“An Italian of the Vatican type”: The Roman formation of Cardinal Paul Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin

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Paul Cullen was the most influential figure in Ireland between the
death of Daniel O’Connell in 1847 and the rise of Charles Stewart
Parnell in the late 1870s. As Archbishop of Armagh (1849-52) and
then Dublin (1852-78) and Ireland’s first Roman Catholic cardinal
(1866), he exercised an unprecedented influence in both Ireland’s
dominant Roman Catholic Church and in Irish society. What is
less known is the nearly 30 years he spent in Rome, first as a student
at the Urban College of the Propaganda Fide and then as rector
of the Irish College in the city. His immersion in the multilingual
environment of papal Rome was crucial in the shaping of his later
career in Ireland. This essay traces the first ten or so years of Cullen’s
time in Rome, focusing on the important lessons, experiences,
and networks that he developed there. Most importantly, attention
is given to Cullen’s relationship with Mauro Cappellari, from 1831
Pope Gregory XVI. Cullen’s academic success drew him into the
small network of Cappellari’s protégés and informed the whole of
his life, including in Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-47
Number of pages21
JournalStudi Irlandesi
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2016



  • Gregory XVI
  • Irish Catholicism
  • Irish College Rome
  • Irish Nationalism
  • Paul Cullen

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