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Bishop of Autun

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Autun, is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. The diocese comprises the entire Department of Saone et Loire, in the Region of Bourgogne.

It was suffragan to the Archdiocese of Lyon under the old regime. The bishopric of Chalon-sur-Saône (since Roman times) and (early medieval) bishopric of Mâcon, also suffragans of Lyon, were united to Autun after the French Revolution, and it then was shortly suffragan to the Archbishop of Besançon in 1802, but since 1822 again to Lyon.


Christian teaching reached Autun at a very early period, as we know from the famous funeral inscription, in classical Greek, of a certain Pectorius inscription of Pectorius which dates from the 3rd century. It was found in 1839 in the cemetery of St. Peter l'Estrier at Autun and makes reference to baptism and the Holy Eucharist.

Local recensions of the "Passion" of St. Symphorianus of Autun exhibit St. Polycarp on the eve of the persecution of Septimius Severus, assigning to St. Irenaeus two priests and a deacon (Saints Benignus, Andochius and Thyrsus), all three of whom depart for Autun. St. Benignus goes on to Langres, while the others remain at Autun. According to this legendary cycle, which dates from about the first half of the 6th century, it was not then believed at Autun that the city was an episcopal see in the time of St. Irenaeus (c. 140-211). St. Amator, whom Autun tradition designates as its first bishop, probably occupied the see about 250.

The first bishop known to history is Saint Reticius, an ecclesiastical writer, and contemporary of the Emperor Constantine I (306-337). The Bishop of Autun enjoyed until the late 20th century the right of wearing the (normally archiepiscopal) pallium, in virtue of a privilege accorded to the see in 599 by pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604).

During the Merovingian era it was a politically important see. Two Bishops of Autun figured prominently in political affairs: St. Syagrius of Autun, bishop during the second half of the 6th century, a contemporary of St. Germanus, bishop of Paris, who was a native of Autun, and Leodegar (St. Léger), bishop from 663 to 680, who came into conflict with Ebroin and put to death by order of Theoderic III.

The Abbaye de St. Martin was founded in 602 by Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia, and it was there that her remains were interred - the deposed monarch having been repeatedy racked for three days, torn apart by four horses, and then burnt on a pyre. When the abbey was destroyed in 1793, Brunhilda's sarcophagus was removed, and it is now in the Musée Lapidaire in Avignon.

Gabriel de Roquette was bishop from 1666 till 1702. According to Saint-Simon, he stood model for Molière's Tartuffe.

Much later, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, the future diplomat, was Bishop of Autun from 1788 to 1790, when he resigned.

The bishop appointed in 1882 was Cardinal Perraud (d. 1906), member of the French Academy.

In the Diocese of Autun are yet to be seen the ruins of the Benedictine Abbey of Tournus and the great Abbey of Cluny, to which 2,000 monasteries were subject, and which gave to the Church the great pope Gregory VII (1073–85). Gelasius II (1118–19) died at Cluny, and there also was held the conclave that elected Calixtus II (1119–24).

The devotion to the Sacred Heart originated in the Visitation Convent at Paray-le-Monial, founded in 1644, and now the object of frequent pilgrimages.

20th century incumbents include: Armand Le Bourgeois (1966–1987).

The current bishop is Benoit Rivière.


To 1000

  • c.270: Saint Amator I (Amatre I.)
  • c.273: Saint Martin I.
  • c.310–334: Saint Reticius (Rhétice)
  • 355: Saint Cassian of Autun (Cassien)
  • c.374: Saint Egemoine
  • c.420: Saint Simplicius (Simplice)
  • Saint Evantius (Evance)
  • Saint Léonce
  • c.450–490: Saint Euphrone
  • c.495: Flavichon
  • c.517: Pragmace
  • Saint Proculus I.
  • Valeolus
  • Proculus II.
  • c.533–538: Agrippin
  • 540–549: Nectaire
  • Eupard
  • † 560: Rémi or Bénigne
  • c.560–600: Syagrius
  • Lefaste
  • Flavien
  • 625–630: Auspice
  • Racho of Autun
  • c.657: Ferréol
  • 659–678: Saint Leodegar
  • c.678–c.690: Hermenarius
  • 692: Ansbert
  • c.732: Vascon
  • Amatre II.
  • c.744: Morannus
  • c.755: Gairon
  • 765: Hiddon
  • Rainaud or Renaud I.
  • Martin II.
  • Alderic
  • 815–c.840: Modoin
  • 840–842:Bernon or Bernhard
  • c.843: Altée
  • 850–866: Jonas
  • 874: Lindon
  • 893: Adalgaire
  • c.895–919: Wallon de Vergy
  • c.920–929: Hervée de Vergy
  • 935–968: Rotmond
  • c.970–976: Gérard


