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Porter, Francis, controversialist and historian, b. at Kingston, near Navan, Ireland, 1622; d. at Rome, April 7, 1702. He was descended from the Norman family of be Porter, which had been settled in Ireland from the time of Henry II, and were great benefactors of the Franciscans. While still very young, Porter went to Rome, entered the Franciscan Order, took degrees in philosophy and theology, and for several years taught controversial theology, ecclesiastical history and dogmatic theology in St. Isidore's College. King James II appointed him his theologian and historiographer. In 1679 he published in Rome his "Securis evangelica ad haeresis radices posita", an able controversial work in which he confutes the fundamental principles of Protestantism and its several sects. In the same year he published at Rome his "Palinodia Religionis praetensae reformat", in which he proves with solid and convincing arguments that the .Catholic Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ. To it is prefixed a "Praefatio apologetica"—a noble appeal to the princes and state councillors of Protestant countries to abolish the infamous laws promulgated in their respective states against the Catholic Church. His compendium of the ecclesiastical annals of the Kingdom of Ireland was published in Rome in 1690, and dedicated to Pope Alexander VIII. After a brief outline of the civil history of Ireland, the author gives a summary account of the foundations of the several dioceses and religious houses pointing out the constancy of the Irish people in preserving the Faith, and the persecutions they suffered for their religion.
Besides the works mentioned above, he published "Systema decretorum dogmaticorum", Avignon, 1693; "Disquisitio theologica de praeservando foedere inito cum Principe Duriaco haeretico invasore regiae coronae ac dictionum Jacobi II, legitimi et Catholici principis. Praemittitur facti historia", Rome, 1683; De abolitione consuetudinis praestandi juramentum reis", Rome, 1696; "Refutatio Prophetiarum falso attributarum S. Malachi", Rome, 1698.