How were episcopacy and cardinalate attained in France at the endof 19th century ? Which

forms and attitudes were applied in supplying dioceses with ministres ? What kind of qua-

lifications were absolutely necessary for the candidature ? By means of unpublished and till

now inexplored sources the present work tries to turn over again the "iter" of some candida-

tures between 1882 and 1891, the period of preparation to the "Ralliement".

The complexity of the route to the appointment is displayed in the marrifold factors inter-

fering for and against the reaching of episcopal see: the general political climate, the ever

delicate situation of mutual relations between Holy See and Republican Government, the

attitudes of local churches, the diplomatic skill of nuncius and ministers. The sometimes

fiery negotiations preceding an episcopal appointment become in this way a privileged ob-

servation-post both of the provincial passions and over the greatest problems of the Church

lifeat the end of the century. So these investigations confirm the still remarkable weight of

the ecclesiastical reality in a state that is laboriously looking for permanent political balan-

ce. That's why the choice of the responsible of a diocese is very carefully considered.

The work presents a quite composite picture of the Church life from its top, The Vatican

State to the lowest ecclesiastical entity a parish in the countryside. Appointing a bishop is

a synthetic process of the wohle Church life.





LIVIO ROTA was born in Brescia in 1961. He studied History of the Church at the Pontifi-

cia UniversitÓ Gregoriana where he got his certificate in 1988 and his doctor's degree in

1991, discussing a thesis about diplomatic relations between the Holy See and France at

the end of last century. Since 1991 he' s been teaching ecclesiastical History by the Studio

Teologico "Paolo VI" of the Seminario Vescovile of Brescia. Since 1992 he' s giving betures

of Ecclesiastical History by the "Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose" of the UniversitÓ

Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Brescia.