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Guillaume-Andre-Rene Baston

French theologian (1741-1825)

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Baston, GUILLAUME-ANDRE-RENE, a French theologian, b. at Rouen, November 29, 1741; d. at Saint-Laurent, September 26, 1825. He studied theology at St. Sulice in Paris and finished his studies at Angers. He was then appointed professor of theology at Rouen. During the Revolution he wrote against the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Having refused to take the oath, he was obliged to go into exile (1792), first to London, then to Holland, and finally to Kosfeld in Westphalia. In 1803 he returned to Rouen, where he was appointed vicar-general and dean of the chapter by Archbishop Cambaceres. As a Gallican, he won the favor of Napoleon, who appointed him Bishop of Sees (1813) and the chapter of the cathedral accepted him as capitular vicar. Pope Pius VII failing to approve of this nomination, the cathedral chapter revoked the nomination (1814), and Baston went into retirement at Saint-Laurent near Pont-Audemer, where he died. Baston was the author of numerous works on theology, the most important being “Lectiones theologicae”, written while he was professor of theology, in collaboration with Abbe Tuvache (10 vols., Rouen, 1818), and he published several polemical works on the subject of theology: “Reponse au memoire et a la consultation de M. Linguet, touchant l’indissolubilite du mariage” (Paris, 1772); “Les entretiens du pape Ganganelli” (Clement XIV) (Antwerp, 1777); “Voltairimeros, ou premiere journee de M. de Voltaire dans l’autre monde” (Brussels, 1779). During the Revolution he wrote many pamphlets against the Civil Constitution of the Clergy and his book “Doctrine catholique sur le mariage” (1791) was published about the same time. During his exile in Kosfeld he began his “Memoires”, edited lately by the Societe d’histoire contemporaine (3 vols., Paris, 1897-99). In his last years he wrote “Reclamation pour l’Eglise de France et pour la verite contre l’ouvrage de M. le comte de Maistre [Du Pape]” (Rouen, 1821); “Antidote contre les erreurs et la reputation de l’Essai sur l’indifference en matiere de religion” (Paris, 1823); “Concordance des lois civiles et des lois ecclesiastiques touchant le mariage” (Paris, 1824).


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