Zwingli’s ‘Petition for Priests to Marry’ and a Little Help from a Friend

xylotectusOn 7 July 1522, while Zwingli was preparing his little booklet on the freedom of priests to marry, his friend in Lucerne, one Johannes Xylotectus, sent him a note with a tiny story to help Zwimgli make his point. Xylotectus writes

Ioannes Xylotectus Huldricho Zuinlio S. D. P.

Sacrificus quidam nostras scorti sui maritum confecit. Scortum sacrificus aliquandiu invito marito aluit. Maritus eum de restituenda preda Lucernae convenit. Hinc cum scorto redeuntem in itinere deprehendit, adgreditur loethiferoque vulnere cadit et tandem moritur. Hoc ideo te scire volui, ut, si commode inserere libello, quem parturis, posses, exemplum haberes recens, quanta noster coelibatus non modo scandala, verumetiam pericula pariat, quibus legittimo coniugio foelicissime mederi possent nostri Helvetii. Noster item Bodenler dominica pręterita multa in sacerdotum coniugia pro contione dixit, cui velim vel per Erasmum nostrum responderetur (ut scilicet vel taceret vel scripturam scriptura refelleret, ne tandem suis coloribus depictus toti orbi fabula redderetur), nugas suas diutius non ferendas, et cetera in hunc modum, ut visum fuerit, litterasque illas cum libello negotii nostri accipiat. Iacobus Naef te ad templi sui consecrationis festum venturum dixit. Fac sciam, an ita sit et quando.

Vale.

Ex Lucerna Nonis Iuliis 1522.
Et doctissimo et amicissimo domino Huldricho Zuinlio,
Tigurinorum euangelistae. –
Meister Uolrich Zwingli zuo Zurich lutpriester.

Zwingli’s friends across the Cantons were happy to help him Reform the Church.  And reforming the Church meant reforming the clergy.

Of Xylotectus (who isn’t exactly widely known), the Swiss Historical Lexicon notes

Geboren 1490 (Johannes Ludwig Zimmermann) Luzern, gestorben 19.8.1526 Basel, von Luzern, aus patriz. Geschlecht stammend. um 1524 Margarethe Feer, Tochter des Jost, Bauern. Stud. in Basel, 1508 Bakkalaureus, 1510 Magister Artium. 1499 Chorherrwartner des Stifts Beromünster, 1504 Chorherr zu St. Leodegar im Hof in Luzern, 1513 Priesterweihe.

Ab 1510 wirkte X. als Lateinlehrer in Luzern und knüpfte enge Bande zum Humanistenkreis um Joachim Vadian, Huldrych Zwingli, Glarean und Oswald Myconius. Als seine Stellung in Luzern aufgrund seiner reformator. Gesinnung unhaltbar wurde, siedelte X. Ende 1524 nach Basel um. Dort erlag er der Pest. 1520 wurde X. von Hans Hohlbein (dem Jüngeren) porträtiert.

About Jim

I am a Pastor, and Lecturer in Church History and Biblical Studies at Ming Hua Theological College.
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One Response to Zwingli’s ‘Petition for Priests to Marry’ and a Little Help from a Friend

  1. Dear Dr. West! I object! All in Latin (which I took in Roman Catholic high school and college but this was long ago) and German! Please…

    For your amusement, here is how Google translated the German:

    Born in 1490 ( Johannes Ludwig Zimmermann ) Lucerne , died 19.08.1526 Basel , Lucerne , from Patriz . Gender arise . 1524 Margarethe Feer , daughter of Jost , farmer . Stud . In Basel , 1508 Bachelor , 1510 Magister Artium . 1499 Chorherrwartner the pin Beromünster 1504 Chorherr to Church of St. Leodegar in Lucerne , 1513 ordination .
    From 1510 worked as X. Latin teacher in Lucerne and established close ties with the humanist circle around Joachim Vadian , Huldrych Zwingli , Glarean and Oswald Myconius . When his position in Luzern because of its reformer . Disposition became untenable , moved to X. end 1524 to Basel . He succumbed to the plague . 1520 was portrayed ( the Younger ) X. Hans hollow leg .

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