Ponpignan, Jean-georges Le Franc De

Ponpignan, Jean-Georges le Franc de a French prelate, brother of the poet Pompignan, was born at Montauban Feb. 22, 1715. After finishing his studies at the College Louis le Grand and at the Seminary of St. Sulpice, he was made canon in his native diocese, hut he had scarcely taken his license when he was appointed bishop of Le Puy (Dec. 25, 1742). In 1747 he obtained in commendam the abbey of St. Chaffre in his diocese, and was sent as a deputy to the assembly of the clergy held in 1755. He sided, in the strife which divided at that time the Church of France, with the party of the Feuillants, so called because they adopted the principles of the cardinal De la Rochefoucauld, the new minister of the portfolio of the prebendaries, in opposition to the party of the Thaetins who sided with the Theatine Boyer, previously bishop of Mirepoix. Pompignan was sent by the assembly to address the pope on the articles drawn up by both parties. He was one of the presidents of the assembly of 1760, and the author of the remonstrances to the king in favor of the members of the clergy banished by Parliament. He was untiring in writing against the vices and incredulity of his epochworks which made him many enemies, among whom was Voltaire. In 1774 Louis XV made him archbishop of Vienne. In 1788 he sided with the tiers-etat in the etats of the Dauphine, and this conduct caused him to be deputed to the Etats Generaux. He was true there to the same line of conduct, and was conspicuous at the head of the members of the clergy who, June 22, 1789, joined the tiers-etat. The consequence was that he became one of the first presidents of the National Assembly. On Aug. 4 of the ensuing year the king entrusted him with the roll of the prebendary and the following day he was appointed minister of state, and took his seat in the council. Being aware that he could not reside in his diocese, he resigned the episcopal see, and received in exchange the abbey of Buzai. The suspension of the nomination to the prebendaries, Nov. 9,1789, left him minister without portfolio, and was followed by considerable changes introduced into the Church of France by the decree of July 12, 1790, on the civil constitution of the clergy. Pius VI addressed to Pompignan a bull, in which he condemned the new decrees, and exhorted him to bring his whole influence to bear upon the king to prevent him from giving them his sanction. This bull was resultless, as the king sanctioned the decrees on Aug. 24. Pompignan had nothing to do with this decision of Louis XVI, inasmuch as he had not attended the meetings of the council since Aug. 17, suffering already of the disease of which he died at Paris, Dec. 30, 1790. Besides a number of Mandemerts, pastoral letters, and reports to the assembly of the clergy, he left Questions diverses ssur l'Incredulit (Paris, 1753, 12mo): — Le veritable Usage de l'Autorite seculiere dans les Miatisres qui concernent la Religion (1753, 1784, 12mo): — L'Incredulite convaincue par les Prophetes (1759, 3 vols. 12mo): — La Religion venzgee de l'Incredulite par l'Incrdulite ellemenze (1772, 12mo): — L'Oraisor funebre de la Dauphine (1747, 4to): — L'Oraison Jinbre de la Reine Marie Leczinska (1768, 4to): — Lettres a unm1 Ezeque sur plusieurs Points de Morale et de Discipline (1802, 2 vols. 8vo). See biographical sketch in his posthumous publications; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, s.v.; Jervis, Hist. of the Church of France, 2, 371; Van Laun, Hist. of French Lit. (N.Y. 1877, 3 vols. 8vo).

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