Reiffenstuel, Anacletus (Johann Georg)

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Theologian, canonist; b. Tegernsee, Bavaria, July 2, 1642; d. Freising, May 10, 1703; entered the Bavarian Province of the Franciscan order in 1658. He served as professor of philosophy, theology, and canon law, and held various offices within his order. The bishop of Freising appointed him director of episcopal educational establishments; in this capacity he organized and cataloged the episcopal and capitular libraries of that diocese.

His Theologia moralis, which first appeared in 1692, was published in about 30 editions. Reiffenstuel's most notable work was the Ius canonicum universum, published in 1700, which, following the basic divisions of the Decretals of Gregory IX, provides a clear and scientific explanation of the law. Except for Hostiensis and Durandus, Reiffenstuel did not directly utilize the older decretalists, but primarily those of the 15th century, especially Panormitanus. In a series of questions, the Ius canonicum treats the entire field of canon law, embracing the decrees of the Council of Trent, the papal constitutions issued after the council, and the practice of the Roman Curia. Its principal merit besides its completeness and extent is its excellence, which made it a standard work of reference for later canonists. This work alone accords Reiffenstuel a high place among canonists and scholars. In addition, he is the author of a Vita S. Francisci Solani and a treatise De caeremoniis et ritibus ecclesiasticis.

Bibliography: a. teetaert, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 13.2:212630. j. obermayr, Die Pfarrei Gmund am Tegernsee und die Reiffenstuel (Freising 1868) 388400.

[d. w. bonner]