|Hammer of the Protestants, sort of...|
His other nickname is Hammer of the Protestants. Not only does this sound rougher than he was, but it seems contrary to the spirit of his work. He asked for flexibility from the Pope in dealing with Reformation ideas, believing that more could be gained from honest debate than from suppression and persecution. He even contended that hard-shell Catholic arguments were making the patients incurable rather than curing them.
In spite of his itinerant preaching, he was influential among the highest circles. When the Holy Roman Emperor's son wavered in Catholicism, Peter's advice to disinherit helped to shore up the faith. He hit several big synods, councils, and diets. Eventually, when it was time to settle down, no less a saint than Saint Nicholas of Myra communicated the message to him -- plant it in Fribourg, Switzerland.
Since Peter is considered one of the Doctors of the Church, it is worth mentioning that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will recognize Saint Hildegard von Bingen as a Doctor. Only three women (out of thirty-three saints) have been recognized with this honor. It is, to paraphrase Vice President Biden, a big f....... deal. Watch for a Hildegard post non pariel next September 17.