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Zeger Bernhard van Espen

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(also called ESPENIUS)

A Belgian canonist, born at Louvain, 9 July, 1646; died at Amersfoort, Netherlands, 2 Oct., 1728. He completed his higher studies at Louvain, became priest in 1673, and doctor of civil and canon law in 1675. He soon began to teach canon law at the University of Louvain where he was obliged to lecture only for six weeks during the summer vacation; the professor might explain one or other important chapter of the decretals, at his choice. He never accepted any other chair at the university, and he resigned even this position in order to devote himself entirely to study. He was consulted by all classes on account of his profound learning in canon law, and his famous work, "Jus canonicum universum", although it raised numerous just criticisms, still remains remarkable. The author is accused, not without reason, of having borrowed considerably from the works of his predecessors, notably from Thomassin, yet it must be recognized that Van Espen possessed the art of setting forth in a lucid and intelligible way the discipline of the ancient Church ; he also cast light upon questions which up to his time had been very obscure. His clear and concise style gives to his work a value which the labours of his predecessors do not possess. He collected the most recent legislative decisions of the Church and discussed them with judgment, except where party spirit blinded him. He had also the incontestable merit of showing with precision the special law of Belgium. Benedict XIV recognized his authority in this matter. On the other hand he was a strenuous defender of the Gallican theories. He misconstrued the right of religious authority and exaggerated beyond measure the right of the civil power. It may be added, however, that he exalted and combated in turn all power, even the civil power. He exalted the power of the bishops in order to lessen that of the religious orders, and the rights of an extinct chapter in order to combat the powers of the pope. He gained for himself unpleasant notoriety in the Jansenist conflicts, by denying the importance of the famous distinction between right and fact with regard to the doctrine of Jansen; he declared that it was of little consequence to admit that Jansen had taught the propositions condemned by the Bull "Unigenitus" (1713) provided the doctrine itself was rejected.

The Jansenist quarrels led to Van Espen's ruin. On being consulted by the Jansenists of Holland with regard to the ordination of the Jansenist Bishop of Utrecht, Cornelius Steenoven, he pronounced in favour of this ordination, which had been performed without the authorization of the Holy See. An unsuccessful attempt has been made to justify Van Espen's conduct in this matter, on the ground that he merely declared that episcopal ordination performed by a single bishop was valid. This was not the whole question, nor was it indeed the principal question, viz. to determine whether an episcopal ordination, performed without the pope's consent, was admissible. His action in this matter and his Jansenist doctrines brought about his suspension a divinis by the Bishop of Mechlin. The latter summoned him to make a declaration of orthodox faith. At the order of the civil power, the University of Louvain condemned and deprived (1728) Van Espen of his university functions. In the meantime he fled, and took refuge first at Maastricht, and afterwards at Amersfoort, where he found protection in the Jansenist community, and where he died. The Augustinian Désirant, professor at the University of Louvain, is accused of having fabricated false documents in the controversy with Van Espen. This struggle is known as the "Forgery of Louvain ". Désirant was condemned by the academical authorities and banished forever from his native country. The best edition of the works of Van Espen, all of which are on the Index, is that published in four volumes at Louvain, 1753. A fifth volume, "Supplementum ad varias collectiones operum", was published at Brussels in 1768, and contains numerous biographical details.

More Volume: Z 78

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Article
Zádori, János

Janos Zadori

(DREXLER). Ecclesiastical writer, born at Katloez, County of Neutra, Hungary, 6 March, 1831; ...
Zängerle, Roman Sebastian

Roman Sebastian Zangerle

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Zabarella, Francesco

Francesco Zabarella

Cardinal, celebrated canonist, born at Padua, 10 August, 1360; died at Constance, 26 September, ...
Zabulon

Zabulon

One of the twelve sons of Jacob and ancestor of the tribe of the same name ( Genesis 46:14 ; ...
Zacatecas

Zacatecas

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Zaccaria, Francesco Antonio

Francesco Antonio Zaccaria

Theologian, historian, and prolific writer, born at Venice, 27 March, 1714; died in Rome, 10 ...
Zacconi, Ludovico

Lucovico Zacconi

Musical theorist, born at Pesaro about 1550; died at Venice, after 1623. He became an ...
Zacharias

Zacharias

( Hebrew zekharyahu and zekharyah ; meaning " Yahweh remembers ", Sept. Zacharia and ...
Zacharias Chrysopolitanus

Zacharias Chrysopolitanus

A famous exegete of the Premonstratensian Order ; born at Chrysopolis ( Besançon ); ...
Zachary, Canticle of

The Benedictus

The Benedictus, given in Luke 1:68-79, is one of the three great canticles in the opening ...
Zachary, Pope Saint

Pope St. Zachary

(ZACHARIAS.) Reigned 741-52. Year of birth unknown; died in March, 752. Zachary sprang from a ...
Zahle and Forzol

Zahle and Forzol

A Greco-Melchite diocese. In the seventeenth, or perhaps in the sixteenth, century the diocese ...
Zakho

