François-Marie-Benjamin Richard

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His Eminence
François-Marie-Benjamin Richard
Cardinal, Archbishop of Paris
Cardinal Richard.jpg
Church Roman catholic
Archdiocese Paris
Installed 8 July 1886
Term ended 28 January 1908
Predecessor Joseph-Hippolyte Guibert
Successor Léon-Adolphe Amette
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Via
Ordination 21 December 1844
Consecration 11 February 1872
Created Cardinal 24 May 1889
by Leo XIII
Rank Cardinal
Personal details
Born (1819-03-01)March 1, 1819
Nantes France
Died January 28, 1908(1908-01-28) (aged 88)
Paris France
Buried Notre Dame de Paris
Nationality French
Previous post Bishop of Belley (1871-1875)
Coadjutor Archbishop of Paris (1875-1886)
Coat of arms

François-Marie-Benjamin Richard (March 1, 1819 – January 27,[1] 1908), archbishop of Paris, French prelate, was born at Nantes, Loire-Atlantique.

Educated at the seminary of St Sulpice he became successively vicar-general of Nantes, bishop of Belley, and in 1875 coadjutor of Paris. In 1886 the death of Archbishop Guibert was followed by Mgr. Richard's appointment to the see of Paris, and in 1889 he received a cardinal's hat.

In January 1900 the trial of the Assumptionist Fathers resulted in the dissolution of their society as an illegal association. The next day an official visit of the archbishop to the Fathers was noted by the government as an act of a political character, and Mgr. Richard was officially censured. His attitude was in general exceedingly moderate, he had no share in the extremist policy of the Ultramontanes, and throughout the struggle over the law of Associations and the law of Separations he maintained his reasonable temper.

He presided in September 1906 over an assembly of bishops and archbishops at his palace in the rue de Grenelle, a few days after the papal encyclical forbidding French Catholics to form associations for public worship, but it was then too late for conciliation. In December he gave up the archiepiscopal palace to the government authorities. He was then an old man of nearly ninety, and his eviction evoked great sympathy.


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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Joseph-Hippolyte Guibert
Archbishop of Paris
Succeeded by
Léon-Adolphe Amette
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Michelangelo Celesia, OSB Cas
Oldest Living Cardinal
April 14, 1904 – January 27, 1908
Succeeded by
Anton Josef Gruscha