« Caspari, Walter Cassander, Georgius Cassel, Conference of »

Cassander, Georgius

CAS-SAN´DER, GEORGIUS: Roman Catholic theologian; b. at Pitthem (15 m. s.e. of Bruges) Aug. 24, 1513; d. in Cologne Feb. 3, 1566. He lectured at Bruges and Ghent on antiquities, theology, and canon law, but retired to Cologne in 1549 and devoted himself to study. The Duke of Cleves employed him in an effort to win back the Anabaptists in Duisburg, and still more important was the charge of the Emperor Ferdinand I., who endeavored to unite the Catholics and Protestants in his territories. Cassander had already published anonymously an irenic writing, De officio pii ac publicæ tranquillitatis vere amantis viri in hoc religionis dissidio (Basel, 1561), which elicited a sharp rejoinder from Calvin. Strict Roman Catholics also disliked the work, and it was placed on the Lisbon Index in 1581. At the emperor's request Cassander prepared a Consultatio de articulis inter Catholicos et Protestantes controversis, which he presented to Maximilian II. in 1564, Ferdinand having died in the mean time (published at Lyons, 4351608; ed. H. Grotius, Amsterdam, 1642). To bring about a union Cassander starts with the "consensus" of the most ancient church, expressed in the Apostles' Creed. Though the Holy Scripture is to be authoritative, he wishes to maintain the importance of tradition, especially of the great Church Fathers (down to Gregory I.); only a difference which concerns the position to Christ himself, not "opiniones" or "ritus," may become a cause of division, but the bond of "caritas" is by no means to be violated. In the doctrine of original sin, the Lord's Supper, and justification, he tries to mediate. He is even inclined to give the cup to the laity, and he will also admit of the marriage of the clergy as a makeshift. In the other controversial questions (worship of saints, monasticism, indulgences, papal power) he tries to soften the difficulties and do away with exaggerations. A recantation before his death has been imputed to him. It is hard to save him for the Roman Catholics, however, and still less can he be claimed by the Protestant side. Seckendorf is correct when he says in the Commentarius (Frankfort and Leipsic, 1680, p. 347): "Georgius Cassander, a good theologian, to be sure not a Lutheran, but a lover of truth."

K. Benrath.

Bibliography: The Opera appeared Paris, 1616. Consult F. H. Reusch, Index der verbotanen Bucher, i. 361 sqq., Bonn, 1883.

« Caspari, Walter Cassander, Georgius Cassel, Conference of »
VIEWNAME is workSection