Matthäus Georg von Chandelle

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Bishop Matthäus von Chandelle, with the Speyer Cathedral and its coat of arms, painted by Joseph Kellerhoven

Matthäus Georg Chandelle , from 1816 from Chandelle , (born December 10, 1745 in Frankfurt am Main , † June 30, 1826 in Speyer ) was Bishop of Speyer from 1818 to 1826 .

Youth and education

Matthäus Georg Chandelle was the son of the wealthy wine merchant Nikolaus Chandelle and his wife Anna Gertrude nee. Donett, daughter of the sculptor Cornelius Andreas Donett (1683–1748) , who worked in Frankfurt . His older brother Andreas Joseph Chandelle (1743-1820) lived in Frankfurt as a senior postal worker and pastel painter.

The sickly boy was highly gifted and studied theology with the Jesuits in Mainz . After graduating as a doctor of theology, he entered the clerical seminary in Mainz and was ordained a priest there on June 6, 1769 .

Activity in Mainz and Aschaffenburg

Chandelle was physically too frail to work in pastoral care, so he first worked as an educator and then as cathedral chaplain of the Mainz Prince-Bishop Emmerich Joseph von Breidbach zu Bürresheim . After he was appointed Assessor at the General Vicariate in Mainz in 1775 and Domicellar at St. Peter's Abbey in Fritzlar in 1780 , he later moved to St. Peter in Mainz as a scholaster . At the same time he worked as canon at St. Gangolf . He worked on the Metropolitan Court for several years .

After the occupation of Mainz by French revolutionary troops in the First Coalition War in 1792, he lost his benefices on the left bank of the Rhine and spiritual jurisdiction was abolished. Therefore he moved to Archbishop Friedrich Karl Joseph von Erthal in Aschaffenburg , where he became official for the western part of the Archdiocese of Mainz on the right bank of the Rhine and head of the vicariate in Aschaffenburg. In 1804 Chandelle advanced to the Privy Council and in 1807 he became director of the Archbishop of Regensburg Vicariate General in Aschaffenburg.

Chandelle did a great job in the following years, Archbishop Karl Theodor von Dalberg honored him with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Concord .

Bishop of Speyer

Matthäus Georg von Chandelle, painted by his brother Andreas Joseph Chandelle , 1810

In 1816 the auxiliary bishop of Aschaffenburg Joseph Hieronymus Karl Kolborn died . Prince-Bishop Dalberg proposed Chandelle as his successor, but it became clear that the reorganization of the dioceses in Bavaria would no longer require an auxiliary bishop there.

On October 25, 1817, Würzburg Auxiliary Bishop Gregor von Zirkel was appointed by the Bavarian King as the first modern bishop of Speyer. Zirkel died on December 18 of the same year before the papal confirmation was received. Because of the lack of papal approval and inauguration, Zirkel is not the first Speyer bishop of the new diocese. Then the office was offered to the Mainz bishop Joseph Ludwig Colmar , who refused it because of his advanced age. Instead, he proposed his vicar general Johann Jakob Humann .

Finally, King Max I Joseph surprisingly decided in favor of Matthäus Georg Chandelle and on February 5, 1818 appointed him the first bishop of the reborn Diocese of Speyer. This appointment was confirmed by Pope Pius VII on May 18, 1818 . It was only on 9 November 1821 received Chandelle in Munich by Nuncio Francesco di Serra-Cassano the episcopal ordination after the establishment of the diocese had become final. Until then, the diocese had been co-administered by the Mainz diocese administrator Johann Jakob Humann , who also installed the new cathedral chapter.

Chandelle was seriously ill at his episcopal ordination. In Speyer, the enthronement took place on January 20, 1822 in the monastery church of St. Magdalena , because the Speyer Cathedral was not yet usable due to the war damage (Speyer was looted by the French). As a Bavarian bishop he received the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown , combined with the personal title of nobility.

