Bonnechose, Henri Marie Gaston de
BONNECHOSE, HENRI MARIE GASTON DE
Cardinal, archbishop of Rouen; b. Paris, May 30, 1800; d. Rouen, Oct. 28, 1883. He was the son of a Norman of gentle birth and a Dutch Protestant mother, and made his First Communion at the age of 18. After occupying many posts in the magistrature, he studied for the priesthood, was ordained (1833), and was for some time a member of the Society of St. Louis, established by Abbé Louis bautain. He became superior of the community at Saint-Louis des Français in Rome (1844), bishop of Carcassonne (1847) and then of Evreux (1854), archbishop of Rouen (1858), and cardinal (1863). As a member of the French senate from 1863 he intervened perseveringly and eloquently in that body and before Emperor Napoleon III, whom he highly esteemed, in favor of the papal temporal power and in defense of religion. At vatican council i he served on the committee on postulata and headed the "third party" among the members, which favored the definition of papal infallibility in a more mitigated form than manning and his group sought. During the Franco-Prussian War, Rouen found him a generous protector and an efficacious advocate with the conqueror. He was an energetic and charitable administrator, and continued his religious work diligently under the Third Republic. He was one of the episcopal founders of the Institut Catholique de Paris.
Bibliography: l. besson, Vie du cardinal de Bonnechose, archevêque de Rouen, 2 v. (Paris 1882). r. eude, Histoire religieuse du diocèse de Rouen au XIX e siècle v.1 Les Archevêques de Rouen 1802–1915 (Rouen 1954). c. butler, The Vatican Council 2 v. (New York 1930). m. prevost, Dictionnaire de biographie française 6:996–997. c. laplatte, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 9:1027–28.