Courcelles, Thomas De

Courcelles, Thomas de a French theologian, was born in 1400, of a noble family of Picardy, and studied at the University of Paris. In 1431 he was canon of Amiens, of Laon, of Therouanne, and bachelier forme of theology, and already a very eminent preacher. He was successively sent to councils or congresses at Basle, Bourges, Prague, Rome, and Mantua. In 1440 he refused the cardinalate offered to him by the antipope, Felix V. He was one of the most able defenders of the liberties of the Gallican Church. In 1447, and years following, he was part of the embassy which determined the fate of the pontifical schism. Having become doctor of theology, he was, in 1450, appointed' rector of St. Andrew's, Paris, afterwards canon, penitentiary, and dean of the cathedral. In 1461 he pronounced the funeral oration of Charles VII. Being proviseur of the Sorbonne, he was the same year delegated by the pope, with the bishop of Paris, to proceed to the reformation of the order of Fontevrault. Thomas de Courcelles is especially noticeable in history by the part, although secondary, which he played in the condemnation of Joan of Arc. He died October 23,1469. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.; Biog. Universelle, s.v.

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