Caulet, François Étienne

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Bishop of Pamiers, staunch opponent to the régale of Louis XIV; b. Toulouse, May 19, 1610; d. Pamiers, Aug. 7, 1680. He was the Jesuit-educated son of a well-to-do parliamentary family. Caulet first came into prominence as director of the seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris in 1642. Having been appointed bishop of the small and heavily Protestant Diocese of Pamiers in 1644, he attracted wide attention by his sweeping program of reform and the austerity of his life. In 1655 he was one of five French bishops who refused to sign the formulary condemning Jansenism, but this was probably as much a matter of principle as it was a sign of adherence to Jansenist doctrines. A decade later, he became the central figure in the opposition to the king's efforts to extend the régale into hitherto exempt dioceses. His appeal to Innocent XI for assistance was answered with alacrity, but for three years the diocese was in a state of siege, with Caulet, deprived of his temporalities, holding out the best he could against the combined forces of king, parliament, intendant, and even his own metropolitan. He maintained this stubborn resistance until his death at the age of 70.

Bibliography: l. bassette, Jean de Caulet (Grenoble 1946). m. dubruel, Innocent XI et l'extension de la Régale (Paris 1907). j. carreyre, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912), 12:710.

[l. l. bernard]