Faber (3)

Faber (Favre), Pierre Francois, a Roman Catholic divine, was born about the opening of the 18th century, at St. Barthelemie, canton de Vaud. He was priest at Laudun, in Lower Languedoc, when chosen by the bishop of Halicarnassus, Francois de la Baumae personal secretary and confessor on his visitation-tour to Cochin China. They reached Macao July 15, 1738, and were there, under the pretense of being entertained as visitors, kept as prisoners of the Jesuits some eight months. On their arrival in Cochin China in May, the bishop commenced his visitation work among the missionaries. The converted natives complained bitterly against certain missionaries who had excommunicated them under pretense of Jansenism, but really on account of their refusal to adhere to the heathen ceremonies and funeral sacrifices which thie Jesuits allowed their Chinese converts to follow. The bishop took the side of the people, and ewas accused by the Jesuits before the mandarins as a disturber of the public peace, and he, as well as his secretary, narrowly escaped execution. The bishop appointed Favre his agent to visit the Southern provinces. The opposition with which both were met by the Jesuits shortly afterwards inclined the bishop to divide the country between the Jesuits, the French missionaries, and the Franciscans. The death of the bishop was hastened by sorrow and ill treatment as Faber has it, or by poison as one of the Franciscans reported to Rome. Faber attempted to assume the duties of his position as agent, but, finding that he could not act with success against the opposition of the Jesuits, he returned to Rome August 8, 1741, in order to report to the propaganda and to the pope. But even in Rome he found the Jesuits beforehand in undermining him by slander and every other means in their power, and the decree of the pope did not appear until Faber had almost abandoned the hope of ever receiving it. This decree (issued 1745) in the main sanctioned the acts of Faber and his predecessor. He gives a full account of the mission in Lettres edifiantes et curieuses sur la visite apostolique de M. de la Bausme, Eveque d'Halicarnasse, a la Cochinchine en 1740; ou l'on vouit les voyages et les travaux de ce zele Prelat, la conduite des Missionaires Jesuites, et de quelques autres, avec de nouvelles observations, etc. The work was condemned by the bishop at Lausanne, and was publicly burned at Freiburg. All copies that could be procured the Jesuits bought up, in order to prevent its circulation. An extract is given by Simler in his Samml. a. u. n. Urkunden zur Beleuch. tung der Kirchengesch, 1:195-256. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 4:309.

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