John Carroll (bishop)
|Archbishop of Baltimore|
|See||Archdiocese of Baltimore|
|In office||November 6, 1789 – December 3, 1815|
|Successor||Leonard Neale †|
|Ordination||February 14, 1761|
|Consecration||August 15, 1790|
|Born||January 8, 1735
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
|Died||December 3, 1815
John Carroll, (January 8, 1735 – December 3, 1815) was a prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the first bishop and Archbishop in the United States. He served as the ordinary of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland.
Carroll is also known as the founder of Georgetown University, (the oldest Roman Catholic university in the United States), and of St. John the Evangelist Parish of Rock Creek, (now Forest Glen), the first secular (diocesan) parish in the country. This means its clergy did not come from monastic orders.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Jesuit
- 3 Superior of the Missions
- 4 Bishop
- 5 Death
- 6 Early support for a vernacular liturgy
- 7 Attitudes toward slavery
- 8 Legacy
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Sources
- 12 External links
- 13 Episcopal succession
Early life and education
John Carroll was born to Daniel Carroll I, a native of Ireland, and Eleanor (Darnall) Carroll, of English Catholic descent, at the large plantation which Eleanor Darnall had inherited from her family. He spent his early years at the family home, sited on thousands of acres near Upper Marlboro, the county seat of Prince George's County in Maryland. (Several remnant surrounding acres are now associated with the house museum known as "Darnall's Chance", listed on the National Register of Historic Places and part of the system of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for northern suburban Washington, D.C.).
Older Carroll relatives were instrumental in the development of the colonial Province of Maryland and the establishment of Baltimore (1729), soon to be the third-largest city in America, and developed as a port on the Chesapeake Bay. His older brother Daniel Carroll II, (1730-1796), became one of only five men to sign both the "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union" (1778) and the Constitution of the United States (1787). His cousin, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, (1737-1832), was also an important member of the Revolutionary Patriot cause, and was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence (1776). He lived long enough to participate in the industrial revolution, with the ceremonies of the 1828 setting of the "first stone" for the beginning of the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
John Carroll was educated at the College of St. Omer in French Flanders (northern France, bordering southern edge of modern Belgium). (This was established for the education of English Catholics after they suffered discrimination following the Protestant Reformation instituted by King Henry VIII in England. During the upheavals following the French Revolution, (1789-1793), the College migrated to Bruges, and then Liège. It returned to England and was located at Stonyhurst in 1794, where it remains today.) Also attending St. Omer with him was his cousin Charles Carroll of Carrollton, (1737-1832), who was to become the only Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the first United States Senator (1789) from Maryland.
Carroll joined the Society of Jesus (the "Jesuits") as a postulant at the age of 18 in 1753. In 1755, he began his studies of philosophy and theology at Liège. After fourteen years, he was ordained to the diaconate and later the priesthood in 1769. Carroll remained in Europe until he was almost 40, teaching at St-Omer and Liège. He also served as chaplain to a British aristocrat traveling on the continent. When Pope Pius VI suppressed the Society of Jesus in 1773 in Europe, Carroll made arrangements to return to Maryland. The brief suppression of the "Jesuits" was a painful experience for Carroll who suspected the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith of being responsible for this ill-informed decision. As a result of laws discriminating against Catholics, there was then no public Catholic Church in Maryland. Carroll worked as a missionary in Maryland and Virginia.
Carroll founded St. John the Evangelist Parish at Forest Glen (Silver Spring) in 1774. In 1776, the Continental Congress asked Father Carroll, along with his cousin, delegate Charles Carroll of Carrollton, (1737-1832), fellow Marylander Samuel Chase, (1741-1811), and Benjamin Franklin, (1705/06-1790), to travel north to Quebec in the St. Lawrence River valley to try to persuade the French Canadians to join the Revolution with the lower "Thirteen Colonies." (The French Canadians had been forced to cede control of their territory in 1763 to the occupying British Army, which won the Seven Years' War (known as the French and Indian Wars in North America). The group was unsuccessful, but Carroll became known to other early founders of the United States Republic. (The British government enabled French Canadians to keep their language, their religion, and much of their law.)
Carroll was excommunicated by Jean-Olivier Briand, the local Quebec bishop, for his political activities. Snubbed by the local clergy on the orders of the Bishop of Quebec, Carroll took an early opportunity to accompany the ailing Franklin back to the colonial capital at Philadelphia.
The Jesuit fathers, led by Carroll and five other priests, began a series of meetings at White Marsh (in eastern Baltimore County) beginning on June 27, 1783. Through these General Chapters, they gradually organized the Roman Catholic Church in the United States on what is now the site of Sacred Heart Church in Bowie, Maryland, (Prince George's County).
