« Mundwiler, Fintan Munich-Freising Munkacs »




An archdiocese in Bavaria. This archdiocese originated in the ancient Diocese of Freising. The Church of Freising dates back to St. Corbinian, who, after his consecration came in 716 to organize the Church in Bavaria. On a mountain near Freising the saint erected a Benedictine monastery and a school. He was succeeded in the government of the abbey by his brother Erembert. When St. Boniface in 738 regulated ecclesiastical affairs in Bavaria by the creation of four dioceses, Erembert was chosen first Bishop of Freising, which see was made suffragan to Mainz. The sanctuary of Our Lady, which existed on the mountain near Freising before the coming of St. Corbinian, became the cathedral, and was served by the Benedictine monks. At the time the diocese embraced the country of the Upper Isar as far east as the Inn and south to the watershed of the Inn and the Isar. The third bishop, Joseph of Verona (747-64), established a collegiate church in Isen, and shared in the founding of the convents of Schäftlarn and Scharnitz, placing the government of the latter in the hands of Abbot Atto. The last-named foundation was particularly significant, in view of the later acquisitions of the diocese in the Pustertal.

Other important convents of the diocese were Tegernsee, Moosburg, Ilmmünster, Altomünster, Schliersee, and Rot-on-the-Inn. The learned Aribo, or Arbeo (764-84), the biographer of St. Corbinian, translated the remains of this saint from Mais to Freising and interred them in the Sepulchrum Corbiniani which he had built (765-68) in the church of Our Lady. During his episcopate, Duke Tassilo II presented Innichen to the Abbot of Scharnitz. With the newly acquired territory, Freising gained a port of entry into Carinthia, and the diocese soon acquired possessions also in Styria and Carniola. Atto, Abbot of Scharnitz, also Archbishop of Freising (784-810), zealously undertook the task of Christianizing the Slavs of the Pustertal. On the summit of the mountain upon which Freising cathedral stood he erected a second Benedictine monastery under the same government as the first. During his time, the diocese was made suffragan to Salzburg. Hitto (811-34) made a visitation of his diocese; he installed a provost and church on the mountain and six secular canons in the church on the mountain Weihenstephan near Freising.

During the episcopate of his successor Erchambert (835-54), a deed of gift for the first time mentions cathedral canons, who were not monks (842 and 845), the cathedral chapter being thereafter composed of monks and canons. Under Bishops Anno, (855-75), Arnold (875-83), and Waldo (883-903), brother of Bishop Salomo of Constance, the monastic element in the cathedral chapter gradually withdrew; the Benedictines of the cathedral mountain seem to have abandoned it and to have established themselves at the foot of the Weihenstephan. Waldo rebuilt the cathedral, which had been burned down; he was given jurisdiction over the neighbouring Abbey of Moosburg, and received from Louis the Child in 906 the right of free choice of bishops for the cathedral chapter.

The Hungarians gained an entry into Bavaria and destroyed almost entirely the spiritual life of the country. Bishop Utto fell in a battle against them in 908. Under St. Lantpert (938-57), Freising was set on fire by the Hungarians and almost entirely destroyed. After the victory of Otto I at Lechfeld, peace came again to the city, and the Church of Freising, under the guidance of competent rulers, rose from its ruins, and acquired new possessions. Abraham, of the race of the counts of Görz (956-94), obtained for his diocese from the Emperor Otto II (973) extensive possessions in Carniola. Gottschalk, Knight of Hagenau (994-1006), obtained for Freising a coinage, the privilege of holding fairs, and civic rights; and Egilbert of Moosburg (1006-39), the founder of the Benedictine Abbey of Weihenstephan, which replaced the old convent of the canons, was the recipient of additional lands in Upper Carniola. In Austria and in the Tyrol the colonies founded from the diocese were remarkably successful in development and stability. During the disturbances resulting from the conflict of investitures, Ellenhard, Count of Meran (1052-78), was ever to be found on the side of Henry IV, who repeatedly visited the bishop in Freising; Meginhard, Count of Scheyern (1078-98), who distinguished himself by spreading the Christian doctrine in Bohemia, was more favourable to the pope; Heinrich I, of Ebersdorf (1098-1137), was in his turn an adherent of the emperor. Heinrich I lived to see the destruction of Freising by Duke Welf, and, when dying, bequeathed his possessions to the diocese.

