La Luzerne, Caesar Guillaume De
La Luzerne, Caesar Guillaume De.
a distinguished French prelate, was born at Paris July 7, 1738. Intended for the Church by his family, he studied at the seminary of St. Magloire, and while yet quite young had several benefits bestowed upon him through family influence. In 1754 he was made canon in minoribus of the cathedral of Paris, and in 1756 abbot of Mortemer. In 1762 he graduated with distinction, and was immediately appointed grand vicar to the archbishop of Narbonne, and in 1770 (June 24) was finally raised to the bishopric of Langres. This position securing him a seat in the States with the nobility, he took an active part in political events, and tried to conciliate the claims of the third estate with those of the nobility and clergy. He subsequently opposed the declaration of rights placed at the head of the new constitution, and spoke in favor of making the right of veto granted to the king more decisive. At the close of August, 1789, he became president of the Assemblee Constituante, but, after witnessing the excesses of the 5th and 6th of October, he retired to his diocese. Here he strenuously opposed the civil constitution of the clergy, and was obliged in 1791 to leave France. He went successively to Switzerland and Austria, and finally settled at Venice in 1799, and remained there until the restoration of the Bourbons to the throne of France. He was made cardinal July 28, 1817, and minister of state. The see of Langres having been restored, La Luzerne was reappointed to it, but legal difficulties prevented his assuming its direction. In 1818 he was the only bishop called to the council of ministers to contrive the ratification of the concordat of the preceding year. Although strongly attached to the liberties of the Gallican Church, La Luzerne earnestly advocated a strict compliance with the letter of the Concordat. He died June 21, 1821. Besides the Oraisonfuinebre de
Charles Emmanuel III, roi de Sardaigne (1773, 4to and 12mo), and the Oraisonfitnebre de Louis XV, roi de France (1774, 4to and 12mo), he wrote a number of pastoral instructions, etc., and political pamphlets. Most of his writings were collected and published under the style (Eaeres de AI. de La Luzerne (Lyonls and Paris, 1842, 10 vols. 8vo). See Le Moniteur, July 26, 1821; Ami de la Religion et du Roi, 28:225-233; Matiul, Annuaire Necrologique, 1821, p. 239; Qulerard, La France Litteraire; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 29:38. (J. N. P.)