emanating from the Roman Curia or episcopal courts. The canonical legislation on this matter is better understood when we recall that the more usual form of this crime, and the source of judicial inquiries and consequent penalties, was the production of absolutely false documents and the alteration of authentic decisions, for the sake of certain advantages, e.g. a benefice, or a favourable verdict.

The forging of documents for purely historical purposes, with no intention of influencing administrative or legislative authority, does not fall within our scope. (For an account of several such forgeries see A. Giry, "Manuel de diplomatique", Paris, 1894, II, 861-87, and Wattenbach, "Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen", 9th ed. appendix.) We are concerned only with the falsification of Apostolic Letters, the only form of forgery that incurs excommunication ipso facto specially reserved to the pope. The most serious form of forgery is that committed by a public functionary charged to draw up or authenticate official documents, who violates his professional duties, by the fabrication of false documents, by forging a signature, by fraudulent use of an official seal, a stamp, or the like. There is no precise text in canon law punishing these crimes, and canonists always refer to Roman law, especially to the Lex Cornelia "de crimine falsi" (ff. XLVIII). Nevertheless in ecclesiastical law they are serious crimes; and instances might be given of officials of the Roman Curia who suffered death for such forgeries. Domenico of Viterbo and Francesco Maldente were tried and executed for this crime in 1489. They had forged, among other documents, a Bull authorizing the priests of Norway to celebrate Mass without wine ( Benedict XIV, "De Beatif.", II, c. XXXII, n. 2; Pastor, "History of the Popes ", tr. V, 351). Again the subdatarius, Francesco Canonici, called Mascabruno, was condemned to death on 5 April, 1652, for many forgeries discovered only on the eve of his elevation to the cardinalate.

Canon law deals mainly with the attempt to put forgeries to a specific use. It connects forgery and the use of forged documents, on the presumption that he who would make use of such documents must be either the author or instigator of the forgery. In canon law, forgery consists not only in the fabrication or substitution of an entirely false document, "as when a false bulla, or seal, is affixed to a false letter" (Licet v, "De crimine falsi"), but even by partial substitution, or by any alteration affecting the sense and bearing of an authentic document or any substantial point, such as names, dates, signature, seal, favour granted, by erasure, by scratching out or by writing one word over another, and the like. The classical and oft-commented text on this matter is the chapter Licet v, "De crimine falsi" in which Innocent III (1198) points out to the bishop and chapter of Milan nine species of forgery which had come under his notice. This famous instruction was given in order to enable his correspondents to guard against future fraud. Following his teaching the gloss on this chapter enumerates among the six points a judge should examine into in order to discover a forgery:

Forma, stylus, filum, membrana, litura, sigillum.
Haec sex falsata dant scripturam valere pusillum.

In other words a document is suspect,

  • If its outward appearance differs greatly from the usual appearance of such documents.
  • If the style varies from the usual manner of the Curia. Chapter iv, "De crimine falsi" gives us an example of this: Innocent III declares a Bull false wherein the pope addresses a bishop as "Dear Son" and not as "Venerable Brother", or in which any other person than a bishop is styled "Venerable Brother" instead of "Dear Son", or in which the plural vos is used to address a single individual.
  • If the thread which ties the leaden seal to the Bull is broken.
  • If the parchment bears traces of a doubtful origin (just as we distinguish the water-marks and letter-heads of modern documents).
  • If there are any erasures, or words scratched out.
  • If the seal is not intact, or is not clearly defined.

If a judge discovers an evident forgery he ought to repudiate the document and punish the guilty party; but in case he considers it merely doubtful he ought to make inquiries at the office of the Roman Curia which is supposed to have issued it.

