Wazo of Liège

views updated


Bishop, theologian, and leading theoretician of the 11th-century gregorian reform; b. in the region of Lobbes or Namur, 980 or 990; d. Liège, July 14, 1048. After studies at lobbes and in the cathedral school of Liège, Wazo became one of the disciples of the celebrated master, fulbert of chartres. He returned to Liège (1008), succeeding notker of liÈge as master of the cathedral school, and thereafter rose rapidly in the Church. In 1042 he was unanimously elected bishop of liÈge, but this office made him a temporal prince as well, and as such he took an active part in imperial politics. Generally loyal to Emperor henry iii, he challenged the caesaropapist tendencies of the Emperor (see investiture struggle), especially on the occasion of the deposition of Pope gregory vi by the Council of sutri (1046). At this time he enunciated the basic Gregorian principle, that the sovereign pontiff may be judged by no one but God. Wazo probably helped to formulate the Church's position on the repression of heresy, because in his response to an inquiry from the bishop of Châlons, Wazo replied that Christianity demands toleration of heretics, and although Christians may seek to combat heresy, it must be done by Christian conversion rather than by spilling blood.

Bibliography: Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores (Berlin 1826) 7:210234. a. fliche, La Réforme grégorienne, 3v. (Louvain 192437) 1:113123. r. h. a. huysmans, Wazo van Luik (Nijmegen 1932). j. closon, "Wazon, évêque de Liège, 10421048," Chronique archéologique du pays de Liège 28 (1937) 5770. h. glaesener, "Les Démêles de Godefroid le Barbu avec Henri III et l'évêque Wazon," Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique 40 (194445) 141170. É. de moreau, Histoire de l'église en Belgique (2d ed. Brussels 1945) 2:3452. É. amann, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., (Paris 190350) 15.2:352024. e. hoerschelmann, Bischof W. von Lüttich und seine Bedeutung für den Beginn des Investiturstreites (Düsseldorf 1955).

[d. s. buczek]