Trinity College Dublin Chapel Choir appoints music posts for new academic year
Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Chapel Choir recently announced details of two appointments for the 2012/13 academic year.
Margaret Bridge has been reappointed for another year as the Choir’s conductor and Joseph Bradley has been appointed organ scholar to the College.
FIGUR ES IN CHUR CH HISTOR Y
26 – RI CHARD OF DUNDAL K (c.1295-1360)
Richard FitzRalph, popularly known as St Richard of Dundalk – where he was born – was one of the most learned men ever to become Archbishop of Armagh. He is included in the list of Commemorations in the 2004 Book of Common Prayer (page 22) and is also remembered in a popular couplet: ‘Many a mile have I gone, and many did I walk/But never saw a holier man than Richard of Dundalk’.
He had a brilliant career at Oxford, where he was a Doctor of Theology and Fellow of Balliol College and, later, Chancellor of the University. He held a variety of ecclesiastical appointments, as well as canonries in several cathedrals, including Lincoln, Lichfield, Armagh and Exeter. He spent some time in Avignon, where the papacy was situated in what has been called its ‘Babylonian captivity’ and visited it twice more later in his career. In 1346, he became Archbishop of Armagh.
As a speculative philosopher, he was worldclass, being described as one of the great Scholastic luminaries of his day. He fostered learning among his priests by sending many of them to take higher studies in Oxford. He is also said to have been zealous in visiting the various Church provinces and in bettering financial as well as spiritual conditions in his own see.
As Archbishop of Armagh, Richard was concerned to defend his primatial authority against the exemption claimed by the See of Dublin. He also acted on occasion as a peacemaker between the Irish and the Anglo-Irish. He was noted for his knowledge of the Bible and his preaching skills, many of his sermons being still extant. Some of these were theological in character and others were of a more popular nature, dealing with ecclesiastical, social and moral issues.
A major preoccupation of his time was the spread of the orders of friars which – in spite of their popularity – he felt detracted from the parochial ministry and lacked discipline, not being fully subject to lawful ecclesiastical authority, especially that of bishops. He even had the temerity, unusual at the time, to question the whole concept of voluntary mendicancy (support of ministry by begging) and set forth his position in his De Pauperie Salvatoris and his Defensorium Curatorum.
In an early form of proto-ecumenism, he was made a member of a commission to discuss relations between Rome and Christians from Armenia, in which he vigorously defended Western Catholic beliefs and practices.
FitzRalph died in Avignon and his remains were transferred to his native Dundalk, where his tomb was visited and he was considered a saint.
This editorial is one in a series of occasional reflections on figures in Church history, following a chronological sequence as they appear.
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