Benedict, Rene'

, a famous doctor of the Sorbonne, and curate of St. Eustathius at Paris in the sixteenth century, was born at Sevenieres near Angers. He was a secret favourer of the protestant religion; and that his countrymen might be able to read the Bible in their own tongue, he published at Paris the French translation which had been made by the reformed ministers at Geneva. This translation was approved by several doctors of the Sorbonne before it went to the press; and king Charles IX. had granted a privilege for the printing of it, yet when published it was immediately condemned. In 1587 king Henry III. appointed Benedict to be reader and regius professor of divinity in the college of Navarre at Paris. He had been before that time confessor to the unhappy Mary queen of Scotland, during her stay in France, and attended her when she returned into Scotland. Some time before the death of Henry III. Benedict, or some of his friends with his assistance, published a book, entitled “Apologie Catholique,” to prove that the protestant religion, which Henry king -of Navarre professed, was not a sufficient reason to deprive him of his right of succeeding to the crown of France; first, because the Huguenots admitted the fundamental articles of the catholic faith, and that the ceremonies and practices which they exploded had been unknown to the primitive church. Secondly, because the council of Trent, in which they had been condemned, was neither general, nor lawful, nor acknowledged in France. After the murder of Henry III. a factious divine wrote an answer to that book, which obliged Benedict to publish a reply. When king Henry IV. was | resolved to embrace the Roman Catholic religion, he wrote to Benedict, commanding him to meet him, The doctor on this consulted with the pope’s legate, who was then at Paris, and advised him to answer the king, that he could not go to him without the pope’s leave, which exasperated the people at Paris, because they understood by this advice, that he favoured the Spanish faction, and endeavoured only to protract the civil war. However, Benedict assisted some time after at the conference which was held at St. Dennis, and in which it was resolved, that the king, having given sufficient proofs of his fa^h and repentance, might be reconciled to the church, without waiting for the pope’s consent. Benedict also assisted at that assembly, in which king Henry abjured the reformed religion, and having embraced the Roman Catholic faith, was absolved by the archbishop of Bourges. The king promoted him afterwards, about 15^7, to the bishopric of Troyes in Champagne, but he could never obtain the pope’s bulls to be installed, and only enjoyed the temporalities till 1604, when he resigned it with the king’s leave to Renatus de Breslay, archdeacon of Angers, He died at Paris, March 7, 1608, and was buried near the great altar in his parish church of St. Eustathius. Dr. Victor Cayet made his funeral oration. Besides the books, which we have mentioned, he wrote three or four other pieces, the titles of which are mentioned by father le Long, but they are of little note, except perhaps his history of the coronation of king Henry III. “Le Sacre et Couronnement du roi Henry III. Pan 1575, par Rene Benoit, docteur en theologie,” Reims, 1575, 8vo, and inserted in Godefrey’s “Ceremonial de France,Paris, 1619, 4to. 1


Gen. Dict.—Moreri.