Hermann Von Wied

1477-1552. Church reformer. Trained in law, he became archbishop-elector of Cologne while only a subdeacon (1515), and later also administrator of Paderborn diocese (1532). Ardent for reform but hostile to Protestantism, especially Anabaptism, he convened a provincial council in Cologne in 1536 which, under Gropper's* guidance, enacted disciplinary and reforming canons. Disappointed at the outcome, the theologically unsophisticated Hermann welcomed the Regensburg Recess instruction to “institute and establish a Christian order and reformation” (1541), and invited Bucer, Melanchthon, and other Protestants to promote renewal and compile a new church order for his territory (1542-43). To the Cologne Ordinances or Didagma (Einfaltigs Bedencken einer Christlichen Reformation, 1543-44) Melanchthon contributed most of the doctrine and Bucer the institutional and ceremonial. The revised Latin version (Simplex ac Pia Deliberatio, 1545) greatly influenced Cranmer's 1549 Prayer Book, and an English translation followed (A Simple and Religious Consultation, 1547-48). In Cologne the proposals met increasing opposition from councillors, university and chapter (including the formerly favorable Gropper, who published an Antididagma, 1544), although the temporal estates backed Hermann. After a pivotal Catholic-Protestant struggle, he was excommunicated by Paul III (1546) and deposed by Charles V (1547). At last completely a Protestant, he died in the principality of Wied.

See C. Varrentrapp, Hermann von Wied und sein Reformationsversuch in Köln (1878); and M. Köhn, Martin Bucers Entwurf einer Reformation der Erzstiftes Köln (1966).