Sunday, March 16, 2014

Deepening Divisions: Unigenitus 1713-2013

Public Opinion, Protest and Litigation

Arrêt du conseil du corps des freres tailleurs portant condamnation du dernier mandement de Mgr. l’evêque d’Apt en faveur de la bulle Unigenitus : Du 25. fevrier 1718. [France? 1718] (detail)

This is the only known copy of a broadside purportedly by the tailors’ guild of Malaucène, invoking Gallican liberties and their rights as laymen in rejecting the Mandement on Unigenitus, issued by Foresta de Colongue, Bishop of Apt. Couched in legal terminology, the text of the tailors' "arrêt" goes on to rally their brother tradesmen (shoemakers, tanners, hatters, dyers, and merchants) in support of their opposition to the Bishop's pastoral letter and the Pope's constitution. More study of this item is required to determine whether it was issued in all seriousness or intended as a satire.  
Clementine MRBU 13:17

Ursule de La Grange. Lettre d’une dame de Paris au pape sur la constitution.
Maestricht: J. Delessart, 1714.

An early example of a genre which would increase in popularity, that of the "lady of quality" writing to an eminent cleric concerning the right of women to read scripture, usually coupled with a rejection of Unigenitus or of the Jesuits. This copy is thus far the sole known French exemplar of La Grange’s work, although several English translations exist.
Clementine MRBU 50:11

Consultation de Messieurs les avocats du Parlement de Bretagne, au sujet du refus des derniers Sacremens, fait à la damoiselle Du Rondier, par le sieur Pathelin, recteur de la paroisse de Sainte Croix de Nantes.
France? 1735.

Document recording the decision of a provincial parlement in a suit brought by André Barbard over the refusal of the last sacraments to his wife, by the rector of a parish in Nantes. Perhaps the most controversial fallout from Unigenitus was the requirement in some dioceses that a dying Catholic present a billet de confession from his pastor or provide other evidence of adherence to the bull in order to receive the last sacraments. Appeals in such instances were often made to a court of law, in this case the parlement of Brittany, but a favorable verdict might or might not be received before the person's death. This practice existed well before the publication of Unigenitus, and such death-bed interrogations were not reserved for Jansenist sympathizers. Any notorious sinners, professed anti-clericals like Voltaire, or members of "immoral" occupations (actors for instance) might be quizzed as to their beliefs and sincerity.  John McManners's Death and the Enlightenment treats this subject at greater length.
Clementine MRBU 10:77

Requête en cassation de Mre. Henry François-Xavier de Belsunce de Castelmoron, evesque de Marseille, contre deux arrests du Parlement d’Aix, des 7 decembre 1718 & 14 janvier 1719…
France?, 1719?

Not all lawsuits were brought by opponents of Unigenitus. This pamphlet documents Bishop Belsunce’s legal appeal to the crown which responded in his favor, overturning the arrêts in which the Parlement of Aix had imposed loss of his temporalities as retaliation for his outspoken support of the bull.
Clementine MRBU 42:10

Bishop Soanen and the Council of Embrun

Concilium Provinciale Ebreduni Habitum, ab Illustrissimo & Reverendissimo Domino D. Petro de Guerin de Tencin, Miseratione Divina Archiepiscopo Principe Ebredunensi …  Anno Domini 1727,  mensibus Augusto & Septembri.  Grenoble: Faure, 1728.

Record of the notorious council of Embrun in which the saintly but stubbornly outspoken appellant, Bishop Jean Soanen, was stripped of his rank and made both an example and a martyr to the Jansenist cause. Because the Council was presided over by Pierre de Guerin de Tencin, the notoriously corrupt Archbishop of Embrun, public reaction to the “brigandage of Embrun” was swift and angry.
Clementine 348.191 Embrun 1727

Jean Soanen evêque de Senez. [France, not before 1728]
Engraving after the painting by Jean Raoux.

The Abbey of Chaise-Dieu is visible in the background, suggesting that the original portrait was made no earlier than 1728.  Soanen, bishop of France’s poorest diocese and leader of the appellant bishops, was exiled to Chaise-Dieu at the end of 1727 after having being deposed at age 80 in the Provincial Council of Embrun. 
Rare Books Extra Folio BX4735 .S63 1728 

Jean Soanen (1647-1740). Lettre de Monseigneur l’Evêque de Senez sur les Erreurs Avancées dans Quelques Nouveaux Ecrits. [France? 1736]

One of Soanen’s many works concerning the miracles of François de Paris, proving that deposition and exile had not silenced the former bishop. Soanen signs this work, as he habitually did after his deposition, “Prisonnier de Jesus-Christ.”  The protruding leaf at the upper right, uncut at the time of binding, is known as a “temoin” (witness) a valuable indicator for book historians of the printer's original sheet size.
Clementine MRBU 38:33




The Response of the Satirists


Frontispiece from Le Remerciment et la Harangue des Paisans de Sarcelles, a Monseigneur de Vintimille, Leur Archevesque, avec les Réflexions des même Païsans sur l’Arrest du Parlement d’Aix. A Sarcelles: Aux dépens de la Societé, chez Claude Fêtu, 1731.

As the only pamphlet in the Miscellanea Relativa alla Bolla Unigenitus to include an illustration, this popular “Sarcellade” is worthy of notice. This new genre, which arose in the 1730s, includes crude poetic satires in Parisian dialect, supposedly emanating from the suburb of Sarcelles. In many examples, the Archbishop of Paris, Vintimille, is a favorite subject. Often referred to as “Ventre-mille” ("thousand stomachs") or by some other allusion to his portly physique, he is depicted here receiving a delegation of rustic inhabitants from Sarcelles. The Remerciment is wide-ranging in subject matter, and ends with a critique of the acquittal by the Parlement of Aix of Jean-Baptiste Girard, the Jesuit defendant in France’s last and highly sensational witchcraft trial and a ready-made target for Jansenist denunciations.
Clementine MRBU 28:13

Histoire Veritable, 1731. (pages 22-23) [France? : 1731]
This anonymous satirical compilation includes a variety of squibs characteristic of the charged political and religious atmosphere of 1731. On page 22 is the Etat de la France en 1731, a bit of political doggerel aimed at the high and mighty of both church and state, with anti-Jesuit invective on the facing page.
Clementine MRBU 26:4

L’Heresie Imaginaire des Avocats, ou les Jeremies du Temps.
[France? December, 1731]
The title page and title verso of a daring anonymous work which originated during the 1731 strike by the lawyers of the Parlement of Paris (many of them Jansenists). Written in the form of a drama, the work includes a list of actors on the title page verso, a who's-who of real (and powerful) public figures, often identified with unflattering epithets. The barristers of the Parlement are the heroes of this work, depicted as modern Jeremiahs, defending the liberties of the chorus (the people of France). It is not difficult to see foreshadowed here the important place lawyers would occupy in the Revolution five decades later. The work is discussed at some length in David A. Bell's Lawyers and Citizens.
Clementine MRBU 29:14