John III Grünwalder

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Johannes Grünwalder on a painting in the Fürstengang Freising
The coat of arms of Johannes Grünwalder in the Fürstengang Freising

Johannes Grünwalder (* after January 1392 at Grünwald Castle near Munich; † December 2, 1452 in Vienna ) was from 1443/48 to 1452 as Johannes III. Prince-Bishop of Freising .

Youth and first offices

Grünwalder was an illegitimate son of Duke Johann II of Bavaria-Munich and Anna Pirsser.

In order to secure his sustenance, he was chosen for the clergy. He received his first training in the Augustinian canons in Indersdorf . There he already attracted positive attention when, as a minorist, he wrote a rule of St. Augustine , which was considered exemplary . At the age of seventeen he became canon of Freising in 1411 and then went to study in Vienna. In 1414 he was appointed provost of Isen and in 1416 pastor of St. Peter in Munich. But he never carried out this office. From 1416 to 1418 he studied ecclesiastical and Roman law in Padua and received a doctorate in law. In 1418 he was appointed provost of Innichen .

Johannes found himself in a favorable position when the bishopric became vacant on December 13, 1421 due to the sudden death of Freising Bishop Hermann von Cilli . The Freising Cathedral Chapter elected him, who enjoyed the support of the Munich Wittelsbacher, as bishop in January 1422. However, there were two other candidates for the bishopric: The Habsburg Duke Albrecht V stood up for Albrecht von Pottendorf at the Pope. Pope Martin V, however, ignored the cathedral chapter's right to vote and on March 29, 1422 decided in favor of Nicodemus della Scala, supported by Heinrich XIV of Lower Bavaria . Duke Albrecht gave up his candidate in favor of Nicodemus, but the cathedral chapter and Duke Johann II insisted on Johannes Grünwalder. Only in autumn 1422 came through the mediation of the Salzburg Archbishop Eberhard III. von Neuhaus compares it to status: Grünwalder renounced the bishop's chair and instead became permanent vicar general with annual special payments and Nicodemus became Prince-Bishop of Freising on December 7, 1423.

Acting as permanent vicar general

Since Bishop Nicodemus as papal chamberlain was often not present in his diocese, it was mainly up to John to implement the reforms of the clergy and the monasteries in the diocese according to the specifications of the Council of Constance . From 1424 to 1427 Grünwalder was on the road and successfully reformed the monasteries Tegernsee , Weihenstephan , Dietramszell , Rottenbuch , Beuerberg , Scheyern , Indersdorf , Beyharting and Weyarn with the cathedral priest ; only in Ebersberg did he fail with his reform efforts. Through his visitations and the measures for inner renewal he had earned his excellent reputation in the spiritual world.

In January 1432, Grünwalder became one of the key figures in the Council of Basel . Since his bishop Nicodemus was the representative of Duke Albrecht V of Austria, it was up to Grünwalder to represent the interests of the Freising Monastery. However, since Nicodemus set out for the Frankfurt Princely Congress in September 1432 and was not supposed to return to the council, Grünwalder increasingly faced important and significant tasks. In 1433 he led a trial against Louis VII the Bearded, was involved in the peace negotiations between England and France in 1433, investigated the Roman trials on behalf of the council in 1434, checked taxes for Rome in 1435 and negotiated with representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church in 1436 . At the end of April 1437 he left the council to carry out two diocesan synods (April 1438 and July 1439) in his home bishopric.

On June 25, 1439, the Basel Council declared Pope Eugene IV deposed and elected Duke Amadeus of Savoy as Felix V as the new Pope. He urgently asked Grünwalder to Basel. Grünwalder arrived and caused a sensation with his writing treatise on the authority of general councils , in which he explained that the councils are above the Pope, since they have their power directly from Christ. He thus sided with Felix V and managed to get Duke Albrecht III. von Bayern-Munich openly confessed to Felix V. As a reward, Pope Felix presented Johannes with the cardinal's hat: Johannes vicarius Frisingensis presbiter et cardinalis tit. S. Martini in Montibus. Grünwalder thus became the diocese's first cardinal . His bishop Nicodemus, on the other hand, held with Pope Eugene IV and declared Grünwalder as vicar general deposed and relieved of all offices. All attempts at mediation failed and both now covered each other with processes of who held which offices and who was superior to whom.

Bishop of Freising

When Nicodemus died on August 13, 1443, the Freising Cathedral Chapter unanimously elected Grünwalder as Johannes III on September 13, 1443. as Bishop of Freising, after he had already been elected in 1422. The election was duly confirmed by Salzburg Archbishop Johann II von Reisberg and Johannes III. entered Freising on October 10th as bishop.

