Lang (of Wellenburg), Matthdus

Lang (Of Wellenburg), Matthdus, a noted German prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, an acknowledged natural brother of the emperor Maximilian I, was born in Augsburg in 1469, and educated at the University of Ingolstadt. He was secretary first to Frederick III and later to Maximilian I. At the same time he held positions in the Church. He was successively priest at Augsburg and Constance until 1505, when he was appointed bishop of Gurk. Inclined towards the schismatics of the Council of Pisa, and feared on account of his influence over the emperor, who was following the lead of Lang, the youthful bishop received the cardinal's hat from pope Julius II in 1511. Of course the conferred honor made the trusted adviser of Maximilian an obedient servant of the pontiff. Lang rested not until peace was restored between emperor and pope, so long at variance. SEE LATERAN, COUNCIL OF, 1513; SEE PISA, COUNCIL OF; SEE JULIUS II. In 1514 he was made coadjutor of the archbishop of Salzburg, and in 1519 sole incumbent of that archiepiscopal see. In 1518 he attended the diet at Augsburg, and was active both for the election of Charles V as king of Rome, and the submission of Luther. First inclined to liberal action towards those who clamored for reform, threatening to quit the Church unless their wishes were heeded, he changed front suddenly after he had gained over Johann Staupitz (q.v.); crushed the revolutionary movements of the Salzburgers in 1523; in the year following joined the Romish League (q.v.) ; and in 1525, assisted by Bavaria, suppressed the peasant insurrections. At the Diet of Augsburg in 1530 he openly declared himself a bitter opponent of Luther. He died in March 1540. A narrative of cardinal Lang's travels in Austria, Hungary, and the Tyrol was published by his chaplain Bartholinus, under the title Odeporicon de Matthaei cardinalis (Vienna, 1511, 4to). This work is now very rare (comp. Gotz, Dresdener Bibliothek, 3:37). Vehse (Memoirs of the Court, Aristocracy and Diplomacy of Austria [transl. by Demmler, Lond. 1856, 2 volumes, sm. 8vo ], 1:31) thus comments on his character: "Lang was an exceedingly eloquent and adroit man, yet he was just as famous for his elasticity of conscience as for cleverness. He surpassed in splendor all the cardinals and archbishops of his time, and in this respect certainly did not belie his Caesarean descent." See also Hansitz, Germanian Sacra, volume 2; Dücker, Chronik V. Salzburg; Braun, Gesch. d. B. B. V. Augsburg, volume 3; Veith, Bibliotheca Augustana, Alphabet 5, pages 25-116; Wetzer und Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 6:348. SEE MAXIMILIAN. (J.H.W.)

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