Alison Forrestal
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An uneasy alliance

This chapter addresses the episcopate's understanding of its status and its role towards another power that consistently sought to increase its sway over the French church: the gallican crown and its secular officials. The bishops' tensed relations with successive popes resulted in several clashes between the bishops and the French crown. The chapter suggests that from the bishops' conflicts with the state and the papacy, and indeed with the lower clergy, emerged a strong sense of communion and collective identity within the episcopate, based on the belief that prelates were duty-bound to protect their office and their brethren.

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Fathers, pastors and kings

Visions of episcopacy in seventeenth-century France


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