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BOOK REVIEW 111 Sympathy toward—much less open support for—the movement for renewal within Roman Catholicism that gathered momentum in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and exploded into the Modernist crisis early in the twentieth century was understandably exceptional among bishops. Recent biographies have shed considerable light on the careers of the two outstanding representatives in France: Mgr.Lucien Lacroix (1854–1922),bishop ofTarentaise (1901–1907),and Mgr.Mignot, bishop of Fréjus (1890–1900) and archbishop of Albi (1900–1918). The latter prelate is of particular interest to those concerned with Newman, as Mignot’s sustained reading of Newman’s work opened his intellectual horizons toward progressive ideas while also serving as a source of stability in face of their troubling effects. Further, Mignot’s engagement with Newman’s thought in both published and unpublished writings provides indications of how that thought was received in France over the period, particularly with respect to points that raised difficulty. Although sizeable, this study does not claim to offer a comprehensive view of its biographical subject. It passes over his pastoral activity and involvement in the conflicts between Republic and Church, in favor of “Mignot the believer,” faced with the challenges posed to Catholic faith “by critical reason applied to the Bible, to primitive Christianity or to the body of dogma” (10). It was at the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice, under the tutelage of John Hogan, that Mignot—like a number of his contemporaries who would figure in the controversies over Modernism—was introduced to John Henry Newman. To one schooled in the scholasticism of the manuals,Newman’s Essay on Development offered perspectives that initially both fascinated and disturbed and were subsequently helpful in assimilating papal infallibility, and ultimately in Mignot’s own judgment decisive in preserving him “from the danger of critical studies” (112). In the 1870s, Mignot’s rereading of Newman’s sermons calmed him in the midst of his struggles with doubts raised by his intellectual research. One of the most controversial facets of Mignot’s life was his approval of Alfred Loisy’s L’Évangile et l’Église (1902) when its manuscript was sent to him for his evaluation and his open support for the exegete in print and with Roman authorities. Undoubtedly Loisy’s use of Newman and development in that book and in other writings rendered the archbishop open to an historical approach to Christian origins and subsequent evolution, without however uncritically accepting Loisy’s positions en bloc. Nonetheless, Mignot’s longstanding relationship with Loisy, even after the Mgr Eudoxe Irénée Mignot (1842-1918): Un évêque français au temps du modernisme. By Louis-Pierre Sardella. Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 2004. Pages 743. Paper: 50 . ISBN 220407326. MGR EUDOXE IRÉNÉE MIGNOT (1842-1918): UN ÉVÊQUE FRANÇAIS AU TEMPS DU MODERNISME BY LOUIS-PIERRE SARDELLA Interest in John Henry Newman is world-wide. Being able to read Newman in English,however,is not as extensive. Hence,there must be translations.The history of Newman translations and their reception would be worthy of a study in itself. Johannes Sobotta, a German scholar who is active in the Internationalen Deutschen Newman Gesellschaft, has produced a small but very helpful volume on Gerhard Schündelen (1808–1876), whose interest in his great English contemporary led him to translate Newman’s novels, essays, sermons, the Apologia, and the Idea of a University. This volume is slim but practical since it introduces us to the era before Erich NEWMAN STUDIES JOURNAL 112 latter’s excommunication vitandus (to be avoided) posed a serious problem for would-be biographers for decades after Mignot’s death. It seemed a matter of alternatives: either Mignot was duped by Loisy (thus compromising the archbishop’s intellectual acumen) or Mignot understood the implications of the exegete’s positions more clearly than not (thus calling into question the quality of his own orthodoxy and acquiescence to Roman authority). Mignot indeed spent the last portion of his life under a cloud from the perspective of fellow bishops and Vatican authorities. Although Mignot intentionally published comparatively little, out of conviction that advanced views coming from an archbishop may well...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2153-6945
Print ISSN
1547-9080
Pages
pp. 111-112
Launched on MUSE
2020-01-22
Open Access
No
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