Joseph Hubert Reinkens

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Joseph Hubert Reinkens

Joseph Hubert Reinkens (born March 1, 1821 in Burtscheid , † January 4, 1896 in Bonn ) was a German theologian and Catholic priest . He is one of the founders and was the first bishop of the Old Catholic Church in Germany .


Joseph Hubert Reinkens came from a poor family with many children. After his mother died in 1836 and his father became unable to work, he worked for a time in a factory in neighboring Aachen before he was able to attend grammar school from 1840. From 1844 he studied Catholic theology and classical philology at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn .

Ordained a priest in Cologne on September 3, 1848 , he continued studying church history in Bonn. After 1850 in Munich on Clement of Alexandria as a theologian to the doctor of theology doctorate was, he got a teaching position at the Silesian Friedrich-Wilhelms-University of Breslau , where he habilitated . In 1853 he became an associate professor and deputy cathedral preacher , and in 1857 professor for church history. In 1865/66 he was rector of the University of Breslau.

In the conflict that broke out between Prince-Bishop Heinrich Förster and Johann Baptist Baltzer , Reinkens, Förster's former friend, was on Baltzer's side. Reinkens made his rejection of the dogma of infallibility public with his writing Pope und Papstum, based on the drawing of St. Bernard (Münster 1870). As a result, Förster imposed a disciplinary investigation on the author. With Ignaz von Döllinger , Johann Friedrich von Schulte and Franz Heinrich Reusch , he drafted the Nuremberg Declaration against the First Vatican Council on August 26 and 27, 1870 . From then on he devoted himself entirely to the cause of the Old Catholics, who elected him their first bishop in Cologne on June 4, 1873. Heinrich Förster excommunicated him in 1872. On August 11, 1873 he received in Rotterdam by Hermann Heykamp , the Old Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Deventer , the episcopal ordination . He headed the German diocese until his death in 1896.

The philosophy faculty of the University of Leipzig awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1871 .


  • De Clemente presbytero Alexandrino theologo . Wroclaw 1850
  • The University of Breslau before the Frankfurt Viadrina merged with the Leopoldina . Wroclaw 1861.
  • Hilary of Poitiers : A monograph . Schaffhausen 1864
  • Martin von Tours the miraculous monk and bishop in his life and work . Wroclaw 1866
  • The philosophy of history of St. Augustine: with a critique of the evidence of materialism against the existence of the spirit; Speech given at the takeover of the rectorate of the University of Breslau on October 15, 1865 . Schaffhausen 1866. digitized version
  • The papal decrees of July 18, 1870 . Reprint of the orig. from 1897. Vienna 1870. Microfiche edition. Egelsbach; Cologne; new York
  • On Papal Infallibility: Some Reflections . Munich 1870
  • Aristotle : About art, especially about tragedy. Exegetical and critical research . Vienna 1870
  • Revolution and Church. Answering a question of the day with regard to the current tendency and practice of the Roman Curie , 6 vols. Bonn 1876
  • On the unity of the Catholic Church . Wuerzburg 1877
  • Luise Hensel and her songs . Bonn 1877
  • Amalie von Lasaulx a confessor . Bonn 1878
  • Melchior from Diepenbrock . A picture of time and life. L. Fernau, Leipzig 1881
  • Lessing on tolerance , Leipzig 1883
  • Pastoral letters from Joseph Hubert Reinkens. After his death published by the Synodal Representation. Reprint of the original edition from 1897. Alt-Katholisches Ordinariat, Bonn 2002



Web links

Commons : Joseph Hubert Reinkens  - Collection of Images
Wikisource: Joseph Hubert Reinkens  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Rector's speeches (HKM)
  2. ^ Heinrich Bacht : The tragedy of a friendship. Prince-Bishop Heinrich Förster and Professor Joseph Hubert Reinkens (= research and sources on the church and cultural history of East Germany , Volume 20). Böhlau, Cologne / Vienna 1985, ISBN 3-412-01784-1 .
  3. Michael Sachs: "Prince Bishop and Vagabond". The story of a friendship between the Prince-Bishop of Breslau Heinrich Förster (1799–1881) and the writer and actor Karl von Holtei (1798–1880). Edited textually based on the original Holteis manuscript. In: Medical historical messages. Journal for the history of science and specialist prose research. Volume 35, 2016 (2018), pp. 223–291, here: p. 251.
  4. Bischof-Reinkens-Stiftung on the website of the Old Catholic Church in Germany, accessed on December 2, 2017
predecessor Office successor
- German Old Catholic Bishop
Theodor Weber