Roman Catholic Diocese of Sarlat

The French Catholic diocese of Sarlat existed from 1317 to 1801. It was suppressed by the Concordat of 1801. Its territory passed to the diocese of Angoulême.[1]

The seat of the Bishop of Sarlat was at the Cathedral of Saint-Sacerdos, in the town of Sarlat in the Dordogne.


The Abbey of Saint-Sauveur of Sarlat,[2] which was later placed under the patronage of St. Sacerdos Bishop of Limoges (670—c. 720),[3] when his relics were brought there,[4] seems to have existed before the reigns of Pepin the Short and Charlemagne.[5] These two rulers, who came there on pilgrimage, were called its "founders" in a Bull of Pope Eugene III (1153),[6] no doubt as a compliment rather than a declaration of historical fact. Charlemagne gave the monastery a fragment of the True Cross. In 886, the Emperor Charles the Fat, great-grandson of Charlemagne, restored the church of Sarlat and presented it with more relics.[7]

About 936 Odo, Abbot of Cluny, was sent to reform the abbey.[8] The abbey was visited in the spring of 1147 by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who had been sent to Périgueux on a mission of preaching against heresy by Pope Eugene III.[9]

In 1154, with the accession of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, duchess of Guyenne and countess of Poitou, Sarlat came under the dominion of the House of Plantagenet, though in the 14th century they were again subjects of the French crown.[10]

The abbey was made an episcopal see by Pope John XXII in a bull dated 13 August 1317.[11] The last Abbot was Armandus de Sancto Leonardo (1312-1317).[12] The first Bishop of Sarlat, Raymond de Rocquecorgne, O.S.B, was confirmed by the Pope in Consistory on 2 July 1318. In 1324 he was transferred to the diocese of Saint-Pons-de-Thomières.[13]

On the eve of the French Revolution, the Chapter of the Cathedral of Saint-Saveur (or of Saint-Sacerdos) was composed of eighteen Canons, six of whom were officials of the Chapter: the Dean, the Provost, the Grand Archdeacon of Sarlat, the Archdeacon, the Archdeacon of Biron, and the Precentor. All of the Canons were appointments of the Bishop, who also appointed seven Vicars-General. There were three abbeys for men in the diocese: Cadouin (O.Cist.), Saint-Amand de Coli (O.S.A.), and Terrasson (O.S.B.). There were three collegial chapters, at Montpazier, Saint-Avit, and Biron. For women there was the Benedictine abbey of Fongauffier and the Priory of Auriac.[14] Various religious orders also had houses or convents. The Poor Claires were established in Sarlat by the second Bishop Louis de Salignac on 21 April 1621.[15]

During the Revolution the church of Saint-Marie in Sarlat, the convent of the Franciscans (Cordeliers), the convent of the Récollets,[16] the convent of Nôtre-Dame, and the convent of the Mirepoises (Congrégation des demoiselles des écoles chrétiennes et de la charité, dites les Mirepoise) were confiscated and sold. Saint-Marie became a gun manufactory and arsenal. Today it is a shopping mall.[17]

Under the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, the diocese of Sarlat was suppressed and subsumed into the 'Diocese of the Dordogne'. The electors of Dordogne chose Pierre Pontard, curé-archpriest of Sarlat to be their Constitutional Bishop.[18] He was consecrated at Bordeaux by Bishop Jean Pierre Saurine. He was elected a delegate to the Legislative Assembly in Paris, and on 23 September 1793, when the Convention met, he repudiated his priesthood and declared that he did not believe in and could not make priests himself. He never returned to his diocese, though, to his credit, he did protect Bishop d’Albaret in Paris during the Terror. Pontard subsequently married.[19] Another bishop was selected by the Constitutional Bishops in the province of Sud-Ouest, Antoine Bouchier, cure of Saint-Silain in Périgueux, but when his consecration was announced for June 1800, disorders were so great that it was postponed, and in fact had to be held in Bordeaux, on 2 March 1801. Bouchier died on 11 September 1801, ending the strife.[20]

Bishops of SarlatEdit


  • Raimundus de Roquecorne (1317-1324)[21]
  • Bertrandus, O.S.B. (1324–1330)
  • Arnaldus Royardi, O.Min. (1330- 1334)[22]
  • Guilelmus de Sandreux de Pedeveges, O.S.B. (1334-1338)
  • Petrus Berenger (1338-1341)
  • Itherius de Sandreux (1341–1345)
  • Petrus Itier [23] (1346–1359) (transferred to Dax)[24]
  • Elias de Salignac (1359–1361) (transferred to Bordeaux)[25]
  • Austencius de S. Columba, O.Min. (1361-1370)
  • Joannes de Revaillon (1370–1396)
  • Galhardus de Palayrac (1396–1397)[26]
  • Raymond de Bretenoux (1397-1404) (transferred to Périgueux)[27]
  • Joannes Lami, O.Min. (1408–1410)
  • Joannes Arnaldi, O.Min. (1411-1416)[28]
  • Bertrand de la Cropte de Lenquais (1416-1446)
  • Petrus Bonaldi (1447–1461) (transferred to Rieux)[29]
  • Bertrand de Roffiniac (1461-1485)
  • Pontius de Galiaco (1486-1492)
  • Armandus de Gontealto (Armand de Gontault) (1492–1519) (resigned)[30]


