Droste Zu Vischering, Clemens August von
DROSTE ZU VISCHERING, CLEMENS AUGUST VON
Archbishop of Cologne; b. Münster (Westphalia), Germany, Jan. 21, 1773; d. Münster, Oct. 19, 1845. He came from a noble, conservative family, studied at the University of Münster, journeyed to Rome, and moved in the circle of Princess Amalia gallitzin previous to his ordination (1798) after insufficient theological training. He then assisted the vicar-general of Münster until 1807 and directed the administration of the diocese (1807–21). Because of differences with the Prussian government concerning the teachings of Georg hermes, he resigned his post and led a retired life (1821–27), dedicated to asceticism, charity, and the direction of the Sisters of Charity of Münster (Clemens Sisters), founded by him (1808). After his brother Kaspar became bishop of Münster, he was consecrated his auxiliary (1827). On the recommendation of the Prussian crown prince he succeeded Ferdinand spiegel as archbishop of cologne (1836). Droste was zealous and deeply pious; but his autocratic, aloof, and inflexible character did not attract the Rhinelanders. His fideistic type of piety, severed from scientific theology, increased the harshness of his opposition to the followers of Hermes, whose rationalistic ideas had been condemned by Rome (1835). The cologne mixed mar riage dispute involved him in open conflict with prus sia. When Droste renounced Spiegel's arrangements on mixed marriages, he was imprisoned without trial (1837). Pope Gregory XVI solemnly protested this act of violence, Johann von gÖrres was moved to compose his celebrated tract Athanasius, and German Catholics were roused to struggle for freedom against state overlordship in religious matters. King Friedrich Wilhelm IV (1840–61) restored peace with the Church. Droste received a personal apology, but had to surrender the administration of his see to Johannes von geissel, his codajutor (1842). Thereafter Droste retired to Münster. The adherence of the "confessor bishop" to his convictions impressed contemporaries, but his bluntness intensified unnecessarily the Church-State conflict.
Bibliography: h. schrÖrs, Die Kölner Wirren (Berlin 1927). r. lill, Die Beilegung der Kölner Wirren 1840–1842 (Düsseldorf 1962). w. lipgens, Neue deutsche Biographie (Berlin 1953–) 4:133–135. w. mÜller, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912–) 14:815–820.
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