Rudigier, Franz Josef, ven.

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Bishop; b. Parthenen (Vorarlberg), Austria, April 7, 1811; d. Linz, Nov. 29, 1884. After ordination (1835) he studied in Vienna, and taught ecclesiastical history, Canon Law, moral theology, and education at the seminary in Brixen. In 1845 he became director of the Frintaneum, an institute for advanced ecclesiastical studies; court chaplain; and tutor to Franz Josef and Maximilian, later emperors of Austria and Mexico respectively. In 1850 he became rector of the seminary and cathedral canon in Brixen, and in 1852, bishop of Linz. As bishop he was a zealous, farsighted pastor of souls; a strenuous defender of the rights of the Church; and a determined opponent of josephinism and secular liberalism. He promoted Catholic associations, the Catholic press, and the Catholic social movement and defended confessional schools. Rudigier issued a pastoral letter attacking the regulations on marriage and education in the May Laws of 1868. As a result he was sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment (June 1869), but the emperor reversed the sentence the next day. In 1862 Rudigier started construction of a Gothic cathedral. Franz Doppelbauer, later Bishop of Linz, published several volumes of Rudigier's sermons, retreats, pastoral letters, and politico-ecclesiastical addresses and in 1905 introduced his cause for beatification.

Bibliography: k. meindl, Leben und Wirken des Bischofs Rudigier, 2 v. (Linz 1891). j. lenzenweger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 9:85.

[w. b. slottman]