The New International Encyclopædia/Baltzer, Johann Baptista

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BALTZER, bälts′ẽr, Johann Baptista (1803-71). A German theologian. He was born at Andernach; studied at Bonn, and after his ordination to the priesthood in 1829, was made professor of theology at Breslau in the following year. He was at first an enthusiastic follower of Georg Hermes in his attempt to reconcile the newer German philosophy with the Roman Catholic teaching, but definitely broke with his school in 1839, and associated himself with the speculations of Anton Günther. After the Papal condemnation of the latter's teachings, Baltzer submitted indeed, but his independent spirit led him into further difficulties, and he was suspended in 1862. As in natural sequence he was a strenuous opponent of the definition of Papal infallibility, and was a promoter of the Old-Catholic movement in Silesia. For his life, consult: Friedberg (Leipzig, 1873), and Melzer (Bonn, 1877), both favoring Baltzer's attitude, and Franz (Berlin, 1873), representing the other side.