Richer, Edmund

, a learned French divine, was born September 30, 1560, at Chaource, in the diocese of Langres. He had been at first drawn into the party and sentiments of the Leaguers, and even ventured to defend James Clement, but soon hastened to acknowledge his legitimate sovereign, after having taken his doctor’s degree, 1590. Richer became grand master of the college of Le Moine, then syndic of the faculty of divinity at Paris, January 2, 1603, in which office he strenuously defended the ancient maxims of the doctors of this faculty, and opposed the thesis of a Dominican in 1611, who maintained the pope’s infallibility, and his superiority over the council. He published a small tract the same year, “On the Civil and Ecclesiastical Power,” 8vo, to establish the principles on which he asserted that the doctrine of the French church, and the Sorhonne, respecting papal authority, and the authority of the general council, were founded. This | little book made much noise, and raised its author enemies in the Nuncio, and some doctors undertook to have him deposed from the syndicate, and his work condemned by the faculty of theology; but the parliament prohibited the faculty from interfering in that affair. In the mean time cardinal du Perron, archbishop of Sens, assembled eight bishops of his province at Paris, and made them censure Richer’s book, March 9, 1612. Richer entered an appeal (Comme tfabus) from this censure, to the parliament, and was admitted as an appellant; but the matter rested there. His book was also censured by the archbishop of Aix, and three bishops of his province, May 24, the same year, and he was proscribed and condemned at Rome. A profusion or pamphlets now appeared to refute him, and he received an express order from court, not to write in his defence. The animosity against Richer rose at length to such a height that his enemies obtained from the king and the queen regent letters, ordering the faculty to elect another syndic. Richer made his protestations, read a paper in his defence, and retired. A new syndic was chosen in 1612, and they have ever since been elected once in two years, although before that time their office was perpetual. Richer afterwards ceased to attend the meetings of the faculty, and confined himself to solitude, being wholly employed in study; but his enemies having involved him in several fresh troubles, he was seized, sent to the prisons of St. Victor, and would even have been delivered up to the pope, had no,t the parliament and chancellor of France prevented it, on complaints made by the university. He refused to attend the censure passed on the books of Anthony de Dominis in 1617, and published a declaration in 1620, at the solicitation of the court of Rome, protesting that he was ready to give an account of the propositions in his book “on the Ecclesiatical and Civil Power,” and explain them in an orthodox sense; and farther, that he submitted his work to the judgment of the Holy See, and of the Catholic church. He even published a second declaration; but all being insufficient to satisfy his adversaries, he was obliged to reprint his book in 1629, with the proofs of the propositions advanced in it, and the two declarations, to which cardinal Richelieu is said to have forced him to add a third. He died Nov. 28, 1631, in his seventy-second year. He was buried at the Sorbonne, where a mass used to be said annually for the repose of his soul. Besides his | treatise on “Ecclesiastical Power,” reprinted with additions at Cologii in 1701, 2 vols. 4to, he was the author of a “History of general Councils,” 4 vols. 4to a “History of his Syndicate,” 8vo, and some other works, in which learning and great powers of reasoning are obvious. Baillet published a life of him in 12mo. 1

1 Dupin. Nictron, vol. XXVII, Life ift Bibl. Anc. et Modern, vol. XII. —Mosheim.