  • 1024: Gautier I.
  • 1055: Elmuin
  • 1098: Aganon
  • 1112: Norgaud
  • 1140: Etienne de Baugé (Stephen of Autun[1])
  • 1140: Robert von Burgund
  • 1148: Humbert de Baugé
  • 1170 or 1171: Heinrich von Burgund
  • 1189: Etienne II.
  • 1223: Gautier II.
  • 1245: Guy I. de Vergy
  • 1253: Anselin de Pomard
  • 1276: Girard de La Roche or de Beauvoir
  • 1286: Jacques I. de Beauvoir
  • 1298: Hugues d'Arcy


  • 1308: Barthélémy
  • 1323: Elie Guidonis
  • 1331: Pierre Bertrand
  • 1343: Jean I. d'Arcy
  • 1345: Guillaume I. d'Auxonne
  • 1351: Guy II de La Chaume
  • 1358: Guillaume II. de Thurey
  • 1361: Renaud II. de Maubernard
  • 1377: Geoffroi David or Pauteix
  • 1379: Pierre II. de Barrière Mirepoix
  • 1385: Guillaume III. de Vienne
  • 1400: Nicolas I. de Coulon
  • 1414: Milon de Grancey
  • 1436: Frédéric de Grancey
  • 1483: Cardinal Jean Rolin


  • 1500: Antoine I. de Chalon
  • 1501: Jean III. Rolin
  • 1503: Louis d'Amboise
  • 1505: Philippe de Clèves
  • 1546: Jacques II. Hurault de Cheverny
  • 1550: Ippolito II d'Este
  • 1557: Philibert Dugny de Courgengoux
  • 1558–1572: Pierre III. de Marcilly
  • 1585: Charles d'Ailleboust
  • 1588–1612: Pierre IV. Saunier
  • 1621–1652: Claude de la Magdelaine
  • 1653–1664: Louis II. Doni d'Attichy
  • 1666–1702: Gabriel de La Roquette
  • 1709: Bernard de Senaux
  • 1710: Maulévrier-Langeron
  • 1721: Charles-François d'Hallencourt de Dromesnil
  • 1724–1732: Antoine-François de Bliterswick
  • 1732–1748: Gaspard de Thomas de La Valette
  • 1748–1758: Antoine de Malvin de Montazet (later archbishop of Lyon)
  • ?–1767: Nicolas II. de Bouillé
  • 1767–1788: Yves-Alexandre de Marbeuf (later archbishop of Lyon)
  • 1788–1791: Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
  • 1793: Jean-Louis Gouttes

From 1800

  • 9. April 1802–8. September 1802: Gabriel-François Moreau
  • 1802–1806: François de Fontanges
  • 1806–1819: Fabien-Sébastien Imberties
  • 1819–1829: Roch-Etienne de Vichy
  • 1829–1851: Bénigne-Urbain-Jean-Marie du Trousset d'Héricourt
  • 1851–1872: Frédéric-Gabriel-Marie-François de Marguerye
  • 1872–1873: Léopold-René Leséleuc de Kerouara
  • 1874–1906: Adolphe-Louis-Albert Perraud
  • 1906–1914: Henri-Raymond Villard
  • 1915–1922: Désiré-Hyacinthe Berthoin
  • 1922–1940: Hyacinthe-Jean Chassagnon
  • 1940–1966: Lucien-Sidroine Lebrun
  • 1966–1987: Armand-François Le Bourgeois, C.I.M.
  • 1987–2006: Raymond Gaston Joseph Séguy
  • 2006–present Benoît Marie Pascal Rivière

Councils of Autun

The first council, held in 663 or 670, for the purpose of regulating the discipline of the Benedictine monasteries, ordered all ecclesiastics to learn by heart the Apostles Creed and the Athanasian Creed, and this seems to be the earliest mention of the latter in France. Cardinal Pitra says in his "Histoire de St. Léger" that this canon may have been directed against Monothelitism, then seeking entrance into the Gallican churches, but condemned beforehand in the latter of these creeds. The Rule of St. Benedict was also prescribed as the normal monastic code.

In the Council of 1065, Saint Hugh, Abbot of Cluny, accomplished the reconciliation of Robert, Duke of Burgundy, with the Bishop of Autun.

In 1077 Hugues, Bishop of Die, held a council at Autun, by order of pope St. Gregory VII; it deposed Manasses, Archbishop of Reims, for simony and usurpation of the see, and reproved other bishops for absence from the council. In 1094 Hugues, by then Archbishop of Lyon, and thirty-three other bishops, renewed at Autun the excommunication of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, the Antipope Guibert and their partisans, also that of King Philip of France, guilty of bigamy. Simony, ecclesiastical disorders and monastic usurpations provoked other decrees, only one of which is extant, forbidding the monks to induce the canons to enter monasteries.



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