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Pasquier Quesnel

1634-1719. French Jansenist* theologian. Educated by the Jesuits, he studied philosophy and theology at the Sorbonne and joined the Congregation of the Paris Oratory in 1657, subsequently becoming director. In 1672 he produced his Réflexions morales, a reprint of the NT with moral comments on every verse. The bishop of Chãlons- sur-Marne commended it, and it was generally well received, but as new editions were prepared, it was alleged to be increasingly rigorist and Jansenist in tone. It was praised by the archbishop of Paris, but Quesnel's work was fiercely attacked, especially by the Jesuits, and he moved to Brussels to escape harassment. Louis XIV, convinced that Jansenism was a public danger, had Quesnel's arrest in Brussels engineered by Philip V of Spain, but he escaped to Protestant Holland where he continued to defend his views. In 1708, after fourteen years of discussion, the Réflexions morales was condemned by Pope Clement XI. Quesnel's reply led to further bitter controversy, complicated by the Gallican issue, and in 1713 the bull Unigenitus condemned 101 propositions, which amounted to the entire theological, ascetic, and moral doctrine of Jansenism. Quesnel died in Amsterdam without retracting his beliefs.