Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 24, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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October 24, 1998

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f schools and St. Andrew school for tune, in light of the overwhelming In 1873 a new church was boys in Little Rock, and non-Catholic sentiment in areas dedicated in Camden, bringing Immaculate Conception for boys such as his own diocese, the total in the diocese to twentY. and St. Anne for girls in Fort After casting his dissenting With relatively few priests (ni e) Smith. vote, the bishop from Arkansas and 31 religious, the bishop c0 " walked before the assembly oftinued to administer the pioneer hcrl irl RoIn bishops, knelt at the pope's feet diocese. But the struggles toOK On Dec. 8, 1866, the First and humbly tendered his accep- their toll on his personal health, Vatican Council opened. At this tance of the promulgation: "Holy and perhaps occasioned a pr0" Council, the question of papal Father, now I believe" found spiritual crisis. infallibility was studied, voted Bishop Fitzgerald, in a personal "Not a single moment of upon, and became a formal decla- reflection on the First Vatican working life is free from fret g' ration of dogma for the faithful. Council, wrote of his historic vote: and I often feel my mind wiII give Bishop Fitzgerald would "It is one thing to hold a given doc- way ... I am overwhelmed become a noted part of these pro- trine as most plausible...; quite a dff- despondency and gloom," ceedings, not for his speaking out ferent thing to aid by my vote, to now 40-year-old bishop but for his conscientious voting impose a new obligation on to his friend, Archbishop job0 against the proposition, and upon Catholics, and as it appeared to me Purcell. the overwhelming approving vote then, to place a new obstacle in the Overriding circumstances in favor of the declaration, for his path of others seeking a union with the state contributed to the Pl humble acquiescence to the the Catholic Church. It was this vasive discouragement the bil i Spirit's will in the matter, latter consideration, chiefly, which op was experiencing. Post Ci! "The Little Rock deferring to put me, with a minority of theWar recovery was slow, econO I the Big Rock" is how histor- bishops in what was called theconditions bleak The bisla]l ians would summarize Bishop opposition:' worried for poor farmers, g Fitzgerald's actions at the council. In a similar ecumenical spirit, understood why some chtlf It should be noted that the Bishop Fitzgerald had opposed the communities were unable youngest bishop at the council did use of too many anathemas in remain operative. not oppose papal inf lllibility on council documents. Decrying those On a parallel track, I:aoe theological grounds. He simply felt who hold other than we do would Denis A. Quinn, a missiofi the timing of definition of infalli- "only drive away those whom the priest in Tennessee who venttlf bility as a dogma was not oppor- Church was trying to win to itse ' into Arkansas, commented 8 Arkansas Ca~