Enlightenment-influenced English Catholic priests and laymen, members of the "Cisalpine" network, had a significant impact on Archbishop John Carroll (1735-1815), first bishop of Baltimore, and in turn the Church in the United States. Though Carroll had ambivalent relationships with the "Cisalpines" and links with that movement's conservative critics, particularly Charles and Robert Plowden, his close friends, the Cisalpine network supported many of the same reforms as Carroll, including religious liberty and liturgical reform, and they were irenic towards Protestants. However, Carroll consistently sought to stay on the sidelines of the "Cisalpine stirs," the controversies pitting the progressive Cisalpines against the conservative party led by the vicars apostolic (bishops consecrated for the "English mission"). Carroll's intense interest and occasional participation in these controversies illuminate important elements of this thought, as do the reasons why he became increasingly critical of the Cisalpines.


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