Heribert Schmitz (theologian, 1929)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heribert Schmitz (born November 8, 1929 in Koblenz ; † August 8, 2018 in Munich ) was a Roman Catholic prelate , Catholic theologian and canon lawyer and a member of the Bavarian Senate . He was one of the leading Catholic canon lawyers in Germany.


After graduating from high school in 1949, Heribert Schmitz entered the Episcopal Seminary in Trier and studied philosophy and Catholic theology at the Philosophical-Theological University and the Theological Faculty in Trier . He was ordained a priest on March 26, 1955 in Trier and was chaplain in Saarbrücken -Burbach ( St. Eligius ) from 1955 to 1958 . In 1963 he was in Munich on Canon Law Institute of the University of Munich with a canonical dissertation on the legal systematics of the Codex juris canonici: Liber 1-3 to Dr. iur. can. PhD . In 1966 he completed his habilitation and received the venia legendi for canon law and ecclesiastical legal history from the Catholic-Theological Faculty of the University of Munich.

In 1965 he was offered a professorship for canon law at the Philosophical-Theological University of Passau ; In 1967 he switched to the professorship for canon law at the Trier Theological Faculty . From 1971 to 1996 he was a full professor for canon law, from 1978 for "canon law, especially for administrative law and church legal history" at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich . From 1981 to 1986 he was vice dean and dean as well as chairman of the Canon Institute. In 1996 he retired.

1986 Pope named him John Paul II. To the Pontifical honor prelates . As a representative of the Roman Catholic Church, Schmitz was also a member of the Bavarian Senate from 1994 to 1999 .


For 20 years he was chairman of the working group of canon law experts, from 1975 to 1995 he was the spokesman for the working group of representatives of canon law. Schmitz was also one of the important advisers to the German Bishops' Conference and the Vatican on canonical issues.

Schmitz has contributed significantly to a number of standard works on canon law. He was one of the co-editors of the Handbook of Catholic Canon Law and, together with his successor, Stephan Haering OSB , published a new lexicon of canon law. As a member of the Pontifical Commission, he played a key role in the reform of the CIC ecclesiastical code of law . Above all, he was considered an expert in the field of ecclesiastical administrative law and ecclesiastical university law and was a consultor of the Pontifical Council for the authentic interpretation of laws.

He had a decisive influence on the Canonical Institute at the University of Munich, which was founded by Klaus Mörsdorf in 1947 and where young canon lawyers are trained for science and church service.

honors and awards

Fonts (selection)

  • Studies on church legal culture (= research on canon law. Vol. 34). Echter, Würzburg 2005, ISBN 3-429-02689-X .
  • The liturgy instruction “Redemptionis sacramentum” from 2004. Notes on canon law on the decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Order of the Sacraments of March 25, 2004 (= Adnotationes in ius canonicum. Vol. 36). Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main et al. 2005, ISBN 3-631-54010-8 .
  • Cathedral chapter in Germany after the Vatican Revolution. Sketches - information - stumbling blocks. Press Office of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Cologne 1998.
  • Trends in post-conciliar legislation. Sighting and evaluation. In: Archives for Catholic Church Law . Vol. 146, 1977, pp. 381-419, (Unchanged reprint, independent: (= Canonistica. Vol. 2). Paulinus-Verlag, Trier 1979, ISBN 3-7902-0310-6 ).
  • The legal system of the Codex juris canonici Liber 1–3 (= Munich Theological Studies. 3: Canonical Department. Vol. 18, ISSN  0580-1397 ). Munich, Hueber 1963, (At the same time: Munich, University, dissertation, from July 21, 1962).


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Munich canon lawyer Heribert Schmitz died. Report on kathisch.de, August 9, 2018. Accessed August 9, 2018.
  2. Obituaries of Heribert Schmitz , Süddeutsche Zeitung, August 18, 2018. Accessed August 19, 2018.
  3. 100 years of the Catholic Church Community of St. Eligius Saarbrücken-Burbach, Festschrift, ed. by the Catholic parish of St. Eligius Saarbrücken-Burbach, Saarbrücken 1985, p. 117.