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Roman Catholic Diocese of Pamiers

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Title: Roman Catholic Diocese of Pamiers  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Catharism, Pope Benedict XII, Foix, Bernard Saisset, List of converts to Catholicism, List of the Roman Catholic dioceses of France, Alexandre Guy Pingré, François de Camps
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Roman Catholic Diocese of Pamiers

The Roman Catholic diocese of Pamiers, is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church, in France. The diocese comprises the department of Ariège, and is suffragan to the Archdiocese of Toulouse. The episcopal see is the Pamiers Cathedral, in the city of Pamiers, and the current bishop is Philippe Mousset. Appointed as bishop-elect on January 8, 2009; he had been a priest of the La Rochelle diocese.


The territory forming it was united to the archbishopric of Toulouse on the occasion of the Concordat of 1801; the Concordat of 1817 re-established at Pamiers a diocese which existed only in September, 1823, uniting the ancient diocese of Pamiers and diocese of Couserans, the larger portion of the former diocese of Mirepoix and diocese of Rieux, and a deanery of the former diocese of Alet.

A decree of the Holy See 11 March 1910, re-established the titles of the former Sees of Couserans and Mirepoix.


The traditions of the diocese mention as its first apostle of Christianity St. Antoninus, born at Fredelacum near Pamiers, an apostle of the Rouergue, martyred in his native country (date uncertain). The Abbey of St. Antonin was founded near Fredelacum about 960; in 1034 it passed under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Girone and was annexed in 1060 to the Congregation of Cluny.

A castle built on the site of the abbey by Roger II Count of Foix (1070–1125), was called Appamia; hence the name of Pamiers which passed to the neighbouring small town. Pope Boniface VIII created a see at Pamiers by the Bull Romanus Pontifex 23 July 1295, and made it a suffragan of the archdiocese of Narbonne. He named Bernard Saisset Abbot of St. Antonin, and by a decree 18 April 1296, settled the boundaries of the new diocese dismembered from that of Toulouse. The opposition of Hughes Mascaron, Bishop of Toulouse, and the conflict between Saisset and Roger Bernard III, Count of Foix, prevented Saisset from taking immediate possession of his diocese; Abbé Vidal has proven that it is not true, as had long been thought, that St. Louis of Anjou, who became Bishop of Toulouse at the death of Mascaron, had been appointed provisional administrator of the Diocese of Pamiers. Saisset took possession of his see on 19 April 1297; having sided with Boniface VIII (1301), he was imprisoned by order of Philip the Fair.

After careful investigation, Pope Clement V, 3 August 1308, complied with certain demands of Toulouse concerning the decree of Boniface VIII, and the Diocese of Pamiers remained, but with poorer resources than those assigned it by Boniface VIII. However, when Pope John XXII raised Toulouse to an archbishopric, 22 Feb., 1318, he also extended the Diocese of Pamiers which he made suffragan of Toulouse. Saisset's successor was Jacques Fournier (1317–26), subsequently pope under the name of Benedict XII. Vidal discovered in the Vatican Library the record of the procedure of the Inquisition tribunal created at Pamiers, by Jacques Fournier in 1318, for the extirpation of the remnants of Albigensianism in the Foix region; this document is most important for the history of the Inquisition, representing as it does, and perhaps in this instance only, that particular tribunal in which the monastic inquisitor and the diocesan bishop had almost equal power, as decreed in 1312 by the Council of Vienna. In this new regime the traditional procedure of the Inquisition was made milder by temporizing with the accused who persisted in error, by granting defendants a fair amount of liberty, and by improving the prison regime.

Among the noteworthy bishops of Pamiers were Cardinal Arnaud de Villemur (1348–50); Cardinal Amanieu d'Albret (1502–06); John of Barbançon (1550–55), who became a Calvinist; Robert of Pellevé (1557–79), during whose episcopate the religious wars gave rise to cruel strife: Protestants destroyed every church in Pamiers, among them the magnificent church of Notre-Dame du Camp, and three times they demolished the episcopal palace of the Mas Saint-Antonin. Henry of Sponde (1626–42) (Spondanus), who summarized and continued the Ecclesiastical Annals of his friend Baronius; the Jansenist François Etienne de Caulet (1644–1680).


  1. Bernard Saisset 1295–1314
  2. Pilfort de Rabastens 1315–1317
  3. Jacques Fournier 1317–1326 who later became Pope Benedict XII
  4. Dominique Grenier 1326–1347
  5. Arnaud de Villemur 1348–1350
  6. Guillaume de Montespan 1351–1370
  7. Raymond d'Accone 1371–1379
  8. Bertrand d’Ornésan 1380–1424
  9. Jean de Forto 1424–1431
  10. Gérard de La Bricoigne 1431–1435
  11. Jean Mellini 1435–1459
  12. Barthélemy d'Artiguelouve 1459–1467
  13. Paschal Dufour 1468–1487
  14. Pierre de Castelbajac 1488–1497
  15. Gérard Jean 1498–1501
  16. Amanieu d'Albret 1502–1506
  17. Mathieu d’Artiguelouve 1506–1514
  18. Amanieu d'Albret 1514–1520 (2. Mal)
  19. Bertrand de Lordat 1524–1547
  20. Jean de Luxembourg 1547–1548
  21. Jean de Barbançon 1548–1557
  22. Robert de Pellevé 1557–1579
  23. Bertrand du Perron 1579–1605
  24. Joseph d'Esparbès de Lussan 1608–1625
  25. Henri de Sponde 1626–1629
  26. Jean de Sponde 1639–1643
  27. Henri de Sponde 1643 (second time)
  28. François Bosquet
  29. Jacques de Montrouge
  30. François de Caulet 1644–1680
  31. François d’Anglure de Bourlemont 1680–1685
  32. François de Camps 1685–1693
  33. Jean-Baptiste de Verthamon 1693–1735
  34. François-Barthélemy de Salignac-Fénelon 1736–1741
  35. Henri-Gaston de Lévis 1741–1787
  36. Joseph-Mathieu d'Agoult 1787–1790
  37. Bernard Font 1791–1793
  38. François de La Tour-Landorthe 1823–1835
  39. Gervais-Marie-Joseph Ortric 1835–1845
  40. Guy-Louis-Jean-Marie Alouvry 1846–1856
  41. Jean-François-Augustin Galtier 1856–1858
  42. Jean-Antoine-Auguste Bélaval 1858–1881
  43. Pierre-Eugène Rougerie 1881–1907
  44. Martin-Jérôme Izart 1907–1916 (also archbishop of Bourges)
  45. Pierre Marceillac 1916–1947
  46. Félix Guiller 1947–1961
  47. Maurice-Mathieu Louis Rigaud 1961–1968 (also archbishop of Auch)
  48. Henri-Lugagne Delpon 1968–1970
  49. Léon-Raymond Soulier 1971–1987
  50. Albert-Marie Joseph Cyrille de Monléon, O.P 1988–1999 (went on to the post of Bishop of Meaux)
  51. Marcel-Germain Perrier 2000–2009, resigned
  52. Philippe Mousset 2009–present

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