Kenrick, Francis Patrick, Dd
Kenrick, Francis Patrick, D.D., an American Roman Catholic prelate of great note, was born in Dublin, Ireland, Dec. 3, 1797, received a classical education -in his native city, and in 1815 was sent to Rome to study divinity and philosophy. There he spent two years at the House of the Lazarists, and four years in the College 'of the Propaganda. He was ordained in 1821, and immediately thereafter came to the United States to assume the charge of an ecclesiastical seminary just starting at Bardstown, Ky. He soon distinguished himself 'as a polemic writer by his Letters of Omicron to Omega, written in defence of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist, in reply to attacks by Dr. Blackburn, president of Danville College, Ky., under the signature of " Omega.". On June 6th, 1830, at Bardstown, he was consecrated bishop of Arath in partibus infidelium, and made coadjutor to the right reverend bishop Connell, of Philadelphia, whom he succeeded in 1842. During his episcopate there occurred the anti-Catholic riots, and by his firmness and promptness of effort his people were prevented from retaliatory acts. In 1851 bishop Kenrick was transferred to the archiepiscopal see of Baltimore. In 1852, as "apostolic delegate," he presided over the first plenary council of the United States held at Baltimore, and in 1859 the pope conferred upon him and his successors the "primacy of honor," which gives them precedence over all Roman Catholic prelates in this country. He died at-Baltimore July 8, 1863. Archbishop Kenrick was regarded as one of the most learned men and theologians of his creed in this country. He" is 'equally distinguished as a controversialist and a Biblical critic. His style is vigorous and decided. In 1837 he published a series of letters On the Primacy of the Holy See and the Authority of General Councils, in reply to bishop Hopkins, of Vermont, subsequently enlarged and reprinted under the title of The Primacy of the Apostolic See Vindicated (4th ed., Balt. 1855); also, Vindication of the Catholic Church (12mo, Baltimore, 1855), in reply to Dr. Hopkins's End of Controversy Controverted. The works, however, which constitute his chief claim to theological eminence are his Latin treatises, on dogmatic theology, Theologia Dogmatica (4 vols. 8vo, Phil. 1839, 1840) and Theologia loralis (3 vols. 8vo, Phil. 1841-3), which form a complete course of divinity, and are used as text-books in nearly all the Romish seminaries of the United States. An enlarged edition of these works has been published both in Belgium and in this country. This contains many valuable additions, among them a catalogue of the fathers and ecclesiastical writers, with an accurate description of their genuine works. At the time of his death he was engaged in revising the English translation of the Scriptures, of which the whole of the N.T. and nearly all of the O.T. have been published. "It is illustrated by copious notes, and will probably supersede the Douay version in general use." His other works of a sectarian and controversial character are Catholic Doctrine on Justification Explained and Vindicated (12mo, Phil. 1841):-Treatise on Baptism (12mo, New York, 1843). Kenrick was distinguished both for his sagacity and moderation in counsel, " and for his indefatigable efforts ii extending the power and influence of his Church." While in Philadelphia "he founded the theological seminary of St. Charles Borromeo, and introduced into his diocese the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, who devote themselves to the care of Magdalen asylums."' " During the period of our civil war he was unswerving in his loyalty to the Union, and never failed to inculcate obedience to the laws" in the face of the opt position of many of his people.-Allibone's Dict. of Authors, s.v.; Appleton's New Anmer. Cyclop. 10:136; Annual for 1863, p. 561.