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Joseph Putzer

Theologian and canonist, b. at Rodaneck, Tyrol, March 4, 1836; d. at Ilchester, Md., May 15, 1904

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Putzer, JOSEPH, theologian and canonist, b. at Rodaneck, Tyrol, March 4, 1836; d. at Ilchester, Md., May 15, 1904. He entered the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and made his religious profession, August 14, 1856. Having finished his theological studies at Mautern, Austria, he was ordained August 7, 1859. He arrived in New York, August 7, 1876, was assigned to St. Alphonsus’, Baltimore, until 1880, and was occupied in parish work at St. Michael’s church until 1884, when he was chosen Superior of St. Mary’s, Buffalo, and in 1887 was called to Ilchester, Md., to occupy the chair of moral theology and canon law. With great learning, he possessed a fund of genuine, solid piety, of which humility and simplicity were characteristic traits. His opinion was constantly sought on questions of theology and canon law; he wrote frequently for periodicals and journals, generally signing his articles: “J. P.” He is best known by his “Commentarium in Facultates Apostolicas”, five editions, first undertaken by Father Konings. Father Putzer revised and enlarged it into practically a new work. On its appearance the “Civilta Cattolica” (October 7, 1893) and “Il Monitore” (August 31, 1897) among others praised its clearness, depth, precision, and learning. Father Putzer also published an “Instructio de confessariis religiosorum exemptorum” (two editions) and “Jubilaeum anni 1901—Commentarium”. He left an abundance of unpublished manuscripts. The “American Ecclesiastical Review” says of him that he is entitled “to the gratitude of all who believe themselves debtors to Holy Church. His memory, his judgment, his keen power of analysis were rarely at fault in difficult questions of moral theology.”


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