A distinguished theologian of Louvain ; born 1522; died 1566. He had been teaching for eight years in Parc, the Dominican house near Louvain, when he was appointed professor of theology at the university. Like Baius, who was his senior colleague, Hessels preferred drawing his theology from the Fathers, especially from Augustine, rather than from the Schoolmen, without, however, ever swerving from traditional doctrine. In 1559 he accompanied the elder Jansen (later Bishop of Ghent, died 1576) and Baius to Trent and took an active part in the council, e.g. he prepared the decree "De invocatione et reliquiis sanctorum et sacris imaginibus". Even at Trent the Scholastic party found fault with his departure from the beaten tracks of learning; after his return the attacks continued. Hessels, however, used his energy against the Protestants instead of wasting it in dogmatic quarrels. He upheld the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (impugned by Baius ), and he is a protagonist of papal infallibility in his "De perpetuitate Cathedræ Petri et ejus indefectibilitate", which is an appendix to his polemical work "Confutatio novitiae fidei quam specialem vocant, adv. Johannem Monhemium" (Louvain, 1565) His other polemical works are: "De invocatione sanctorum . . . censura" (1568); "Probatio corporalis præsentiæ corporis et sanguinis dominici in Eucharistia (Cologne, 1563); "Confutatio confessionis hæreticæ, teutonice emissæ, qua ostenditur Christum esse sacrificium propitiatorium" (Louvain, 1565); "Oratio de officio pii viri exsurgente et vigente hæresi" (Louvain, 1565); "Declaratio quod sumptio Eucharistiæ sub unica panis specie neque Christi præcepto aut institutioni adversetur" (Louvain). He also wrote commentaries: "De Passione Domini" (Louvain, 1568); "de I Tim. et I Petri" (Louvain, 1568); "Com. de Evang. Matthæi" (Louvain, 1572); "Com. de Epp. Johannis" (Douai, 1601). His chief dogmatic work is an excellent "Catechism", first published in 1571, by Henry Gravius, who removed from it all traces of Baianism. Hessels is not a brilliant writer, but his judgment is accurate and all his work most conscientious.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online