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An ecclesiastical historian, born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1780; died at Dublin, February, 1847. He was the son of a stonemason and after his ordination to the priesthood, speedily obtained reputation as a preacher, but, owing to his vanity and pride, came into collision with his bishop, and was suspended. He then left the Church, became a Protestant, and was taken up by the Priests' Protection Society under whose auspices he was announced to preach in St. George's Church, Dublin. In the meantime he reconsidered his position and repented of his folly. conversion story-->He resolved to make public reparation for his fault, and on the Sunday in 1809, when he was announced to commence his campaign against the Church, he ascended the pulpit of St. George's, began by blessing himself most reverently, and then to the relief of his audience took up the Bible , and said "This is the Word of God ". After a brief pause, he added deliberately and earnestly, "And I swear by its contents that every word I have uttered against the Catholic Church is a lie", and at once left the building. He went to a neighbouring Capuchin friary, explained what had happened, and begged to be admitted into the order. After some time, his prayers were granted, and he became a Franciscan at Wexford where in later years he wrote (as a penance, it is said) his valuable "Ecclesiastical History of Ireland" (2 vols., Dublin, 1840, revised ed., 1864).

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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

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Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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