Zakho

A diocese of Chaldea. It corresponds to the ancient Diocese of Maalta, formerly a suffragan of ...
Zallinger zum Thurn, Jacob Anton

Jacob Anton Zallinger Zum Thurn

Philosopher and canonist, born at Bozen, 26 July, 1735, died there, 11 January, 1813. He studied ...
Zallwein, Gregor

Gregor Zallwein

Canonist, born at Oberviechtach, Oberpfalz, 20 October, 1712; died at Salzburg, 6 or 9 August, ...
Zalvidea, José Maria de

Jose Maria de Zalvidea

Born at Bilbao, Vizeaya, Spain, 2 March, 1780; d. in 1846. He became a Franciscan at the ...
Zama

Zama

Titular see of Numidia. There were two sees of this name: Zama Major and Zama Minor. Zama ...
Zambesi Mission

Zambesi Mission

The prefecture comprises all Rhodesia south of the Zambesi, that part of Bechuanaland which is ...
Zamboanga, Diocese of

Zamboanga

(ZAMBOANGENSIS). Philippine Islands. It includes the islands of Basilan, Camiguin, Dinagat, ...
Zamboni, Giuseppe

Giuseppe Zamboni

Priest and physicist, born at Venice, June, 1776; died there 25 July 1846. Shortly after ...
Zamora

Zamora

Vicariate Apostolic in South Ecuador, created 3 February, 1893, by Leo XIII. The second ...
Zamora

Zamora (Mexico)

(ZAMORENSIS). The Diocese of Zamora, located in the Republic of Mexico, comprises almost ...
Zamora

Zamora (Spain)

(ZAMORENSIS), suffragan of Valladolid. It is bounded on the north by Leon, on the east by ...
Zampieri, Domenico

Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri)

Properly DOMENICO ZAMPIERI. An Italian painter, born in Bologna, 21 Oct., 1581; died in ...
Zante

Zante

(ZACYNTHOS). This Greek diocese, the only suffragan of the Archdiocese of Corfu , is ...
Zantedeschi, Francesco

Francesco Zantedeschi

Priest and physicist, born 1797; died at Padua, 29 March, 1873. For some time Abate Zantedeschi ...
Zanzibar

Zanzibar

At a very remote unknown period the eastern coast of Africa was colonized by Asiatic nations, ...
Zapoteca Indians

Zapoteca Indians

A powerful and numerous Mexican tribe located chiefly in Oaxaca and Guerrero, forming with the ...
Zara

Zara

(JADERA). Located in Dalmatia. Zara has been a diocese since A.D. 381 and since 1146 an ...
Zarai

Zarai

Titular see of Numidia in Africa, mentioned by the "Itinerarium Antonini", 35, and by the "Tabula ...
Zarlino, Gioseffe

Gioseffe Zarlino

Italian musical theorist, born at Chioggia in 1517; died at Venice, 4 February, 1590. He ...
Zasius, Ulric

Ulric Zasius

A famous jurist, born at Constance in 1461; died at Freiburg, 24 Nov., 1536. After studying at ...
Zeal

Zeal

(From delos , a derivative of deo "to boil", to "throb with heat"), is "a necessary effect ...
Zegers, Nicholas Tacitus

Nicholas Tacitus Zegers

Famous exegete, born either at Diest or Brussels during the latter half of the fifteenth ...
Zela

Zela

Titular see of Asia Minor, suffragan of Amasea in the Helenopontus. In pagan times the city, ...
Zell, Karl

Karl Zell

Statesman, philologist, and defender of the rights of the Church, b. at Mannheim, 8 April, 1793; ...
Zell, Ulrich

Ulrich Zell

Publisher, the first printer of Cologne, born at Hanau-on-the-Main, date unknown; died about ...
Zengg-Modrus

Zengg-Modrus

(SEGNIENSIS ET MOD-RUSIENSIS SEU CORBAVIENSIS). Located in Hungary ; suffragan of Agram. The ...
Zeno of Elea

Zeno of Elea

Greek philosopher, born at Elea, about 490 B.C. At his birthplace Xenophanes and Parmenides had ...
Zeno, Saint

St. Zeno

Entered in the Roman Martyrology on 12 April as a Bishop of Verona martyred under Gallienus. ...
Zenobius, Saint

St. Zenobius

Bishop of Florence and one of the patrons of that city, b. there in the latter part of the ...
Zenonopolis

Zenonopolis

Titular see of Asia Minor, suffragan of Seleucia Trachaea in Isauria. The abbreviated form used ...
Zephaniah

Sophonias (Zephaniah)

The ninth of the twelve Minor Prophets of the Canon of the Old Testament ; preached and wrote ...
Zephyrinus, Pope Saint

Pope St. Zephyrinus

(Reigned 198-217). Date of birth unknown; died 20 Dec., 217. After the death of Pope Victor in ...
Zephyrium

Zephyrium

A titular see in Cilicia Prima, of Tarsus. Nothing is known of the history of Zephyrium, ...
Zeugma

Zeugma

A titular see of Syria, suffragan of Hierapolis, in the Province of the Euphratensis. The city ...
Zeuss, Johann Kaspar