Superior of the Missions
The Roman Catholic clergy at the time of the new Republic were keenly aware that anti-British sentiment made their canonical allegiance to Bishop Richard Challoner, the vicar-apostolic of the London district, somewhat suspect. As a result, they explored various options. When Bishop Challoner died in 1781, his successor, James Talbot, refused to exercise jurisdiction in the new nation. But the American clergy, then numbering some two dozen, did not feel the time was right to have a bishop appointed in the new nation.
The papal nuncio to France conferred with the American ambassador in Paris, Benjamin Franklin, as to how the issue might be resolved in a way that would be acceptable to the United States. Franklin responded by saying that the official separation of Church and State in the United States did not permit the government to have any official opinion on who should govern American Catholics. He suggested privately that perhaps a French bishop might be given oversight of the small but growing Roman Catholic community in the U.S.
The nuncio took into account remarks by Franklin of the high esteem he and others had for John Carroll. Carroll was appointed and confirmed by Pope Pius VI, June 9, 1784, as provisional "Superior of the Missions in the thirteen United States of North America", with faculties to celebrate the sacrament of confirmation. The Vatican made this decision in part because it wanted to please Benjamin Franklin, who had warmly recommended Carroll for the position.
Financial reform and lay involvement
Because the U.S. government and state governments did not regulate churches, as was done in nations with established churches, the former British colonists and immigrants who made up the Roman Catholic Church in the new land had varying ideas as to how to structure their local parish communities in this new era. Some set up churches run entirely by laity without Carroll's permission, and in other cases clergy exercised excessive control. Carroll sought to navigate a new way of organizing the Church in a new country, taking into account both the need for lay involvement and a reasonable degree of hierarchical control. In 1791, the formal message of congratulations from American Catholics to President George Washington on his election was co-signed by Carroll and lay Catholics.
In his role as the representative of Roman Catholics in the United States, Carroll often wrote articles for publications defending the Catholic tradition against persons who promoted anti-Catholicism in the United States. He fought notions of state establishment of Protestantism as the official religion, but he always treated non-Catholics with respect. He insisted that Catholics and Protestants should work together to build up the new nation. An early advocate of Christian Unity, Carroll suggested that the chief obstacles to unity among Christians in the United States were the lack of clarity on the boundaries of Papal Primacy and the use of Latin in the liturgy.
The American clergy, originally reluctant to request the formation of a diocese due to fears of public misunderstanding and the possibility of a foreign bishop being imposed upon them, eventually recognized the need for a Roman Catholic bishop. The election of Samuel Seabury (1729–1796) in 1783 as the first Anglican bishop in the United States had shown that Americans had accepted the appointment of a Protestant bishop. The American clergy had received the assurances of the Continental Congress that it would not object to election of a bishop whose allegiance was to Rome.
Carroll, as Prefect Apostolic in February 1785, urged Cardinal Antonelli to create a method of appointing church authorities that would not make it appear as if they were receiving their appointment from a foreign power. A report of the status of Catholics in Maryland was appended to his letter, where he stated that despite there being only nineteen priests in Maryland, some of the more prominent families were still Catholic in faith. He did say that they may have been prone to dancing and novel-reading. The pope was so pleased with Father Carroll's report that he granted his request "that the priests in Maryland be allowed to suggest two or three names from which the Pope would choose their bishop".
The priests of Maryland petitioned Rome for a bishop for the United States. Cardinal Antonelli replied, allowing the priests to select the city for a cathedral and, for this case only, to name the candidate for presentation to the pope. Carroll was selected Bishop of Baltimore by the clergy of the US in April 1789 by a vote of 24 out of 26. On November 6, 1789 Pope Pius VI in Rome approved the election, naming Carroll the first Roman Catholic bishop in the newly independent United States. He was ordained and consecrated a bishop by Bishop Charles Walmesley on August 15, 1790, (the Feast of the Assumption) in the chapel of Lulworth Castle in Dorset, England, without an oath to the English church. Anglican bishop Seabury had to make an oath to the English Archbishop. Soon after this, the Episcopal Church of the United States was organized, separating more thoroughly from the Anglican church of England. Carroll was invested in his office in Maryland upon his return from another trans-Atlantic sail voyage. This took place at the parish of St. Thomas Manor in Charles County, Maryland. When he returned to Baltimore, he took his chair in the Church of St. Peter, which would serve as his pro-cathedral. St. Peter's was the first Catholic parish in Baltimore Town in 1770 and was located at the northwestern corner of North Charles and West Saratoga strees. It had an attached rectory and school, and was surrounded by a cemetery.
Old St. Peter's was built across the street and opposite from the "Mother Church of the Anglican Church in Baltimore", Old St. Paul's Church (Anglican/Episcopal) at the southeast corner of Charles and Saratoga, surrounded by its cemetery overlooking the cliffs of the Jones Falls stream to the east. St. Paul's has had four successive structures at the same site. It moved to Baltimore Town in 1730, the year after it was laid out, from Patapsco Neck in southeastern Baltimore County, where it was organized in 1692 as one of the "Original Thirty" Anglican Church parishes designated in the colonial Province of Maryland. these churches were Catholic-Anglican neighbors for over seventy years in downtown Baltimore (1770-1841).
