An auxiliary Bishop of Trier ; born at Trier, 27 January, 1701; died at Montquentin, near Orval, 2 Sept., 1790. The son of Karl Caspar von Hontheim and of Anna Margareta von Anethan, he received his early education from the Jesuits of Trier, with whom he subsequently had little sympathy. He afterwards attended the Universities of Trier, Louvain, and Leyden, where he devoted himself to the study of law and theology. The works of Van Espen, the Louvain professor, and his Gallican doctrine influenced him greatly. He became a doctor of law at Trier in 1724, and then made an educational tour through various countries — Holland, Belgium, Germany, and Italy — and spent three years in Rome. Having become a priest 22 May, 1728, he was received without delay among the Canons of St-Simeon at Trier, in the prebend which his uncle, Hugo Frederick von Anethan, had given him when he reached the age of twelve years, at which time he had received the tonsure. He also discharged other ecclesiastical functions, and in 1732 became professor of the Pandects at the University of Trier. In 1738 he went to Coblenz where he discharged the duties of official and president of the Grand Séminaire of that city. He left Coblenz in 1747 on account of ill-health, and returned to Trier, where he became in 1748 dean of the chapter of St-Simeon, auxiliary bishop, and vicar-general. He received episcopal consecration at Mainz, 16 February, 1749, with the title of Bishop of Myriophytos (Greece) in partibus infidelium . To these already absorbing duties he added those of vice-chancellor of the university. In 1763 he published his famous work "Justini Febronii jurisconsulti de statu Ecclesiæ et legitimâ potestate Romani pontificis liber singularis", which aroused so much controversy (see FEBRONIANISM ).
In 1778 he asked and received the nomination of a second auxiliary bishop, and in the next year on 21 April, resigned his duties as dean of the collegiate church of St-Simeon. It was not until two years before he died that he renounced with complete sincerity his erroneous doctrines. He was a man of short stature, energetic, hard-working, pious, and generous. His great fault was to have upheld and propagated Gallican doctrines in Germany. Apart from several juridical dissertations and lectures — e.g., "De jurisprudentia naturali et summo imperio" (1724); "Normæ studiorum pro universitate Trevirensi et gymnasio Confluentino" (1751); "Argumenta psalmorum et canticorum" (1759) — his principal works are "Historia Trevirensis diplomatica et pragmatica" (3 vols., Augsburg, 1750); "Prodromus historiæ Trevirensis" (2 vols., Augsburg, 1757) and his works on the constitution of the Church : "De statu ecclesiæ", mentioned above, and its successive editions (1763-70) and supplements (II, III, IV, the last in 2 parts, 1770-74); "Justinus Febronius abbreviatus et emendatus" (Cologne and Frankfort, 1777); "Justini Febronii commentarius in suam retractionem" (Frankfort, 1781). The city of Trier possesses an unedited work by him, viz, the "Historiæ scriptorum et monumeutorum Treviren. amplissima collectio".
St Bartolomew Holy Card
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 in fifteen hardcopy 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