Belmas, Louis

Belmas, Louis bishop of Cambray, was born at Montreal (Aude). At the time of the Revolution he was one of the priests who took the oath demanded by "the Civil Constitution of the Clergy." In 1801 he was appointed coadjutor to the "constitutional" bishop of Carcassonne, and in 1802 bishop of Cambray. When Napoleon was crowned, Belmas signed a formula of retractation. His pastoral letters during the reign of Napoleon showed him to be a very devoted partisan of imperialism. When, according to the Concordat of 1817, Cambray was to be made an archbishopric, the pope opposed it on account of the former views of Belmas. After the Revolution of 18S0 the government again intended to make him an archbishop, but the design was once more abandoned on account of the opposition of Rome. In 1841 he issued a pastoral letter strongly urging sincere submission to and recognition of the government of Louis Philippe. This letter made a profound sensation in France, and greatly offended the Legitimists. Belmas died on July 21, 1841, at Cambray. He was the last of the "constitutional" bishops — See Hoefer, Birgraphie Generale, 5, 290.

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