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Adrian and Peter von Walenburch

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Auxiliary bishops of Cologne and celebrated controversial theologians, born at Rotterdam at the beginning of the seventeenth century, exact dates of birth unknown; Adrian died at Mainz, or Wiesbaden, 11 or 14 September, 1669; Peter died at Cologne, 21 December, 1675. The early accounts of the brothers do not agree as to whether they were Protestants or Catholics in their youth. The brothers studied law in France and received the doctorate in civil and canon law. After returning to Rotterdam they studied Catholic theology. On account of the religious turmoil in Holland they went to Germany, living at the Court of the Duke of Pfalz-Neuburg at Dusseldorf till 1646, when they went to Cologne. There in 1647 the Archbishop and Elector of Cologne, Maximilian Heinrich of Bavaria, appointed Adrian Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar-General of Cologne and consecrated him titular Bishop of Adrianople on 30 Nov., 1661. The younger brother, Peter, became a canon of the collegiate Churches of St. Peter and St. Victor at Mainz; in 1658 he was made titular Bishop of Mysia and auxiliary bishop to the Archbishop and Elector Johann Philip von Schönborn. The last years of his stay at Mainz coincide with the first years of Leibniz's residence at the Court of Mainz. Peter aided Leibniz in his theological studies in connection with his scheme of ecclesiastical reunion. After Adrian's death Peter was appointed in 1669 Auxiliary Bishop of Cologne. The brothers were noted for their theological learning; they were also voluminous writers in theological controversy with Protestants. Peter was the chief author of their joint works. They also engaged in literary controversy with many learned Protestant theologians, as Coccejus, Crocius, Hulsemann, Dannhauer, and Drelincourt. Their works are distinguished by clear and thorough reasoning, and a moderate charitable tone. The most noted of the conversions effected by the brothers is that of the Landgrave Ernst of Hesse-Rheinfels, at Cologne in 1652. Their collected works were issued in two volumes folio (Cologne, 1669-71). The first volume contains mainly the exposition of principles, partly in treatises which lay the fundamental basis, partly in further discussions with Protestant opponents. The last treatise is a satire on Oliver Cromwell as the protector of Protestantism. The second volume "Tractatus speciales de controversiis fidei" (Cologne, 1671) contains seventeen treatises on special subjects.


FOPPENS, Bibl. Belgica, II (Brussels, 1739), 1018-9, with portraits; HARTZHEIM, Bibl. coloniensis (Cologne, 1747), 8-9, 285-86; 397-443, on pp. 405-43 is given the first paragraph of the reason of Landgrave Ernst of Hesse for returning to the Church; HURTER, Nomenclator literarius, IV (3rd ed., Innsbruck, 1910), 79-82; WERNER, Gesch. der apolog. und polem. Literatur, IV (Schaffhausen, 1865), 586-7.

About this page

APA citation. Lauchert, F. (1912). Adrian and Peter von Walenburch. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Lauchert, Friedrich. "Adrian and Peter von Walenburch." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Thomas M. Barrett. Dedicated to the memories of Bishops Adrian & Peter Von Walenburch.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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