'''Pierre Leclerc''' (1706-1781) was a French Catholic
radical [[w:Jansenism|Jansenist]] émigré priest, living in Haarlem in the Dutch Republic, who was censured by the Jansenists themselves at the Council of Utrecht in 1763.
also maintained a correspondence with Orthodox Archbishop [[Eugenios Voulgaris]] at some point, but this dialogue in the end did not bear any fruit.
==Correspondence with Eugenios Voulgaris==
Dr. Constantine Cavarnos has written that the eminent eighteenth century Greek monk and scholar (later Archbishop of Cherson) [[Eugenios Voulgaris]] had corresponded<ref>Andreas Koromelas. ''Epistle of Eugenios Voulgaris to Pierre Leclerc''. First Edition. Athens, 1844.</ref> with Pierre Leclerc.<ref>Constantine Cavarnos. ''[http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/Modernism.pdf Orthodox Tradition and Modernism].'' Transl. from the Greek by Patrick G. Barker. Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, Etna, California, 1992.</ref> Because French Jansenism in the eighteenth century had antipapal tendencies, holding to the ecclesiology that
bishops are not despots, and that they have to consult their cathedral chapter and the curés in synod, their council of second instance,<ref>John McManners. ''Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France: Volume 2: the Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion''. Oxford University Press, 1999. pp.671.</ref> this ecclesiology recalls the notion of [[w:Conciliarism|Conciliarism]] as understood in the Orthodox Church, as well as the previous [[w:Conciliarism|Conciliar Movement]] in the Roman Catholic church as expressed at the Councils of Constance in 1414-18, and of Siena in 1423-24.
It is natural therefore that Voulgaris and Leclerc had corresponded seeking common ground. In witnessing to Leclerc about Orthodoxy, possibly with the aim of establishing Orthodoxy in the West, he speaks about the miracles,
martyrs and other saints of the Orthodox Church from the time of the Schism up to his days; Voulgaris stresses that Orthodoxy has shown forth countless saints, equal to the ancients, and that throughout this whole period she possessed the bounty of miracles unceasingly, so that, as he says, ''"Our Church is continuously glorified and made wondrous by God, no less after the Schism than before it, and up to our times."''<ref>Constantine Cavarnos. ''[http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/Modernism.pdf Orthodox Tradition and Modernism].'' Transl. from the Greek by Patrick G. Barker. Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, Etna, California, 1992.</ref>
However the dialogue with Leclerc did not bear any fruit. Although the Jansenists in general had in fact assailed the [[w:Society of Jesus|Jesuits]] as those responsible for introducing doctrinal novelties, such as the doctrine of papal infallibility, Molinist views of limitless grace, and the devotion to the Sacred Heart<ref>Douglas Bradford Palmer (M.A.). ''[http://www.ohiolink.edu/etd/send-pdf.cgi?osu1090415628 The Republic of Grace: International Jansenism in the Age of Enlightenment and Revolution]''. (Dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of the Ohio State University). The Ohio State University, 2004. pp.104-105</ref>, Pierre Leclerc's theology and criticism from within the Jansenist movement went further than this, and was in fact closer to the Dutch Protestant Reformed tradition of [[w:Calvinism|Calvanism]] instead.
Le Clerc's provocations began with a flat denial of papal primacy by divine right and culminated in the elevation of scriptural authority above that of tradition, conflating the status of bishop and priest along the way.<ref>[[w:Dale K. Van Kley|Dale K. Van Kley]]. ''[http://past.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/200/1/77 Civic Humanism in Clerical Grab: Gallican Memories of the Early Church and the Project of Primitivist Reform 1719-1791]''. Past & Present Society, Oxford, 2008, 200(1):77-120.</ref> He had printed at Amsterdam, in 1758, an Act of Protest to the whole Church, but especially to that of Holland, against various tenets of Rome; and, in attacking [[w:Ultramontanism|Ultramontane]] views, had also asserted doctrines utterly opposed to Catholic tradition.<ref>J. M. Neale (Rev., M.A.). ''[http://anglicanhistory.org/neale/holland/chap14.html A History of the So-Called Jansenist Church of Holland]''. Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1858.</ref> He argued that no tradition should be accepted as a point of faith unless it could be confirmed by Scripture. His views on Scripture, not to mention his views on the Papacy and episcopacy, approached Protestant teachings to the point that the Jansenist Provincial Council of Utrecht held in 1763 was convened to condemn Le Clerc and reassert the Jansenist view that Scripture and Tradition were indeed two valid sources of authority.<ref>Douglas Bradford Palmer (M.A.). ''[http://www.ohiolink.edu/etd/send-pdf.cgi?osu1090415628 The Republic of Grace: International Jansenism in the Age of Enlightenment and Revolution]''. (Dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of the Ohio State University). The Ohio State University, 2004. pp.104.</ref>
==Background: Gallicanism, Jansenism and the Enlightenment==