Friday, August 7, 2009

Thomas Paine

Two hundred years ago, June 8, 1809 was the cornerstone laying for St. Patrick's (Old) Cathedral near Canal Street in what was then uptown New York City. ...

Jesuit Fr. Anthony Kohlmann presided at the cornerstone ceremony. ...

That same Fr. Kohlmann, in company with Fr. Benedict Fenwick, S.J. had recently paid an unsuccessful visit to the dying Thomas Paine. A woman baptized by Fenwick had told Paine that only a Catholic priest could cure him. When the two priests arrived and started talking with Paine, they asked about his soul rather than his bodily pains. Paine, rationalist to the end, ordered them out of the room. According to the account of Fr. Fenwick, they were chased away by Paine and left, followed by blasphemies. Soon after that, Paine's life ended on the same day that St. Patrick's Old Cathedral was begun, June 8, 1809. --Peter Schineller, S.J.,, Thomas Paine and St. Patrick's Old Cathedral -- 200 years ago, In All Things, Posted at: 2009-06-08 16:31:58.0

The Gain from Thomas Paine, by David Nash, History Today, June 2009 (via Arts & Letters Daily)

No comments:

Post a Comment