This chapter discusses the French ideal of the good bishop and the episcopacy. It explains that the French vision combined the appropriate elements of the archetypes provided by Cardinal Archbishop Charles Borromeo and the bishop of Geneva, François de Sales. This pastoral ideal married governmental duties with an intense spirituality that particularly emphasised charity and interior mortification. The chapter contends that the private correspondence and compositions of bishops and other leading clergy reveal that this construct of pastoral care, spirituality and theology fulfilled a need felt within the episcopate itself, and was diffused, both formally and informally, to provide an inspiring framework for administrative work and personal life.
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