The Curés: Social Origins, Incomes, Mentality

John McManners

in Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 1: The Clerical Establishment and its Social Ramifications

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198270034
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600685 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 The Curés: Social Origins, Incomes, Mentality

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In most areas of France (Paris being the major exception), parish priests were local men drawn from the more prosperous sectors of non‐noble society. About a third lived on a fixed salary called the portion congrue, paid by whoever had the right to collect the tithes; the other two thirds drew their incomes from the tithes and whatever lands went with the benefice. Curés’ incomes therefore varied enormously. Parish priests were in close contact with the people in ways involving both conflict and cooperation. Their education had been revolutionized by the Counter‐Reformation, but the results were not what the reformers had hoped for. Curés acted as medical, legal, and agricultural advisers; teachers, custodians of local traditions, and chroniclers of contemporary events; disseminators of news and of selective and censored information about the writings of the Enlightenment.

Keywords: church finance; Curés; Enlightenment; mentalities

Chapter.  17183 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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