Substitution of false documents and tampering with genuine ones was quite a trade in the Middle Ages. In the chapter Dura vi, "De crimine falsi", written in 1198, ( pars decisa ), Innocent III relates that he had discovered and imprisoned forgers who had prepared a number of false Bulls, bearing forged signatures either of his predecessor or of himself. To obviate abuses, he orders under pain of excommunication or suspension that pontifical Bulls be received only from the hands of the pope or of the officials charged to deliver them. He orders bishops to investigate suspicious letters, and to make known, to all those having forged letters, that they are bound to destroy them, or to hand them over within twenty days, under pain of excommunication. The same pope legislated severely against forgery and the use of forged documents. In the chapter Ad falsariorum, vii, "De crimine falsi", written in 1201, forgers of Apostolic Letters, whether the actual criminals or their aiders and abetters, are alike excommunicated, and if clerics, are ordered to be degraded and given over to the secular arm.

Whoever makes use of Apostolic Letters is invited to assure himself of their authenticity, since to use forged letters is punished in the case of clerics by privation of benefice and rank, and in the case of laymen by excommunication. The excommunication threatened by Innocent III, and extended to the forgery of supplicas or pontifical dispensations, was incorporated in the Bull "In Cœna Domini" (no. 6), and passed thence with some modifications into the constitution "Apostolicæ Sedis", where it is number 9 among the excommunications latœ sententiœ specially reserved to the pope. It affects "all falsification of Apostolic Letters, even in the form of Briefs, and supplicas concerning favours sought or dispensations asked for, which have been signed by the Sovereign Pontiff, or the vice-chancellors of the Roman Church or their deputies, or by order of the pope ", also all those who falsely publish Apostolic Letters, even those in the form of Brief ; lastly, all those who falsely sign these documents with the name of the Sovereign Pontiff, the vice-chancellor or their deputies. The documents in question here are of two sorts:

  • Apostolic Letters, in which the pope himself speaks, whether they are in the form of Bulls or Briefs;
  • Supplicas or requests addressed to the pope to obtain a favour, and to which, in proof that the request is granted, the pope or the vice-chancellor or some other official attaches his signature.

It is from these supplicas thus signed that the official document conveying the concession is drawn up. Consequently rescripts of the Roman Congregations and of other offices, which are not signed by the pope or by his order, do not come under this heading.

The acts of falsification herein punished by excommunication are fewer than formerly. In the first place, the principal crime is the only one dealt with; the aiders and abettors of the forgery are not mentioned. In the next place, by a strict interpretation, allowable in penal matters but; certainly opposed to the spirit of the Decretals of Innocent III, recent canonists exempt from the ipso facto censure forgers of entire Apostolic Letters, and bring under it only those who seriously alter authentic documents. It is certain, in any case, that the word fabricantes of the Bull "In Cœna Domini" becomes publicantes in the Constitution "Apostolicæ Sedis". There are therefore three acts contemplated by the latter text; the falsification, in the strict sense of the word, of Apostolic Letters and supplicas; the publication of false Apostolic Letters ; the forging of signatures to supplicas. The "publication" which incurs this censure is not the material divulgation of a document, but presupposes that such document is offered as, and affirmed to be, authentic. Supplicas with forged signatures it would be useless to publish since they cannot take the place of the official document conveying the concession; but the officials issuing Apostolic Letters on the strength of such signed supplicas would have been misled by the false signature. It must be remembered that all other forms of forgery which escape the ipso facto excommunication are subject to penalties and censures " ferendœ sententiœ " according to the gravity of the case.

To have their full official weight before a tribunal, public documents must be presented either in the original, or in copies certified by some public officer. Hence the note of falsification does not attach to reproductions devoid of all guarantee of authenticity ; nevertheless such reproductions are sometimes seriously criminal because of the perverse intention of their authors. Leitner ("Præl. Jur. Can." lib. V, tit. xx, in a note) gives two examples of fraudulent reproductions of this nature. Frederick II of Prussia forged a Brief of Clement XIII, and dated it 30 January, 1759, by which the pope was made to send his congratulations and a blessed sword to the Austrian Marshal Daun, after the battle of Hochkirch. A Bull purporting to be by Pius IX, dated 28 May, 1873, modifying the law in vigour for the election of a pope was forged, with the connivance at least, of the Prussian Government. Another false document, published by many newspapers in 1905, authorized the marriage of priests in South America, but no one placed any credence in it. (See BULLS AND BRIEFS.)

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(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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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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