Founding of Georgetown University
Among the major educational concerns of Carroll were the education of the faithful, providing proper training for priests, and the inclusion of women in higher education (something to which he had encountered resistance ). As a result, Carroll orchestrated the founding and early development of Georgetown University. Administration of the school was entrusted to the Jesuits. Instruction at the school began on November 22, 1791 under the direction of its first President, Robert Plunkett, with future Congressman William Gaston as its first student.
First diocesan synod in the United States
In 1791 Carroll convened the first diocesan synod in the United States. The twenty-two priests (of five nationalities) at the First Synod of Baltimore discussed baptism, confirmation, penance, the celebration of the liturgy, anointing of the sick, mixed marriages and supplemental legislation concerning things such as the rules of fasting and abstinence. The decrees of this synod represent the first local canonical legislation in the new nation. Among the regulations were that parish income should be divided in thirds: one third for the support of the clergy, one third for the maintenance of church facilities, and one third for the support of the poor.
To train priests for his diocese of three million square miles, Bishop Carroll had asked the Fathers of the Company of Saint Sulpice to come to Baltimore. They arrived in 1791 and started the nucleus of St. Mary's College and Seminary, Baltimore. Carroll gave his approval to the founding of Visitation nuns. In 1799, under the direction of Carroll's successor Leonard Neale, the nuns founded Visitation Academy in Georgetown. He was not successful, however, in inducing the Carmelites, who had come to Maryland in 1790, to take up the work of education.
Carroll took the lead in effecting a restoration of the Society of Jesus in Maryland in 1805, without informing Rome, by an affiliation with the Russian Jesuits. They had been protected from suppression by Catherine the Great. That same year Carroll urged English Dominicans to begin a priory and college in Kentucky to serve the numerous Maryland Catholics migrating there. In 1809 the Sulpicians invited Elizabeth Ann Seton to come to Emmitsburg, Maryland to found a school. Carroll had to contend with a "medley of clerical characters". One of the most notorious was Simon Felix Gallagher of Charleston, an eloquent alcoholic with a large following.
Construction of the first cathedral in the United States
In 1806, Carroll oversaw the construction of the first cathedral in the 13 United States, the Cathedral of the Assumption (today called the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) in Baltimore. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, architect of the United States Capitol. The cornerstone of the cathedral was laid on July 7, 1806, by Carroll, but he did not live to see its completion.
Elevation to archbishop
In 1804 Carroll was given administration of the Danish West Indies and other nearby islands that were under no ecclesiastical jurisdiction and in 1805 the vast Louisiana Territory, acquired by the United States from France in 1803. In April 1808, Pope Pius VII made Baltimore the first archdiocese in the United States, with suffragan bishops in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Bardstown, Kentucky. Three of the four new bishops were ordained by Archbishop Carroll in the fall of 1810, after which followed two weeks of meetings in what was an unofficial provincial council.
Carroll died in Baltimore on December 3, 1815. His remains are interred in the crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which can be visited by the public.
Early support for a vernacular liturgy
Carroll was dedicated to the wider readership of Scripture among the Catholics of the United States. He insisted that the readings of the liturgy be read in the vernacular. He was a tireless promoter of "The Carey Bible," an edition of the English-language Douay-Rheims translation that was published in sections. He encouraged clergy and laity to purchase subscriptions so that they could read the Scriptures.
As both superior of the missions and bishop, Carroll instituted a series of broad reforms in the Church, especially regarding the conduct of the clergy. He promoted the use of vernacular languages in the liturgy, but was unable to gain the support for such reform by the church hierarchy. In 1787 he wrote,
"Can there be anything more preposterous than an unknown tongue; and in this country either for want of books or inability to read, the great part of our congregations must be utterly ignorant of the meaning and sense of the public office of the Church. It may have been prudent, for aught I know, to impose a compliance in this matter with the insulting and reproachful demands of the first reformers; but to continue the practice of the Latin liturgy in the present state of things must be owing either to chimerical fears of innovation or to indolence and inattention in the first pastors of the national Churches in not joining to solicit or indeed ordain this necessary alteration."
It would be nearly 200 years until Carroll's wish for vernacular language-liturgy was realized in the United States as a result of the Second Vatican Council.
Attitudes toward slavery
Carroll tolerated slavery. He had two black servants—one free and one a slave (the latter was freed from slavery in Carroll's will and bequeathed a generous inheritance). While calling for the humane treatment and religious education of slaves, he never agitated for the abolition of slavery.
