Charles Emile Freppel - Encyclopedia




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CHARLES EMILE FREPPEL (1827-1891), French bishop and politician, was born at Oberehnheim(Obernai), Alsace, on the 1st of June 1827. He was ordained priest in 1849 and for a short time taught history at the seminary of Strassburg, where he had previously received his clerical training. In 1854 he was appointed professor of theology at the Sorbonne, and became known as a successful preacher. He went to Rome in 1869, at the instance of Pius IX., to assist in the steps preparatory to the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility. He was consecrated bishop of Angers in 1870. During the Franco-German war Freppel organized a body of priests to minister to the French prisoners in Germany, and penned an eloquent protest to the emperor William I. against the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine. In 1880 he was elected deputy for Brest and continued to represent it until his death. Being the only priest in the Chamber of Deputies since the death of Dupanloup, he became the chief parliamentary champion of the Church, and, though no orator, was a frequent speaker. On all ecclesiastical affairs Freppel voted with the Royalist and Catholic party, yet on questions in which French colonial prestige was involved, such as the expedition to Tunis, Tong-King, Madagascar (1881, 1883-85), he supported the government of the day. He always remained a staunch Royalist and went so far as to oppose Leo XIII.'s policy of conciliating the Republic. He died at Angers on the 12th of December 1891. Freppel's historical and theological works form 30 vols., the best known of which are: Les Peres apostoliques et leur époque (1859); Les Apologistes chretiens au H e siecle (2 vols., 1860); Saint Irenee et l'eloquence chretienne dans la Gaule aux deux premiers siecles (1861); Tertullien (2 vols., 1863); Saint Cyprien et l'Eglise d'Afrique (1864); Clement d'Alexandrie (1865); Origene (2 vols., 1867).

There are interesting lives by E. Cornut (Paris, 1893) and F. Charpentier (Angers, 1904).

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