Stoker against the Religious Indifference
from the Boiling Holy Water Font
Dupanloup – Le Petit, Alfred (painter, lithographer, journalist, and chansonnier; Aumale 1841 – Levallois-Perret 1909). M. (Félix Antoine Philibert) Dupanloup. Father confessor of the duke of Bordeaux, tutor of the princes of Orléans, 1849 bishop there, above all pugnacious right publicist, but at the same time opponent of the papal infallibility, member of the National Assembly and the Académie française, the sessions of which he absented himself from in 1871 after the election of Littré (Meyer, Littré: 1874 and resignation D’s.). Here in connection with box – “Le Buis” – and following, on his knees, with satisfaction
the flight of the devil “ Voltaire ” from the boiling holy water font
over the fire Mandement he fans with the bellows. Colored lithograph. Inscribed: Alfred Le Petit PARIS. 21 Février 1871, otherwise as above and below resp. 9⅞ × 5¼ in (25 × 13.5 cm).
Osterwalder, Dictionnaire des Illustrateurs, p. 622. – Plate 20 of Le Petit’s Fleurs, Fruits & Légumes du Jour. – With the address of L’Éclipse and that of the printer Coulbœuf, both Paris. – With H. Briollet’s quatrain:
« Le diable dit: sauvons nous vite! / Dieu! j’allais me mettre dedans! / Ceci n’est pas de l’eau bénite: / C’est du vinaigre d’Orléans. »
DUPANLOUP (Saint-Félix, Savoy, 1802 – Lacombe Castle, Isère, 1878), ordained 1825 after studying i. a. at the seminar of St. Sulpice, fought all his life in a sphere of indifference, if not hostility towards religion & the church for the freedom of education, the invigoration and independence of the church and against the liberal, anticlerical press. Based on the catechetical method of St. Sulpice he instituted a modern, comprehensive mental and physical education and not least fought for the retention of the Latin classics, too. As member of the Académie he tried to prevent the election of freethinkers, in which in the case of Littré (about 1863) he succeeded initially, too. Already in the early ’40s his lectures at the Sorbonne had been discontinued because of the excitement stirred by his severe criticism of Voltaire; Abel-François Villemain, minister for educational affairs, was unwilling to have order restored. And still 1878 he prevented official celebrations for the centennial of Voltaire’s death.
“ Dupanloup was without question
one of the ablest French bishops of his day
… In many things a conservative and even a legitimist, he was one of the first who thought of appealing, in behalf of the Catholic cause, to common law and public liberties before a generation no longer able or willing to recognize the Divine right of the Church … In his educational writings Dupanloup enunciates some of the most important principles which are now generally accepted. Among these are his conception of education as a process of developing mental activity instead of injecting knowledge into the mind, and his insistence on the duty of the teacher to respect the freedom of the pupils and to cultivate in them a spirit of honour. He advocates physical education by means of games, and warns against the danger of forcing precocious children.
Education , he holds , is intellectual , moral , religious , and physical ;
but it is essentially one ,
and to neglect any of its purposes would be fatal ”
(Joseph Sollier, The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 5 , p. 203).
In short, a man , who would be becoming for our time, too. However, he would not see the coming true of a matter dear to him not least as bishop of Orléans: Joan of Arc was beatified 1909, canonized 1920 only.
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