Doctrine, Christian

Doctrine, Christian

MONASTIC CONGREGATIONS OF (Doctrinaires, Doctrinarians).

1. Priests of the Christian Doctrine, a congregation of secular priests, the chief object of which was to instruct the poor and the ignorant. Their founder, Caesar de Bus, was born February 3, 1544, at Cavaillon, in France. He took orders for the purpose of obtaining a rich benefice, and for some time led a dissolute life in Paris; but on his return to the quiet Cavaillon he changed his mode of life, and devoted himself with great zeal to the care of the poor and the sick. In order to extend his philanthropic activity, he united with four other priests of Cavaillon, and now added to his former labors that of catechizing poor people and the children. In 1593 the association obtained a special authorization from the Pope. When the number of members had increased to twelve, they elected Caesar de Bus as their superior. The new superior wished to consolidate the association by introducing the simple vows. This induced a number of members to quit; but in 1597 pope Clement VIII sanctioned the association as a society of secular priests. The founder soon after became blind, but continued to preach and work for the extension of his society until his death in 1607. The successor of De Bus, Vigier, caused new trouble within the society by an attempt to convert the society into a regular "monastic congregation" (q.v.) by the introduction of solemn vows. This led pope Paul V to subject the society to the general of the Somaskians. This measure, however, increased the disturbance, and pope Innocent X on that account repealed the union, and subjected the priests of the Christian Doctrine to the diocesan bishops. These were henceforth again a society of secular priests, who only took simple vows. On the outbreak of the French Revolution, the society had in France 3 provinces, 15 houses, and 25 colleges. The society was abolished by the French Revolution; their last superior, M. de Bonnefour, died in 1806.

2. A Congregation of Sisters of the Christian Doctrine was likewise founded by Caesar de Bus. They were more commonly called Ursulines of Toulouse.

3. A Congregation of Doctrinarians was founded in Italy about the middle of the 16th century by Marco de Sadis Cusani. The object of this society was likewise to give instruction. Benedict XIII and Benedict XIV gave to this society the direction of several elementary schools in the city of Rome. The society did not extend much beyond Rome, where they still give elementary instruction in a few schools.

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