Alfred Firmin Loisy

Modernist, born Ambrieres, France, 1857; died 1919. He was educated at Saint Dizier, the Grand Seminaire of Chalons-sur-Marlle, and the Institut Catholique, Paris. After his ordination to the priesthood, 1879, he devoted himself to the study and teaching of apologetics. His numerous publications on the subject showed a tendency to modernism, and in 1903 five of his books, which were intended to refute the anti-Catholic Adolf Harnack, were placed on the Index. He was forbidden to continue his instructions on Assyriology in the Sorbonne, 1904, and Pius X issued the decree "Lamentabili," followed by the Encyclical "Pascendi," 1907, condemning the errors to which Loisy subscribed. He was formally excommunicated, 1908. He continued as professor of the history of religions in the College of France, Paris, from 1909. His Autobiography or Confessions, at first under the title of "Things Past" and later under "My Duel with the Vatican," New York, 1924, contains strange admissions of formal heresy as far back as 1885, formal duplicity in dealing with Church authorities, and of intrigue to capture a bishopric.

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