This chapter examines the episcopal and Catholic renewal traditions in France during the sixteenth century. By the turn of the sixteenth century, French prelates had a variety of sources on which to base their understanding of the episcopal office. Those guides most immediately to hand, the Council of Trent and the examples of contemporary reforming prelates appeared particularly attractive, for they enabled the minority of French bishops who were attempting to introduce reforms in insecure conditions to lay the foundations for permanent ecclesiastical order. The chapter suggests that this French tradition provided strongly articulated views on episcopal jurisdictional rights and authority as well as, secondarily, on episcopal spirituality.
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