Johann Nikolaus Von Hontheim
1701-1790. Suffragan bishop of Trier, and known pseudonymously as “Justinius Febronius,” was the formulator of Febronianism.* After eighteen years' work, he published his doctrines in The State of the Church and the Legitimate Authority of the Roman Pontiff, a Book Composed for the Purpose of Uniting in Religion Dissident Christians (in Latin, 1763). It reflected Gallican and Protestant motifs, although remaining devoutly Catholic, and not secular. [[Clement XIII]] condemned it (1764), but intensive public debate continued throughout Europe. Hontheim later unconvincingly recanted (1778), while others, including Austrian chief minister Kaunitz, used his ideas to support a more secular Josephinism.* He studied law at Louvain, Leyden, and Rome, winning a doctorate in jurisprudence (1724); then became priest (1728), professor (1732), university pro-chancellor (1746), and suffragan bishop (1748), all at Trier.