Alfonso de Castro

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Theologian; b. Zamora, Spain, 1495; d. Brussels, Feb. 3, 1558. De Castro entered the Franciscan Order at Salamanca in 1511; he studied theology there and later at the University of Alcalá. He occupied a chair of theology at Salamanca for 30 years, meanwhile doing occasional preaching in Germany, England, and at the court of Charles V. In 1530 he took part in a debate on the validity of the marriage of Henry VIII and wrote a treatise on the subject that was posthumously published at Lyons in 1568. As theologian to Cardinal Pacheco at the first session of the Council of Trent, he was active in the discussions of original sin and the canon of Sacred Scripture. He became so skilled in the knowledge of penal law that he came to be known as "princeps poenalistarum." In 1557 he was named archbishop of Compostela, but died before being consecrated. Among his works are: Adversus omnes haereses lib. XIV (Paris 1534), which catalogues and refutes the heresies from the time of the Apostles to the 16th century; Homiliae 25 in Ps. 50 (Salamanca 1537); Homiliae 24 in Ps. 31 (Salamanca 1540); De justa haereticorum punitione (Salamanca 1547); and De potestate legis poenalis (Salamanca 1550).

Bibliography: l. wadding, Scriiptores Ordinis Minorum (Quaracci-Florence 1931) 18:132134.

[b. cavanaugh]