  • Charles de Bonavalle (1519–September 1527)[31]
  • Guy d'Aydie (27 May 1528 – 1 April 1529)
  • Jean de Rillac (1529-1530)
  • Jacques de Larmandie, O.S.B. (1530-October 1533)
  • Niccolò Gaddi (12 December 1533 – 3 July 1545)[32]
  • François de Saint-Nectaire Senneterre, O.S.B. (3 July 1545-September 1567)
  • François de Salignac de La Mothe-Fénelon (23 October 1568 – 1579) (resigned)
  • Louis de Salignac de La Mothe-Fénelon (9 March 1579 – 6 February 1598)
  • Louis de Salignac de La Mothe-Fénelon (27 November 1602 – 22 May 1639)[33]
  • Jean de Lingendes (14 July 1642 – 27 September 1647) (resigned)[34]
  • Nicolas Sévin (18 May 1648 – 1657) (resigned)
  • François de Salignac de La Mothe-Fénelon (31 March 1659 – 1 May 1688)
  • Pierre-François Beauvau de Rivau (15 October 1692 – 23 October 1701)


  • Paul de Chaulnes (6 February 1702 – 13 June 1721)[35]
  • Denis-Alexandre Le Blanc, C.R.S.A. (14 January 1722 – 3 May 1747)
  • Henri-Jacques de Montesquiou-Poylobon (31 July 1747 – 19 January 1777)
  • Joseph-Anne-Luc (Falcombelle) de Ponte d’Albaret (15 December 1777 – 20 May 1800)[36]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ David M. Cheney, Catholic-Hierarchy: Diocese of Sarlat. Retrieved: 2016-07-30[self-published source]
  2. ^ Léon Dessalles (1883). Histoire du Périgord (in French). Vol. Tome I. Périgueux: R. Delage et D. Joucla. pp. 177–182.
  3. ^ His 'biography', written by Hugh of Fleury, is printed (in Latin) in Migne, J. P., ed. (1854). Patrologiae cursus completus: Series Latina (in Latin). Vol. Tomus CLXIII. Paris: J. P. Migne. pp. 975–1004. Hugh places Sacerdos in the time of Clovis I, a dating which is followed by Tarde, pp. 27ff. Denis de Sainte-Marthe, Gallia christiana II, p. 506, places him A.D. 711-720. See also the remarks of Camille Couderc (1893), "Note sur une compilation inédite de Hugues de Sainte-Marie et sa vie de saint Sacerdos évêque de Limoges," Bibliotheque de l'École des Chartes 54, 468-474.
  4. ^ The relics were brought in the reign of Pope Leo III (795-816), according to Gaston de Gérard, in: Tarde, p. 48 n.
  5. ^ Charlemagne was considered a saint at Sarlat, with his Feast Day on January 28. Tarde, p. 41, note 1.
  6. ^ ...sicut ab eius fundatoribus nobilis memoriae Pipino et Carolo principibus institutum est... Tarde, pp. 60-66. Gallia christiana, II, Instrumenta p. 496. Philipp Jaffe, Regesta pontificum Romanorum II, no. 9718.
  7. ^ Tarde, p. 46.
  8. ^ Tarde, p. 42, n. Odo became Abbot of Cluny in 926, and died at Tours on 18 November 943.
  9. ^ Tarde, p. 59, with nn. 1-3, demonstrating that the dates of 1150 and 1159, which are also mentioned, are impossible.
  10. ^ Tarde, p. 67, 110-114. In the 1340s they built a wall around the town.
  11. ^ The text of the bull Salvator noster is given in Tarde, pp. 91-94.
  12. ^ He was also referred to as Arnaldus de Montdenard, and Arnaldus de Montlévard. Tarde, p. 86, and n. 3.
  13. ^ Eubel, I, p. 436, and note 1; p. 405.
  14. ^ Le livre d'or, xxvi-xxvii.
  15. ^ Tarde, pp. 337-338.
  16. ^ The Récollets were established in Sarlat on 10 June 1612, which brought about an immediate confrontation between the Bishop and people of Sarlat and the Cordeliers over accommodations for the Récollets: Tarde, p. 334-337.
  17. ^ Escande, Histoire de Sarlat,' pp. 303-304.'
  18. ^ Le livre d'or, xlv-xlvi. Pontard received 278 of the 421 votes cast.
  19. ^ Paul Pisani (1907). Répertoire biographique de l'épiscopat constitutionnel (1791-1802) (in French). Paris: A. Picard et fils. pp. 426–427.
  20. ^ Pisani, pp. 427-428.
  21. ^ Eubel, I, p. 436.
  22. ^ Arnaldus had previously been Bishop of Salerno: Eubel, I, p. 430.
  23. ^ Petrus was Dean of Saint-Paul de Fenouillèdes (Fenolhadesii) in the diocese of Alat when he was named Bishop of Sarlat by Pope Innocent VI on 9 January 1346: Tarde, 355-356. In 1358 he was a familiaris of Cardinal de Talleyrand, Venerabilis pater Petrus Iterii, episcopus Sarlatensis, domini Albanensis episcopis S.R.E. Cardinalis familiaris. He was named a cardinal by Pope Innocent VI on 17 September 1361; he died in Avignon on 20 May 1367: Eubel, I, p. 20.
