Roman Catholic Diocese of Blois
Diocese of Blois
Diocèse de Blois
|Metropolitan||Archdiocese of Tours|
|Area||6,422 km2 (2,480 sq mi)|
|(as of 2015)|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||1 July 1697|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of St. Louis in Blois|
|Patron saint||St. Louis IX of France|
|Secular priests||58 (diocesan)|
28 (Religious Orders)
10 Permanent Deacons
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Bernard-Nicolas Jean-Marie Aubertin|
|Bishops emeritus||Maurice de Germiny|
|Website of the Diocese|
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Blois (Latin: Dioecesis Blesensis; French: Diocèse de Blois) is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The diocese lies in western France, and encompasses the department of Loir-et-Cher. Since 2002 it has been a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Tours.
On 1 July 1697 Pope Innocent XII, at the request of King Louis XIV of France, canonically erected the Bishopric of Blois from territory of the Diocese of Chartres. The Archdeacon of Blois had up to that time been a dignity in the Church of Chartres. The diocese was created in order to combat the considerable Huguenot influence in the southern part of the Diocese of Chartres. Since the new diocese had need of a cathedral, the parish Church of Saint Solenne was chosen; the church had been severely damaged in a fire in 1678, and it was in the last stages of reconstruction in 1697. It was renamed the Cathedral of Saint Louis.
With a new cathedral, a new Cathedral Chapter was required. The canons of the Collegiate Church of Saint Salvator, whose church had been sacked and destroyed by the Huguenots in the previous century and only gradually rebuilt, were transferred to the new Cathedral of Saint Louis. The dignities were the Dean, the Precentor, the Subdean, the Provost, the Treasurer and the Prior of S. Solenne. Twelve additional Canons were instituted, to be named alternately by the King and the Bishop. In addition thirty-two chaplains were created, one of whom would administer the Church of Saint Salvator. The benefices which had been in the gift of the Collegiate Chapter of S. Salvator continued to be under the control of the Canons, who also named the Canons who were to preside at S. Salvator on certain days. To support the Canons of the Cathedral of Saint Louis, the income of two monasteries and five priories was redirected by papal bull. Even so, since the number of twelve Canons was thought to be too small for a cathedral, the Chapter of the Hospital of S. James (founded in 1346) was also transferred to the Chapter of Saint Louis by the first bishop, David-Nicolas de Berthier, with the consent of all parties. In 1753 there were eighteen Canons. All cathedral chapters were dissolved by order of the Constituent Assembly and the Legislative Assembly by virtue of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy in 1791. On 2 July 1699 Bishop de Berthier created two Archdeacons, who were added to the dignities of the Cathedral Chapter.
At the beginning of the Revolution, the Constituent Assembly decided that the number of dioceses in France was excessive, and that approximately fifty of them could be eliminated. Those which survived would have their boundaries changed to coincide with new political subdivisions of France, called 'départements'. This was contrary to Canon Law. Blois belonged to the Department of Loire-et-Cher in the Constitutional Church erected by the National Constituent Assembly and its successor the Legislative Assembly. On 18 February the electors of the department elected Henri Gregoire as Bishop of Loire-et-Cher, who liked to call himself Bishop of Blois, even though the legitimate Bishop of Blois, Alexandre-François de Mazières de Thémines was alive and in exile. Religion was abolished during the Reign of Terror, and the Constitutional Church along with it. When religion was restored in 1795, Gregoire made considerable efforts to revive what was left of the Constitutional Church; he held a diocesan synod in September 1800.
The Concordat of 1801 gave Loir-et-Cher to the Diocese of Orléans, and the Diocese of Blois was canonically suppressed by Pope Pius VII. When Pius called for the resignations of all the bishops of France, Constitutional and non-juring both, Bishop de Thémines refused, and entered into schism himself. On 27 July 1817 the Diocese of Blois was canonically re-established by Pius VII, though difficulties between the Vatican and French National Assembly retarded the full implementation of the new Concordat. Before the French Revolution, the Diocese of Blois was less extensive than at present, almost the entire arrondissement of Romorantin having been subject to the Bishopric of Orléans, and the Bas-Vendômois to the Bishop of Le Mans previous to 1817.
