Friedrich IV of Wied

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Friedrich IV of Wied (German: Friedrich IV von Wied) (1518–1568) was the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne from 1562 to 1567.


Friedrich IV of Wied was born in 1518, the son of Graf Johann II of Wied and his wife Elisabeth of Nassau-Dillenburg.

Friedrich's parents groomed him for a life in the church from a young age. He became dean of the Stift of St Cassius at Bonn Minster in 1534. On August 31, 1537, he became a canon of Cologne Cathedral. He later held a number of offices in the Cologne cathedral chapter, including provost (1546); Chorbischof (elected December 12, 1548); Thesaurar (elected July 3, 1549); assistant dean (elected August 23, 1558); and dean (elected November 23, 1558).

On November 19, 1562, the cathedral chapter elected Friedrich as the new Archbishop of Cologne. Friedrich, however, refused to take the oath approving the Council of Trent (the so-called Professio fidei Tridentina), not on religious grounds, but because he saw it as an affront to a reigning sovereign. Pope Pius IV therefore refused to confirm Friedrich's election as Archbishop. Although he was frequently denounced as a secret Protestant in the circles around the pope (one of his predecessors, his uncle Hermann of Wied, had in fact converted to Protestantism), Friedrich rebuffed efforts by Protestant princes to have him introduce Protestantism in the Electorate of Cologne.

Pope Pius V continued Pius IV's policy of refusing to confirm Friedrich as Archbishop of Cologne if Friedrich would not swear the Professio fidei Tridentina and threatened to withdraw the cathedral chapter's right to select the Archbishop of Cologne. He ordered Friedrich to resign on August 7, 1567. Friedrich traveled to the papal court in Rome to seek confirmation of his election, and was granted an extension of time until November 25, 1567. After great pressure was applied by the representative of Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor, Friedrich finally resigned on October 24, 1567.

Friedrich spent his last years as a recluse in Cologne. He died on December 23, 1568.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Gebhard I von Mansfeld-Vorderort
Archbishop of Cologne
Succeeded by
Salentin IX of Isenburg-Grenzau