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Paul Godet des Marais

Bishop of Chartres; b. 1647; d. 1709.

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Godet des Marais, PAUL, Bishop of Chartres, France; b. at Talcy, near Blois, 1647; d. at Chartres, 1709. He studied at Saint-Sulpice, took the doctorate of theology at the Sorbonne, was ordained, and became (1677) superior of the “Seminaire des Trente-Trois”. Louis XIV nominated him (1690) to the See of Chartres, but owing to difficulties between France and the Holy See the papal confirmation came only on January 21, 1692. As spiritual director of Mme de Maintenon, for whom he wrote “Lettres de direction”, Godet used his influence to have Mme Guyon removed from Saint-Cyr. A stanch opponent of Quietism, he signed with Noailles and Bossuet the famous “Declaratio” condemning Fenelon’s “Maximes des saints” (1697), and wrote (1698) several ordonnances, or pastoral letters, against the pseudo-mystical theories of Molinos, Fenelon, and Mme Guyon. He also did much to destroy Jansenism in France, refuted the cas de conscience (1703), commanded obedience to the papal constitution of Clement XI (1705), and severely censured Juenin’s “Institutions theologiques” (1708). His zeal and charity, as well as his orthodoxy, were set forth in an epitaph written by his successor, Monstiers de Merinville.

J. F. SOLLIER


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