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Title: Dr William Clifford, third bishop of Clifton (1857-1892) : his influence at the first Vatican Council and on the English Catholic church.
Author: Harding, John Anthony.
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1991
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William Clifford (Bishop of Clifton 1857 - 1893) was one of the most influential prelates in the 19th century English Catholic Church. Consecrated at the age of 33, he was the youngest English bishop since the Reformation. In 1865 he was the preferred candidate of Acton and other Catholic liberals for the See of Westminster. His adroit defence of Pio Nonds Syllabus of Errors won him many admirers. At the First vatican Council he spoke to great effect, particularly on the issue of Papal Infallibility. This he saw as distorting the proper balance between the Pope and the college of bishops, and as antagonising unnecessarily those Protestants who were well disposed to the Church. He nevertheless remained loyal and this gave him an added influence in the post conciliar Church. Gladstone's strictures against the Vatican Decrees were brilliantly answered by Clifford who demonstrated that for a catholic there was no conflict of loyal ties as between Pope and Queen. Other issues of the day also claimed his attention. Early attempts at Reunion, the admission of catholic students to the universities, and the long-standing dispute between the bishops and the religious orders were among them. His much acclaimed articles in The Dublin Review were a pioneering attempt to find an orthodox interpretation of the account of Creation in Genesis. Clifford was fluent in Latin, Italian and French. He possessed a fine theological and legal mind, was moderate in his opinions and of an attractive personality. Almost a century after his death this is the first full-length study to have appeared. Family and diocesan archives in England have been consulted, as well as archives in Rome, the Vatican, and Spain. As a result it is hoped that this thesis will prove to be a substantial contribution to our knowledge of the ecclesiastical history of the 19th century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ecclesiastical history