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


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LeClerc, Anthony Alan 1994 , 'The Episcopate of Daniel Murphy, first Archbishop of Hobart, 1866-1907', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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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
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 Councils, 1885,
1895, 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."

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:LeClerc, Anthony Alan
Keywords: Murphy, Daniel, Archbishop, 1815-1907, Catholic Church
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

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).

Additional Information:

Thesis (M.Hum.)--University of Tasmania, 1995. Includes bibliographical references

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