Lot n° 217
500 - 700
François III de HARLAY (1625-1695) prelate,... - Lot 217 - Ader
François III de HARLAY (1625-1695) prelate, archbishop of Rouen then of Paris, he fought against the Jansenists and inspired the anti-protestant policy of Louis XIV, whose secret marriage he celebrated with Mme de Maintenon. L.A.S. as Archbishop of Rouen, Paris December 4, 1666, to an Eminence; 7 pages in-4 (lightly wetted, one edge of the 1st page slightly fringed, small slits in the fold).
Long and interesting letter concerning the "affair of the four bishops". [The bishops of Angers, Beauvais, Alet and Pamiers - respectively Arnaud, Buzenval, Pavillon and Caulet - had initially refused to sign Alexander VI's form, supported by Louis XIV, explicitly condemning five proposals on the grace of the Augustinus of Jansenius].
"Monsieur de Lyonne gave me a note in the evening advising me that the Pope, before making up his mind entirely on the affair of the four bishops, wished to know more precisely whether it was possible to know the truth of what had happened in their synods"; he was able to obtain a declaration signed by the bishop of Châlons and Arnaud, which Harlay read attentively: "I would never have believed that the defenders of the book of Jansenius would have come so far. I testified to the astonishment of Monsieur de Lyonne in the conference I had in the presence of the nuncio, and I could not help saying that he had rendered by this action one of the most indicated services to the Holy See and to the whole Church that one could have ever desired. In fact, my lord, it seems to me that by this enlightenment the soul of the church is entirely covered, and that it is hardly possible to add anything to the lobeissance which is given back to the Holy See by this action. For since these gentlemen protest by their Declaration that they condemn the five propositions in every sense that the Church has condemned them without making any exception or restriction whatsoever, there is no reason to believe that their intention is to defend them in any particular sense to the prejudice of the terms of the said Declaration itself, which means that the subject of the disputes is absolutely finished and that the faith is preserved by its safeguard and security. And as on the other hand it renders to the judgment of the Holy See the same judgment on the book of Jansenius all the submission and lobeissance which are deuced to it "... Etc. If in 1660, when Harlay presided over the General Assembly of the Clergy of France, he had been given such a declaration, he would fortunately have ended the affair. But we are far from it, and Harlay explains in four points the situation regarding the five propositions and the book of Jansenius... "Today, when I am presenting this Declaration, all these apprehensions must cease..." Thus His Holiness must be strengthened in his resolution to "give peace to the Church", without feeling any pain regarding this accommodation, "ny that the paternal condescension of His Holiness may attract less from his conduct than the reward of immortal glory"....
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