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237 François Genet: The man and his methodology

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Pollock James R.   

 “Analecta Gregoriana” 237

1984, pp. 298



François Genet was born in 1640, in Avignon, which at that time as the center of the Papal States in southern France. He studied at the University there and received doctorates in theology and in both civil and canon law. During the years of his studies, he was ordained a priest and before long had come to the attention of the bishop of Grenoble, Etienne Le Camus. After successfully taking part in a mission preached in Le Camus’ diocese. Genet was commissioned by Le Camus to write a text of moral theology. In the text that he prepared over a number of years, Genet proved himself to be a probabiliorist of the first order. His text enjoyed considerable popularity during his lifetime and thereafter. Genet himself was consecrated bishop of Vaison, a small diocese within the Papal States, in the year 1686. The pope who elevated him to the ranks of the hierarchy was Innocent XI. Genet remained bishop of Vaison until his accidental death by drowning in 1702. It remains to be said of Genet that he was imprisoned by Louis XIV for about eighteen months for harbouring Jansenist nuns in his diocese and that he himself has been, both during his lifetime and occasionally afterwards, accused of being a Jansenist.


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