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Zabarella, Francesco


A distinguished canonist and ecclesiastical diplomat; b. Padua, Aug. 10, 1360; d. Constance, Sept. 26, 1417. He was trained in law at Bologna and taught Canon Law at Florence (138590) and at Padua (13901410). In 1398 he was made an archpriest of the cathedral of Padua. He carried out a number of diplomatic missions for that city and participated in the Council of Pisa as a councilor. The antipope John XXIII appointed him bishop of Florence, July 18, 1410, and the following year (June 6, 1411), cardinal deacon of SS. Cosmas and Damian at Rome. He never received major orders, but he was a man of upright character and an active promoter of ecclesiastical reform. He may be described as a moderate conciliarist. One of the staunchest supporters of the antipope john xxiii, he acted as one of his legates to Emperor Sigismund and helped to bring about the opening of the Council of Constance, Nov. 1, 1414. In the interest of Church unity, he persuaded John XXIII to resign (April 1415), but opposed the Avignon antipope benedict xiii. When John hus, Jerome of Prague, and Jean Petit were cited before the Council, he urged Hus and Jerome to sign a milder form of retraction, but without success. His last days were spent in pressing the Council to elect a new pope as soon as possible. His chief works are: De schismate sui temporis, dealing with ways and means of ending the schism (written at intervals, 140308; printed at Strassburg 1545); Lectura super Clementinis (completed in 1402; printed at Rome 1477 and Venice 1481); Commentaria in V libros Decretalium (13961404; printed at Venice 1502); Consilia (printed at Pescia 1490 and Venice 1581).

Bibliography: j. beckmann, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 1 10:1017. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae 2:766769. c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux 7, passim. g. zonta, Francesco Zabarella (Padua 1915).

[m. r. p. mcguire]

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