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Pflug, Julius von


Theologian and bishop; b. Eyra, near Leipzig, 1499;d. Zeitz, Sept. 3, 1564. His father, Caesar, had an important role in the Leipzig disputation of 1519 as councillor to Duke George of Saxony. Pflug's education, begun at Leipzig and continued later in Italy at Padua and Bologna, imbued him with humanistic ideals of reform but gave him little formal training in theology. The noted humanist Peter Mosellanus was his master at Leipzig. Later the two corresponded frequently. More than 100 of Pflug's letters are extant [M. C. G. Müller, Epistolae Petri Mosellani ad Julium Pflugium (Leipzig 1802)]. Because of his temperament and reputation as a moderate, he was often invited to negotiate a conciliatory statement of doctrine acceptable to Lutherans and Catholics. At Regensburg in 1541, Gropper, eck, and Pflug, the Catholic conferees, met with melanchthon, bucer, and Pistorius. The resulting formula of twofold justification, examined later at the insistence of Seripando by the Council of Trent, was rejected. Though Gropper and Pflug wanted to save the conference with another formula, however vague, it broke up over the question of the Eucharist.

In 1548 Pflug drew up the document that was to become the basis of the Interim of Augsburg (see interims). Many alterations were introduced in the course of the discussions, but the main outlines of the original draft were not changed. The dogmatic content, stated in the mildest and most general terms, is nonetheless basically Catholic. When the Elector Maurice of Saxony demanded further concessions for the Protestants of his jurisdiction, Pflug and Melanchthon worked out the Leipzig Interim (1548). Although Lutheran in tone, it was a compromise in that some externals of Catholicism were allowed. Pflug presided over the Colloquy of Worms in 1557 and won high praise from his friend Peter canisius for his patience and tact.

Pflug was the last Catholic bishop of Naumburg. The cathedral chapter elected him in January 1541, but a year passed before Pflug, assured of imperial support, accepted the appointment. Meanwhile the Elector John Frederick forced Nikolaus von amsdorf, an avowed Lutheran, into the see. Only after Emperor charles v defeated the Elector at Mühlberg in 1547 was Pflug established in his diocese. Pflug tried to win people back to Catholic practices but without notable success. Forced by the realities of the situation, he sought approbation for married priests and Communion under both species for the laity. In 1559 Pflug was named president of a council of German bishops, formed with the encouragement of Peter Canisius, to promote local reform. Pflug was residing at the collegiate church in Zeitz when he died. No successor was named; the Elector Augustus expropriated the See of Naumburg for himself.

Bibliography: l. christiani, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 12.1:136669. f. law, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (3d ed. Tübingen 195765) 5:319. h. jedin, in Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d new ed. Freiburg 195765) 8:429430. w. offele, Ein Katechismus im Orient der Glaubenseinheit (Essen 1963).

[b. l. marthaler]

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