A French prelate, b. at St-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, 1721; d. in London, 1806. The fifth son of Arthur Dillon, an Irish officer who, outlawed as a Jacobite, had passed to the service of France, he was educated for the Church, became cure of Elan near Mezieres; Vicar-General of Pontoise, 1747; Bishop of Evreux, 1753; Archbishop of Toulouse, 1758; Archbishop of Narbonne and Primate of France, 1763. Dillon was a man of broad sympathies and varied accomplishments. A staunch Catholic, he, nevertheless, publicly applauded the recognition of Protestant marriages in the Assembly of the Clergy of 1788, over which he presided. His appointment to the primatial See of Narbonne made him practically Viceroy of Languedoc. He won there great popularity not only as bishop but also as promoter of great public works, such as roads, bridges, canals, harbors, etc. When the French Revolution broke out, Dillon, rather than take the constitutional oath, emigrated to Coblenz with the French nobility, and from Coblenz went to London, where he was at the time the Concordat was signed. Pope Pius VII having requested within ten days the unconditional resignation of all the French bishops, Dillon with thirteen other prelates who, like himself, had sought refuge in England, sent but a wavering and dilatory answer and even signed the "Réclamations canoniques et très-respectueuses addressées à Notre très-Saint Père le Pape" (London, 1803). Such an attitude was prompted not by a spirit of schism, but by an excessive attachment to the old regime and the mistaken Gallican idea that the pope could not take a step of that importance without the deliberation and consent of the French hierarchy. Although Dillon consented to communicate his spiritual jurisdiction to the Concordataire bishop whose territory comprised the suppressed primatial See of Narbonne, nevertheless, by placing himself resolutely at the head of the Anticoncordataires, he not only failed in due obedience to the Holy See but also gave countenance to that incongruous movement which resulted in the "Petite-Eglise".
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online