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Rebel bishop: the life and era of Augustin…
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Rebel bishop: the life and era of Augustin Verot

by Michael Gannon

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1616 Rebel Bishop: The Life and Era of Augustin Verot, by Michael V. Gannon (read 10 Feb 1981) Verot, the third bishop of Savannah, GA., and the first bishop of St. Augustine, Fla., was born in Le Puy, France, on 23 May 1805, and died at St Augustine on 10 June 1876. This book is a well-put-together book which shows Verot to have been quite a guy. In the final paragraph the author says: "He was a character in the best sense of the word." That he certainly was. One does not get the idea that he was episcopal timber from reading about his career as a teacher in Maryland, but from April 25, 1858, when Archbishop Kenrick of Baltimore consecrated him as Vicar Apostolic of Florida, on, one cannot but be impressed with the self-sacrificing and devoted way he performed his arduous tasks. Putting up with what he did must have been what enabled him to play such a tough and outspoken role at Vatican Council I, where, inter alia, he called for the rehabilitation of Galileo, which Pope John Paul II has recently again suggested. His discourses at the Council, which seem to have been quite numerous and outspoken, cannot have been very persuasive but contained a lot of common sense. But one wonders how he could fail to be cowed into silence by the scene, being, as he was, a very minor bishop from a poor diocese--he was appointed Bishop of St. Augustine during the Council, leaving Savannah (where he was succeeded by Ignatius Persico, who in 1893 became a Cardinal--though he left Savannah in 1873). ( )
  Schmerguls | Nov 30, 2008 |
A interesting biography of a leading but controversial Roman Catholic Prelate in the South during the last half of the 19th Century. Augustin Verot supported slavery as an institution but condemned the slave trade and the abuse of slaves. Breaking the tradition of political neutrality except in matters directly affecting the church, he became politically active supporting the confederacy by articulating a states rights argument and claiming that the North was abrogating the constitution. In his judgment, the Civil War was a just war required by Northern arrogance and aggression. At times blunt and abrasive, he gave pastoral care at the cost of personal comfort over a wide geographic area including the Union POWs held at Andersonville. After the war, he gave his attention to the education and care of former slaves, the reconstruction of the church and the establishment of Catholic public education. At Vatican I, he objected to infallibility on the grounds that it was inopportune and not definable. ( )
  DrSmeeton | Jul 21, 2008 |
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