Regensburger Ordnung

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Regensburger Ordnung (Constitutio), a set of regulations passed at Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany on 7 July 1524, at a conference of twelve South German Catholic bishops or their representatives, with Cardinal Legate Campeggi as chairman, in the presence of Archduke Ferdinand (see Ferdinand I) as well as the dukes of Bavaria. The rulers of the South German states countered the stormy progress of the Reformation in Middle and South Germany by a staunch adherence to Catholicism. It was especially the Wittelsbach family in Bavaria  who organized a union of the South German princes in 1523 to present a united front against the ecclesiastical innovations. Cardinal Campeggi was successful in eliminating the greatest obstacle, viz., the jealousy between the Hapsburgs and the Wittelsbachs. He gathered the South German estates about him at Regensburg in June 1524, and there in July the principles were laid down for the procedure in blocking the progress of the Reformation. The estates obligated themselves to carry out the Edict of Worms of 1521 and to oppose all changes in matters of faith and worship in their provinces, suppress the writings of the innovators, etc. The object of the Constitutio was, first of all, to bring about a reformation in the life of the clergy; for, as Campeggi said, the disorderly conduct of the clergy played no small part in the rise of heresies. It was decided to institute commissions composed of clergymen and laymen to investigate the life of the parishes and to remove abuses. It was of great significance for the Catholic Church in South Germany.

In Austria, especially in Lower Austria, the spread of the Anabaptists in 1528 was the immediate occasion for the passing of regulations similar to the Regensburger Ordnung there. On 16 January 1528, King Ferdinand issued to all bishops, prelates, etc., who had authority in spiritual matters a mandate to this effect, which was to be read from the pulpits at specified times. A commission was organized to visit all parishes in Upper Austria; it reported to the king on 27 June 1528.


Friedensburg, Walter. "Der Regensburger Convent von 1524." Historische Aufsätze dem Andenken an Georg Waitz gewidmet. Hannover, 1886: 502-39.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 444 f.

Jäkel, Josef.  "Zur Geschichte der Wiedertäufer in Oberösterreich und speziell in Freistadt," in 41. Bericht des Museums Franciscus-Carolinus. Linz, 1889: 25, 26, 71 f.

Author(s) Johann Loserth
Christian Hege
Date Published 1959

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Loserth, Johann and Christian Hege. "Regensburger Ordnung." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 29 Feb 2020.

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Loserth, Johann and Christian Hege. (1959). Regensburger Ordnung. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 February 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 272. All rights reserved.

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