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Cardinal Paul Cullen


CULLEN, CARDINAL PAUL, a learned and eminent Irish prelate, was born in the County of Kildare, April 27, 1803. After receiving his prelimin ary education at home he entered the College of the Propaganda, Rome, where he distinguished himself at an early age, received his degree and graduated a doctor of Divinity. He was raised to the priesthood, and made professor of Hebrew in that celebrated institution. He afterwards became rector of the Irish College in Rome, and when Pius IX was compelled to escape from the violence of the Revolutionary mob, as all the rectors of Colleges in Rome, who were not foreigners, had to leave the city, Dr. Cullen was left in charge, temporally, of their interests. He ex hibited great tact and energy in dealing with the Revolutionary rulers of Rome, and saved both the Propaganda and the Roman College from plunder, and ruth less destruction at a critical moment, by placing them under the protection of the American flag, through the consider ate kindness of Lewis Cass, Jr., then Charge de Affairs at Rome, and with a blush must it be said, that for this act, both in the interest of humanity as well as civilization itself, Mr. Cass was de nounced by American bigots. The death of Archbishop Crolly, primate of Ireland occurring about this time, Dr. Cullen was chosen by Pius IX him self, over the candidates sent from Ire land, and named as successor to the see of Armagh. He was consecrated in Rome, February 24, 1850, and he went to Ireland with the additional title of delegate apostolic. Archbishop Cullen immediately set to work to organize effectively, Catholic education, and make it complete and thorough by the establishment of an University, so that the dangers to those Catholics who sought a higher education in the state institutions, which was completely un der the control, and in the interests of the religion by law established, might be avoided, and a place provided for the Catholic youth of Ireland, where they might be strengthened rather than weakened in ttie glorious old faith of their ancestors, which the enemies of Ireland has so long and so vainly tried to degrade and destroy. For this pur pose he called a synod at Thurles, and effectual measures were there taken to insure an Irish Catholic University. Measures were also taken to secure a proper system of primary and secondly education, as steps to the University. In 1852 Archbishop Murray of Dublin, dying, Dr. Cullen was transferred to that see, which, although secondary to the see of Armagh (the latter being the see of St. Patrick, takes precedence over all Ireland) is in many ways a more im portant one, as the great Catholic insti tutions of Ireland are in Dublin, and immediately under its jurisdiction. To make amends for this, and secure Dr. Cullen the headship of the Irish prelacy, the Pope confirmed for life his position of Delegate Apostolic, which carries with it precedence, regardless of the position of the holder. The special ob ject of the change was therefore to en able Dr. Cullen to carry out personally the plan, and establish a Catholic Uni versity in Dublin, which was deemed preeminently the place for it. To this purpose he bent all his energies, pur chased a proper site and secured the erection of a building worthy of tne purpose. In 1854 the University was opened under the Rectorship of the great Dr. Newman, in temporary quar ters, and in 1862 the corner-stone of the New University building was laid at Drumcandra, an outskirt of Dublin, Archbishop Hughes of New York preaching on the occasion. In June, 1866, Dr. Cullen was created a Cardi nal, being the first resident Irish prelate ever elevated to that position. In Octo ber 1881, the Hierarchy of Ireland met in National Council under his presid ency, and among other acts, passed re solutions condemning mixed education, and secret societies, which was especially aimed at the Fenian organization. Car dinal Cullen was not very popular with the National party, they considering that he attempted to push the condem nation of secret societies farther than reason or religion or the doctors of the church indicated, or perhaps rather that he attempted to include within the pro hibition, patriotic societies, which, under a just and fair test, were not open to censure. That at times he acted as a man favorable to English domination, can scarcely be doubted, or at least he looked with doubt and distrust on the possible results of Irish independence. In the Council of the Vatican, he took a prominent part, and was a strong ad vocate of papal Infallibility. It is said that he was the only Cardinal present, educated in the college of the Propa ganda, out of numerous prelates who called it their Alma Mater. Dr. Cullen also assisted at the conclave that elected Leo XIII. As a scholar he was pro found and thorough, as a preacher, able, logical and earnest, as a divine, full of zeal and practical piety. He died Oct. 24, 1878, at Dublin, in the 76th year of his ttgc

ireland, irish, rome, dublin and education