Bishop, theologian; b. Geismar, Prussia, May 18, 1812; d. Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium, July 16, 1879. He studied at Munich under dÖllinger and afterward at Halle, Würzburg, and Münster. After ordination (1836) he became professor of moral and pastoral theology at the University of Bonn (1844) and wrote extensively on dogmatic and pastoral questions. As bishop of Paderborn from 1856, he was a leader in the Catholic revival in Germany, noted for his apostolic zeal and promotion of Christian unity. He founded a religious congregation of women, improved his diocesan government at a synod (1867), and advanced the education of his clergy. His concern for the Protestants within his diocese led him to publish Ein bischöfliches Wort… über die Kontroverspunkte (1864). It was written in a conciliatory spirit and won considerable attention, but also led to passionate controversy. Wozu noch die Kirchenspaltung? (1868) also caused much discussion by questioning Catholics and Protestants concerning the continued divisions within Christianity, but the outbreak of the kulturkampf deprived it of its chances for success. Pius IX held Martin in high esteem and had him as a guest in the Quirinal in 1867 and again in 1869. At vatican council i Martin was a prominent figure; as a member of the deputation on faith he had an important role in formulating the conciliar constitution on faith and the doctrine of papal infallibility, which he supported. During the Kulturkampf he was imprisoned (1874–75) and removed from office by the government. After his release he spent his remaining years in exile in Belgium. Several of his numerous works were translated into French, Dutch, Italian, Polish, and Hungarian.
Bibliography: w. liese, Konrad Martin (Paderborn 1937); "K. M.'s kirchliche Bedeutung," Theologie und Glaube 30:44–51. p. hadrossek, Die Bedeutung des Systemgedankens für die Moraltheologie in Deutschland seit der Thomas-Renaissance (Munich 1950) 107–115, passim. c. butler, The Vatican Council, 2 v. (New York 1930). n. miko, "Publikation des Dogmas von der Unfehlbarkeit des Papstes durch das dt. Episkopat," Römische Quartalschrift für Christliche Altertumskunde und für Kirchengeschichte 58 (1963) 14–30.