Members of the clergy, especially in France and in the Netherlands, who accepted the bull Unigenitus, dated Sept. 8, 1713, and known in France as early as September 25. At this time, in France, a pontifical declaration had no effect until after it had been accepted by parliament and the Assembly of the Clergy. Parliament discussed the bull unigenitus on September 27 and 28. The opposition was led by Attorney General H. F. Daguesseau, who maintained that he saw in it proof of the fallibility of the popes, and parliament refused to endorse the bull, at least for the time being. The King then brought together the bishops present in Paris in an Assembly of the Clergy. The debates began on October 16. The Acceptants were immediately in the majority; supported by those in power and influenced especially by Cardinals A. G. de Rohan and H. de Bissy, they were nevertheless unable to attain unanimity and subdue their opponents, grouped around Cardinal L. A. de Noailles, Archbishop of Paris. Louis XIV, annoyed, sent the opponents to their dioceses and on Feb. 15, 1714, by a lettre de cachet, imposed on parliament the acceptance of the bull. In Aug. 1714, 112 bishops had accepted it, while only 16 refused it. Some Acceptants retracted their submission in 1716, during the brief period in which the Regent was favorably disposed toward Jansenism; but shortly afterward the Acceptants again had the support of those in power, and the Archbishop of Sens, Languet de Gergy, assumed a leading position in the group. The victory was practically assured them after the royal declaration of March 24, 1730, which made Unigenitus a law of the land.
[l. j. cognet]