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Alison Forrestal

chap 5 22/3/04 12:53 pm Page 144 5 An uneasy alliance Despite the lamentations of seventeenth-century reformers about the inadequacies of religious belief and practice among the French population, they at least had the satisfaction of knowing that there was no real danger that protestantism would ever again challenge the privileged position of the Catholic church. Catholicism was the religion of France, of the majority of French people and of the royal family. Its clergy composed the first estate and were represented at provincial and national estates; they

in Fathers, pastors and kings
Open Access (free)
Alison Forrestal

advisors. With the royal family and ministers like Richelieu personally close to charismatic and dedicated reformers, appointments regularly took on a personal importance for salvation and divine service, as well as being an important means of extending monarchical power. As Jean Eudes repeatedly reminded the queen regent, Anne of Austria, it was her duty to provide the church with worthy bishops, an obligation for which God would ultimately judge her.6 Richelieu made the same point in his Testament.7 Obviously, it suited the crown to promote men who were educated

in Fathers, pastors and kings