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French Louis DUCHESNE

born Louis Marie Olivier DUCHESNE

French priest, philologist, teacher and a critical historian of Christianity and Roman Catholic liturgy and institutions

Source :  Marie Anne MINIAC

Born: on September 13, 1843 in Saint-Servan, France
Died: on April 21, 1922 in Rome, Italy


Descended from a family of Breton sailors, he was born in 1843 in Saint-Servan, Roulais place, now part of Saint-Malo on the Breton coast, and was orphaned at a young age, in 1849, after the death of his father Jacques Duchesne. Marc Tanguy, a relative, was one of the survivors of 74-gun ship Redoutable at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Louis' brother, Jean-Baptiste Duchesne, settled in Oregon, and arrived at Oregon City in 1849.

Louis Duchesne was ordained to the priesthood in 1867. He taught for many years in Saint-Brieuc, then went to study in Paris, where he influenced the reformist Alfred Firmin Loisy, a founder of the failed movement to bring Catholicism into sympathy with science, the modern social sciences and philosophy, called "Catholic modernism," which eventually precipitated the crisis in the Church under Pope Pius X in the years around 1907. In 1876, he became a member of the École française in Rome; he eventually became its director. He was an amateur archaeologist and organized expeditions from Rome to Mount Athos, to Syria, and Asia Minor, from which he gained an interest in the early history of the Roman Catholic Church.

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- Category Priest, nun, rabbi, imam...