De Champs, Victor

De Champs, Victor cardinal-archbishop of Mechlin, was born December 6, 1810, at Melle. He was a follower of Lamennais, and in the spirit of his teacher wrote for different political periodicals, but in 1832 betook himself to the study of theology. He joined the Redemptorists at St. Trond; soon became famous as a pulpit orator; went on a pilgrimage to Rome in 1850; in 1865 was raised to the episcopal see of Namur, and in 1867 to the archiepiscopal see of Mechlin; and in 1875 was made cardinal, probably for his advocacy of papal infallibility. Bishop De Champs was especially severe against the free-masons, and proved himself a decided Ultramontanist. He died September 29, 1883. (B.P.)

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