David Rothe

(c. 1573—1650) Roman Catholic bishop of Ossory

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(1573–1650), Counter-Reformation bishop and apologist. Scion of a Kilkenny merchant family, he was prefect of the Irish College at Douai and secretary to Peter Lombard at Rome, before being sent home to Ossory in 1609, as vicargeneral and, from 1620, as bishop. In brilliant polemics Rothe upheld the loyalty of Irish Catholics to King James during Chichester's deputyship, while detailing instances of persecution and martyrdom (Analecta sacra, 1616–19), and defended Ireland's ecclesiastical heritage against Scottish usurpation (Hibernia resurgens, 1621). As Lombard's deputy, Rothe held synods in 1614, 1618, and 1624, emphasizing pastoral care, confraternities, and the creation of a mass-going public and an educated clergy subject to regular visitation. If his 1635 report is credible, he achieved success in his own diocese, despite hostility from the civil authorities and nagging disagreements with the friars. Rothe crowned his achievements by reoccupying St Canice's cathedral in Kilkenny for Rome in 1642, only to live to see Cromwell's troops take the city and desecrate the cathedral.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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