Bishop Alexandre-François de Thémines, who was Bishop of Blois in 1776 and died in exile in Bruxelles in 1829, was one of the most obstinate enemies of the Concordat. It was not until 1823 that Pius VII appointed a new Bishop of Blois.
- David-Nicolas de Berthier (1 July 1697 – 20 August 1719)
- Jean Paul François Le Févre de Caumartin (4 March 1720 – 30 August 1733)
- [Charles-Henri Phélypeaux (1734)] (nominated, never instituted)
- François de Crussol d'Uzès (17 November 1734 – 26 September 1753)
- Charles-Gilbert de May de Termont (10 December 1753 – 22 July 1776)
- Alexandre-François de Mazières de Thémines (1776–1790)
- Philippe-François Sausin (16 May 1823 – 5 March 1844)
- Marie-Auguste Fabre-des-Essarts (17 June 1844 – 20 October 1850)
- Louis-Théophile Pallu du Parc (17 February 1851 – 31 March 1877)
- Charles-Honoré Laborde (25 June 1877 – 18 May 1907)
- Alfred-Jules Mélisson (10 October 1907 – 9 February 1925)
- Georges-Marie-Eugène Audollent (15 May 1925 – 9 November 1944)
- Louis-Sylvain Robin (1945–1961)
- Joseph-Marie-Georges-Michel Goupy (1961–1990)
- Jean Cuminal (1990–1996)
- Maurice de Germiny (1997–2014))
- Jean Pierre Batut (22 November 2014 – )
- Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 122 note 1. Bullarum, diplomatum et privilegiorum sanctorum romanorum pontificum Taurinensis editio Tomus XX (Turin: A. Vecco 1870), pp. 791-799. Jules Gallerand, "L'érection de l'évêché de Blois (1697)," Revue d'histoire de l'Église de France 42 (1956), 175-228.
- "Benefices dependans du diocese de Chartres". Pouillé général contenant les bénéfices de l'archevêché de Paris (in French). Paris: Gervais Alliot. 1648. pp. 2, 86–87.
- Joseph Bergin (2004). Crown, Church, and Episcopate Under Louis XIV. New Haven CT USA: Yale University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-300-10356-4.
- Gallia christiana VIII, pp. 1346-1347.
- Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 122 note 1.
- Gallia christiana VIII, p. 1347; and Instrumenta, pp. 457-473.
- Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 125 note 1.
- Gallia christiana VIII, Instrumenta, pp. 457-473.
- Tableau des évêques constitutionnels de France, de 1791 a 1801 (in French). Paris: chez Méquignon-Havard. 1827. pp. 29–31.
- Henri Gregoire (1800). Actes de synode diocesain tenu dans l'eglise cathedrale de Blois le 2. 3. et 4. Sept. de l'an 1800 précédés d'une lettre pastorale pour la publication des Actes du Synode (in French). Blois.
- Pius VI; Pius VII (1821). Collectio (per epitomen facta,) Bullarum, Brevium, Allocutionum, Epistolarumque, ... Pii VI., contra constitutionem civilem Cleri Gallicani, ejusque authores et fautores; item, Concordatorum inter ... Pium VII. et Gubernium Rei publicae, in Galliis, atque alia varia regimina, post modum in hac regione, sibi succedentia; tum expostulationum ... apud ... Pium Papam VII., Contra varia Acta, ad Ecclesiam Gallicanam, spectantia, a triginta et octo Episcopis, Archiepiscop. et Cardinal. antiquae Ecclesiae Gallicanae, subscriptarum, etc. 6 Avril, 1803 (in Latin). London: Cox & Baylis. pp. 79–91.
- Jean, p. 295.
- Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 125 note 1.
- Alexandre de Lauzières de Thémines (1803). Traduction de la lettre de Mr de Thémines, évêque de Blois, à Notre Saint Père le pape Pie VII, du 1er août 1802 (in French).