He was succeeded by the most distinguished bishop, Otto I (1137-58), the historian and philosopher. He saved the see from the ruin which threatened it, reestablished many monasteries, and delivered the diocese from the oppressive jurisdiction of the counts of Scheyern. A Cistercian himself, he once more established monastic discipline and austerity. In the last years of his administration occurred the destruction of the episcopal bridge, custom houses, mint, and salt works near Oberföhring by Duke Henry the Lion, who transferred the custom houses and bridge site to the upper part of Oberföhring, placing them in the village of Munich on the Isar. Albert I (1158-84) brought the diocese safely through the conflicts of Barbarossa with the pope; he rebuilt the cathedral which had been burned down in 1169, making it larger and more magnificent; his successor Otto II (1184-1220) completed the work, the cathedral being consecrated in 1205. The troubled period of the thirteenth century was generally unfavourable to the spiritual life of the diocese; in addition, the acquisition of property through donation ceased altogether, and the bishops, in particular Konrad of Wittelsbach (1258-1278) and Emicho of Wittslebach (1283-1311), organized and brought together their scattered possessions by purchase, sale, and exchange. By inheriting Werdenfels (1294), the diocese became an immediate principality of the empire.

The schism which occurred under Louis the Bavarian also divided the Church of Freising. In opposition to the bishops chosen by the cathedral chapter, which was favourable to the emperor, three others were named in succession by the pope, and for more than a century afterwards the popes appointed the bishops of this diocese, ignoring the privilege of free choice possessed by the chapter. Under the rule of Bishop Albert of Hohenberg (1349-59), chancellor of Charles IV, the diocese recovered from the evil effects produced by the schism. His successors were in great part lords from Austrian territory. In opposition to Bishop Nicodemus of Scala (1421-43), named by Martin V, who proved himself an excellent regent and promoter of ecclesiastical reform, the cathedral chapter chose the vicar-general, Johann Grünwalder, recognized by the antipope, Felix V, and by Duke Albert of Bavaria; but after the resignation of Heinrich II of Schlick (1443-48), appointed by the pope, he obtained general recognition as bishop, and showed himself to be eminently fitted for the office (1448-52). His successor, Johann IV of Tülbeck (1453-73), was the first bishop in many years to owe his election to the cathedral chapter. He resigned in favour of his chancellor, the pious Sixtus of Tannberg, who worked zealously for reform and for the maintenance of ecclesiastical discipline. During his time, Veit Arnpeck wrote his history of Bavaria and of Freising.

After the death of Sixtus, the chapter elected in succession three brothers of the house of Wittelsbach: Ruprecht (1495-98), Philipp (1499-1541), and Heinrich (1541-1551); of these, however, only Philipp received consecration. Given up to field sports, Philipp nevertheless steadfastly opposed the ecclesiastical innovations which seemed about to gain it footing in his diocese. Philipp was also administrator of the Diocese of Naumburg. Under Bishop Leo (1552-59), a visitation of the bishopric took place. Moritz of Sandizell (1599-1666), an admirable administrator, resigned in favour of Duke Ernest of Bavaria (1556-1612). The latter was at the same time Bishop of Hildesheim, of Liege, Elector of Cologne, and Bishop of Münster. On account of his zealous activity in the North German sees, he was unable to remain long at Freising. Nevertheless he introduced many reforms, established a ducal and ecclesiastical town council in Munich, and promulgated the first Bavarian concordat (1583). Under the pious Vitus Adam von Gebeck (1618-51), the bishopric was shockingly devastated by the Thirty Years War. Emperor Ferdinand II conferred upon him and his successors the dignity of Prince-bishops.

