Meindaerts, Peter John

Meindaerts, Peter John a Dutch theologian of note, was born Nov. 7,1684, at Groningen. After having concluded his studies at Malines and Louvain, he became attached to the cause of Peter Codde, a Jansenistic prelate, who had just been dismissed by the pope from the vicarship of the United Provinces. Meindaerts was therefore obliged to go to Ireland to receive his sacerdotal ordination (1716). On his return he was made pastor of Leuwarden. In 1739 he was elected archbishop of Utrecht, in the place of Theodore van der Croon, and occupied the see until his death. Like his predecessors, Meindaerts was often obliged to defend the rights of his see against the encroachments of the court of Rome. Censured by Clement XII, he appealed from him to the first council, and executed the project, a long time meditated, of filling the vacant sees of his metropolis. It was thus that he revived the extinct bishoprics of Harlem and Deventer, by giving them, one to Jerome de Bock (1742), the other to Jean Byeveld (1758). These acts of authority drew upon him new censures from Benedict XIV and Clement XIII. In 1763. Meindaerts held a council at Utrecht, in which were seated his suffragans, his clergy, and many French Jansenists. This act further provoked the most animated controversies. He died at Groningen Oct. 31, 1767, after having presided many times at Utrecht over a religious assembly, to which he gave the name of Provincial Synod. His principal writings are, Recueil de temoignages en faveur de 1'eglise d'Utrecht (Utrecht, 1763, 4to; reprinted in 2 vols. 12mo) :-the Actes of the Council of Utrecht, in Latin, translated into French, 4to: — Lettre a Clement XIII (Utrecht, 1768, 12mo). See Chalnot, Biograph. Woordenbock, s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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