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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
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Franz Wilhelm, Count von Wartenberg

Bishop of Osnabruck and cardinal, eldest son of Duke Ferdinand of Bavaria and his morganatic wife Maria Pettenbeckin, b. at Munich, March 1, 1593; d. at Ratisbon, Dec. 1, 1661

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Errata* for Franz Wilhelm, Count von Wartenberg:

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Wartenberg, FRANZ WILHELM, COUNT VON, Bishop of Osnabruck and cardinal, eldest son of Duke Ferdinand of Bavaria and his morganatic wife Maria Pettenbeckin, b. at Munich, March 1, 1593; d. at Ratisbon, December 1, 1661. He was educated by the Jesuits, at Ingolstadt (1601-8), and at the Germanicum in Rome (1608-14). In 1621 he became manager of the governmental affairs of the Elector Ferdinand of Cologne, who appointed him president of his council and brought him to the Diet of Ratisbon in 1622. On October 26, 1625, he was elected Bishop of Osnabruck, receiving papal approbation April 25, 1626. The Catholic Faith in Osnabruck was then in a deplorable condition. The three preceding bishops had been Protestants and had replaced most of the Catholic priests by Protestant preachers. Cardinal Eitel Friedrich, who succeeded them, endeavored to restore the Catholic religion but soon died. With the help of Tilly Wartenberg took possession of his see (March 12, 1628), which had been occupied by Danish soldiers. He began the work of Counter-Reformation with great zeal; drove the Protestant preachers from the city and restored the churches to the Catholics. He eliminated the anti-Catholic element from the city council; took the system of education into his own hands; turned the former Augustinian convent over to the Jesuits whom he engaged as teachers at the Gymnasium Carolinum; restored various religious communities and established new ones; held synods and visitations, enforced the Tridentine decrees where possible and, in 1631, founded a university which, however, was destroyed by the Swedes in 1633.

Wartenberg was commissioned with the execution of the Edict of Restitution (1629) in Lower Saxony, and was elected later to the provostry of the collegiate church of Bonn. He was chosen Bishop of Verden (1630), Minden (1631), and appointed Vicar Apostolic of Bremen by Innocent X (1645). In 1633 Osnabruck capitulated to the Swedes and Wartenberg had to yield his see to Gustavus of Wasaburg, an illegitimate son of Gustavus Adolphus. During his forced exile, Wartenberg, who had not yet received any of the major orders, was ordained priest and consecrated bishop at Ratisbon in 1636. In 1641 he went to Rome and upon his return was elected Coadjutor Bishop of Ratisbon cum jure successionis, succeeding on April 9, 1650. In the negotiations of the Peace of Westphalia (1645-8) he represented the Catholic electors. Though preventing the intended secularization of his see by the Swedes, he had to yield to the stipulation that after his death the See of Osnabruck should be alternately administered by a Protestant and by a Catholic bishop. Wartenberg was to keep the See of Osnabruck, but the Sees of Verden, Minden, and Bremen fell into the hands of Protestants, Wartenberg, however, retaining spiritual jurisdiction over them. On December 18, 1650, he took possession of the See of Osnabruck and labored to restore the Catholic religion. On April 5, 1661, he was created cardinal-priest by Alexander VII.


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