Petit-pied, Nicolas (2)

Petit-Pied, Nicolas (2)

a French theologian, nephew of the preceding, was born in Paris August 4, 1665. After having finished with distinction his ecclesiastical studies, he was received doctor of the Sorbonne in 1692, and his reputation caused him to be chosen in 1701 to teach the Holy Scriptures in that celebrated school. Having signed, July 20, 1702, with thirty-nine other doctors, the famous Cas de conscience, which was condemned at Rome February 15, 1703, he would not retract, and was therefore exiled to Beaune and deprived of his pulpit. He hastened to join in Holland his friend Quesnel, and remained in that country until 1718, producing each year, for the support of Jansenism, new articles upon the formulary, upon respectful silence, and upon other analogous matters now forgotten. The bull Unigenitus found in him a formidable adversary: he fought it in pamphlets, in memoirs, and in more extended works. On his return to France, Petit- Pied passed some time at Troyes, and afterwards went to Paris, where, June 1 and 6, 1719, the faculty of theology and the Sorbonne established him again in his rights as doctor. On the 15th of the same month he was again exiled, and on the 21st a lettre de cachet ordered the cancelling of the conclusion of the faculty in his favor. Petit-Pied had established his home and a new kind of Protestant Church in the village of Asnibres, near Paris. There he made a trial of the regulations and all the liturgy practiced by the Jansenists in Holland. Renown published astonishing things of him; people hastened there in crowds from the capital, and Asnibres soon became another Charenton. Petit-Pied showed himself from that time a more obstinate appellant. M. de Lorraine, bishop of Bayeux, selected him shortly after for his theologian, but on the death of that prelate, June 9, 1728, he retired again to Holland, whence he returned only in 1734. His zeal for Jansenism and the fertility of his pen were not inconsistent in this new exile; but from his return to Paris he led a more tranquil life, and contented himself with composing several works to defend the missal given to his diocese by Bossuet, bishop of Troyes. Petit-Pied died in Paris January 7, 1747. The list of all his works would be too long; Moreri mentions eighty-one. We quote of his works, Examen theologique de l'instruction pastorale approuvee dans l'assemblee di clerge . . . pour l'acceptation de la bulle (Paris, 1713, 3 volumes, 12mo): — Examen des faussetes sur le culte Chinois avancees par le P. Jouvency (ibid. 1714, 12mo): — and Lettres touchant la matiere de l'usure, par rapport aux contrats des rentes rachetables des deux cotes (Lille, 1731, 4to). He also labored upon the work of Legros, Dogma Ecclesiae circa usuram expositum et vindicatum (Utrecht, 1731, 4to). Sarcastic in his works, Petit- Pied was of a mild, sociable character. See Dict. Hist. des Auteurs Eccles. volume 3; Journal de Dorsanne, Calendrier ecclesiastique (ibid. 1757, 12mo); Nouv. eccles. passim; Moreri, Dict. Hist. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 39:719.

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