- Berthier was a native of the diocese of Vabres. He held a licenciate in theology (Paris), and was Vicar General of Chartres, and Abbot of Belleperche (1674–1719). He was nominated first bishop of Blois by Louis XIV on 22 March 1693. He was consecrated bishop by the Cardinal de Noailles, Archbishop of Paris, on 15 September 1697. His solemn entry into Blois and his enthronement took place on 26 June 1698. Claude de Vic; Joseph Vaissete; Ernest Roschach (1872). Histoire générale de Languedoc (in French). Tome IV. Toulouse: E. Privat. p. 629. Gallia christiana VIII, p. 1344. Jean, p. 293. Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 22 note 2.
- Caumartin had previously been Dean of Tours, and when the See fell vacant he acted as Vicar General. He was then named Bishop of Vannes (1718–1720). He died on 30 August 1733. Gallia christiana VIII, p. 1344-1345. Jean, pp. 293-294. Ritzler-Sefrin, V, p. 22 note 3; 408 with note 5; VI, p. 125. Jules Gallerand (1998). Jean-François Lefèvre de Caumartin (1720-1733): deuxième évêque de Blois (in French). Blois: Association pour le Tricentenaire du diocèse de Blois. ISBN 978-2-911980-03-9.
- Phélypeaux was nominated by King Louis XV on 23 May 1734, but he died on 24 June, at the age of 28. Gallia christiana VIII, p. 1345. Jean, pp. 295. Gams, p. 518, column 2.
- Uzès was the son of Alexandre, Comte d'Amboise. He held a licenciate in Civil and Canon Law (Paris), and was Vicar General of Saint-Brieuc. He was nominated Bishop of Blois by King Louis XV on 27 June 1734, and approved (preconised) by Pope Clement XII on 17 November 1734. He was consecrated in Paris on 9 January 1735 by Archbishop Charles de Vintimille. He was transferred to the diocese of Toulouse on 26 September 1753. He died on 30 April 1758. Jean, p. 295. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, pp. 125 with note 2; 404 with note 3.
- A native of Limoges, De May was a doctor of theology (Paris) and a royal Aumonier as well as Vicar General of Cahors. He was nominated Bishop of Blois by King Louis XV on 15 August 1753, and approved by Pope Benedict XIV on 10 December. He was consecrated in Paris by Archbishop Christophe de Beaumont du Repaire on 30 December 1753. He died on 22 July 1776. Jean, p. 295. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 125 with note 3.
- Thémines: Jean, pp. 294-295. Ritzler-Sefrin, VI, p. 125 with note 4.
- Paul Pisani (1907). Répertoire biographique de l'épiscopat constitutionnel (1791-1802) (in French). Paris: A. Picard et fils. pp. 110–117.
- Born in Orange in 1756, Sausin was a doctor of the Sorbonne, and had been Vicar General of Lisieux before the Revolution. He emigrated, and returned in 1815. Appointed by King Louis XVIII on 12 February 1823, he received papal approval on 16 May, and was consecrated in Paris by Archbishop Archbishop Pierre de Bausset-Roquefort on 20 July 1823. He was installed at Blois on 23 August. He died in Blois on 5 March 1844 at the age of 88. E. Develle, in L'épiscopat français..., pp. 138-139.
- Born in Aouste (Drôme) in 1794, Fabre-des-Essarts had been Vicar General of Bishop Sausin for sixteen years. He received papal approval on 17 June 1844, and was consecrated in Blois on 25 July by Bishop Alexandre Devie of Belley. He built an orphanage and installed the Jesuits in the major seminary. He died in Blois on 20 October 1850. E. Develle, in L'épiscopat français..., pp. 139-140. M. A. Des Essarts (1890). Monseigneur Marie-Auguste Fabre des Essarts, évêque de Blois (in French). Paris-Auteuil: Imp. des Apprentis-Orphelins.
- Pallu(c) du Parc was born in Poitiers in 1804. He completed his clerical studies at Saint-Sulpice in Paris, and became a teacher in the seminary in La Rochelle, and then superior of the institution. He was named Bishop of Blois by governmental decree of 15 December 1850, and received papal approval on 17 February 1851. He was consecrated a bishop in La Rochelle on 1 May 1851 by Bishop Clément Villecourt of La Rochelle. He participated in the First Vatican Council. He died on 31 March 1877. E. Develle, in L'épiscopat français..., pp. 139-140.
