Cardinal, primate of Hungary; b. Székesfehérvár (Stuhlweissenburg), Hungary, Aug. 23, 1813; d. Esztergom (Gran), Jan. 23, 1891. Son of a wealthy family, he was ordained (1836), taught theology (1839–50) in Budapest, Vienna, and Esztergom, and became court chaplain (1850) and counselor for Hungarian affairs in the ministry of public worship and education in Vienna (1851). He became bishop of Györ (March 19, 1857), archbishop of Esztergom and prince-primate of Hungary (Feb. 22, 1867), and cardinal (Dec. 22, 1873). He was outstanding for his pastoral, organizational, and building activities and still more for his work to restore his diocese and clergy to closer union with the pope and the Roman Curia after josephinism had alienated so many. Also, as leader of the Hungarian ecclesiastical autonomy movement, he sought to free the Church in Hungary from traditionally strong royal influence, which after 1868 was exercised mainly by liberal ministers. At vatican council i he opposed as inopportune the definition of papal infallibility, but later supported and publicized the conciliar decrees in his diocese and throughout Hungary, and contravened attempts to submit them to the royal placet.
Bibliography: j. kÖhalmi-klimstein, Johann Simor (Bratislava 1886). c. butler, The Vatican Council, 2 v. (New York 1930). c. greinz, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buch berger, 10 v. (Freiburg 1930–38) 9:583–584. t. von bogyay, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 9:776.