Wirt, Wigand

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Theologian, known also as Martin, nicknamed Caupo (innkeeper); b. Frankfort am Main 1460; d. Steyer, June 30, 1519. He entered the dominican Order at Frankfort. Because of his activity and acrimonious polemics against the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, the University of Cologne (where he was professor, 149596) demanded a retraction from him. Earlier, in 1494, he had written a polemic against the De laudibus S. Annae of John Trithemius under the pseudonym Frater Pensans-manus (Weig-Hand, Wigand). The subsequent dispute was resolved Sept. 12, 1495, when a reconciliation between Wirt and Trithemius was effected; but the controversy flared up anew at a public disputation with John Spenglar, OFM, preacher and lector at Heidelberg, June 18, 1501. Conrad Hensel opposed Wirt and his order in a two-year process before the bishop of Strassburg. Hensel won the verdict in 1503. Wirt answered Sebastian Brant's Pro virginalis conceptionis defensione (1498) with the Defensio bullae Sixtinae by which Sixtus IV in 1483 forbade opponents in this matter to call each other heretics. Wirt wrote the Dialogus apologeticus contra wesalianicam perfidiam (1504) against the Concordia curatorum et fratrum mendicantium of Wigand Trebellius. John Spenglar and his fellow Franciscans (Observant) prevailed upon the archbishop of Mainz to proscribe the Dialogus in 1506. Wirt, now prior at Stuttgart, posted a public accusation of heresy against his opponents on his church door. The Franciscans took the case to Rome, where the Dialogus was condemned, Oct. 22, 1512. On Feb. 24, 1513, Wirt read his submission from the pulpit of Holy Spirit Church, Heidelberg, and was heard from no more. Although his name is often connected with the Jetzer Case, 1509, he was not involved.

Bibliography: Wetzer und Welte's Kirchenlexikon, 12 v. (2d ed. Freiburg 18821901; index 1903) 12:170810. g. lohr, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger (Freiburg 193038) 10:942. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae (Innsbruck 190313) 2:111314.

[b. cavanaugh]