In the fortress of Turin he remained immured during the last twelve years of his life, although part of his time was spent in composing a defence of the Sardinian interests as opposed to those of the papal court, and he was led to sign a retractation of the statements in his history most obnoxious to the Vatican (1738).
Although Du Pin consented to a retractation, the book was suppressed in 1693; he was, however, allowed again to continue it on changing its title by substituting nouvelle for universelle.
The abbe again declared "it is impossible for me honestly and sincerely to make the act of absolute retractation and submission exacted by the sovereign pontiff."
The Bourbon sovereigns threatened to make war on the pope in return (France, indeed, seizing on the county of Avignon), and a joint note demanding a retractation, and the abolition of the Jesuits, was presented by the French ambassador at Rome on the 10th of December 1768 in the name of France, Spain and the two Sicilies.
Although this charge was demonstrably false, Randolph when confronted with it immediately resigned, and subsequently secured a retractation from Fauchet; he published A Vindication of Mr Randolph's Resignation (1795) and Political Truth, or Animadversions on the Past and Present State of Public Af f airs (1796).
It is said that he wrote a formal Palinodia or retractation of his book De vera obedientia, but it does not seem to be now extant; and the reference is probably to his sermon on Advent Sunday 15J4, after Cardinal Pole had absolved the kingdom from schism.
In this year he lost his seat in consequence of the popular prejudice aroused against him by his trenchant pamphlet Oui et non (1845) against attacks on religious liberty, and a second entitled Feul Feul (1845), written in reply to those who demanded a retractation of the former.
Submission is enforced by an argument which almost amounts to a retractation of the difference between things natural and things contrary to nature, as understood by Zeno.
His merit lies in the fact that he was the first to deal systematically with the question of Church and State, and the position thus taken up by him, and the manner in which that position was assumed, gave rise to a lifelong conflict between Giannone and the Church; and in spite of his retractation in prison at Turin, he deserves the palm--as he certainly endured the sufferings - of a confessor and martyr in the cause of what he deemed historical truth.
The retractation imposed upon Cardinal de Noailles, and his replacement in the archbishopric of Paris by Vintimille, an unequivocal Molinist, excited among the populace a very violent agitation against the court of Rome and the Jesuits, the prelude to a united Fronde of the Sorbonne and the parlement.