REINKENS, JOSEPH HUBERT: First bishop of the Old Catholics; b. at Burtscheidt (now part of Aachen) Mar. 1, 1821; d. at Bonn Jan. 5, 1896. He was educated at the University of Bonn (1844-1847) and the theological seminary at Cologne (1847-48), and, after ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1848, resumed his studies at Bonn (Th.D., Munich, 1849). In 1850 he went to Breslau as privat-docent for church history, and published his De Clemente presbytero Alexandrino (Breslau, 1851). He was appointed associate professor in 1853, this period being marked by his Clemens von Rom und andere Legenden (Breslau, 1855) and Das Sommerkind, oder der Grund der Völkerwanderung (Paderborn, 1858). In 1857 Reinkens was promoted to a full professorship, but he now began to give evidence of views differing from the official position of his communion in his attack on Thomism, entitled Vademecum oder die romisch-katholische Lehre von der Anthropologie, published under the pseudonym of Christian Franke (Giessen, 1860). He was likewise charged with maligning the Silesian clergy in his Die Universität Breslau vor der Vereinigung mit der Frankfurter (Breslau, 1861), though he succeeded in proving the accusation false. On the other hand he also wrote during this professorial period his Hilarius von Poitiers (Schaffhausen, 1864); Die Einsiedler des heiligen Hieronymus (1864); and Martin von Tours (Breslau, 1866). Meanwhile his health was failing, and in 1867 it became necessary for him to obtain leave of absence for a year. He was for a time in Munich, Venice, and Florence, but his longest residence was at Rome, only to be confirmed in his distrust of the aims, methods, and conditions of the Curia. He returned to Germany and plunged into work for distraction, in this spirit producing his Aristoteles über Kunst, besonders über Tragödie (Vienna, 1870); but the pronouncement of the dogma of papal infallibility (see INFALLIBILITY OF THE POPE; VATICAN COUNCIL) had brought matters to a crisis, and Reinkens endeavored to assist the minority who protested against the new decrees by writing his Papst und Papsttum nach der Zeichnung des heiligen Bernard von Clairvaux (Münster, 1870), following this with his Ueber die päpstliche Unfehlbarkeit (Munich, 1870). Despite all prohibitions, Reinkens persisted in his course of opposition to the decrees of the Vatican Council both in writing and in counsel, and attendance on his lectures was accordingly forbidden. On Nov. 20, 1870, he was finally suspended by the prince-bishop of Breslau.
In the years following Reinkens, residing partly at Munich and partly on the Rhine, attended Old Catholic congresses and lectured far and wide in behalf of the movement. In 1872 he made the journey to Switzerland which resulted in the establishment of the Old Catholics there, and in the following year he was elected bishop of the new organization. He was consecrated by the Jansenist bishop of Deventer, Heykamp, on Aug. 11, 1873, and was recognized by Prussia on Sept. 19, by Baden on Nov. 7, and by Hesse on Dec. 15. Bavaria, on the other hand, refused to recognize him, and on Nov. 21 the Old Catholics and their bishop were excommunicated by the pope. The sympathy with the movement felt by the theological faculty of Bonn led Reinkens to take up his residence in that city. He presided over fourteen synods held in different parts of Germany, in which many sweeping departures from the Roman Catholic system were introduced (see, in general, OLD CATHOLICS). He was continually active in episcopal visitations throughout a diocese stretching from Königsberg in the northeast to Constance in the southwest, and from Krefeld in the northwest to Silesia and Passau in the southeast. He lived to see a steady growth in clergy, parishes, and communicants, and he founded at Bonn a seminary for candidates for the priesthood. He likewise was a potent factor in keeping the Old Catholics from falling into the perils of German Catholicism (q.v.), and he steadily resisted all efforts to induce him to be reconciled with the Roman Catholic Church. In 1895 failing health forced him to ask for a coadjutor, and Theodor Weber was accordingly consecrated.
Besides the works already mentioned, Reinkens wrote, among others, the following: Die barmherzigen Schwestern vom heiligen Carl Borromeo zu Nancy (2d ed., Schaffhausen, 1855); Revolution und Kirche (Bonn, 1876); Luise Hensel und ihre Lieder (1877); Amalie von Lasaulx eine Bekennerin (1878); Melchior von Diepenbrock (Leipsic, 1883); and Lessing über Toleranz (1883). He was likewise the author of many sermons and of fourteen episcopal charges. English translations have appeared of his First Pastoral Letter (11 Aug. 1873) and Speech on Bible Reading, by G. E. Broade (London, 1874), and of his Speeches on Christian Union and Old Catholic Prospects, by J. E. B. Mayor (1874).