Edward Peter Cullen

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This article is about the Roman Catholic bishop. For the fictional character, see Edward Cullen. For the voice actor, see Peter Cullen.
Most Rev. Edward Peter Cullen
Bishop of Allentown
Church Roman Catholic
See Allentown
In office 1997—2009
Predecessor Thomas Jerome Welsh
Successor John Barres
Orders
Ordination May 19, 1962
Personal details
Born (1933-03-15) March 15, 1933 (age 81)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia,
Titular Bishop of Paria in Proconsolare
Bishop

Edward Peter Cullen (born March 15, 1933) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the third Bishop of Allentown. His resignation was accepted on 27 May 2009 by Pope Benedict. [1]. At the same time, Pope Benedict named Msgr. John Barres as the fourth Bishop of the diocese.

Early life[edit]

The second of five children in an Irish Catholic family, Edward Cullen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Edward Peter and Julia Catherine (née Leahy) Cullen.[1] He was raised in Yeadon, along with his older sister, Joan, and three younger brothers, Joseph, James, and John. Cullen attended West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys, where he excelled at football and track and was involved in the school newspaper, and worked as a cashier at an Acme supermarket.[1]

Following his graduation from West Catholic, he studied engineering at the Drexel Institute of Technology.[1] In 1953, he entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, from where he obtained Bachelor of Arts degree in 1958.[1]

Priesthood[edit]

On May 19, 1962, Cullen was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop John Krol in the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. He then served as an assistant pastor at St. Maria Goretti Church in Hatfield and at St. Bartholomew Church in Philadelphia.

Cullen was sent by Archbishop Krol to study social work at the University of Pennsylvania, later earning his Master of Social Work degree in 1970.[1] This was followed by a Master of Religious Education from La Salle University (1971) and Master of Divinity from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (1974).[2] From 1979 to 1993, he served as a chaplain at St. Edmond's Home for Children in Bryn Mawr.[3]

Cullen was raised to the rank of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness in April 1982,[1] and served as director of Catholic Social Services from 1983 to 1988.[2] In August 1988, he was named vicar general of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Episcopal career[edit]

On February 8, 1994, Cullen was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia and Titular Bishop of Paria in Proconsolare by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following April 14 from Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, with Archbishops John Foley and Francis Schulte serving as co-consecrators.[4] He selected as his episcopal motto: "Christ, Church, Compassion".[1]

Bishop of Allentown[edit]

Cullen was appointed Bishop of Allentown on December 16, 1997, replacing the retiring Thomas Welsh. He was installed on February 9, 1998.[4] In 2003, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America.[1]

In 2008, Cullen, under the direction of his superior and head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia - Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, carried out a program which would restructure many parishes in the Diocese. As part of this program, 47 parishes were closed, this reduced the number parishes from 151 to 104. Closed churches were then sold. In seven cases, the Congregation for the Clergy overturned the church closing while affirming the suppressions of the parishes in each case.

In April 2009, Cullen described the University of Notre Dame's decision to have President Barack Obama to deliver its commencement speech and receive an honorary degree as "disappointing" and "not in harmony" with the directive of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops against honoring pro-choice politicians.[5]

He retired as Bishop of Allentown later in 2009, and was succeeded by John Barres.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Thomas Jerome Welsh
Bishop of Allentown
1998—2009
Succeeded by
John Barres