André Douzet’s Revised Saunière’s Trial Article

Paul Smith

6 June 2017

Douzet’s original article

André Douzet’s revised “Saunière’s Trial” article still contains omissions that trip-up his arguments (below)

“The problem with his bishop probably dates back to November 19, 1906, when Beauséjour visited Rennes-le-Château and found that Saunière's parishioners complained about their priest.”

Saunière’s trafficking in masses difficulties pre-date Mgr Beauséjour – Saunière was previously warned by Monsignor Billard over this. Extract from Bérenger Saunière’s Account Books where he writes for the entry dated 16 May 1901: “Diocese of Carcassonne: Received 2nd warning regarding the mass fees”.

“A priest who is not liked by his parishioners is a serious problem”

This problem may have existed during Saunière’s arrival in Rennes-le-Château, but things changed later – a letter dated 6 February 1909 written by the village Mayor to the Bishopric complained about Saunière losing his priesthood in the village and his transfer to the parish church of Coustouges. Before that, in 1903, the village Mayor had supported Bérenger Saunière into forcing the Cathar poet Prosper Estieu quitting Rennes-le-Château.

“There seemed to be no guarantee that actual masses had been said.”

Indeed, Saunière was engaging in fraud: he was accepting more money than he was able to say masses for – which is why the Bishopric asked to see his Account Books during his Trial 1910-1911.

André Douzet introduces a letter by Abbé Rouanet that merely represents moral support from an old friend and nothing else.

“Huguet reported that Saunière had an income of 193,150 francs”

Here André Douzet is accepting on face-value the validity of Saunière’s bogus “List of Donors” that the late Abbé Bruno de Monts rightly dismissed in 1996.

“Saunière was not convicted in trafficking [of masses]”.

Laughable – Douzet repeats this nonsense in his revised article. The documentation relating to the Ecclesiastical Trial of Bérenger Saunière in Carcassonne tells a different story, where Saunière himself admitted he trafficked in masses and did not contest the statements of the Chief Prosecutor at his Trial.

“In conclusion, Saunière was found guilty of negligence and contempt, but cleared by the latter by the intervention of Rome.”

Complete fiction – the Vatican refused to involve itself in Saunière’s Trial, which it regarded as a regional problem. Saunière’s lawyer was still working on trying to get the Vatican involved in his case on the day of his death 22 January 1917.

André Douzet refers to Saunière’s carnets (Saunière’s Corresondence Record 1896-1915) – then argues for the existence of “Saunière Sponsors” – a theory that is contradicted by the contents of Saunière’s Correspondence Record.

Douzet retains this laughable question in his revised article: “Why did Saunière not want to surrender these documents [carnets] to the commission?”

Probably because it would have demonstrated to the Court of Ecclesiastical Law that Bérenger Saunière was guilty of trafficking in masses – as charged – and had accumulated in excess of 200,000 francs from engaging in such activity.

But then again, André Douzet is far more interested in Saunière’s bogus “List of Donors” – that was rightly dismissed and discounted by Abbé Bruno de Monts in 1996 as being of no value – most probably created by his lawyer for the purposes of the trial to try and get Saunière off

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