Schützinger, Simon (16th century)
Simon (Sigmund) Schützinger (Schitzinger), an early Anabaptist, born in Rattenberg in Tyrol (according to Widmoser), a co-worker of Jakob Hutter and his assistant in Tyrol in the late 1520s. We know of him only through the Chronicle and one letter by Peter Riedemann; no writings by Schützinger are known. Twice Hutter and Schützinger made the trip from Tyrol to Moravia together to help the beginning communities there to become established on sound Christian principles. At that time there was one Bruderhof in Austerlitz, entrusted to another Tirolean brother, Jörg Zaunring, populated in the main by Tirolean newcomers; in 1531 it was moved to Auspitz. At that time three groups of Anabaptists lived communally in Moravia: the Gabrielites in Rossitz, and the Philippites and the Tiroleans in two groups in Auspitz. For a while they lived in friendly co-operation and unity. Then, in 1531, after an unpleasant affair involving Zaunring's wife it was decided that not Zaunring but Schützinger should become the shepherd or "bishop" of the group, in fact the leader of all three groups.
Then, in 1533, Jakob Hutter came to Moravia for the third time, this time to stay. Now a lamentable conflict arose which seriously injured brotherly unity and peace. Hutter felt called by God to become the very shepherd of all brethren who lived in community of goods, but Schützinger showed no intentions to yield the office. Philipp Plener suggested that both should become co-leaders as he and Blasy Kühn were among the Philippites; Gabriel Ascherham opposed this solution; Schützinger felt badly about even the suggestion of sharing in the leadership. The congregations were confused and not able to decide (according to the description of Kaspar Braitmichel, the writer of the Chronicle, and most likely an eyewitness). Then a situation arose reminiscent of the story of Sapphira in Acts 5, involving the wife of Jörg Fasser. Hutter now proposed spontaneously to see whether or not such a breach of trust might not also have happened among the elders of the community, and a search was undertaken in Schützinger's house. Here they found money hidden under the roof, and Schützinger readily admitted that he had known of this reservation of private money without mentioning it to the brotherhood. Then on 5 October 1533, the congregation convened and excommunicated Schützinger, their former leader. Eight days later Hutter was made bishop of the entire group; but the conflict with the Gabrielites and Philippites continued and led eventually to a complete break in fellowship. Unfortunately, Braitmichel does not say anything about the later fate of Schützinger, who simply disappears from the pages of the Chronicle. It is likely that he returned to his native Tyrol.
Loserth, Johann. Der Anabaptismus in Tirol. Vienna: F. Tempsky, 1892.
Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 485. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Friedmann, Robert. "Schützinger, Simon (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/S3858.html.
APA style: Friedmann, Robert. (1959). Schützinger, Simon (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/S3858.html.