Pucelle, Abbe

Pucelle, Abbe, a French ecclesiastic who flourished in the first half of the 18th century, is noted as one of the ablest defenders of the Gallican liberties. He was born at Paris in 1655, and was in Parliament in 1714 when the adoption and registration of the bull Unigenitus, which aimed at the destruction of the Jansenists (q.v.), was discussed, and he most vigorously opposed this act on the part of the French state. He was then one of the clerical counsellors of the "Grand Chamber." In 1730, also, after the archbishop of Paris, De Vintimille, attempted to enforce the Unigenitus, and the king had suffered the "lit de justice" to strengthen the papists, Pucelle stood strong, and caused the counsellors to keep their places and assert the independence and supremacy of the temporal power of France over Roman ecclesiasticism. They contended that it does not belong to ecclesiastics to define the limits between civil and spiritual authority; that the laws of the Church do not become laws of the State until they are sanctioned and promulgated by the sovereign; and that the ministers of the Church are accountable to the king and the Parliament for any offence against the statute law of the realm (see Memoires du Marechal Duc de Richelieu, iii, 203). It was the first step of the opposition of the clergy of France to the crown and the hierarchy. SEE FRANCE; SEE GALLICAN CHURCH. Of Pucelle's personal history nothing further is accessible to us than that he was obliged to go into exile after 1732, and returned only when peace was concluded between court and Parliament. He died at Paris Jan. 7, 1745. See Guette, Hist. de l'Eglise de France; Jervis, Hist. Ch. of France, ii, 220, 231, 272. (J. H. W.)

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