March 7, 1864

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March 7, 1864

Archbishop Paul Cullen issues a pastoral for St. Patricks Day denouncing Fenianism

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Paul Cullen (April 29, 1803-October 24, 1878) was a cardinal, and the Catholic primate of Ireland. He was born in Prospect, Kildare.

He was rector of the Irish College (1832-1850) he was admitted to the friendship of Gregory XVI and Pius IX. He profited by the influence which he thus enjoyed to safeguard the interests of the Irish Church, and to unmask the intrigues of the British agents who were trying to force their political views upon the Holy See, and to forge fetters for Catholic Ireland. Cardinal Cullen was promoted to the primatial See of Armagh on 19 December 1849 and was consecrated in Rome, on the 24 February 1850. A wider field was assigned to his zeal and piety when he was transferred to the See of Dublin 1 May 1852. He was elevated to the cardinalate as Cardinal Priest of San Pietro in Montorio in 1866, being the first Irish bishop on whom that high dignity was ever conferred.

He was intent on bringing the blessings of religious education within reach of the poorest Catholics in the land. The system of national education adopted by the Government for Ireland in 1832 was a great improvement on the proselytising systems carried on by anti-Catholic agencies.

He took part in the solemn celebrations connected with the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1854, and with the centenary of the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul in 1867.

From the opening of the First Vatican Council, Cardinal Cullen took an active part in its deliberations. His first discourse in defence of the perogatives of the Holy See. Cullen was an extreme Ultramontanist, and vigorously opposed all secret societies in the country with revolutionary aims, as well as the system of mixed education then in force.

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