Johann Faber
Johann Faber
     Johann Faber
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Johann Faber
    Theologian, b. at Leutkirch, in Swabia, 1478; d. in Vienna, 21 May, 1541.
    He studied theology and canon law at Tübingen and Freiburg in the Breisgau; was made doctor of sacred theology in Freiburg; became in succession minister of Lindau, Leutkirch; Vicar-General of Constance, 1518; chaplain and confessor to King Ferdinand I of Austria, 1524; was appointed Bishop of Vienna, 1530. While a canon of the cathedral of Basle he formed a friendship with Erasmus that lasted throughout their lives; Erasmus persuaded Faber to take up the study of the Fathers.
    Like others of his time Faber was at first friendly with the Reformers, Melanchthon, Zwingli, and Oecolampandius, sympathizing with their efforts at reform and opposing certain abuses himself; but when he realized that neither dogma nor the Church herself was spared by the Reformers, he broke with them and became their most consistent opponent. He wrote his first polemic against Luther, "Opus adversus nova quaedam dogmata Martini Lutheri" (1552). This was soon followed by his "Malleus Haereticorum, sex libris ad Hadrianum VI summum Pontificem" (Cologne, 1524; Rome, 1569). From this latter work he is sometimes called the "hammer of heretics". He entered into public debate with Zwingli at Zurich; was prominent in all the diets held to restore peace to the Church; and was one of the committee appointed to draw up a refutation of the Confession of Augsburg. On some points, e.g. the celibacy of the clergy, he was willing to recognize certain unfortunate conditions if an agreement could be reached to prevent similar conditions in the future, but no agreement was possible. He was sent by Ferdinand to Spain and then to Henry VIII in England to seek aid against the invading Turks; Ferdinand also had him enlist the services of the University of Vienna to combat the spread of the doctrines of Luther in Austria. As bishop his zeal was unbounded; he protected his flock by frequent preaching and numerous writings, and he held regular conferences with his clergy. He founded twelve scholarships for boys who wished to become priests but did not have the means to realize their ambition.
    His works (German and Latin) are homiletical and polemical in character. Besides those already mentioned he wrote treatises on faith and good works, on the Sacrifice of the Mass; an instruction and answer to Luther's work against the King of England; a treatise against the more recent tenets of Luther; a comparison of the writings of Hus and Luther; the power of the pope in the case of Luther; an answer to six articles of Zwingli; defence of catholic belief against the chief Anabaptist, Balthasar of Friedberg; a book on the religion of the Russians; sermons on the misery of life and on the Blessed Sacrament; sermons of consolation and courage while the Turks were besieging Vienna. His works in three folio volumes (Cologne, 1537-40) do not contain his polemical writings; these are found in "Opuscula quaedam Joannis Fabri, Episcopi Viennensis (Leipzig, 1539).
    Transcribed by Gerald M. Knight
     Johann Faber
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Johann Faber
    Johann Faber of Heilbronn, controversialist and preacher; b. 1504, at Heilbronn in Wittenberg; d. at Augsburg, 27 Feb., 1558. At the age of sixteen he entered the Dominican Order and made his ecclesiastical studies in the convent at Wimpfen. Of his earliest missionary labours little is known. In 1534 he was charged with the duty of preaching in the cathedral of Augsburg, but owing to the Lutheran heresies and the bitter attitude of the heretics towards the Church, in consequence of which the Catholic clergy were forbidden to preach, his usefulness there was of short duration. Thence he went to the University of Cologne, where he devoted himself for several years to the higher clerical studies. Here he published in 1535 and 1536 several unedited works of the English mystic, Richard Rolle. Returning to Wimpfen he engaged in the work of preaching and refuting the errors of the Reformers, which had already taken deep root among a large portion of the people. His unwearied zeal, however, in upholding the ancient Faith and the marvellous results attending it, caused his enemies to turn against him with such bitterness that he was forced to leave the city. In 1539, at the solicitation of the citizens of Colmar, he proceeded to that city, where the new doctrines had by this time gained considerable ground. On 2 Sept. of the same year he matriculated at the University of Freiburg as "Concionator Colmarensis", and it was at this time, in all probability, that he received the baccalaureate. In 1545 he was elected prior of the convent in Schlettstadt, but he had served only two years in this capacity when he was again appointed to take charge of the pulpit in the cathedral of Augsburg. Being compelled to abandon it once more in 1552, he proceeded to the University of Ingolstadt, where he received the degree of Doctor of Theology under the presidency of Peter Canisius, who succeeded him later in the pulpit of Augsburg. In the following year he returned again to Augsburg, where he died. Faber was a man of vast theological erudition. His zeal to stem the tide of heresy and the invincible courage he evinced in exposing the prevailing errors brought him into conflict with many heretical leaders. He is the author of a number of excellent works, including the following:
    (1) "Quod fides esse possit sine caritate, expositio pia et catholica" (Augsburg, 1548);
    (2) "Testimonium Scripturae et Patrum B. Petrum apostolum Romae fuisse" (Antwerp, 1553);
    (3) "Grundliche und christliche Anzeigungen aus der heiligen Schrift und heiligen Kirchenlehrern was die evangelische Messe sei" (Dillingen, 1558);
    (4) "Enchiridion Bibliorum concionatori in popularibus declamationibus utile" (Cologne, 1568);
    (5) "Precationes Christianae ex sacris litteris et D. Augustino singulario studio concinnatae et selectae" (Cologne, 1586).
    Transcribed by Gerald M. Knight

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

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