Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Pierre Brugière
A French priest, Jansenist, and Juror, born at Thiers, 3 October, 1730; died at Paris, 7 November, 1803. He was chaplain of the Ursulines and canon in his native place when his refusal to sign the formula of the acceptation of the Bull "Unigenitus" forced him to leave. He went to Paris where for twelve years he remained with the community of St. Roch. A strongly Jansenistic book which he wrote, "Instructions catholiques sur la dévotion au Sacre-Coeur" (Paris, 1777), brought this connection to an end. When the Revolution broke out he welcomed it with enthusiasm. He rushed headlong into the fray with two books calling loudly for reform: "Doléances des églisiers" and "Relation sommaire et véritable de ce qui s'est passé dans l'Assemblée du clergé" (1789).
Brugière not only took the Constitutional Oath on the day fixed, 9 Jan., 1791, but he became as it were the heart and soul of the Constitutional Church. Elected curé of St. Paul's he defended the civil constitution of the clergy against episcopal and papal censures in his "Discours patriotique au sujet des brefs du pape" and " La lanterne sourde" (aimed at Bonal, Bishop of Clermont). It is to his credit, however, that he energetically condemned the marriage of priests which the Constitution was doing its utmost to encourage. Against this practice he wrote his "Réflexions d'un curé", and "Lettre d'un curé" (1791), and together with several other constitutionals he denounced its advocates without mercy in "Le nouveau disciple de Luther" (1792). This brochure was aimed at Aubert, a married priest appointed by Gobel curé of St. Augustin. Brugière's fearless preaching placed him in the hands of the revolutionary tribunal, and it was while he was imprisoned he wrote to his followers the "Lettre d'un cure du fond de sa prison à ses paroissiens" (1793). Set at liberty, he continued his pastoral ministrations in spite of the charge of treasonable conduct, a dangerous thing in those days. But his ministrations were of a novel kind. Mass was said and the sacraments were administered by him in French, and in support of that singularity an appeal was made to the people, " Appel au peuple francais" (1798)
Brugière had rebuked the bishops who condemned the oath. He had likewise rebuked the priests who married. Now he was no less violent against the Jurors who began to retract. He attended the two councils of 1797 and 1801 which were trying hard to sustain the ebbing life of the Constitutional Church, and he founded a society for its protection: "Société de philosophie chrétienne". Even after the promulgation of the Concordat of 1801 he clung to the then dead Constitutional Church. Besides the works already mentioned, Brugière wrote a number of pamphlets and left many sermons which were published after his death: "Instructions choisies" (Paris,1804). Two contemporaries, the Abbé Massy and the Christian Brother Renaud, wrote his life under the title: "Mémoire apologétique de Pierre Brugière" (Paris, 1804).
FELLER in Biographie universelle (Paris, 1866); CONSTANTIN in Dict. de théol. cath.