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Cayet, Pierre Victor


Theologian; b. Montrichard, France, 1525; d. Paris, either March 10 or July 22, 1610. He studied arts and law at Paris under P. Ramus and followed him into Calvinism. He left Paris for Geneva and devoted himself to the study of theology. After a tour of German universities, he was named pastor of the Calvinist church at Montreuil-Bonnin near Poitiers. Having been created an official of the court of Henry of Navarre, Cayet followed that king to Paris, where he came into contact with Cardinal Du Perron. Accusations of practicing sorcery and magic caused him to lose favor with the Calvinists. On Nov. 9, 1595, he abjured Protestantism, returned to the religion of his birth, and, in a letter, told of the reasons for his return. This document was violently attacked by the Calvinists, and their provocations occasioned Cayet's vigorous defense of Catholicism in a fusillade of works published between 1596 and 1599. In 1598 he was named rector of the University of Paris, a post he never accepted, since he was not a doctor of theology. After his ordination in 1600, he continued to publish works of an apologetic nature. His Chronologie septennaire (Paris 1605) was placed on the Index for its denial of the authority of the pope over bishops. He defended this work, and, at his death, his religious loyalties were suspect.

Bibliography: e. mangenot, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951 ), 2.2:204648. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae, 5 v. in 6 (3d. ed. Innsbruck 190313) 3:412414.

[c. r. meyer]

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