America’s (Reluctant) First Cardinal
Context: Throughout his remarkable career, John McCloskey – born in Brooklyn to Irish-immigrant parents – always expressed caution bordering on unwillingness to take each of the steps that eventually led Pope Pius IX to elevate him to the cardinalate in 1875. In this excerpt, McCloskey demonstrates that reticence leading up to his selection as New York’s second archbishop.
Archbishop John Hughes died on January 3, 1864. As the archbishop of New Orleans, Jean-Marie Odin, wrote a few months later: “No sooner had God called to his eternal reward the good and greatly lamented Dr. Hughes, than all eyes were turned towards