Frederick Lucas

Life
1812-1855; b. England; ed. Quaker school; converted to Catholicism, 1839; fnd. The Tablet, 1840; brought his paper to Ireland, 1849; fnd. with Charles Gavan Duffy the Tenant League, 1850; friend of John Henry Newman, though his temper and politics alienated Archbishop Cullen; Meath MP, 1852, backed by Cullen; appealed in Rome against Cullen’s influence following loss of Louth election; interview with the Pope, 9 Jan. 1855; acrimonious exchange with Cullen in Rome, 24 Jan.; second interview with Pope abetted by Archbishop MacHale, 26 Feb.; died of heart attack in Rome.

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Criticism
Edward Lucas, The Life of Frederick Lucas, MP, 2 vols. (1887); also John J. Horgan, ‘Frederick Lucas’, in Great Catholic Laymen (CTS 1908).

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Quotations
‘In Ireland the priests have a peculiar function to perform ...Between them and the people religion is not a gulf of separation, but a bond of tenderest union. They belong to the same race as the people, a feel for all their sufferings, temporal as well as spiritual. At the same time, the sacerdotal character, the higher view of life, the greater experience of the world, the more cultivated intellect, raise them above the rank in which they were born; and as they form the only educated class which truly sympathises with the people, they necessarily form the only class to whom, in those temporal matters in which the poor Catholic farmers require an adviser better educated than himself, he can have recourse, and from whom he can receive guidance.’ (Cited in Malcolm Brown, Politics of Irish Literature, 1972, p.31.)

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