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The Episcopate of Daniel Murphy, first Archbishop of Hobart, 1866-1907

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posted on 2023-05-26, 20:57 authored by LeClerc, Anthony Alan
Daniel Murphy was born on 15 or 18 June, 1815, the year of Waterloo, at Belmont, County Cork, Ireland. He was to die 92 years later at Low Head on the Tamar in Tasmania, the oldest prelate in Christendom. Thus his life spanned the age of sailing ships that could take twelve months for communication to and from Tasmania, and the age of powered flight as pioneered by the Wright Brothers. In the Catholic Church, much also was changing. Murphy was born three-quarters of the way through the pontificate of Pius VII, who had negotiated with Napoleon the Concordat of 1801, in the year when the Papal States were returned to the Pope by the Congress of Vienna. He lived through seven pontificates, and saw and reacted strongly against the seizure of the Papal States from Pius IX, and was much affected by the \Prisoner of the Vatican\" role adopted by his successors. He was thus a Church leader during the days when the forces of Rationalism were plaguing the Church; the heresies of \"indifferentism\" and \"infidelity\" threatened church and society as he knew it; Vatican I was opened and sent scattering by the invading Italians; churches and church schools were supported by the government in the colony and then lost that support; education over the whole continent became free and secular and the struggle to erect religious schools began in earnest; political freedoms were spreading in the land the franchise being extended and federation was argued about and accomplished; labour was organising and the dignity of work was being established in the face of Church suspicions of \"secret societies\"; and the Catholic Church in this continent was building a sense of an Australian Church in the family of world-wide Catholicism linked strongly to the Papacy defending its loyalty to the Empire and increasingly bedevilled by the Irish Question. Archbishop Murphy reacted to these events and this reaction permeated the Pastorals that he has left as his legacy to the Church in Tasmania. As well as attending Vatican I he took part in an Australian Provincial Council 1869; three Australian Plenary Councils18851895 and 1905; and meetings of Australian Bishops especially that for the Centenary of Settlement 1888. The teachings of these are some part of the legacy also as themes they treated were further expanded by the Bishop in his own writings. What is left to us in the archives of the Archdiocese of Hobart is a record of the official teaching of Dr Murphy and some evidence of his administrative style. All personal material has been suppressed by the Archbishop himself as his coadjutor and successor attests in a note scribbled on an envelope in the archives; \"Archbishop Murphy destroyed many records. PD.\" This is confirmed by a note of Archbishop Simonds on a letter he received from a nephew in Ireland of Archbishop Murphy requesting material on his uncle's life and times in Hobart. Simonds noted on the letter \"Archbishop Murphy destroyed all records.\""

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Copyright 1994 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Hum.)--University of Tasmania, 1995. Includes bibliographical references

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