Dominis, De, Marco Antonio

Dominis, de, Marco Antonio a learned Italian theologian, was born in 1566, of an ancient family, at Arba, on the coast of Dalmatia, and studied at the Jesuits' college at Loretto, and at the University of Padua. The authorities of the university used their influence to induce him to enter the order of Jesuits: to this he appears to have consented at first; and, while passing his novitiate, he gave instruction in mathematics, physics, and eloquence. At the same time he employed his leisure in the study of theology. The routine of a college life not suiting his taste, De Dominis quitted Padua; and, on the recommendation of the emperor Rodolphus, he was appointed bishop of Segni, much to the anger of the Jesuits. Two years afterwards he was made archbishop of Spalatro; but, while holding this dignity, he became embroiled with the pope (Paul V) by taking a part in the disputes between that pontiff and the Venetians respecting the endowment of ecclesiastical establishments. On this occasion he threw out a censure on the conduct of the pope;, and he further gave offense by entering upon the important but personally dangerous subject of reforming the manners of the clergy. He resigned his archbishopric and retired to Venice in 1615, and in 1616 he came to England, where James I appointed him dean of Windsor. He now prepared his book, De Republica Ecclesiastica, the object of which is to show that the pope has no supremacy over other bishops (Lond. part 1, 1617; part 2, 1620; part 3, Hanov. 1622, fol.). He edited father Paul's Hist. of the Council of Trent in English. De Dominis appears to have been restless and inconstant, for after a few years he expressed a wish to return to the Roman Church, and having received from Gregory XV a promise of pardon, he set out for Rome. Soon after his arrival, some intercepted letters gave indications that his repentance was not sincere, and he was in consequence committed to the castle of St. Angelo, where, after an imprisonment of a few months, he died, September, 1624. Being convicted after his death of heresy, his body was disinterred and burnt. A pamphlet, called his Reasons for renouncing the Protestant Religion, appeared in London in 1827 (8vo). Dr. Newland, dean of Ferns, published in 1860 a Life and Contemporaneous Church History of De Dominis. — Hook, Ecclesiastes Biog. 4:474; English Cyclopaedia; Collier, Ecclesiastes Hist. 7:434 sq.

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