Capito,Wolfgang Fabricius

Capito,Wolfgang Fabricius, an eminent coadjutor of OEcolampadius and Bucer in the Reformation, was born at Haguenau in 1478, studied medicine, and afterward theology, and became D.D. at Freiburg, 1506. His father's name was Köpfstein, and he was a blacksmith, whence the name Fabricius. For a while he was lecturer in the University of Freiburg, and in 1512 he became parish priest at Bruchsal, where he studied Hebrew with a converted Jew, made the acquaintance of OEcolampadius, and was led to the study of Luther's writings. Called to the cathedral at Basle, he there became intimate with Erasmus; and in his lectures to the students on Romans he showed reformatory tendencies. In 1520 he became chaplain to Albrecht, elector and archbishop of Mayence, whom he defended, gently, against one of Luther's attacks, on account of the traffic in indulgences. Luther (Jan. 17, 1522) sharply rebuked Capito as a time-server. Stung, and perhaps convicted, Capito abandoned Mayence (1523), and took up a prebend there which Leo X had given him. At Strasburg Capito's prudence led him to moderate the zeal of Zell and other reformers; but he soon became himself ardent and earnest in the cause. From that time on he was one of the most efficient of all the coadjutors of Luther. In 1524 he married. In 1530 he took part in preparing the Confessio Tetrapolitana (q.v.). His timidity, however, often drew on him the reproaches of Luther. In 1535 he had an interview with Calvin, at which he endeavored to bring about such a modification of the Genevan views on the subject of the Lord's Supper as might lead to a better understanding with the Lutherans. He died of the plague in 1541. He wrote many works, among them a Vita OEcolampadii, Enarrationes in Habacuch et Hoseam (Strasb. 1526 and 1528), and Responsio de missâ, matrimonio et jure magistratds in religionem (1537). Capito was a very learned man, and was in advance of his contemporaries also in toleration. See Baum, Capito und Butzer, Strassburg's Reformatoren (3d vol. of Leben und ausgewählte Schriften der Vater der reform. Kirche [Elberfeld, 1860]); Adami, Vit. Theolog. 41; Herzog, Real- Encyklopädie, 2:561; Middleton, Evangelical Biography, 1:147; Biblioth., Sacra, Jan. 1861.

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