Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review
Das Katholische Domkapitel Zu Hamburg Von Den Anfangen Bis Zur Reformation Und Seine Wiedererrichtung 1996: Eine Kanonistische Untersuchung
Das katholische Domkapitel zu Hamburg von den Anfangen bis zur Reformation and seine Wiedererrichtung 1996. Eine kanonistische Untersucbung. By Jfirgen Witjer. [Adnotationes in lus Canonicum, Band 19.] (Bern: Peter Lang: Europaischer Verlag der Wissenschaften. 2001. Pp. 283. $45.95 paperback.)
The reunification of Germany prompted Pope John Paul 11 to establish on January 7,1995, an archiepiscopal see in Hamburg to serve a north German diocese that straddled the former border between the two German states. The cathedral chapter was constituted the following year, on February 4. In this nearly unrevised dissertation that was submitted to the Catholic Theological Faculty at the University of Bochum, Jfirgen W!itjer asks whether there is any legal continuity between the medieval cathedral chapter, which survived until 1809 as a Lutheran foundation, and its modern successor, and concludes, unsurprisingly, that there is none. Witjer discusses five main topics from a legal rather than a historical perspective: the internal structure of the medieval chapter; its position within the archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen; the chapter's relations with other ecclesiastical and secular lords; the chapter's transformation into a Lutheran foundation; and the new institution.
The tumultuous history of the Hamburg church in the early centuries of its existence led to the chapter's anomalous position as the second cathedral chapter in the archdiocese. St. Ansgar, who became the archbishop of Hamburg in 831, established a Benedictine monastery there; but a Viking attack forced him to flee and to combine in 847 the bishoprics of Hamburg and Bremen. The monastery survived until 983 when it was destroyed in a Slavic attack. Archbishop Unwan (1013-1029) re-established the chapter, this time with canons; but the Abodrites destroyed it in 1072. …