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Karl Joseph Hefele

1809-1893. Roman Catholic bishop and historian. Born in Unterkochen bei Aalen, he was ordained priest in 1833. After serving in minor academic posts he was called in 1840 to succeed his own teacher, J.A. Möhler,* as professor of church history at Tübingen. His most famous work as a church historian was his monumental Conciliengeschichte (1855-74) in seven volumes. His study of the councils and his joint editorship of the Theologische Quartalschrift (from 1839) established him as one of the most important Roman Catholic scholars of his day. He was appointed a consultant to the preparatory commission for Vatican Council I* (1868) and, following his consecration as bishop of Rottenburg (1869), returned to Rome to take his seat as a council father. He was a leader of the minority opposed to the doctrine of papal infallibility, though he submitted eventually to the decision of the council. His last years were spent principally in pastoral work in his own diocese.