German theologian; b. Osnabruck, Aug. 27, 1512; d. Ingolstadt, March 5, 1564. After receiving his M.A. at Wittenberg, he was encouraged by Melanchthon to translate the works of Diodorus of Sicily. As a theologian at Königsberg in 1546, he disputed with W. Gnaphaeus and A. osiander, and published a work in 1553 in which he insisted upon agreement with the tradition of the Church and maintained that the Church alone could give authentic interpretation to Holy Scripture. He was converted to Catholicism during an illness in Breslau in 1552 and later opposed Melanchthon at Worms and attacked Protestant disunity in his Theologiae M. Lutheri trimembris epitome (1558). At the request of Peter canisius, and by papal dispensation, since he was a married man, Staphylus became a professor of theology and Canon Law in 1559. He reformed the university and took part in the Catholic Restoration in Bavaria and Austria. He held that reunion would come about if both sides would recognize one Biblical text, so he urged the printing of the Greek text of the Vaticanus. His last work, On the Great Apostasy (Lutheranism ) before the Coming of Antichrist, stresses the need for a living magisterium in the Church. His works were edited by his son (Ingolstadt 1613).
Bibliography: p. tschackert, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie 35:457–461; j. j. herzog and a. hauck, eds., Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie, 24 v. (3d ed. Leipzig 1896–1913) 18:771–776. É. amann, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 14.2:2563–66.
[g. j. donnelly]