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Voices of ConscienceRoyal Confessors and Political Counsel in Seventeenth-Century Spain and France$
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Nicole Reinhardt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703686.001.0001

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Confessors at Work

Confessors at Work

(p.161) 8 Confessors at Work
Voices of Conscience

Nicole Reinhardt

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how confessors intervened as counsellors in the early seventeenth century. The focus is on the Hispanic monarchy for which records have survived more abundantly. Distributive justice, regalism, and warfare emerge as prominent areas of activism. Royal confessors emphasized the problem of acceptio personarum, and insisting on merit in the distribution of graces and offices, they advocated strong royal leadership to bring about distributive justice. Confessors also supported a distinctively regalist approach regarding the relationship with the church and the papacy, with Spanish confessors looking to French Gallicanism as a model, while French Jesuits, as a comparison with late-seventeenth-century France shows, also backed royal Gallicanism against the papacy. In terms of warfare, confessors in Madrid intervened along with other theologians in juntas; however, they generally did not favour arguments that supported religious war but backed the reason of state strategies adopted by royal favourites.

Keywords:   distributive justice, regalism, Gallicanism, just war, papacy, Thirty Years War

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