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John Carroll ordained Bishop of Baltimore

On this day (August 15) in 1790, John Carroll was ordained as the first Bishop of Baltimore and the first Bishop in the United States. There was some fear in the new republic that the naming of a bishop would produce a backlash from Americans, especially if the bishop was not an American.

To paraphrase the Catholic Encyclopedia:

American Catholics, particularly the leadership of the church, saw the need for more localized control. Church troubles, Trusteeism in New York, and Nationalism in Philadelphia prompted the priests of Maryland to petition Rome for a bishop for the United States. Cardinal Antonelli replied, allowing the priests on the mission to select the city and, for this case only, to name the candidate for presentation to the pope. Twenty-four of the twenty-five other priests in the meeting voted for Father Carroll. Accordingly on 6 November, 1789, Pope Pius VI appointed him bishop. His consecration took place in Mr. Weld’s chapel at Lulworth Castle, England, 15 August, 1790, at the hands of the Rt. Rev. Charles Walmesley, Senior Vicar Apostolic of England. Bishop Carroll returned to Baltimore in triumph, 7 December, when he preached an appropriate and touching sermon in St. Peter’s church. Troubles in Boston required him soon to go thither, where he removed much prejudice.

Rocco Palmo, of the Whispers in the Loggia blog has a very nice piece on Archbishop Carroll today.


Categories: Postings.

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