Fleury's Repression and the Interventions of the Parlement

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

 Fleury's Repression and the Interventions of the Parlement

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Between 1730, when Unigenitus was declared ‘a law of Church and State’, and his death in 1743, cardinal Fleury broke the power of Jansenism within the French clergy by the use of ecclesiastical patronage and promotion; the issue of lettres de cachet to send troublemakers to prison, monastery, or exile; police interventions, especially against authors and publishers; and the despatch of royal commissioners to overawe the assemblies of monastic orders and theology faculties. But enforcement of Unigenitus inevitably incurred the hostility of the sovereign courts, especially the parlement of Paris, the magistrates of which saw themselves as the guardians of legal process and individual liberty. Conflict with the parlement, itself not so much Jansenist as Gallican, in the 1730s involved a strike by avocats in 1731–32, but ended in defeat for the magistrates.

Keywords: Church patronage; Jansenism; lettres de cachet; monastic orders; parlement; Unigenitus

Chapter.  11449 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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