Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Moran, Patrick Francis

MORAN, PATRICK FRANCIS (1830–1911), cardinal archbishop of Sydney, born at Leighlinbridge, co. Carlow, Ireland, on 16 Sept. 1830, was the son of Patrick Moran by his wife Alicia, sister of Cardinal Chillen [q. v.], whom at the age of twelve he accompanied to Rome. There educated at the Irish College of St. Agatha, he gave early proof of capacity, was ordained priest by special dispensation as to age on 19 March 1853, and Wiis from 1856 to 1866 vice-principal under Monsignor Kirby of the College of St. Agatha, and professor of Hebrew at the College of Propaganda. Enjoying a right of access to the Vatican archives, he made a special study of Celtic ecclesiastical history, and published at Dublin 'An Historical Sketch of the Persecution suffered by the Catholics of Ireland under Cromwell and the Puritans' (1862; new edit. 1884), 'Essays on the Origin, Doctrines, and Discipline of the Early Irish Church' (1864), and other scholarly works.

Returning to Ireland in 1866, Moran became private secretary to his uncle. Cardinal Cullen. archbishop of Dublin. He held the post till 1872. He became coadjutor to the bishop of Ossory in 1872, and bishop of Ossory in 1873. In 1884 he succeeded Roger William Bede-Vaughan [q. v.] as archbishop of Sydney. Early in 1885 he was summoned by Leo XIII, a college comrade and lifelong friend, on a secret mission to Rome, 'The Times' announcing that he was to be made archbishop of Dublin, an office he was known to covet. The rival claims of Dr. Walsh, the popular favourite, would appear to have occasioned a papal dilemma, which was finally surmounted by making Walsh archbishop of Dublin and Moran a cardinal. He was consecrated at Rome in Aug. 1885, roturning to Sydney immediately afterwards. Subsequently, as primate of Australia, Moran presided at the plenary councils in 1885, 1895, and 1905. He visited Rome in 1888, 1893, 1898, 1902, and again in 1903 to attend the papal conclave which resulted in the election of Pope Pius X. He celebrated his silver jubilee as archbishop of Sydney in 1909. He died suddenly on 16 Aug. 1911 at Manby Palace, Sydney, and was buried in St. Mary's cathedral. Moran was most exact in the performance of his episcopal duties, a strict disciplinarian, and a most militant churchman, holding apathy to be the worst enemy to his faith. He appeared to love religious strife, and opposed with vigour the strong and aggressive Orange element in Eastern Australia. He advocated undenominational education by the state, protested unceasingly against any possible Roman catholic disabilities, and by brusque declarations in the press and on the platform provoked hostility and religious controversy. He was, however, a wise educational reformer, and on his arrival in Australia a severe critic of existing Roman catholic schools and seminaries. His zeal in building new churches, and hospitals was remarkable, at least 1,500,000l. being spent on these objects during his primacy. Among other buildings in New South Wales which owe their origin to him arc St. Ignatius' college, Riverview, St. Columba's Seminary, Springwood, St. Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, St. Joseph's College, Hunter's Hill, the Franciscan Friary, Waverley, Rose Bay Convent, St, Vincent's Girls' College, Waitura Foundling Hospital, and the Mater Misericordiæ Hospital in North Sydney. His ambition to complete St, Mary's Cathedral, which had been begun by Archbishop John Bede Folding [q. v.] and oontinued by Archbishop Vaughan, remained unfulfilled, though enough was done to render it a lasting memorial to Moran's activity.

In Australian politics Moran was a prominent and at times disturbing figure, who shared with ministers the attentions of parliamentary cartoonists. Although a strenuous advocate of home rule, he had as bishop of Ossory in 1880 spoken boldly in opposition to the Land League agitation. In Australia he received, and gave every assistance to, delegates from the Irish Nationalist party. Possessed of democratic sympathies, he was on friendly terms with the Australian labour leaders, and received during the maritime strike in 1890 deputations of workmen at St. Mary's presbytery. He enthusiastically supported Australian federation, took part, by invitation, in a preliminary discussion of the project at an informal assembly of Australian statesmen at Bathurst, and was an unsuccessful candidate, though by a small number of votes only, for the National convention elected in 1907 to draft the commonwealth constitution. He was in favour of sending an Austrahan contingent to take part in the Soudan campaign of 1898.

Moran was deeply read in history, particularly Irish ecclesiastical history, hagiology, and archaeology. His best-known works were his 'History of the Catholic Archbishops of Dublin' (Dublin, 1864) and 'Spicilegium Ossoriense' (3 series, Dublin, 1874-84), a collection of documents illustrating Irish church history from the Reformation till 1800. An article in 1880 in the 'Dublin Review' identifying Old Kilpatrick in Scotland as the 'Birthplace of St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland,' excited wide comment at the time. He also published, mostly at Dublin: 1. 'Memoirs of the Most Rev. Oliver Plunkett,' 1861. 2. 'Acta Sancti Brendani,' 1872. 3. 'Monasticon Hibernicum,' 1873. 4. 'The Bull of Adrian IV,' 1873. 5. 'Irish Saints in Great Britain,' 1879. 6. 'Occasional Papers,' 1890. 7. 'Letters on the Anglican Reformation,' 1890. 8. 'History of the Catholic Church in Australasia,' 1896; 2nd edit. 1897. 9. 'Reunion of Christendom and its Critics,' 1896. 10. 'The Mission Field of the Nineteenth Century,' 1896. 11. 'The Catholics of Ireland under the Penal Laws in the Eighteenth Century,' 1899. Moran also edited 'Pastoral Letters of Cardinal Cullen' (1882); 'The Catholic Prayer Book and Manual of Meditations' (16mo, 1883); David Roth's 'Analeota . . . de rebus Catholicorum in Hibernia (1616)' (1884).

[Who's Who, 1911; Catholic Who's Who, 1911; Tablet, 19 Aug. 1911; The Times, and Manchester Guardian 17 Aug. 1911; Sydney Daily Telegraph, 17 and 18 Aug. 1911; a History of Catholic Church in Australasia, 1896; Men and Women of the Time, 15th edit.; Johns's Notable Australians; O'Brien's Life of Parnell, i. 246; ii. 27.]

S. E. F.