  24. ^ Eubel, I, p. 97. Salvador Miranda, The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church Itier, Pierre (Retrieved: 2016-07-31), wrongly states, relying on "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIVè siècle jusqu'au Grand Schisme" Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1930, p. 155, that Pierre Itier was not Bishop of Sarlat, and that Eubel confused him with Pierre de Mayrolles, who was Bishop of Sarlat. Tarde (p. 356), however, cites a document in the Archives de la Dordogne which states, Dominus P(etrus) divina misericordia nunc Albanensis episcopus S.R.E. Cardinalis, tunc episcopus Sarlatensis... Pierre Itier, Bishop of Albano, had indeed once been Bishop of Sarlat.
  25. ^ Eubel, I, p. 150.
  26. ^ Gailhardus had previously been Bishop of Spoleto (1372-1379), but was deposed by Urban VI of the Roman Obedience. He was appointed Bishop of Sarlat by Benedict XIII of the Avignon Obedience: Eubel, I, pp. 436 and 461.
  27. ^ Raymond was transferred to Perigueux on 24 January 1404 by Benedict XIII of the Avignon Obedience; Boniface IX of the Roman Obedience had appointed Guilelmus Fabri, O.Min. on 3 January 1401. Eubel, I, p. 398.
  28. ^ Joannes Arnaldi was appointed by John XXIII of the Pisan Obedience: Eubel, I, p. 436.
  29. ^ Eubel, II, p. 223.
  30. ^ Eubel, III, p. 292.
  31. ^ From 1516 all the bishops of Sarlat were appointed by the King of France, in accordance with the Concordat of Bologna of 1516. They could not be consecrated or installed, however, without confirmatory bulls from the Pope, granted in Consistory.
  32. ^ Gaddi was only the Administrator of Sarlat. He had been nominated by King Francis I in 1533, under the terms of the Concordat of Bologna of 1516, at the same time as he was appointed Protector of France before the Holy See. The appointment was confirmed by Pope Clement VII in Consistory on 12 December 1533. Gaddi was in Rome for the Conclave of October 1534. His successor was appointed on 3 July 1543. There is no evidence that Gaddi was ever consecrated a bishop: Salvador Miranda, The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Consistory of May 3, 1527
  33. ^ Bishop Louis de Salignac, nephew of his predecessor, was nominated by King Henri IV, and required a dispensation because he was below the minimum age to be a bishop: Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 305, note 2. He was consecrated in Rome on 13 January 1613, by Cardinal Boniface Bevilaqua. Tarde, p. 334.
  34. ^ Gauchat, Hierarchia catholica IV, p. 235 and 305. Lingendes had been tutor to the Comte Moret, the natural son of Henri IV, and was Almoner of Louis XIII of France. He was appointed to Sarlat by Louis XIII in 1639, but was not consecrated until 1642. He pronounced the Funeral Oration for Louis XIII in S. Denis on 22 June 1643. Jean de Lingendes (1643). Oraison funebre du roy Louis XIII. surnommé le Iuste, prononcée en l'eglise de S. Denis le xxije iour de Iuin 1643 (in French). Paris: Chez Charles Savreux. He resigned the diocese of Sarlat in 1647, because of his ambition to be tutor to Louis XIV. Joseph Bergin (1996). The Making of the French Episcopate, 1589-1661. Yale University Press. p. 514. ISBN 978-0-300-06751-4. He was appointed Bishop of Macon in 1650, which was confirmed by the Pope on 13 February 1651. Ingrid A. R. de Smet (1996). Menippean Satire and the Republic of Letters, 1581-1655. Librairie Droz. pp. 220, n. ISBN 978-2-600-00147-2. Jean Valette (1968). Jean de Lingendes, évêque de Sarlat, 14 juillet 1642-27 septembre 1647 (in French). Périgueux. "Diocese of Périgueux" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  35. ^ Paul de Chaulnes had been Vicar General of Auch since 1695. He was nominated by King Louis XIV on 1 November 1701. Ritzler, V, p. 305.
  36. ^ With the new political system under the Republic, d'Albaret was elected the first Mayor of Sarlat. He was under house arrest in Perigueux for a time in 1794-1795. After he was freed, he lived with his nephew in Pignerolo, but the entire family fled to Turin in 1796 as the French armies approached; the Bishop died in Turin in 1800: Le livre d'or, pp. lvii and 2-3. Escande, Histoire de Sarlat, pp. 306-307.


Reference booksEdit


External linksEdit


  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Diocese of Périgueux". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

Coordinates: 44°53′N 1°13′E / 44.89°N 1.22°E / 44.89; 1.22