Sasserath, Rainer

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Franciscan Conventual moral theologian; b. Holtzheim, near Neuss in the Rhineland, Aug. 20, 1696;d. Cologne, February 1771. In 1712 Sasserath became a Friar Minor Conventual at Cologne, where he took his doctorate at the university in 1744 and taught moral theology for many years. He defended probabilism in theory but was cautious, even hesitant, about applying it to the solution of practical cases. He introduced, or at least adopted, a division of moral theology that subsequently came into common use. His work Cursus theologiae moralis tripartitus (Cologne 1753) is divided into three parts that treat respectively the following topics: (1) human acts, laws, conscience, sins, censures, and the theological virtues; (2) the virtue of religion and the sins opposed to it, right and justice, and contracts; and (3) the Sacraments, in general and particular, and indulgences. The Cursus theologiae moralis went through many editions before and after Sasserath's death and exercised a broad influence on moral theology in the 18th century. Its indirect influence was important also, for Jean Pierre gury, SJ, whose Compendium theologiae moralis was so widely used in the 19th and early 20th centuries, owed much to Sasserath.

Bibliography: h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae (Innsbruck 1926) 5.1:232233. a. teetaert, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., (Paris 190350) 14.1:112829. d. sparacio, Frammenti bio-bibliografici discrittori ed autori minori conventuali (Assisi 1931) 169170.

[p. k. meagher]