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Louis Marie Billé studied Catholic Theology and Philosophy in Luçon, Angers (Catholic University of the West), Rome and Jerusalem, specialising in Biblical Theology. His career in the clergy began on 25 March 1962 when he was ordained priest for the diocese of Luçon.
Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Laval on 10 May 1984, transferring him in 1995 to the diocese of Aix, Arles and Embrun. He would become Archbishop of Lyon on 10 July 1998. On 21 February 2001 he was appointed to the College of Cardinals with the title of Cardinal Priest of San Pietro in Vincoli. Later in the same year the title of Santissima Trinità al Monte Pincio was transferred to him.
Cardinal Billé died in Bordeaux on 12 March 2002 after a serious illness and was entombed in Lyon cathedral. He was succeeded as Archbishop of Lyon by Bishop (later Cardinal) Philippe Barbarin.
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