Richard de la Vergne, François Marie
RICHARD DE LA VERGNE, FRANÇOIS MARIE
Cardinal, archbishop of Paris; b. Nantes, March 1, 1819; d. Paris, Jan. 28, 1908. After theological studies at Saint-Sulpice, Paris, he was ordained (Dec. 21, 1844) and made graduate studies in theology in Rome (1846–49). Returning to Nantes, he became secretary to the bishop and vicar-general (1850–69). After Bishop Jacquemet's death (1869) he preached parish missions. As bishop of Belley (1872–75) he began the beatification process for the Curé of Ars. He became coadjutor to Cardinal Guibert (May 7, 1875), succeeded him as archbishop of Paris (July 8, 1886), and was named cardinal (May 24, 1889). In this post he showed no favor toward the Third Republic or the ralliement, but in the face of an anticlerical government he zealously defended the religious congregations threatened with expulsion, the cause of Catholic education, and that of the Church itself at the time of the law separating Church and State (1905). This law caused him to be expelled from his see some months before his death. The foundation and organization of the Institut Catholique in Paris owes much to him. He was one of the first to oppose loisy. The Roman decree lamentabili contains 18 propositions taken almost verbatim from Richard's memorial to the Holy See concerning Modernism. Richard was known for his asceticism, modesty, and mildness joined to firmness. Besides pastoral letters he published several works.
Bibliography: h. l. odelin, Le Cardinal Richard: Souvenirs (2d ed. Paris 1922). m. clÉment, Vie du Cardinal Richard (Paris 1924). j. rupp, Histoire de l'Église de Paris (Paris 1948). r. scherer, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 8:1294–95.