Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Edward McCabe

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Cardinal, born in Dublin, 1816; died at Kingstown, 11 February, 1885; he was the son of poor parents, educated at Father Doyle's school on the Quays and at Maynooth College, and was ordained priest in 1839. After his ordination he served successively as curate in Clontarf and at the pro-cathedral, Marlborough St. in Dublin; and such was the zeal and energy he displayed, joined to intellectual capabilities far beyond the ordinary, that he was selected, in 1854, for the See of Grahamstown in South Africa. He was reluctant, however, to take upon himself the burden of the episcopate in an unknown land, and in 1856 became parish priest of St. Nicholas Without, in Dublin. In 1865 he was transferred to the more important parish of Kingstown, and became a member of the chapter and vicar-general. For the twelve following years his was the ordinary life of a zealous, hard-working pastor, ambitious of nothing but to serve the spiritual and temporal needs of his people. Cardinal Cullen had always held him in the highest esteem, and when, in 1877, the burden of years compelled him to seek assistance he selected Dr. McCabe, who was in due course consecrated titular Bishop of Gadara. The following year Cardinal Cullen died, and in 1879 Dr. McCabe became Archbishop of Dublin. Three years later he received the cardinal's hat. These were troubled times in Ireland, the years of the Land League and of the National League, of violent agitation and savage coercion, when secret societies were strong in Dublin, and the Phoenix Park murders and many others of less note were committed. Like his predecessor, Cardinal McCabe had a distrust of popular movements. Brought up in the city, he was unacquainted with agrarian conditions and unable to appreciate the wrings which the Irish tenants suffered, and he too readily identified with the political movement under Parnell and Davitt the many outrages committed by the people. In pastorals and public speeches he ranged himself against agitation and on the side of government and law, with the result that Nationalist newspapers and publicmen attacked him as a "Castle" bishop, who favoured coercion and was an enemy of the people. His life was threatened and for a time he was under the protection of the police.

E. A. D'Alton.