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Religious Change in Europe 1650–1914Essays for John McManners$
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Nigel Aston

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205968

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205968.001.0001

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Secular Simony: The Clergy and the Sale of Offices in Eighteenth-Century France

Secular Simony: The Clergy and the Sale of Offices in Eighteenth-Century France

Chapter:
(p.135) 6 Secular Simony: The Clergy and the Sale of Offices in Eighteenth-Century France
Source:
Religious Change in Europe 1650–1914
Author(s):

William Doyle

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205968.003.0007

The laws governing French venality were deeply marked by the ways of the Church. This did not prevent the clergy, through their representatives in successive Estates-General, from taking a lead throughout the 16th century in denouncing the seemingly inexorable spread of the practice. Among the most vocal of their spokesmen in the Estates-General of 1614, the last to convene before the Revolution, was Richelieu; and in the early years of his ministry a decade later this prince of the Church advised Louis XIII to undertake the entire abolition of the sale and heredity of offices. By the time he died, however, the cardinal had concluded that any such attempt would be difficult, if not positively dangerous.

Keywords:   French venality, clergy, simony, Richelieu, 18th-century France, sale of office

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