Chandelle wished to make Aschaffenburg the seat of his diocese. He suggested to the nuncio that the territory of the Principality of Aschaffenburg , which had been assigned to the Diocese of Würzburg by the Concordat , should be allocated to the Diocese of Speyer. His reasoning was that the destroyed Speyer Cathedral was unsuitable as a cathedral and the financial possibilities of the diocese were exhausted. There is a lack of space and staff to set up a cathedral chapter and a seminary . In addition, the majority of the population is Protestant, which must lead to tension, while Aschaffenburg is Catholic. However, the papal curia did not accept these suggestions .

The situation in Speyer was problematic when the new bishop took office. The Palatinate was alien to the authorities in Munich, the government in Speyer mostly occupied by Protestants. The new diocese had to grow together from more than 40 former territories. The older generation of priests still came from the tradition of the imperial church, the younger priests brought with them a rather anti-enlightenment and strict churchliness from Mainz.

Within a year, the cathedral was rebuilt as a bishop's church for worship. The first cathedral chapter, mainly alumni from Mainz, was sworn in by Humann in December 1821. Humann had made all the suggestions because Chandelle didn't know anyone in his new diocese. So the cathedral chapter and the bishop were initially strangers. The later Speyer bishops Johannes von Geissel and Nikolaus von Weis were among the first cathedral capitulars . Chandelle appointed Provost Johann Valentin Metz as Vicar General . Some of the capitulars were very old, and many had no experience. In the following years there were strong tensions between the bishop and the cathedral chapter.

Gravestone Bishop Matthäus von Chandelle, cathedral chapter cemetery near St. Bernhard, Speyer

One of the first challenges was filling the vacant parish posts, which made up around a quarter of the diocese's 200 parishes. However, there was a lack of young priests, so that a separate seminar had to be set up first. So far, the candidates had been trained in Mainz. The government did not initially grant the diocese of Speyer its own seminary, so Chandelle ordered the theology students to go to Aschaffenburg. This led to tension with the seminar in Mainz. Chandelle first helped the shortage of priests by recruiting priests from the Aschaffenburg area, whom he knew personally from his time, to Speyer. This in turn was received negatively by both the diocese of Würzburg and the Speyer clergy.

Chandelle was a born bureaucrat and a skilled politician, who, however, did not always negotiate successfully with the partly anti-church, partly indifferent government. However, he recognized the right of the government to confirm church edicts and always approached them for approval. In this way he achieved that his edicts were enforced with state authority. In the prevailing circumstances, however, the bishop's scope for decision-making was limited.

Chandelle only dealt with his own cathedral chapter in writing and he also avoided contact with his diocesans. He only traveled to confirmations within the Rhine plain, as his physical frailty meant that he could not undertake long journeys. Most of the Catholics in the diocese did not know him personally. The clergy, too, repeatedly disregarded his orders. This created great tension.

After the nuncio had received repeated complaints about the administration of Chandelle in January 1826 (it is assumed that the canon Nikolaus von Weis was the author), he tried to persuade Chandelle to resign. Chandelle fought against it, and threatened at King I. Ludwig to turn. However, the nuncio himself inaugurated the king in an audience, but this did not lead to any result.

One of the charges against Chandelle was that he hardly gave confirmations. To refute this, he went on a company trip to the West Palatinate on June 6th. However, the efforts of the trip were too great for him, so that he became seriously ill and died immediately after returning on June 30, 1826.

Chandelle was first buried in the city cemetery. Only later did the Nuncio request that the bishops be buried in the cathedral, which Ludwig I approved on October 3, 1826. Chandelle was not reburied, however. When the cemetery was closed, the bishop's grave disappeared. The grave slab was initially located near the royal choir, then changed location several times and is now in the cemetery of the canons near St. Bernhard .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Joachim Heinrich Jäck: Most important life moments of all royal. Bavarian civil and military servants of this century , Volume 4, Augsburg, 1819, p. 46 u. 44 (digital scan) .
  2. Frankfurt and his buildings , 1886, Reprint: Books on Demand, 2012, ISBN 3846010006 , page 114; (Digital scan) .
predecessor Office successor
Philipp Franz Wilderich Nepomuk von Walderdorf Bishop of Speyer
Johann Martin Manl