The Appeal to a General Council

John McManners

in Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198270041
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600692 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 The Appeal to a General Council

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Unigenitus caused uproar in France, especially in Paris, where it was viewed as the result of Jesuit conspiracy, standing for papal pretensions against the Gallican Church and clerical manoeuvres against the laity, as well as being an obscurantist attack on scriptural piety, unjust to Jansenists in general and Noailles in particular. Louis XIV forced its acceptance by the bishops, the Sorbonne and the parlement of Paris, followed by the other theological faculties and parlements, but his death and the accession to power of Philippe d’Orléans as regent for the infant Louis XV changed everything. The appeal to a General Council of the Church was led by 16 bishops, backed by the Oratorians and the Maurists. Other bishops either enforced Unigenitus or accepted and then ignored it. Support for the appellants was uneven in France as a whole and centred in Paris, but for their supporters the appeal represented a defence of the Gallican Church against the presumptuousness of Rome and of political freedom against Louis XIV's absolutism.

Keywords: Gallicanism; Jansenism; parlements; Sorbonne; Unigenitus

Chapter.  12479 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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