The Effectiveness of the French Monarchs in Dealing with Religious Issues

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The Effectiveness of the French Monarchs in Dealing with Religious Issues

This era witnessed clashes between the Catholic Church and the Crown. The position of the King in this was very difficult. The King was Catholic and expected to uphold the Catholic Church in his kingdom. But what if the power of the Catholic Church was seen to be encroaching on the power of the crown? The Valois kings were very explicit in their beliefs - they wanted France before Rome. There was never a spiritual challenge to the power of the pope but his political power was always being challenged and avoided in France. The clash had started as early as 1438 with Charles VII and eventually ended with the Concordat of
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The King did not have to accept any definition of heresy if it clashed with other principles to which he was attactched.

May 1523 Parlement searched the home of a young scholar Louis de Berquin who was in possession of books by Luther and other reformers. Francis allowed the Sorbonne to examine Berquins own writings but nothing else.

The Emperor took Francis prisoner in 1525. Whilst he was imprisoned Parlement began harassing the circle de Meaux despite letters from Francis ordering a suspension of proceedings against them. They were forced into exile. Louis de Berquin was arrested again in 1526 but no sentence was passed because Francis was returning to France. Francis began reasserting his authority after an attempt by the Sorbonne and Parlement to encroach upon his power.

In March 1528 Berquins trial was resumed. The Sorbonne announced the judges as Lutherians. Francis protested but his army was defeated in Italy so he was forced to back down. Berquin then faced a hostile tribunal and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He tried to appeal but was then burned at the stake that same day.

Francis felt obliged to prevent Luther’s ideas from contaminating France. The

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