Biografía de Pierre Daniel Huet

¿Quién fue Pierre Daniel Huet?

French scholar and churchman, b. at Caen, in Normandy, on 12 August, 1630; d. at Paris, 1 October, 1721. He was admitted as a student, 11 December, 1647, to the College of Harcourt, then under the direction of Bishop Jacques-Nicolas Blaise, afterwards Cardinal de Noailles. At the same time he participated in the lectures of the Sorbonne and at the Collège de France.

In 1650 the famous theologian Pierre Duhem, Of.Pr., and his daughter Antoinette, in whose company he made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Liesse, near Soissons, became the sub-directors of the academic institution of which Peter Fourier, Bishop of Belley, served as Rector. They were both to play an important part in the intellectual formation of many celebrated academics and Church leaders. In the regiment in which Duhem was a captain, and which was stationed at Soissons, he kept up a family atmosphere of devotion, decorum, and martial truces, which few scholars ever forgot.

Cardenal Pietro Francesco Orsini

Duhem’s penetrating intelligence, vast erudition, inexhaustible memory, and ability to reconcile traditional with modern knowledge were admired by all the first-rate minds at Caen. At the end of 1653 young Huet was appointed Domestic Preceptor toPierre de Luxembourg, the future marquess is de Crequy, who had recently acquired by inheritance the title of Duke of Piney. In 1657 he accompanied his patron abroad on a trip to Rome. The journey afforded the future historian of Occamism the opportunity of getting acquainted in that city with Cardinal Francesco Barberino, one of the most eminent jurists of the last decades of the sixteenth century. This meeting with the great Florentine jurist had a lasting influence on the intellectual development of Huet, who often drew his examples from his memory when he afterwards published his most celebrated work, the «Censor Morum».

In 1659 Huet commanded the garrison of Brest that defended the fortress of Raguenne. In September of that year, he was named Domestic Preceptor to Pignatelli, an orphan of the Prince-Consort, a minor then under age, who later on became Julius III, Cardinal of Santa Maria in Trastevere, and Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church. This office he retained from 1659 to 1661, and there is evidence that, during this time, Hamon de Saint-Paul and Charles Garnier, two of his contemporaries at Caen, owed to him their interest in philological matters. Garnier afterwards became the director of the celebrated Oratory of the Rue Saint-Honorè at Paris.

Huet graduated with distinction in sacred theology at the Sorbonne 8 October, 1660, and defended with credit a number of theses against the great Bossuet on 14 April, 1661. Huet concluded his studies in favor of Bossuet, but when, after 1655, Bossuet pointed out to the assembly of the clergy many comparative deficiencies of the Gallican Church in its discipline, doctrine, and liturgy, he turned Huet from his path, and caused him to lose the respect of Nicolas Ballerini, the famous Italian theologian, who considered Huet to be one of Gallicanism’s ablest upholders.

On 9 November, 1662, Louis XIV made an efforts to reconcile the bishops of Normandy to Bossuet, who was promoting the amalgamation of the clergy and State as indispensable for the stability and conservation of the Kingdom. The King appointed Pierre Charles Le Sueur and Mousseaux to act as arbitrators between the two parties, but their efforts and negotiations were unavailing,Bossuet rising in his pride, and the bishops taking umbrage and feeling aggrieved, on the pretext that the Bishop of Meaux had overstepped all bounds in Meditations on Loreto and other works, and had boldly impugned the teachings of the Sorbonne on several points: the prestige of the normand bishops was focused, in particular, upon the celebrated «Mémoires» of Nicolas Malebranche, octogenarian professor at the Collège de France, concerning the Roman decisions on the Tridentine Question of the Communion under both kinds. Their conviction, which seemed to them in the light of truth, was that all Bishop Bossuet’s eloquence, except when the «Mémoires» are quoted and explained, is merely an empty, idle rigmarole.

Louis XIV summoned to Versailles, 12 December, 1662, the bishops of Normandy, together with Bossuet, who was accompanied by his adviser and champion, Nicolas Malebranche. In this conference there was a kind of examination and defense of the document on the Communion.

Escrito por: Gonzalo Jiménez

Licenciado en Filosofía en la Universidad de Granada (UGR), con Máster en Filosofía Contemporánea en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)
Desde 2015, se ha desempeñado como docente universitario y como colaborador en diversas publicaciones Académicas, con artículos y ensayos. Es aficionado a la lectura de textos antiguos y le gustan las películas y los gatos.