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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > M > Franz Christoph Ignaz Moufang

Franz Christoph Ignaz Moufang

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Theologian, b. at Mainz, 17 Feb., 1817; d. there, 27 Feb., 1890. His early studies were made at Mainz. In 1834 he went to the University of Bonn, first taking up medicine, but soon turning to theology. Among his masters were Klee, Windischmann, and Walter. In 1937 he went to Munich, and then next year took the prescribed theological examinations at Giessen, after which he entered the ecclesiastical seminary at Mainz, where he was ordained priest 19 Dec., 1839. His first appointment was as curate in Seligenstadt on the Main, where his uncle, Adam Franz Lennig, later vicar-general and dean of the cathedral at Mainz, was pastor. Lennig stimulated in him a broad interest for the religious questions of the time. Moufang also taught at the pro-gymnasium at Seligenstadt. After brief charges of the parish of Bensheim, and that of St. Quentin in Mainz he was appointed in 1845 religious instructor at the Mainz gymnasium.

When Bishop von Ketteler re-established in 1851 the philosophical and theological school in connexion with the seminary at Mainz, he appointed Moufang regent of the seminary and professor of moral and pastoral theology. Moufang became a canon 6 Nov., 1854, and spiritual adviser and member of the diocesan court 2 December of the same year. On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his priesthood the theological faculty of Würzburg bestowed the honorary degree of doctor of theology upon him. On the death of Lennig in 1866 the bishop wished Moufang to be his successor as dean of the cathedral and vicar-general. Moufang, however, declined, preferring to devote himself to the seminary. In November, 1868, he was summoned to Rome for the preparatory work of the Vatican Council, and was placed on the committee for ecclesiastico-political matters under Cardinal Reisach. During the Kulturkampf, to Moufang's great sorrow, the theological school of the seminary was closed (1877) by hostile legislation. After the death of Bishop von Ketteler (13 July, 1877), the chapter elected Moufang administrator of the diocese. The hostile attitude of the Prussian Government made this office very difficult during the ten years' vacancy of the see. On 16 April, 1886, Leo XIII made him a domestic prelate. Under Bishop Haffner the theological school of the seminary was reopened on 25 October, 1887, and Moufang again directed the seminary as regent. But ill-health prevented him from remaining long at the work that was so dear to him.

Moufang rendered great and permanent services to the Archdiocese of Mainz as an educator of the clergy and in many other ways. He was soon prominent in the circle that centred about Lennig's strong, energetic personality, and he took an eager part in all efforts to improve religious and social conditions. He assisted in the formation of the "Piusverein", and as a member of the "St. Vincenz-und Elisabeth-Verein" did much to promote its prosperity. In the regeneration of Catholic Germany his name is inseparably linked with the history of the general conventions (Generalversammlungen) of the Catholics of Germany. Like his colleague, Heinrich, he was, for almost forty years, one of the leading personalities and most prominent speakers. For a number of years he was also active as a legislator. After 1863, as representative of the bishop, he had a seat in the upper chamber of the Hessian Landtag, and repeatedly took a prominent part in the debates on social and political questions, and questions of Church policy. In 1871 he entered the German Reichstag, where he was held in great esteem by the Centre for his political services and as an intermediary in harmonizing the differences between North and South Germany. The most prominent feature of his literary activity was his work in reorganizing and publishing the "Katholik", which in collaboration with Heinrich he edited from 1851 until his death.

His other literary work was mainly in the history of the older Catholic catechisms in Germany. His chief works on this subject are: "Die Mainzer Katechismen von Erfindung der Buchdruckerkunst bis zum Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts" (Mainz, 1878); "Katholische Katechismen des 16. Jahrhunderts in deutscher Sprache, herausgegeben und mit Anmerkungen verschen" (Mainz, 1881). Among his numerous shorter writings are: "Die barmherzigen Schwestern, eine Darstellung ihrer Gründung, Verbreitung, Einrichtung und Wirksamkeit" (Mainz, 1842); "Der Informativ-Prozess. Eine kirchenrechtliche Erörterung" (Mainz, 1850); "Die katholischen Pfarrschulen in der Stadt Mainz" (Mainz, 1863); "Das Verbot der Ehen zwischen nahen Verwandten. Beleuchtung der Gründe dieses Verbotes" (Mainz, 1863, I; "Die Handwerkerfrage" (Mainz, 1864), a speech delivered in the Upper Chamber of the Landtag at Darmstadt and published with notes; "Die Kirche und die Versammlung katholischer Gelehrten" (Mainz, 1864), a reply to Dr. Michelis's "Kirche oder Partei"; "Cardinal Wiseman und seine Verdienste um die Wissenschaft und die Kirche" (Mainz, 1865); "Der Kampf um Rom und seine Folgen für Italien und die Welt" (Minz, 1868); "Carl August, Cardinal von Reisach", in "Katholic", 1870, I, 129-50; "Der besondere Schutz Gottes über Papst Pius IX" (Mainz, 1871); "Aktenstücke betreffend die Jesuiten in Deutschland, gesammelt und mit Erläuterungen versehen" (Mainz, 1872). Moufang also published a prayerbook, "Officium divinum", which is very widely used and has passed through numerous editions, the first appearing at Mainz, in 1851, the nineteenth in 1905.


Brück, Dr. Christoph Moufang, Päpstlicher Hausprälat, Domcapitular und Regens des bischöflichen Seminars zu Mainz. Eine Lebensskizze in Katholik (1890), I, pp. 481-93; II, pp. 1-25; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, LII, 486-88.

About this page

APA citation. Lauchert, F. (1911). Franz Christoph Ignaz Moufang. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Lauchert, Friedrich. "Franz Christoph Ignaz Moufang." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by M. Anne McCay. In memory of Rev. Msgr. Bernard Weber of Salem, South Dakota.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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