Johann Kaspar Zeuss

Born at Vogtendorf, in Upper Franconia, 22 July, 1806; d. there, 10 Nov., 1856. He was the founder ...
Ziegelbauer, Magnoald

Magnoald Ziegelbauer

Historian, born at Ellwangen, Swabia, 1689; died at Olmütz, 14 January, 1750. He took vows ...
Ziegler, Gregorius Thomas

Gregorius Thomas Ziegler

Bishop of Linz, born at Kirchheim near Augsburg, 7 March, 1770; died at Linz, 15 April, 1852. ...
Zierikzee, Cornelius van

Cornelius van Zierikzee

Born at Zierikzee (whence he takes his surname), a town in the Province of Zeeland, Holland, ...
Zigliara, Tommaso Maria

Tommaso Maria Zigliara

( Baptismal name, FRANCESCO). Cardinal, theologian, and philosopher, b. at Bonifacio, a ...
Zimmer, Patrick Benedict

Patrick Benedict Zimmer

Philosopher and theologian, b. at Abtsgmund, Wurtenberg, 22 Feb., 1752; d. at Stenheim near ...
Zingarelli, Niccolò Antonio

Niccolo Antonio Zingarelli

Composer, born at Naples, 4 April, 1752; died at Torre del Greco, 5 May, 1837. Having studied at ...
Zingerle, Pius

Pius Zingerle

Celebrated Orientalist, born at Meran, in the Tyrol, 17 March, 1801; died at the Abbey of ...
Zionists

Zionists

Zionists are followers of the movement to segregate the Jewish people as a nation and to give it ...
Zionites

Zionites

A sect of visionary fanatics which flourished in the eighteenth century at Ronsdorf in the Duchy ...
Zips

Zips

(SZEPES; SCEPUSIENSIS). A diocese in Hungary, suffragan of Agria (Eger), founded by Maria ...
Zircz

Zircz

ZIRCENSIS or BOCCON. Cistercian abbey, situated in the Diocese of Veszprém , ...
Zita's Home for Friendless Women, Saint

St. Zita's Home For Friendless Women

Founded at 158 East 24th Street, New York, by Ellen O'Keefe (Mother Zita) in 1890. Born in County ...
Zita, Saint

St. Zita

Model and heavenly patroness of domestic servants, born early in the thirteenth century of a ...
Zoara

Zoara

A titular see of Palestina Tertia. It is the ancient Bala or Segor, one of the five cities of ...
Zoega, Jörgen

Jorgen Zoega

(GEORGE). Archaeologist and numismatist, born at Daler near Tönder, near the west coast ...
Zolkiewski, Stanislaus

Stanislaus Zolkiewski

Chancellor of Poland, born in Tuyrnka (Red Russia ), 1547; died at Cecora, 6 Oct., 1620. He ...
Zonaras, John

John Zonaras

Byzantine chronicler and canonist, lived from the latter part of the eleventh to about the ...
Zoque Indians

Zoque Indians

A Mexican tribe dwelling in the western part of Chipas, north of the Sierra Madre, and part of ...
Zosimus

Zosimus

Byzantine historian of the fifth and sixth century; dates of birth and death unknown. Nothing ...
Zosimus, Pope Saint

Pope St. Zosimus

(Reigned 417-18). Year of birth unknown; died 27 December, 418. After the death of Pope Innocent ...
Zuñi Indians

Zuni Indians

A Pueblo tribe residing at Zuñi on the bank of the Rio Zuñi near the boundary of ...
Zucchetto

Zucchetto

( zucca , head). The small, round skullcap of the ecclesiastic. The official name is ...
Zulia, Diocese of

Zulia

(Zuliensis.) Comprises the State of Zulia in the Republic of Venezuela. The Diocese of Zulia was ...
Zululand

Zululand

A territory in South Africa lying between 28° and 29° S. Latitude and inhabited by the ...
Zumárraga, Juan de

Juan de Zumarraga

Born at Durango in the Basque provinces in 1468; died in Mexico, 3 June, 1548. He entered the ...
Zurbaran, Francisco

Francisco Zurbaran

Born in the suburb of Fuente de Cantos in Estramadure, on the boundaries of Andalusia, Nov., ...
Zurich

Zurich

The capital of the Swiss canton of the same name which is the second largest and richest of the ...
Zurla, Giacinto Placido

Giacinto Placido Zurla

Cardinal Vicar of Rome, writer on medieval geography, born at Legnano, of noble parents, 2 ...
Zwettl

Cistercian Abbey of Zwettl

(CLARAVALLIS AUSTRIAE). A filiation of Heiligenkreuz, of the line of Morimond, situated in ...
Zwingli, Ulrich

Ulrich Zwingli

(Also, Huldreich ) Founder of the Reformation in Switzerland, born at Wildhaus in ...
Zwirner, Ernst Friedrich

Ernst Friedrich Zwirner

Architect, born at Jakobswalde in Silesia in 1802; died at Cologne in 1861. He studied at ...

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