Theologian; b. Enkhuysen, Belgium, Feb. 15, 1487;d. Brussels, March 2, 1559. He studied at the University of Louvain under the future pope adrian vi. After his ordination, Tapper became dean of the faculty of arts at the university. In 1519, he was made a doctor in theology and taught in that faculty. He was named rector of the university in 1530. In 1537, he was appointed inquisitor general for all of the Low Countries. A man of great moderation but equal firmness, he announced that the policy of the inquisition would be "to repress heresy, not by brute force, but by dint of sheer logic and teaching power." In 1545, he published a much-reprinted series of 59 dogmatic propositions for popular use. These formulated essential Catholic doctrine in a clear and precise way. They were especially commended by Pius IV in a brief issued in 1561. Tapper was called to assist at the Council of Trent in 1551 and had a notable part in the drafting of the doctrine on the Sacrament of Penance, considered in the 14th session. He returned to Louvain in 1552 and took part in the polemic against his former pupil Michael Baius (see baius and baianism).
Bibliography: h. de jongh, L'Ancienne faculté de théologie de Louvain au premier siècle de son existence, 1432–1540 (Louvain 1911). j. mercier, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 15.1:52–54.
[c. r. meyer]