Döllinger, Johann Joseph Ignaz von

Döllinger, Johann Joseph Ignaz von
(1799–1890)
   Historian and Sect Founder.
   Döllinger was born in Bavaria. He was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1822 and he taught Church history at the Universities of Aschaffenburg and Munich. A friend of newman, Gladstone and lamennais, his early ultramontane opinions were gradually eroded. He was the author of many books, including Reformation (3 volumes) and Christientum und Kirche. He disapproved of the papal decree of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and he attacked the notion of papal infallibility in newspaper articles. These were later published as The Pope and the Council. He was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church for his refusal to accept the decree of the First Vatican Council and subsequently he was one of the founders of the Old Catholic Church. He also took part in discussions with members of the Church of England and the Orthodox Church and must be seen as an early ecumenist. In the end, however, he rejected some of the innovations of the Old Catholics and he seems to have died isolated from any branch of the Church.
   Lord Acton, ‘Döllinger’s historical work’, English Historical Review, v (1890);
   E.W. Kemp, ‘The Church of England and the Old Catholic Churches’, in E.G.W. Bill (ed.), Anglican Initiatives in Christian Unity (1967).

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