Once more two princes of the house of Bavaria were elected to the See of Freising: Albert Sigismund (1652-85), at the same time Bishop of Ratisbon and Provost of Ellwangen, an art-loving prince, who adorned the cathedral with a magnificent portal; and Joseph Klemens (1685-94), brother of the Elector Max Emanuel, an ostentatious and extravagant prince, also Bishop of Ratisbon, Elector of Cologne, and Bishop of Liege. Papal confirmation of his appointment to the last named see was given only in the event that he should resign from the Sees of Freising and Ratisbon. In Freising he was succeeded by Johann von Kapfing (1695-1727), who caused the cathedral to be decorated by the Asam brothers, erected a number of schools and charitable institutions, made numerous visitations, and founded a lyceum at Freising, one of the professors being the learned Benedictine Meichelbeck, who wrote the history of the bishops of Freising. Johann Theodor, Duke of Bavaria (1727-63), in whose hands were united the Dioceses of Ratisbon, Liege, and Freising, built an ecclesiastical seminary at Munich (1735). Klemens Wenceslaus of Saxony (1763-68), who from 1764 was also Bishop of Ratisbon and coadjutor of Augsburg, resigned the See of Freising when, in 1768, he was chosen Elector of Trier. Ludwig Joseph von Welden (1769-88) was especially distinguished for his erection of schools for the people. During his episcopate, a papal nunciature for the lands of Elector Karl Theodor was established in Munich (1786), which was the immediate cause of the convoking of the Congress of Ems. Maximilian Prokop, Count of Törring-Jettenbach (1788-89), was succeeded by the last Prince-Bishop of Freising, Joseph Konrad von Schroffenberg (1780-1803), the dissolution of the diocese taking place during his lifetime (d. 4 April, 1803, at Berchtesgaden).

At the time of the secularization of church property, the prince-bishopric fell to Bavaria, the parts lying in Austria and the Tyrol being turned over to Salzburg. The reformers undertook the destruction of monasteries and diocese, numerous churches were sold for the material they contained, graves were desecrated, the sacred vessels were sold at auction or melted down, and the most valuable libraries were despoiled of their treasures. Owing to the dissolution of the cathedral chapter by the Bavarian Government, the election of a vicar capitular was impossible, and the spiritual guidance of the diocese was entrusted to the vicar-general, Heckenstaller, appointed from Salzburg, who, in 1819, was named vicar Apostolic of the abandoned diocese. The most important episcopal functions were performed by the coadjutor Bishop of Ratisbon, Johann Nepomuk von Wolf. After the concordat between Pius VII and King Max Joseph I (5 June, 1817), an orderly condition of affairs was again finally inaugurated. From the territory of the dissolved Sees of Freising and Chiemsee, and the former Provostship of Berchtesgaden was created the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising, with the seat of the archbishop and the cathedral chapter in Munich. The new archdiocese was also to comprise those portions of the former Prince-Bishopric of Salzburg which lay on the left bank of the Inn. On the other hand, those parishes in the Tyrol, Carinthia, Carniola, etc., which were formerly under the bishops of Freising and Chiemsee, were subjected to the Ordinaries of Salzburg and Brixen. The church of Our Lady in Munich was made the cathedral. The Bishops of Augsburg, Passau, and Ratisbon became the suffragans of the new ecclesiastical province. The papal Bull of circumscription, "Dei ac Domini nostri," bears the date of 1 April, 1818.

Lothar Anselm, Freiherr von Gebsattel, dean of the cathedral of Würzburg and a personal friend of the king, was named the first archbishop (1817). As, at the same time as the publication of the concordat, a religions edict had been promulgated as part of the constitution, which again unfairly abrogated many of the stipulations of the concordat, Gebsattel refused to take the oath to abide by the constitution; and it was only after the Tegernsee proclamation of the king, 15 Sept., 1821, that he was consecrated in the cathedral of Munich (1821). He attained great distinction by his regulation of ecclesiastical affairs. Under his rule, a large number of monasteries were re-established or newly founded, and many churches and charitable institutions were erected. In Freising, on the site of the old episcopal residence, which Louis had restored to the bishop in 1826, an ecclesiastical seminary was established, to which were added later a lesser seminary, a gymnasium, and a lyceum.

