By John McManners
This is often the 1st of 2 volumes in McManner's magesterial reconstruction of the complicated hierarchical global of the Gallican Church destroyed via the French Revolution. It describes the diocesan and parochial constitution of the Church, portraying the clergy and their way of life from the palaces of the aristocratic bishops to the humblest nunnery, and, in a mess of pix, studying their motivations and experience of vocation. In a close fresco he offers the faith of the folks, no matter if centering within the parish church or in confaternities, and the observances of folks faith outdoors it.
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Extra resources for Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France: Volume 1: The Clerical Establishment and its Social Ramification (Oxford History of the Christian Church)
They cited ‘authorities’, speciﬁc texts from the New Testament and from the Fathers. There was the charge to ‘teach all nations’, ‘to bind and to loose’, and to speak in Christ's name—‘he that heareth you heareth me’. St Paul was cited as evidence that the Holy Spirit had established bishops ‘to govern the Church of God’. 80 Churchmen were conscious, however, that the sort of precedents capable of transforming sweeping Dominical charges into mundane practical authority were thinly spread. The Assembly of 1775 complained of the failure of historians and canonists to make full use of the laws of the ﬁrst Christian emperors, ‘so favourable to episcopal jurisdiction and to religion.
At the end of the ancien régime, Loménie de Brienne, in his Mémoire sur les Assemblées Provinciales, faced the Church's problem and adapted the ideas of Montesquieu and Fénelon towards a solution. The argument from being the First Order in the State was dead, and he avoided using it. Before Sièyes said it, the idea was current that the Third Estate was, in fact, the foundation of the nation. Of the Tiers État the marquis de Mirabeau had said, ‘celui-ci comprend tout le reste, et quel reste! . ’84 Loménie de Brienne recognized the validity of these two observations, and combined them into a theory giving the clergy a lofty political role.
The Benedictines of Saint-Rémy had gathered a multitude of sufferers from miles around into various hospitals awaiting the 12 CHURCH AND STATE great day—there were many, alas, for the tumours massed behind ears and under jaws were the effect of malnutrition. The scrofulous were gathered together in the open air, 1, 000, perhaps 2, 000 of them. The task of touching was repulsive. The royal person was protected, in so far as the head of each scrofulous person was held by a doctor, and the supplicants' hands were clasped within the gloved hands of the captain of the Guard, but the day was hot and the vast assembly stank.
Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France: Volume 1: The Clerical Establishment and its Social Ramification (Oxford History of the Christian Church) by John McManners