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

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198270046.001.0001

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The Revolt of the Curés

The Revolt of the Curés

Chapter:
(p.705) 50 The Revolt of the Curés
Source:
Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion
Author(s):

John McManners

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198270046.003.0029

As the only members of the clerical estate in regular contact with the people, many curés throughout the eighteenth century had protested against social injustice and of the abuses of nobles, of the monopolists, and others who obstructed the proper distribution of food to the poor. They also had their own grievances within the Church, demanding a greater say in diocesan affairs, and raising issues, which by mid‐century had moved from theory to practicalities involving the persecution of Jansenists and the parlous financial condition of ordinary parish priests. In the cahiers de doléance and Estates General of 1789, radical curés joined in the attack on aristocratic privilege, and their requests for justice for themselves gained the support of lay propagandists. Curés elected to the Estates General, took a major part in debates and came to consider themselves as ‘members of the First Order where the interests of the Gallican Church were concerned, and of the Third when the interests of the nation were at stake’.

Keywords:   cahiers de doléance, Church finances, curés, Estates General, French Revolution

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