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John McCloskey (1810-1885)


The first American cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, John McCloskey played a primary role in both the spiritual and material growth of the church during the turbulent period that accompanied Catholicism’s rapid rise in the United States. From his early days as a parish priest in New York City, through his elevation to bishop, archbishop, and later to cardinal, the patience, tact, and discretion that made McCloskey so effective in resolving discord within the church also aided him in his relations with the sometimes-hostile Protestant community. It is to McCloskey’s credit that in 1875, when he was elevated to cardinal by Pope Pius IX, the news was greeted with favor by American Catholics and Protestants alike.


Mathew Brady Studio (active 18441883)
Albumen silver print
Frederick Hill Meserve Collection
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

 

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