Pichler, Vitus

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Canonist; b. Grossberghofen, Germany, May 24, 1670; d. Munich, Feb. 15, 1736. After ordination he entered the Society of Jesus on Sept. 28, 1696. He was professor of philosophy at Dillingen, and later of theology, controversial and scholastic. He taught canon law for 19 years at Dillingen and Ingolstadt, where he succeeded Franz schmalzgrueber. His first important literary work was Examen polemicum super Augustana Confessione (1708). His other controversial works were directed against the Reformers, such as Lutheranismus constanter errans (1709), Una et vera fides (1710), Theologia polemica particularis (1711), and Cursus theologiae polemincae universae (1713). It is said he was the first to make a clear distinction between fundamental theology and other divisions of the science. His important work on papal infallibility is Papatus numquam errans in proponendis fidel articulis (1709). He is better known as a canonist. His solutions to complex cases in jurisprudence kindled a wider interest in the study of canons and a better insight into the Corpus iuris canonici.

Bibliography: h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae, 5 v. in 6 (3d ed. Innsbruck 190313) 4:127981. c. sommervogel et al., Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 11v. (Brussels-Paris 18901932; v. 12, suppl. 1960) 6:706714. a. de backer, Bibliothèque des écrivains, S.J., 7 v. (Liège 185361).

[t. d. dougherty]