Boisgelin de Cucé, Jean de Dieu, Raymond de
BOISGELIN DE CUCÉ, JEAN DE DIEU, RAYMOND DE
Archbishop and cardinal; b. Rennes, France, Feb. 27, 1732; d. Angervilliers, Aug. 22, 1804. As a member of an old family of Brittany, Boisgelin De Cucé entered the service of the Church. Promotion was assured, and at the age of 33 he became bishop of Lavour. Five years later he was nominated to the See of Aix in Provence.
As archbishop he was concerned for the material as well as the spiritual well-being of his flock and proved himself an enlightened and effective administrator. His reputation merited for him election to the French Academy in 1776. With the coming of the Revolution, the prospects for a new order in France appealed to the archbishop of Aix. He was elected a deputy to the Estates-General and demonstrated his ability as a leader.
In the early months of the deliberations of the Assembly, he showed that he was willing to accept change, and the Assembly honored him by electing him president for a two-week term. In the months that followed, the archbishop joined the opposition when the majority voted for the confiscation of the Church's property and passed the civil constitution of the clergy. He was a vigorous spokesman in defense of the Church's rights and refused to take the oath supporting the Civil Constitution.
For the following ten years he resided in England. When Napoleon came to power and settled the problem of Church-State relations with the concordat of 1801, the archbishop returned to France. In 1802 he was appointed to the See of Tours and received the cardinal's hat from Pope Pius VII. His many contributions to literature have not had much enduring influence.
Bibliography: e. lavaquery, Le Cardinal de Boisgelin, 2 v. (Paris 1920). c. constantin, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique
(Paris 1903–50) 2:942–944. p. calendini, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (Paris 1912–) 9:575–576. f. reibel, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 1957–65) 2:566.
[h. l. stansell]