Archbishop Purcell of Cincinnati

Archbishop Purcell of Cincinnati

by M. Edmund Hussey

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Archbishop Purcell of Cincinnati by M. Edmund Hussey

John Baptist Purcell (1800-1888) was the bishop and later the archbishop of Cincinnati for fifty years. He was a skillful and eloquent defender of his faith in debates, speeches, pastoral letters and newspaper articles. He was an Irish bishop in a largely German city and had functioned so capably in that role that the Catholic Church in Cincinnati was virtually free of ethnic tensions. As the bishop in a city on the border between the North and the South, he struggled to move beyond the merely political and economic aspects of slavery and was finally able to defend President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. At the First Council of the Vatican, he ably, though unavailingly, argued against the opportuneness of defining papal infallibility. By reason of seniority, he was then the dean of the American hierarchy.

But the last chapter of Purcell’s life, which was dominated by a disastrous financial failure, undermined his legacy. After his death, his memory was allowed to pass quickly into the decent obscurity of oblivion. The standard histories of Cincinnati, of the State of Ohio and of the American Catholic Church have generally contained only brief and concise references to the career of this important, influential and ultimately tragic figure. This readable and engaging biography of Purcell fills this significant gap in American history.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013794016
Publisher: M. Edmund Hussey
Publication date: 12/27/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 885 KB

About the Author

M. Edmund Hussey, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and is a retired seminary professor and pastor and is a former archivist of the archdiocese of Cincinnati. He has received a Ph.D. in historical theology from Fordham University in New York and master’s degrees in classics and in education from Xavier University in Cincinnati. He has published several books and articles on Ohio Catholic Church History.

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