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Hogan, William


Schismatic; b. Ireland, 1788; d. Nashua, N.H., Jan. 3, 1848. Little is known of his early years except that he was ordained in Ireland and functioned as a priest in the Diocese of Limerick. According to his cousin, Rev. George Hogan, William was suspended five years before he arrived in the U.S., and had declared his intention of becoming a Protestant clergyman. Hogan first settled in the New York Archdiocese, but in 1820, without the permission of Bp. John Connolly of New York, he moved to St. Mary's Cathedral, Philadelphia, Pa. There he ingratiated himself with the lay trustees, conducted himself in an unpriestly manner, and publicly attacked Bp. Henry conwell. Despite warnings, Hogan refused to reform and was suspended by Conwell. There followed a series of recriminations aired in the public press and the state courts. In the course of the dispute, Hogan proposed the founding of an American Catholic Church in which the congregation would choose its own pastor. This doctrine, known as "Hoganism," was struck down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1822, but the rebellious trustees, persisting in their claim to control Church property, closed the cathedral. Hogan himself was obliged to resign because of publicity concerning his moral life. As a former priest, he was twice "married" and worked as a lecturer and author of such anti-Catholic pamphlets as Popery as It Was and Is and Nunneries and Auricular Confession. In 1843 he was appointed U.S. consul at Nuevitas, Cuba. There is no record of his having been reconciled to the Church before he died.

Bibliography: m. i. j. griffin, "The Life of Bishop Conwell of Philadelphia," rev. and ed. l. b. norton, Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia 2429 (191318), see indexes. f. e. tourscher, The Hogan Schism (Philadelphia 1930).

[h. j. nolan]

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