His successor was Karl August, Count of Reisach, previously Bishop of Eichstätt, and coadjutor of Munich. He became unpopular under Maximilian II because of his efforts to uphold the rights of the Church. The king finally used his inflünce to have him withdrawn, and Pius IX in 1855 raised him to the cardinalate and called him to Rome. Gregor von Scherr (1856-77), former Abbot of Metten, endeavoured to preserve the Catholic character of the schools. For the maintenance of the lesser seminaries of the diocese which had been obliged to receive an exceptionally large number of candidates to the priesthood, he founded St. Corbinian's Association, and erected a lesser seminary in Freising. He introduced into his diocese the devotion of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and instituted pastoral conferences of the clergy. At the Vatican Council, he voted with the minority, but submitted at once to the decision of the council. The last years of his episcopate were embittered by the support which the Bavarian Government, under the leadership of Lutz, minister of worship, gave to the Old Catholic movement, whose founder (Döllinger) and most zealous champions were resident in Munich.

His successor, Anton von Steichele (1878-89), the learned church historian and historiographer of the Diocese of Augsburg, by the foundation of Church Building Associations kept pace with the ever-growing City of Munich by the erection of new churches and parishes, and enlarged the seminary at Freising. In January, 1887, he summoned the bishops of Bavaria to a conference at Freising, which resulted in a resolution to send to the Government a joint memorandum in regard to the status of the Catholic Church in Bavaria, which when carried into effect brought about a better arrangement of the relations between Church and State and guaranteed to the Church a greater inflünce upon the intermediate and higher schools. Under Archbishop Antonius von Thoma (1889-97), the Old Catholic question was finally settled in a manner favourable to the Catholic Church and to justice. Franz Joseph von Stein (1897-1909) fearlessly espoused in the Bavarian Chamber of the Council of the Empire the cause of the Catholic Church regarding instruction, upholding Catholic knowledge as opposed to the unchecked freedom of university teaching. In accordance with the requirements of the times, he bestowed special care upon the encouragement of Catholic orders and associations, the fostering of Christian charity, the education of the clergy, and the awakening and conservation of the spirit of the Church in the hearts of the people. The present archbishop is Franz Bettinger, appointed on 23 May, 1909, and consecrated, 15 Aug.


The archdiocese comprises the Bavarian district of Upper Bavaria, excepting those portions lying west and north of the Danube, 48 communes in the domains of Landshut, and Vilsbiburg in the district of Lower Bavaria. The suffragan dioceses are Augsburg, Passau, and Ratisbon. The diocese is divided into 36 deaneries, 3 town commissariats (Munich, Landshut, and Freising), 417 parishes, 20 exposituren (parishes in all but the name) and vicariates. The diocese has 460 benefices and manual benefices (i.e., benefices the incumbents of which may be removed at the will of a superior), 400 curacies, and 100 other places where church services are held. The clergy numbers (1910) 412 pastors, 162 invested beneficiaries, 677 other priests, 210 regular priests (in all 1461 priests). The number of Catholics is 1,069,300. In addition to the cathedral chapter, there are three collegiate churches: in Munich (St. Cajetan's), Laufen, and Tittmoning.

For the education of the clergy there are lesser seminaries in Scheyern (conducted by the Benedictines) and in Freising, having respectively 175 and 215 students, as well as two ecclesiastical seminaries, viz., the archiepiscopal seminary in Freising, with 171 students, and the Georgianum, founded in 1494 by Duke Georg the Rich at Ingolstadt, now transferred to Munich and administered by the State, with 103 students, of which, however, only 23 belong to the Diocese of Munich-Freising. The students attend the philosophical and theological lectures at the University of Munich and at the state lyceums at Freising.

The following orders are represented in the archdiocese: -- The Benedictines possess the two Abbeys of Scheyern and St. Boniface in Munich, founded by King Louis I, as well as the Abbeys of Ettal and Schäftlarn, and 2 colleges for students in Munich, -- in all (1910) 91 fathers, 27 scholastics, and 162 brothers. The Franciscans have 5 convents, with 49 fathers, 23 scholastics, and 58 lay brothers; the Capuchins, 5 convents, with 43 fathers, 9 novices, and 53 lay brothers; the Brothers of Mercy, 2 convents, with 3 fathers, and 47 brothers; the Minorites, 1 hospital, with 3 fathers, and 3 lay brothers; the Redemptorists, 2 colleges, with 28 fathers, 29 scholastics, and 46 lay brothers; the Augustinians, 1 convent, with 4 fathers, and 6 lay brothers.

