The Mid‐Century Crisis

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 Mid‐Century Crisis

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The Jansenist issue could have been settled by compromise and silence by mid‐century but for the policy of the denial of the sacraments to dying Jansenists introduced by Christophe de Beaumont, archbishop of Paris, in 1749. The parlement of Paris made use of ambiguities about jurisdiction over the sacraments to challenge the Church and Louis XV. In the violent controversy, lasting until 1756, the parlement gained the support of most of the other parlements of the kingdom and of the people of Paris as issues of finance became entwined with the religious issue, and theories about the representative nature of the parlement were revived. The exile of individual parlementaires and the king's refusal to accept the parlement's remonstrances raised the quarrel to new heights before a truce was declared after the attempted assassination of Louis XV by Damiens and in view of the pressing needs of a kingdom at war. Over the issue of the sacraments, however, the parlement emerged as the winner.

Keywords: Jansenists; parlements; sacraments

Chapter.  12341 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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