Over the course of his life, Carroll's attitude toward slavery evolved from a paternalistic advocating for humane treatment and religious instruction of slaves to a policy of gradual emancipation (albeit through manumission by masters rather than law). His view was that gradual emancipation of a plantation's slaves allowed for families to be kept together and for elderly slaves to be provided for. He addressed critics of his approach as follows:
"Since the great stir raised in England about Slavery, my Brethren being anxious to suppress censure, which some are always glad to affix to the priesthood, have begun some years ago, and are gradually proceeding to emancipate the old population on their estates. To proceed at once to make it a general measure, would not be either humanity toward the Individuals, nor doing justice to the trust, under which the estates have been transmitted and received."
|Reference style||The Most Reverend|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
- John Carroll University, a Jesuit University in University Heights, Ohio
- Archbishop Carroll High School (Radnor, Pennsylvania)
- Archbishop Carroll High School (Washington, DC)
- Carroll High School (Dayton, Ohio)
- John Carroll Catholic High School (Fort Pierce, Florida)
- John Carroll Catholic High School (Birmingham, AL)
- The John Carroll School, in Bel Air, Maryland.
- John Carroll Society, an organization for Catholic professional laypersons in the service of the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington
- Carroll Square, an trophy class office building located at 975 F Street NW in Washington DC. The building is situated on land owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and is next door to the historic St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
- Bishop John Carroll School, an elementary school in Oklahoma City
- Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg, PA http://www.bishopcarroll.com/
- Father Lemke founded the Pennsylvania borough of Carrolltown, named it after Archbishop Carroll. (The town was named after Bishop John Carroll, the first
Catholic Bishop in the United States). http://www.saintbenedictschurch.com/history.html
- Apostolic succession
- Carroll family
- Catholic Church hierarchy
- Catholic Church in the United States
- Historical list of the Catholic bishops of the United States
- List of the Catholic bishops of the United States
- Lists of patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops
- Roman Catholicism in the United States
- O'Donovan, Louis. "John Carroll." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 7 Jul. 2013
- Hagerty, James. "Charles Carroll of Carrollton." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 7 Jul. 2013
- Pilch, John J., "American Catholicism's Bicentennial", The Catholic Review, Archdiocese of Baltimore
- "Cardinal Foley entertains Knight’s dinner, asks for lifting of excommunication," Catholic News Agency, August 5, 2008
- "Archbishop John Carroll", The Baltimore Basilica
- "Sacred Heart Church: The Parish with Colonial Roots since 1728". Sacred Heart Church. Retrieved June 14, 2007.
- James J. Henesey, S.J.,American Catholics: A History of the Roman Catholic Community in the United States
- The American Catholic quarterly review, Volume 14 Lulworth Chapel, Bishop Carroll and Bishop Walmesley
- "Maryland Historical Trust". St. Thomas Manor, Charles County. Maryland Historical Trust. June 8, 2008.
- "Historical Sketch of Georgetown University". Georgetown University. January 8, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- "William Gaston and Georgetown". Bicentennial Exhibit. Georgetown University. November 11, 2000. Retrieved July 3, 2007.
- Pastoral Letter of 1792
- "Most Rev. John Carroll", Archdiocese of Baltimore
- Peter Guilday, The Life and Times of John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, 1735-1815
- Richard Shaw, John Dubois founding father: The life and times of the founder of Mount St James, 1983
- Marvin L. Krier Mich, Catholic Social Teaching and Movements, 1986
- About JCU - John Carroll University
- Archbishop Carroll High School, Radnor, Pennsylvania
- Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C.
- The John Carroll School
- Breidenbach, Michael D. (2013), 'Conciliarism and American Religious Liberty, 1632-1835' (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Cambridge)
- O'Donovan, Louis (1908), "John Carroll", Catholic Encyclopedia, retrieved March 29, 2007
- Archbishop John Carroll (1790-1815), Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, archived from the original on February 2, 2007, retrieved March 29, 2007
- Spalding, Thomas W., CFX (1997), Most Rev. John Carroll, Archdiocese of Baltimore, retrieved March 29, 2007[dead link]
- Hennesey, James, S.J. (1981), American Catholics: A History of the Roman Catholic Community in the United States, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-502946-1
- Eberhardt, Newman C., C.M. (1964), A Survey of American Church History, St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Carroll (bishop).|
- Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Archdiocese of Baltimore
- Pastoral letter of 1792
- John Carroll University
|Consecrated by:||Charles Walmesley, O.S.B.|
|Bishop||Date of consecration|
|Leonard Neale, S.J.||December 7, 1800|
|Michael F. Egan, O.F.M.||October 28, 1810|
|Jean-Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus||November 1, 1810|
|Benedict J. Flaget, P.S.S.||November 4, 1810|
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop and Archbishop of Baltimore
June 9, 1784 – December 3, 1815