Laymann, Paulus

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Canonist; b. Arzl, near Innsbruck, 1574; d. Constance, Nov. 13, 1635. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1594 after completing his juridical studies, and was ordained in 1603. He taught philosophy at the University of Ingolstadt until 1609. He taught theology in a house of his institute in Munich from 1609 to 1625, and Canon Law at the University of Dillingen from 1625 to 1632. He was acknowledged as one of the era's great experts in Canon Law and moral theology. His works number 35 and are enumerated in Sommervogel. The most important of these works, used as a seminary text through many editions until the 18th century, is Theologia Moralis in quinque libros partita (Munich 1625). His Jus Canonicum seu Commentaria in libros decretales (3 v., Dillingen 166698) was published after his death.

It has been falsely asserted that he approved extreme measures in the treatment of witnesses in witchcraft cases. This charge was based on the Processus juridicus contra sagas et veneficos, which was attributed to him. It has now been accepted that this was not his own work because of the more lenient measures he suggests in his Theologia Moralis and Jus Canonicum.

Bibliography: c. sommervogel et al., Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus (Brussels-Paris 18901932) 4:158294. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae (3d ed., Innsbruck 190313) 3:884886. a. van hove, Commentarium Lovaniense in Codicem iuris canonici 1, v.15 (Mechlin 1928);v.1, Prolegomena (2d ed. 1945) 1:537. e. jombart, Dictionnaire de droit canonique, ed. r. naz (Paris 193565) 6:366. f. x. wernz, Ius decretalium, 6 v. (Rome 18981905) 1:320.

[t. f. donovan]