Bishop Edward Cullen Papers
Scope and Contents
This collection contains the papers of Bishop Edward Cullen when he was a Msgr. in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia while he was head of Catholic Social Services. This includes minute books, correspondence, and publications. The bulk of the collection is from 1981-1986 but has material dating to the late 1960s as well. Series I subseries I contains material relating to the City of Philadelphia’s Philadelphia Special Investigation Commission. This part of the collection deals with the commission’s investigation into the city’s decision to drop a bomb on the house occupied by MOVE. This includes minute books and witness interviews as well as transcripts from the public hearings. There are also reports and memos dealing with different aspects of the investigation, including the final published findings of the commission. There are also folders with copies of court cases between the Fraternal Order of Police and the city and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania against Ramona Africa. BIshop Edward Cullen Papers MC 103 - Page 5 - Series I subseries II deals with the planning of the 1983 Holy Year of Redemption. This part of the collection contains minutes and correspondence from the organizing committee as well as publications made for the Holy Year. There is also a number of folders dealing with the 1975 Holy Year, which was likely used as reference for the planning of the 1983 one. Series I subseries III contains material relating to the Council of Priests. The bulk of the material deals with Cullen’s time on the council from 1981-1983 but also contains information on the council going back to 1967. There is also a national diocesan survey on the salary of pastors. Series II subseries I is similar to series I subseries II in that it deals with the planning of the 1983 Holy Year of Redemption. This subseries contains committee meetings, correspondence, and event information. Series II subseries II is similar to series I subseries III in that it contains material relating to the Council of Priests. This subseries has bills from the council as well as canon law and information of parish renewal.
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1982 - 1987
- Creation: 1965 - 1987
Biographical / Historical
Bishop Edward Cullen was Bishop of Allentown from 1998 through 2009 and prior to that he was an Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia. Bishop Cullen during the early 1980s was a monsignor who served as the head of Catholic Social Services in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. During that time he served on a number of committees. The main committee on which Cullen served was the Philadelphia Special Investigation Commission, which was formed in 1985 to investigation into the city’s decision to drop a bomb on the house occupied by MOVE. MOVE was a back to nature group that over time and an earlier shot-out with police in 1978 changed into what the commission deemed a terrorist cult. The siege of 6221 Osage Ave in Cobbs Creek ended after the Police Department dropped a bomb on the house to destroy a fortified bunker which MOVE had built on the roof. The resulting fire killed 11 people, including 5 children and estrous 61 homes, leaving over 250 neighbors homeless. The commission found that the city had acted failed to act responsibility throughout the conflict with MOVE and offered a number of recommendations for the future. Cullen also served on the 1983 Holy Year of Redemption Committee which was called by Pope John Paul II to commemorate the 1950th anniversary of the crucifixion of Jesus. The committee planed events for the Holy Year in Philadelphia. The third group that Cullen served on was the Council of Priests, which is an assembly of priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which meet to give advice and assist the Archbishop in governing the archdiocese.
5.8 Linear Feet (; 15 boxes)
Language of Materials
This collection contains the papers of Bishop Edward Cullen when he was a Msgr. in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia while he was head of Catholic Social Services. The bulk of the material deals with his time on the City of Philadelphia’s MOVE Commission as well as his work on the 1983 Holy Year of Redemption and the Council of Priest.
- Language of description
- Script of description