Paul Cardinal Cullen and the Shaping of Modern Irish Catholicism

Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
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Paul Cullen (1803–78) was the outstanding figure in Irish history between the death of Daniel O’Connell and the rise of Charles Stewart Parnell. Yet this powerful prelate remains an enigmatic figure. This new study of his career sets out to reveal the real nature of his achievements in putting his stamp so indelibly on the Irish Catholic Church.

After several years spent in Rome, at a time when the papal states were under constant attack, Cullen was sent back to Ireland as Archbishop of Armagh and subsequently of Dublin. He had been charged with reorganizing the Catholic Church in his native country—a task which brought him into conflict with the authorities, many of his fellow-bishops and frequently nationalist opinion. The first Irishman to be made a cardinal, he played a leading part in securing the declaration of papal infallibility from the First Vatican Council (1870).

Cardinal Cullen has not generally been well treated by historians. A brilliant scholar, whose intelligence was never underestimated by contemporaries, he has been dismissed as an ‘industrious mediocrity.’ A tough-minded, indefatigable political tactician, he has nevertheless been described as a world-denying spiritual leader. Cullen was the most devoted of papal servants, yet he was accused of ‘preferring the ... principles of Irish nationalism to the opinions of his friend Pius IX.’ Generations of Irish nationalist historians, however, have taken a different view, seeing the leading Irish churchman of the nineteenth century as a tool of the British government.

In Paul Cardinal Cullen and the Shaping of Modern Irish Catholicism, Desmond Bowen shows the true purpose of Cullen’s mission. An Ultramontanist of the most uncompromising type—‘a Roman of the Romans’—neither the aspirations of the Irish nationalists nor the concerns of British governments were of primary importance to him. The mind and accomplishments of this most reserved and complex of men can be understood only in his total dedication to the mission of the papacy as he interpreted it during a time of crisis for the Catholic Church throughout Europe.

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About the author

Desmond Bowen, Ph.D. is Professor of History at Charleton University Ottawa. He is the author of The Protestant Crusade in Ireland 1800–70 (1978); Souperism: Myth or Reality? (1971); and The Idea of the Victorian Church (1968).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
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Published on
Oct 24, 1983
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Pages
311
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ISBN
9780889201361
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Religious
History / Europe / Ireland
Religion / Christianity / Catholic
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Winner of the Orwell Prize

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From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions

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BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes.
Create airy and delicate lace designs for table, bed, and wardrobe using the time-honored technique of Irish crochet. This handsome handicraft, known for its raised floral motifs and intricate background patterns, probably originated in the convents of Ireland, where diligent nuns prepared beautiful ornaments for use in church services. Today, this stunning form of lace-making has been adapted and simplified for dozens of day-to-day uses: decorating curtains, tablecloths, pillows, bedspreads, lingerie, collars, children's clothing, doilies, and more.
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