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Tencin, Pierre Guérin de

TENCIN, PIERRE GUÉRIN DE

French statesman, cardinal, and anti-Jansenist; b. Grenoble, Aug. 22, 1680; d. Lyons, March 2, 1758. He was the son of the president of the Grenoble parliament, and brother of Claudina, the influential mistress of a famed salon. His early education under the Oratorians in Grenoble culminated in a doctorate from the Sorbonne. His career owed much to the speculator, John Law, to his sister, and to Cardinal Andre fleury. He became abbé of Vézelay in 1702, and archdeacon and vicar-general of Sens the next year. As Cardinal Armand Rohan's conclavist in 1721, he may have interceded with innocent xiii to obtain the cardinalate for Abbé Guillaume dubois. He served France as ambassador to the Holy See from 1721 to 1724 and from 1739 to 1742. Consecrated archbishop of Embrun, June 26, 1724, he convoked the Provincial Synod in 1727 that deposed his aged suffragan, Bishop Soanen of Senez, an appellant against unigenitus. The deposition seriously weakened the Jansenists with whom Tencin engaged in a bitter pamphlet debate. As a reward Tencin received the cardinal's hat in 1739. He succeeded to the See of Lyons in 1740, and was appointed minister of state two years later. He remained on the Council until 1751, when he retired to his diocese.

Bibliography: j. carreyre, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 15.1:115116, is the best summary and locates Tencin's pastoral and diplomatic writings. For acts of synod of Embrun see: (Graz 1960) 37:693888. m. boutry, Une Créature du cardinal Dubois: Intrigues et missions du cardinal de Tencin (Paris 1902).

[v. healy]

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