The propositions censored by the Faculty of theology of the University of Rheims in the times of the cardinal of Lorraine. The spread of Protestant ideas, doctrinal fragility of the clerics and construction of Roman Catholicism, in: Proslogion: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Social History and Culture. 2017. Vol. 3 (2). P. 150–163.
Bruno Restif, PhD in History, associate professor in Early-Modern History, University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (51096, France, Reims Cedex, 57 rue Pierre Taittinger)
The discovery of an unprecedented document, which contains the censures published in the name of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Rheims at the time of the Cardinal of Lorraine, from 1557 to 1572, is of considerable importance for the study of the spreading of Protestant ideas, of the permeability of the Catholic clergy to some of these ideas, and of the doctrinal construction of Roman Catholicism. In the 1550s, there was a censorship of heretical words spoken in the streets of Rheims by laypeople and even in a church by a parish priest. The censorship of these propositions was effective, as we can see there was no longer need to censor speeches by 1560. However, at that time, several Protestant books circulated in Reims were censored by the Faculty. In the mid-1560’s, there was a new trouble: Gentian Hervet, a famous anti-Protestant polemicist, who was in Rheims at the request of the Cardinal of Lorraine, made problematic statements in his books. Around 1570, the confessional construction conducted against the Protestant doctrinal seduction prompted the Faculty to give clear instructions to parish priests on the administration of sacraments and preaching. In 1572, it seems that the targeted persons are now canons of the cathedral chapter and parish priests. Thus, the need to fight Protestant ideas and practices compelled Catholicism to a strict confessional construction.
Key Words: censures, faculty of theology, Cardinal of Lorraine, Protestantism, books, clerics, liturgy, Tridentinization, controversy