Hogan, William

Hogan, William of some notoriety in Catholic controversies, a young priest of inferior education but good natural parts, who had been dismissed from Maynooth for a breach of discipline, left the diocese of Limerick in 1818 or 1819 for New York. He was first employed in the ministry in Albany, but left that city, against the wish of Dr. Connolly, then bishop of New York, and was temporarily installed by Reverend Dr. De Barth, administrator of the see of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as pastor of St. Mary's Church in that city. In December, 1820, bishop Conwell took possession of the see, and having reason to suspect Hogan's conduct in. Ireland and elsewhere, withdrew his faculties. Hogan continued to officiate at St. Mary's in spite of the censure of his bishop .and the refusal of the archbishop of Baltimore to entertain his appeal, the trustees of the church supporting Hogan. On February 11, 1821, Conwell excommunicated Hogan, appointed other pastors, occupied the church for some months, but in the summer of that year Hogan and his party took possession of the church. Bishop England of Charleston, visiting Philadelphia, and having promised Hogan a mission in-his diocese, induced Conwell to grant him power to absolve the troublesome ecclesiastic on proper submission. On October 18, 1821, England absolved him; but the next day Hogain, hearkening to the advice of his trustees, retracted, said mass at St. Mary's, and resumed his functions as pastor. England then re- excommunicated him. Many of the members now deserted the interdicted church and went to St. Joseph's, where the bishop had installed William V. Harold, former pastor at St. Mary's. The two parties became more and more exasperated; the orthodox (as De Courcy and Shea term the party who went with the bishop) hoped to defeat the schismatics by electing a new board of trustees. Every male occupant of a seat was an elector. The election took place in the church on Easter Tuesday 1822, and led to sad results. The disorder was frightful; blood was shed; and the schismatics triumphed, preserving Hogan as pastor. At the close of the year the archbishop of Baltimore (Mardchal) returned from Rome, bringing a papal brief (August 2, 1822), which solemnly condemned the schismatics of St. Mary's. On December 10, 1822, Hogan submitted, and received from Conwell his exeat and removal of censures. On the 14th of the same month the unhappy priest, circumvented by the trustees (it is said), objected that the authenticity of the brief had not been shown, and continued to officiate and preach at Sto Mary's. He published violent pamphlets against his diocesan and bishop England, whom he sought to compromise. Hogan at length grew tired of his rebellion, left Philadelphia for the South, married, became a custom-house officer in Boston, went into the pay of the enemies of Romanism, published some books to stimulate the Know Nothing movement (Popery as it Was and Is, Boston and New York, 1845: — Nunneries and Auricular Confession, recently reprinted at Hartford), and died in 1851 or 1852. The above account is from the standpoint of the opponents of Hogan. The historians of the Roman Catholic Church think the troubles of which Hogan was the victim were due largely to the trustee system, whose influence in the Catholic Church they deem pernicious, and it has caused many local schisms, of which this of St. Mary's was the most celebrated and scandalous, and was not healed for many years. For an account of this schism, and voluminous documents, see bishop England's Works, 5:109-232; De Courcy and Shea, Hist. of Cath. Church in U.S. page 217.

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