Paul Godet des Marais

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Paul Godet des Marais (1647–1709) was a French Bishop of Chartres.

Marais was born at Talcy, near Blois. He studied at Saint-Sulpice, took the doctorate of theology at the Sorbonne, was ordained, and became (1677) superior of the Séminaire des Trente-Trois. Louis XIV nominated him (1690) to the see of Chartres, but owing to difficulties between France and the Holy see the papal confirmation came only on 21 January 1692.

As spiritual director of Mme de Maintenon, for whom he wrote Lettres de direction, Godet used his influence to have Mme Guyon removed from Saint-Cyr. A staunch opponent of quietism, he signed with Cardinal Louis-Antoine de Noailles and Bossuet the Declaratio condemning Fénelon's Maximes des saints (1697)

He then wrote (1698) several ordonnances, or pastoral letters, against the mysticism of Molinos, Fénelon, and Mme Guyon. He also did much to destroy Jansenism in France, refuted the cas de conscience (1703), commanded obedience to the papal constitution of Pope Clement XI (1705), and severely censured Gaspard Juénin's Institutions théologiques (1708).

His zeal and charity as well as his orthodoxy, were set forth in an epitaph written by his successor, Monstiers de Mérinville. He died at Chartres.

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This article incorporates text from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article "Paul Godet des Marais" by J.F. Sollier, a publication now in the public domain.