Monday, May 29, 2017

Denis du Moulin - from Medieval "soccer dad" to cardinal

Bonjour, heretics!
Today's spotlight is on Denis du Moulin, who occupied the bishop's seat in Paris until his death in 1447. What makes his odds-defying career unique is that it started so late in life. Before joining the Church, he was married to a lady named Marie de Courtenay. It was only after her death that he decided to become a priest. Normally, a man in his situation would be placed in a monastic versus ecclesiastic environment. The fact that he became a bishop is nothing short of miraculous. The Church gave strong preference to those candidates who had been on the clerical path since childhood and who had never been married. There was a well-founded concern that the newly ordained priest might try to use his influence and ecclesiastic resources to benefit his children. Also, canons who were sexually experienced prior to ordination were considered to be an an increased risk of lapsing into fornication. The Church regarded those men with a certain amount of skepticism. Denis du Moulin must have had some pretty impressive accomplishments to offer, if the Church was willing to overlook his marital history. In 1440, he was offered the position of a cardinal but for some reason declined the promotion.

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