Partner Jean II, Bishop of Orleans

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Cathédrale Saint-Gatien, Place de la Cathédrale, 37000 Tours, France

Raoul II, Archbishop of Tours, was notorious for his original code of morals and the younger clergy composed songs on his relations with Jean, his archdeacon, whom he succeeded in proposing to a bishopric. Raoul II, archbishop of Tours from 1086 to 1117, despite the prohibition of Hugues, legate of the Holy See, had dealings with the excommunicated Philip I, and under whose episcopate Paschal II came to Tours (1107).

In 1100, Ivo of Chartres, who became bishop of Chartres in 1090, complained bitterly in a letter to Pope Urban II about a certain promiscuous youth named Jean being made the bishop of Orleans despite his reputation for sexual looseness and the fact that he was underage. Jean’s sexual affairs had brought him such notoriety, in fact, that he had gained the nickname Flora, after a well-known local courtesan, and had become the subject of a number of lewd street songs. In an attempt to head off Jean’s elevation to bishop, Ivo had previously sent samples of the lurid lyrics of the songs to the archbishop of Lyons, the papal legate, but to no avail. The installation of Jean, bishop of Orleans, consecrated on March 1, 1098, had been arranged by Jean’s then lover, Raoul II, Archbishop of Tours from 1086 to 1117, who had obligingly crowned Philip I of France on Christmas Day in defiance of a papal interdict placed on Philip for “immoral behavior.” In exchange for the favor, Philip agreed to arrange a bishopric for Jean, who it so happens had also been a previous lover of the king. Philip, himself, had boasted of the affair to Ivo. Oddly, Ivo’s objections seem to have had less to do with Jean’s sexual activities than his youth. Pope Urban, however, did not consider this as a decisive fact: Jean ruled as bishop for almost forty years, and Raoul continued to be well known and respected.

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