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Eusebius Bruno

Bishop of Angers, b. in the early part of the eleventh century; d. at Angers, August 29, 1081

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Eusebius Bruno, Bishop of Angers, b. in the early part of the eleventh century; d. at Angers, August 29, 1081. He received his ecclesiastical training under the famous Berengarius of Tours, and in December, 1047 was made Bishop of Angers. In 1049 he took part in the synod of Reims under Leo IX (1049-54), and was among the bishops who protested their innocence in regard to the prevalent evil of simony. He is best known for his relations to his master Berengarius who erroneously maintained that in the Holy Eucharist the bread and the wine are merely a figure or a symbol of the Body and Blood of Christ. That he was a partisan of Berengarius, at least for a time, cannot be denied. In a letter written shortly after the councils of Rome and Vercelli (1050), in which Berengarius was condemned, he protested against the injustice done to his teacher and the archdeacon of his church. When King Henry I of France (1031-60) summoned the bishops of his realm to a synod held in Paris in 1051, both Eusebius and Berengarius absented themselves, through fear of condemnation. Two contemporary writers, Deoduinus, Bishop of Liege (P.L., CXLVI, 1439), and Durandus, Abbot of Troarn (P.L., CXLIX, 1422), class Eusebius Bruno among the followers of Berengarius; the latter always claimed him as a partisan. It is not certain that he really appropriated in its entirety the teaching of his master, though Deoduinus and Durandus affirm it. On the other hand, at the Council of Tours (1054), presided over by the papal legate Hildebrand, Eusebius Bruno induced his friend Berengarius to declare, in writing and on oath, that after the Consecration the bread and the wine are the Body and Blood of Christ. Moreover, at a synod of Angers (1062) at which the Count of Anjou, Geoffrey the Bearded, asked for an account of the teaching of Berengarius, Eusebius’ defense of his master was somewhat weak. When, shortly afterwards, Berengarius complained to him of the opposition of a certain Geoffrey Martini to his teaching, Eusebius declared frankly in a letter to Berengarius (P.L., CXLVII, 1201), that the reality of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Sacrament must be admitted, like other mysteries of faith, e.g. the Incarnation and the passing of Christ glorified through closed doors. These expressions indicate either a change of mind on the part of Eusebius, or, what is not unlikely, a misunderstanding, in the beginning, of the real import of the teachings of Berengarius.



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