Numerous female orders and congregations are to be found in the archdiocese. Of the ancient convents of women only a few are still in existence, notably the Benedictines of the Island of Fraünchiemsee, with an educational establishment and 72 sisters, and the convent of the Servites, near the pilgrimage church of the ducal hospital in Munich, with 55 sisters. The recent congregations are occupied entirely with the instruction of girls, with the care of the sick and the orphans, with the management of Catholic institutions, and so on, while the Brigittines and the Carmelites give themselves up to contemplation.

Besides the two establishments already named, there exist (1910) in the archdiocese: Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, from the mother-house in Munich, 61 convents, 842 sisters; Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, from the mother-house in Augsburg, 5 establishments, 35 sisters; English Ladies (Institute of Mary), 1 mother-house, and 15 filial institutes, 609 sisters; I establishment of the Missionary Sisters of St. Benedict, 7 sisters; Briggitines, 1 house, 41 sisters; Dominicans, 1 establishment, 16 sisters; Franciscans, 5 houses, 139 sisters; Franciscans from the mother-house of Maria-Stern, in Augsburg, 12 establishments, 83 sisters; Poor Franciscans of the Third Order, from Mallersdorf, 65 houses, 429 sisters; Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph of Ursberg, 2 houses, 31 sisters; Sisters of the Good Shepherd, 1 house in Munich, 94 sisters; Carmelites, 1 house, 9 sisters; Salesians, 3 establishments, 179 sisters; Poor School Sisters, with a general mother-house, Sankt Jacob am Anger, in Munich, and 49 filial convents, in all, 764 sisters; Ursulines in Landshut, 55 sisters; Sisters of the Most Holy Redeemer from the mother-house at Niederbronn (Alsace), 23 establishments, 203 sisters.

Of the associations in the archdiocese, the following, more or less widespread, may be named: Ludwigmissionsverein (Louis missionary union), the Association of the Holy Childhood of Jesus, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Elizabeth's Guild, the Archconfraternity of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Catholic Gesellenvereine (Journeymen's Unions) and Arbeitervereine (Unions of Labourers), Catholic Students' Unions, Catholic Associations for the Young, Unions of Clerks and Employees, Servants' Unions, Associations for the Education of Neglected Children, and so forth.

Of the churches of the archdiocese, those of the city of Munich are especially noteworthy; this is so in particular of the Cathedral of Our Lady, a brick building in the Gothic style, which dates, from 1468-88, with two towers 324 ft. in height, whose copper cupolas, the so-called "wälschen Kappen" (Romanesque caps), are the town's most famous landmarks. Other churches are St. Peter's, the oldest parish church of the city, dating from the year 1180, built in the Gothic and later restored in the Baroque style; Sankt Jacob am Anger, the oldest church in Munich, still retaining its original form and dating from the thirteenth century; the court church of St. Michael, built for the Jesuits, 1583-97, the most distinguished ecclesiastical production of the German Renaissance; the court church of St. Cajetan, built (1663-75) for the Theatines, in the Baroque style; the church of St. Louis, built (1830-44), mainly through the generosity of King Louis I, in medieval Italian style, containing the famous fresco of the "Last Judgment" by Cornelius; the court of All Saints, built in 1827-37 in the Romanesque-Byzantine style; and the Basilica of St. Boniface, built (1835-50) for the Benedictines, in the form of an early Christian basilica, containing frescoes taken from the life of St. Boniface. The numerous churches of the most varied styles which have been erected in Munich during the last ten years, and constitute one of the beauties of the city, e.g., those of St. Anna, St. Paul, St. Joseph, St. Rupert, bear witness to the people's devotion. Of the other churches of the archdiocese, the following are worthy of mention: the cathedral of Freising, built 1161-1205, often restored and altered, in which is to be found the shrine containing the relics of St. Corbinian; the Gothic church of St. Martin in the city of Landshut, dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, surmounted by the highest tower in Bavaria; in the same city the church of St. Jodock, also in the Gothic style, built in 1338-68; the Romanesque church of Moosburg, erected 1160; the collegiate churches of Tegernsee, Isen, Berchtesgaden, Ilmmünster, Dietramszell, and others. The places of pilgrimage include the church of the Ducal Hospital in Munich, Maria-Eich, Maria-Rammersdorf, Maria-Blutenburg in Munich, Maria-Eich at Traunstein, Tuntenhausen, Ettal, Scheyern, Mariadorfen, Birkenstein, Heiligblut at Erding.