- Laborde was born at Saint-Nazaire in 1826, and completed his clerical studies at Saint-Sulpice in Paris. He was Vicar General of the Bishop of Nantes, and served in the Franco-Prussian War. He was nominated Bishop of Blois on 9 June 1877, and preconised (approved) by Pope Pius IX on 25 June. He was consecrated a bishop on 24 August in Nantes at S. Symphorien, where he had been parish priest, by Archbishop Charles Colet of Tours. He died on 18 May 1907. E. Develle, in L'épiscopat français..., pp. 140-141. Eglise à Lyon (in French). Lyon: Archevêché de Lyon. 1907. p. 718. Frédéric Boulliau (1907). Mgr Laborde, évêque de Blois: 1826-1907 (in French). Blois: Impr. C. Migault.
- Mélisson was born in Parigné-l'Eveque (Sarthe) in 1842. He had been director of the major seminary in Le Mans, and was Archpriest of the Cathedral of Le Mans. He was preconised (approved) on 10 October 1907 by Pope Pius X. He resigned on 9 February 1925 to return to Le Mans. He died in 1927. Almanach catholique français (in French). Paris: Bloud & Gay. 1920. p. 75.
- Audollent was a native of Paris. He was named Archdeacon of Sainte-Geneviève in 1921.
- Bishop Batut holds a doctorate in the history of religions (Sorbonne), and a doctorate in theology (Institut Catholique, Paris). From 2009 to 2014 Bishop Batut had been Auxiliary Bishop of Lyon. Diocèse de Blois, Mgr Batut, retrieved: 2017-05-12.
- Gams, Pius Bonifatius (1873). Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae: quotquot innotuerunt a beato Petro apostolo. Ratisbon: Typis et Sumptibus Georgii Josephi Manz. pp. 518–519. (Use with caution; obsolete)
- Ritzler, Remigius; Sefrin, Pirminus (1952). Hierarchia catholica medii et recentis aevi V (1667-1730). Patavii: Messagero di S. Antonio. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- Ritzler, Remigius; Sefrin, Pirminus (1958). Hierarchia catholica medii et recentis aevi VI (1730-1799). Patavii: Messagero di S. Antonio. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- Ritzler, Remigius; Sefrin, Pirminus (1968). Hierarchia Catholica medii et recentioris aevi sive summorum pontificum, S. R. E. cardinalium, ecclesiarum antistitum series... A pontificatu Pii PP. VII (1800) usque ad pontificatum Gregorii PP. XVI (1846) (in Latin). Volume VII. Monasterii: Libr. Regensburgiana.
- Remigius Ritzler; Pirminus Sefrin (1978). Hierarchia catholica Medii et recentioris aevi... A Pontificatu PII PP. IX (1846) usque ad Pontificatum Leonis PP. XIII (1903) (in Latin). Volume VIII. Il Messaggero di S. Antonio.
- Pięta, Zenon (2002). Hierarchia catholica medii et recentioris aevi... A pontificatu Pii PP. X (1903) usque ad pontificatum Benedictii PP. XV (1922) (in Latin). Volume IX. Padua: Messagero di San Antonio. ISBN 978-88-250-1000-8.
- Benedictines of S. Maur, ed. (1744). Gallia Christiana, In Provincias Ecclesiasticas Distributa (in Latin). Tomus octavus (8). Paris: Ex Typographia Regia. pp. 1343–1407, Instrumenta pp. 412–478.
- Gallerand, J. (1929). Les Cultes sous la Terreur en Loir-et-Cher Blois: Grande Imprimerie.
- Jean, Armand (1891). Les évêques et les archevêques de France depuis 1682 jusqu'à 1801 (in French). Paris: A. Picard.
- Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français depuis le Concordat jusqu'à la Séparation (1802-1905). Paris: Librairie des Saints-Pères.
- (in French) Centre national des Archives de l'Église de France, L’Épiscopat francais depuis 1919, retrieved: 2016-12-24.
- Goyau, Georges. "Blois." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. Retrieved: 11 May 2017