Reform-minded Italian bishop and author; b. Vincenza, c. 1479; d. Rome, 1524. His writings indicate a thorough humanistic and theological training. Around 1494 he joined the Benedictines, becoming abbot c. 1504, but transferring to the Carthusians in 1508. Dissatisfied with the conditions in the Church, he left the contemplative life and entered politics. Espousing conciliar theory, he became the guiding spirit of a small group of cardinals who, supported by Maximilian I and Louis XII, called a general council (Conciliabulum) to meet at Pisa (1511). As secretary of the sparsely attended council, he published the Apologia sacri Pisani concilii moderni, drawing on Jean Gerson's theory of devolution and the decrees Sacrosancta and Frequens. Pope Julius II deflated the conciliar movement by issuing Sacrosancta Romanae ecclesiae (July 1511), convening the Lateran Council (1512), and excommunicating the participants in the Conciliabulum. Ferreri took refuge in France. Upon Leo X's accession (1513), he dedicated a poem to him in which he urged Church reform. He was absolved by Leo and appointed referendary. In 1519 he was named bishop of Guardalfiera, then nuncio to Russia and Poland (1519–21). In Thorn (Torun, 1520) he convened a synod to counter the spread of Lutheranism and published his Oratorio habita Thuronii and Vita Casimiri ex Poloniae (both Cracow 1521). To Adrian VI he addressed De reformatione ecclesiae suasoria … ad Hadrianum VI (Venice 1523), impassionately urging Church reform. His Hymni novi ecclesiastici (Rome 1525), revisions of hymns, were published as part of a general reform of the Roman Breviary initiated by Leo X. Contemporaries hailed Ferreri's pure Latin style. In humanistic exuberance, he referred to the Holy Trinity as triforme numen Olympi, to the Mother of God as nympha candidissima, and to God as deorum maximus rector.
Bibliography: b. morsolin, Zaccaria Ferreri (Vicenza 1877) j. klotzner, Kardinal D. Jacobazzi und sein Konzilswerk (Rome 1948) 227–236. w. mÜller, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 1957–65) 4:91–92.
[f. f. strauss]