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Dupanloup, Felix-Antoine-Philibert (1802-1878).

Bishop of Orléans and writer. He was born in the village of Saint-Felix (Haute-Sav oie) on January 3, 1802, the illegitimate child of a peasant girl, though a false birth certificate was later produced in order to fulfill canonical requirements of legitimate birth for elevation to the episcopacy.

After achieving renown in legitimist circles during 1830s, he fell into disfavor with the new archbishop of Paris, Dennis Affre (1840-48) and spent the decade before the revolution as an assistant at the cathedral of Notre Dame. During this time he wrote the first volumes of his major t reatise on education and joined with Charles Forbes de Montalembert in promoting "liberty of education" for the Church in face of the state's educational monopoly. On April 16, 1849, he was named bishop of Orleans and soon became one of the best known and influential of French bishops for the next thirty years, ultimately being elected to the senate of the Third Republic.

With the establishment of the Second Republic, Dupanloup was appointed to the commission that prepared the Falloux law of March 1850. He acted as leader of the Catholics on the commission, fashioning many of the law's provisions and consistently arguing that neither church not state could monopolize schooling. Shortly afterward he defended traditions of Catholic classical humanism against abbé Joseph Gaume`s demand for the ban of all non-Christian authors from Catholic schools; he was also one of the few bishops actively to promote diocesan Catholic schools. His three-volume De l'éducation (1849), in t he tradition of Jesuit humanism, became a bible for French Catholic teachers. He shared with abbé Joseph Gaume a conviction that society was in mortal danger and that education was at one disease and cure, but his prognosis was more hopeful and his prescription more moderate. Not in curriculum but in tone, atmosphere, and direction did schooling need reform. His major contribution was an emphasis on the distinctions between éducation and instruction. Instruc tion was but one part of true éducation, which encompassed as well religion, discipline, and physical exercise, whose whole was greater than the sum of its parts and whose object was the whole man whereas instruction attended only the mind. Education concerned itself with mental powers, man's spirit, and ends; instruction confined itself to knowledge, the mind and means. Education made men, instruction savants.

In his own diocese, Dupanloup established a modern administrative machinery, encouraged libraries, sodalities, and retreats, built schools and churches, reformed seminary discipline and teaching and transferred or forced retirement of priests guilty of "bad conduct." His self-stated goal was to rechristianize a diocese in which only one man in forty was making the Easter Duty through rejuvenation of parish life, seminaries, and schools. During his episcopate, the physical and financial state of the diocese improved, as did priestly conduct; vocations rose along with religious practice, while "superstitious beliefs" declined. Nevertheless, only a minority ever attended Mass.

Dupanloup alone among the bishops present in Paris, opposed Louis Napoleon's coup of December 2, 1851. He was elected to the French Academy in 1854 and to the national assembly in 1870. He died on October 11, 1878 at Lacombe (Savoy).

Patrick J. Harrigan


D upanloup, F. De l'éducation, 3 vols. (1849).

Dupanloup, F. De la haute éducation intellectualle, 3 vols. (1850-1866).

Lagrange, François. Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup, évêque d'Orléans, 3 vols. (Paris, 1883-1884).

Marcilhacy, Christine. Le diocèse d'Orléans sous l'épiscopat de Mgr. Dupanloup, 1849-1878 (Paris, 1962).

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