It was first established (1472) at Ingolstadt (q.v. for its history up to 1800). In 1800 it was transferred to Landshut, and, later, by decree of Ludwig I (3 Oct., 1826) to Munich, where it has developed in peace. Its earliest location was the former college of the Jesuits, but in 1840 it removed to a new building which has recently (1908) been considerably enlarged. Through the munificence of the Wittelsbach dynasty, abundant provision has been made for its organization and equipment, and it now ranks as the second largest among the German universities. The revised statutes were published in 1835, and new regulations for the student body in 1849. The fourth centenary of the university was celebrated in August, 1872. The faculty of theology at Munich has a long list of distinguished names: Allioli, Döllinger, Haneberg, Hergensröther, Klee, Möhler, Phillips, Permaneder, Reischl, Schegg, Thalhofer. The Collegium Georgianum, founded in 1494 by George the Rich for the special benefit of theological students, was transferred to Munich with the rest of the university, and still serves its original purpose. The faculty numbers (1910) twelve professors and nine Dozents; there are 150 theological students. Among illustrious representatives of the other sciences may be mentioned: in philosophy, Schelling (1827-41); in chemistry, Liebig (1852-73); in surgery, Thiersch (1848-95), and Nussbaum (1860-90); in medicine, Ringseis (1817-80); in history, Giesbrecht (1862-89); in Germanic philology, Schmeller (1827-29); in Celtic philology, Zeuss (1847-56). In 1910 the total number of instructors was 252; of students, 6890.

MEICHELBECK, Historia Frisingensis (2 vols., Augsburg, 1724); Vili Arnpeckii Liber de gestis Episcoporum Frisingensium (new edition, Munich, 1852); DEUTINGER, Die ältesten Matrikeln des Bistums Freising (3 vols., Munich, 1849-50); IDEM, Beiträge zur Geschichte, Topographie und Statistik des Erzbistums München und Freising (6 vols., Munich,, 1850-54), continued by SPECHT, VOLS. VII to X (Munich, 1901-10); BAUMGAERTNER, Geschichte der Stadt Freising und ihrer Bischöfe (Freising, 1854); VON HUND, Urkunden des Bistums Freising (Munich, 1873); ZAHN, Codex-diplomaticus Austriaco-Frisingensis (3 vols., Vienna, 1870-71); MAYER AND WESTERMEYER, Statistische Beschreibung des Bistums Münchens-Freising (3 vols., Munich and Ratisbon, 1879-84); SCHLECHT, Bayerns Kirchenprovinzen (Munich, 1902); BITTERAUF, Die Traditionen des Hochstifts Freising (Munich, 1905); Generaliensammlung der Erzdiözece München-Freising, I-V, (Munich, 1821-98); Pastoralblatt [Amtsblatt since 1880] für die Erzdiözese München-Freising (Munich, 1860-); Schematismus der Geistlichkeit des Erzbistums München-Freising (Munich, 1821-); Oberbayerisches Archiv für vaterländische Geschichte (Munich, 1839-); Sammelblatt des historischen Vereins Freising (Freising, 1894-). Regarding the churches see: SIGHART, Der Dom in Freising (Landshut, 1852); IDEM, Die mittelalterliche Kunst in der Erzdiözese München-Freising (Freising, 1855); Die Kunstdenkmäler Bayerns, I; Regierungsbezirk Oberbayern (Munich, 1892-).


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