In the meantime, however, Kaspar Schlick , the powerful chancellor of the German kings, had campaigned for his brother Heinrich as the new bishop of Freising and received support from King Friedrich III. Since neither Pope Felix V nor Pope Eugene V wanted to spoil it with the king, the answer to the controversial question of who should now become Bishop of Freising dragged on. In January 1444, Pope Eugene IV declared Heinrich the rightful bishop, Pope Felix no longer answered. Completely unexpectedly, however, King Friedrich Heinrich II dropped Schlick and in April 1448 asked Pope Nicholas V to recall Heinrich Schlick and appoint Grünwalder as Bishop of Freising. In August 1448 Heinrich II. Schlick renounced his claims. Grünwalder, for his part, renounced the cardinal title, swore allegiance to Pope Nicholas V and was now finally Bishop of Freising recognized by all.

John III was now at the zenith of his career. He was chairman of the royal court and was the mediator in the dispute over the Hungarian royal crown between Władysław III. and Ladislaus ordered.

His diocese itself was financially shattered; the disbursement and the transfer of Oberwölz to Heinrich Schlick damaged the bishopric very much. In 1451, John III sold the lordship of Ulmerfeld (today the municipality of Amstetten, Lower Austria) to redeem the pledged goods Burgrain , Innichen and Waidhofen an der Ybbs with the money . However, he had a thousand guilders set aside every year in order to be able to buy back Ulmerfeld. This succeeded his successor Johann IV. Tulbeck .

From a spiritual point of view, John's reign was exemplary: his monastery reforms as vicar general continued to have an effect, and the monasteries of his diocese performed best during the visitation that Cardinal Nikolaus von Kues carried out on behalf of the Pope in 1451.

Already during his lifetime, John III. erect a tomb of Jakob Kaschauer from Vienna. Today it is located on the south side of the cathedral vestibule . John III Grünwalder died during negotiations with the Hungarians on December 2, 1452 in the Freising Court in Vienna.


  • Egon Johannes Greipl: Grünwalder, Johann . In: Erwin Gatz , Clemens Brodkorb (ed.): The bishops of the Holy Roman Empire. A biographical lexicon . tape 2 (1448 to 1648). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-428-08422-5 , pp. 246-247 .
  • Hyacinth HollandJohn III . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 10, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1879, p. 60.
  • Manfred Hörner:  Johannes III. Grünwalder. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 3, Bautz, Herzberg 1992, ISBN 3-88309-035-2 , Sp. 380-382.
  • August Koeniger: Johann III. Grünwalder . In: Program of the royal Wittelsbacher Gymnasium in Munich for the school year 1913/14 . Munich 1914, p. 1-79 .
  • August Leidl:  Johannes III. Grünwalder. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 10, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1974, ISBN 3-428-00191-5 , p. 485 ( digitized version ).
  • Erich Meuthen : The Freising Bishop and Cardinal Johannes Grünwalder († 1452) . In: Georg Schwaiger (Hrsg.): Christian life in the course of time. Life pictures from the history of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising . tape 1 . Wewel, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-87904-154-7 , p. 92-102 .
  • Werner Müller: Duke Wilhelm III. of Bavaria-Munich and Johann Grünwalder at the Council of Basel (1431–1449) . In: Upper Bavarian Archive . tape 129 , 2005, pp. 153-188, especially pp. 171-187 .
  • Markus Wesche: The Freising Bishop Johannes Grünwalder. Traces of life in Munich science institutions and research projects . In: Akademie Aktuell. Journal of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . No. 33 , 2010, p. 55–59 ( online ( memento of March 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), PDF; 1.1 MB).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Markus Wesche: The Freising Bishop Johannes Grünwalder. online ( Memento of March 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 1.1 MB), p. 57
  2. August Koeniger: Johann III. Grünwalder. Munich 1914, p. 4 ff.
  3. Kings, Johann III. Grünwalder, p. 12 f.
  4. Kings, Johann III. Grünwalder, p. 28 f.
  5. Kings, Johann III. Grünwalder, p. 51 f.
  6. ^ K. Meichelbeck: Historia Frisingensis. Augsburg, 1724-29, II / 1, p. 232 f.
  7. ^ Deutinger, Papal Documents, 101-104 No. 37
  8. ^ K. Meichelbeck: Historia Frisingensis. Augsburg, 1724-29, II / 1, p. 240 f.
  9. Kings, Johann III. Grünwalder, p. 75.
  10. ^ K. Meichelbeck: Historia Frisingensis. Augsburg, 1724-29, II / 1, SS 286 f.
  11. ^ Sigmund Riezler: History of Baierns. Volume III, Gotha 1878, p. 832.
predecessor Office successor
Heinrich II. Schlick Bishop of Freising
1443 / 48–1452
Johann IV. Tulbeck