John of Falkenberg

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Polish Dominican, polemicist, b. Danzig, Pomerania, c. 1365; d. Legnica, Poland, c. 1435. He entered the Order of Preachers and spent his novitiate at Kammin in his native Pomerania. In 1385 he was master of theology at the studium in Vienna, in 1408 he was preaching in Prague, and in 1411 he functioned as inquisitor at Magde-burg. In opposition to the Dominican Master General Leonard de Datis, Falkenberg declared himself a supporter of gregory xii (140615), the Pope in Rome during the western schism. In 1406 Falkenberg attacked Matthew of Cracow. In the long altercation between the Teutonic Knights and the Polish King, he allied himself with the former; in a violent tractate (or Satira ), De monarchia mundi, written in 1410, he defended the cause of the Knights against the king. During the Council of con stance he maintained the morality of tyrannicide as advocated by Joannes Parvus and wrote his Tres tractuli in answer to Gerson, Peter of Ailly, and others who condemned the works of Parvus. Nicholas, Archbishop of Gniezno, insisted that the council examine the De monarchia and a conciliar committee ordered it burned (1417). A chapter of the Dominican Order at Strasbourg in 1417 also condemned the work and sentenced Falkenberg to life imprisonment. The Poles and Lithuanians at Constance continued to urge the council as a whole to condemn Falkenberg for heresy, but Pope Martin V refused to ratify any such sentence, saying that he confirmed only what the council had done conciliariter circa materiam fidei. However, when the pope returned to Rome (May 1418), he took Falkenberg with him and kept him in confinement until 1424.

Bibliography: j. quÉtif and j. Échard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum (New York 1959) 1.2:760761. b. bess, "Johannes Falkenberg, O.P. und der preussisch-polnische Streit vor dem Konstanzer Konzil," Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte 16 (1896) 385464. g. sommerfeldt, "Johann Falkenberg," Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 39 (1915) 803805. h. finke, ed., Acta concilii Constanciensis 4:249254, 352432. h. j. schroeder, Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils (St. Louis 1937) 451. h. tÜchle, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 5:103132. The Council of Constance, tr. l. r. loomis, ed. j. h. mundy and k. m. woody (New York 1961).

[m. j. finnegan]