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Pierre-Guérin de Tencin

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French statesman and cardinal, b. at Grenoble, 22 August, 1680; d. at Lyons, 2 March, 1758. After studying with the Oratorians at Grenoble he entered the Sorbonne, where he became prior in 1702, and obtained the doctorate in 1705. He was then appointed Vicar-General of Sens and, in 1721, accompanied Cardinal de Rohan to Rome as his conclavist, to support the candidacy of Cardinal Conti ( Innocent XIII ), from whom he had obtained a promise to bestow the purple on the unworthy French minister Dubois. He remained at Rome as French chargé d'affaires until Benedict XIII , with whom he was very influential, consecrated him Archbishop of Embrun (26 June, 1724). With the selfish motive of paving his way to higher ecclesiastical honours, he was overzealous in the persecution of the Jansenists, and, at the provincial synod which he held at Embrun from 16 August to 28 September, 1727, he suspended Bishop Jean Soanen of Senez, a prelate eighty years of age, who had appealed against the Bull "Unigenitus". On 22 February, 1739, Tencin was created cardinal, of the title of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus. He remained at Rome as French ambassador until 1742, when he took possession of the archiepiscopal See of Lyons, to which he had succeeded on 19 November, 1740. King Louis XV appointed him minister of state in September, 1742. After the death of the Prime Minister, to whom he owed much of his political advancement, his influence began to decrease. The death of his profligate sister, Madame Tencin, on 4 Dec., 1749, removed the greatest spur of his political ambition, and in 1752 he retired to his See of Lyons.

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