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Ignaz Heinrich Karl von Wessenberg

1774-1860. Radical Roman Catholic churchman. He was born in Dresden; his theological studies took him to Dillingen for lectures by Sailer, to Würzburg, and to Vienna. From Austria he went to Augsburg where he was recruited by Bishop Dalberg for the diocese of Constance. There he occupied posts as vicar-general (1802), priest (1812), and administrator (1814). Upon Dalberg's death in 1817 he was chosen unanimously by the cathedral chapter for the vacancy. While the grand duke of Baden supported his nomination, the Roman Curia refused to approve it. Von Wessenberg served as bishop-elect until 1827, when he retired to private life. The reasons for curial rejection lie in Von Wessenberg's liberal policies. These included the expansion of education for priests, more elementary schools, the conversion of monasteries into hospitals and schools, the suspension of clerical celibacy, permission for mixed marriage with Protestants, and the vernacular Mass.