Droste Zu Vischering, Clemens August

Droste zu Vischering, Clemens August, Baron von, archbishop of Cologne, was born at Münster, Westphalia, January 22, 1773. He studied theology and philosophy at Munster, and was early introduced into the literary circle of the princess Amalia of Gallitzin (q.v.). After traveling for some time in Italy, where he devoted himself to the study of art, he was consecrated a priest at Minster on May 14, 1798, by his brother Kaspar Maximilian, who had been, since 1795, assistant bishop (weihbishof) of Münster. In 1807 he was elected by the chapter vicar general, and, as such, administered the diocese until 1813, when Napoleon appointed the baron von Spiegel bishop of Münster. In order to avoid a schism, Droste conferred the administration of the diocese upon the new bishop. During the Congress of Vienna he went to Rome, to make a report on the situation of the Church of Rome in Germany. On his return, March, 1815, he published a papal brief, which dissolved the chapter established by Napoleon, and relieved the baron von Spiegel from the administration of the diocese. The papal decree was recognized by the king of Prussia, who had become the sovereign of Münster; but soon conflicts arose between the Prussian government and Droste, who had again taken charge of the administration of the diocese. He forbade Roman Catholic theological students to study at the new Prussian University of Bonn. After the conclusion of the concordat between Prussia and the pope, Droste again retired into private life, and devoted himself wholly to the extension of a new association of Sisters of Charity which he had founded. In 1827 he was consecrated assistant bishop of Münster. In 1835 he was elected archbishop of Cologne, he having previously promised to adhere to an agreement concluded between the Prussian government and the late archbishop of Cologne concerning marriages between Roman Catholics and Protestants. But soon after his inthronization, the new archbishop was involved in serious conflicts with the government. He maintained that he had been deceived by the Prussian government as to the true meaning of the agreement between the government and archbishop Spiegel (to which all the other bishops of Prussia had also given their adhesion), and declared that he would strictly carry out the views of the pope. He also proceeded with great rigor against the Hermesians (q.v.), whose views had been repeatedly condemned in Rome, but who were patronized by the Prussian government. Repeated efforts of the government to prevail upon Droste to abdicate having failed, he was, on November 20, 1837, arrested and sent to the fortress of Minden. Soon after the accession of Friedrich Wilhelm IV to the throne of Prussia, the difficulties between the State and Church of Rome were settled by a compromise, and Droste restored to liberty. He had, however, to accept a coadjutor (bishop Geissel, of Spires), to whom he wholly left the administration of the diocese. He also refused a cardinal's hat which was offered to him by the pope. He died at Munster on October 19,1845. He published several pamphlets on the relation between Church and State, one ascetical book, and a volume of sermons, none of which are of permanent value.-Wetzer u, Welte, Kirchen-Lexikon, 3:306; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 3:506. SEE DUNIN; SEE COLOGNE; SEE PRUSSIA.

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