Marca, Pierre de
MARCA, PIERRE DE
Prelate, public servant, canonist, historian; b. Gan in Béarn, France, Jan. 24, 1594; d. Paris, Jun. 29, 1662. He was the son of Jacques de Marca, a merchant-noble, one of the leaders of the Catholic party in Béarn. Pierre studied letters at the Jesuit College of Auch and law at the University of Toulouse. He served as lawyer and councilor at Pau (1615); and when the council at Pau was converted to a parliament by Louis XIII in 1621, Pierre was appointed to preside. After the death of his wife, Marguerite de Forges, he entered the priesthood and was ordained April 2, 1642. He was consecrated bishop of Conserans on Dec. 20, 1648. Before his consecration Marca had been appointed intendant in Catalonia, in which position he continued for seven years, giving distinguished service to the Crown. On May 28, 1652, Cardinal Jules mazarin had him appointed to the archiepiscopal See of Toulouse. Rising rapidly in royal favor, he was made minister of state (1659) and nominated to succeed Cardinal Jean de retz as archbishop of Paris (1662). He never assumed the duties of that office, since he died on the same day he received the papal bull of appointment.
Next to his accomplishments as civil and ecclesiastical administrator are his writings in Canon Law and local history. His Rélations des déliberations du clergé de France (1661), against the Jansenists, demanded their adherence to the decrees of Innocent X and Alexander VII. As a historian he is credited with works of great erudition in his Histoire de Béarn and his Marca Hispanica, the latter a description of Catalonia.
Marca is important also for his attempt, at Richelieu's orders, to formulate a statement of Gallicanism that would reconcile the authority of the Roman pontiff with the full exercise of sovereign functions in the state. His treatise, De concordantia sacerdotii et imperii (1641), stated that the infallibility of the Church rests in the pope, but it can be exercised validly only cum aliquo consensu ecclesiae (with a certain consent of the Church); an ecclesiastical law must receive the consent of the nation that has to apply it; and the king has the right to censure the action of an ecclesiastic who violates canons and decrees confirmed by the royal power. The work did not meet with approval at Rome and was put on the Index. Marca then tried to extenuate his views in a subsequent publication, Dissertatio de primatu Lugdunensi et aliis primatibus (1644), which won him enough favor to be confirmed and consecrated as bishop in 1648.
Bibliography: The most noted editions of his writings are by É. baluze (Paris 1641, 1663), p. de faget (Paris 1668, 1669), and v. p. dubarat (Pau 1894–1912). A prefatory life is found in the Dissertationes de concordia, ed. É. baluze (1663) and Dissertationes posthumae, ed. p. de faget (1669). f. gaquÈre, Pierre de Marca, 1594–1662 (Paris 1932). j. carreyre, in Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 9.2:1987–91, bibliog. r. metz, in Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 6:1375. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae, 5 v. in 6 (3rd edition Innsbruck 1903–13) 3:1179–84.
[j. w. bush]