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Cardinal De Retz

1614-1679. Archbishop of Paris. After taking part in abortive plots against Richelieu,* he devoted himself to an ecclesiastical career and was made coadjutor and successor to his uncle, the archbishop of Paris. In Notre Dame he became a popular preacher and encourager of political pamphleteers; when de Conde opposed the king, de Retz supported the court party. In 1651 he was made cardinal, which aggravated the enmity between him and the all-powerful Mazarin. Mazarin had him imprisoned in 1652 in Vincennes, from where he escaped to Rome. Upon the death of his uncle de Retz made legal claim to the see of Paris, instructing his clergy by letters which were publicly burned. On the death of Mazarin, Louis XIV made it known that de Retz would be unwelcome in Paris. He therefore resigned, compensated with the abbey of St. Denis, the revenues of which were greater than those of the see of Paris. He exercised greater influence in Rome than the French ambassador, and took part in the elections of Alexander VII, Clement IX, and Clement X; he also mediated in the struggle between Louis XIV and Rome. He traveled in Germany and Holland on his own behalf and in support of the restoration of the Stuarts in England. He was a church politician rather than a churchman.