Skip to content

Franz Wilhelm, Count von Wartenberg

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Bishop of Osnabrück and cardinal, eldest son of Duke Ferdinand of Bavaria and his morganatic wife Maria Pettenbeckin, born at Munich, 1 March, 1593; died at Ratisbon, 1 December, 1661. He was educated by the Jesuits, at Ingolstadt (1601-8), and at the Germanicum in Rome (1608-14). In 1621 he became manager of the governmental affairs of the Elector Ferdinand of Cologne, who appointed him president of his council and brought him to the Diet of Ratisbon in 1622. On 26 Oct., 1625, he was elected Bishop of Osnabrück, receiving papal approbation 25 April, 1626. The Catholic Faith in Osnabrück was then in a deplorable condition. The three preceding bishops had been Protestants and had replaced most of the Catholic priests by Protestant preachers. Cardinal Eitel Friedrich, who succeeded them, endeavoured to restore the Catholic religion but soon died. With the help of Tilly Wartenberg took possession of his see (12 March, 1628), which had been occupied by Danish soldiers. He began the work of Counter-Reformation with great zeal ; drove the Protestant preachers from the city and restored the churches to the Catholics. He eliminated the anti-Catholic element from the city council; took the system of education into his own hands; turned the former Augustinian convent over to the Jesuits whom he engaged as teachers at the Gymnasium Carolinum; restored various religious communities and established new ones; held synods and visitations, enforced the Tridentine decrees where possible and, in 1631, founded a university which, however, was destroyed by the Swedes in 1633.

 St. Benedict Home Blessing Door Hanger  BOGO 50% OFF

Wartenberg was commissioned with the execution of the Edict of Restitution (1629) in Lower Saxony, and was elected later to the provostry of the collegiate church of Bonn. He was chosen Bishop of Verden (1630), Minden (1631), and appointed Vicar Apostolic of Bremen by Innocent X (1645). In 1633 Osnabrück capitulated to the Swedes and Wartenberg had to yield his see to Gustavus of Wasaburg, an illegitimate son of Gustavus Adolphus. During his forced exile, Wartenberg, who had not yet received any of the major orders, was ordained priest and consecrated bishop at Ratisbon in 1636. In 1641 he went to Rome and upon his return was elected Coadjutor Bishop of Ratisbon cum jure successionis , succeeding on 9 April, 1650. In the negotiations of the Peace of Westphalia (1645-8) he represented the Catholic electors. Though preventing the intended secularization of his see by the Swedes, he had to yield to the stipulation that after his death the See of Osnabrück should be alternately administered by a Protestant and by a Catholic bishop. Wartenberg was to keep the See of Osnabrück, but the Sees of Verden, Minden, and Bremen fell into the hands of Protestants, Wartenberg, however, retaining spiritual jurisdiction over them. On 18 Dec., 1650, he took possession of the See of Osnabrück and laboured to restore the Catholic religion. On 5 April, 1661, he was created cardinal-priest by Alexander VII.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.