Gallican Liberties

In 1594 a famous Parisian jurisconsult, Pierre Pithou, published a book entitled "The Liberties of the Gallican Church." It was directed both against the pope, whose authority was limited in favor of the bishops, and against the bishops who, in the discharge of their duties, were unduly subjected to the royal power. The book was a veritable code of Gallicanism in 83 articles. Among so-called "Liberties," the following may be noted: the kings have the right to assemble councils and to make laws concerning ecclesiastical affairs; the pope's legates cannot be sent to France nor, a fortiori, exercise any power in the kingdom without the king's consent; the king may prevent bishops from communicating with the pope and from leaving the kingdom to repair to Rome; the publication of papal decrees and ordinances is subject to the king's approval; it is lawful to appeal from the pope to a future council. These pretensions were embodied again in the book of the brothers, Pierre and Jacques Dupuy, "The Rights and Liberties of the Gallican Church, with their proofs" (1636). Louis XIV constantly appealed to them in his dealings with the Holy See, as was shown especially by the affair of the Regale.

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