Ua Dubthaig, Cadla (Catholicus) (d. 1201), archbishop of Tuam, belonged to an ecclesiastical line that gained promotion in Connacht, in the context of the church reform, under the Ua Conchobair kings. Ironically given that they were activists in the reform movement, several clerics of the line were apparently married men and some – including Cadla himself – were nepotists. His predecessors in the episcopate, whose cure included most of the territory constituted at the synod of Kells (1152) as the archdiocese of Tuam, included his great-grandfather, Domnall Ua Dubthaig (d. 1137), whose see was at Aill Finn (Elphin, Co. Roscommon) and who was also comarba of St Ciarán (qv), and his grandfather, Muiredach (d. 1150), senior bishop of Connacht. His great-grandfather, Domnall, had presided over the enshrinement at Cúnga Feichín (Cong, Co. Mayo), a neighbouring see later absorbed into the archdiocese of Tuam, of a relic of Christ's cross within a cruciform reliquary known as the ‘Cross of Cong’. Other kinsmen to hold senior ecclesiastical office included Flannacán (d. 1168), bishop of Síl Muiredaig, and Muirgius (d. 1174), abbot of Boyle; Nicol (probably of the Ua Dubthaig line) and Gilbertus Ua Dubthaig of Cong are commemorated on grave-slabs at Tuam. At a date before 1167 Cadla was elected to the archiepiscopal see in succession to Áed Ua hOissín, who died in 1161.
Cadla's commitment to reform is demonstrated by his participation in several synods convened to address abuses within the church. In 1167 he attended the synod of Athboy, at which the leading secular power was Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair (qv), overking of Connacht and claimant to the high-kingship of Ireland. Five years later, as related by Gerald of Wales (qv), he was party to the synod of Cashel, held under the patronage of the English king, Henry II (qv), which formulated a code of religious and moral conduct for the faithful (Expugnatio, i, §35). On that occasion, along with the papal legate, Gilla Críst Ua Conairche (qv), and the archbishop of Dublin, Lorcán Ua Tuathail (qv), he took an oath of fealty to King Henry II. In 1179 he was one of the leading prelates at the synod of Clonfert, commissioned by Pope Alexander III and convened by Archbishop Lorcán, then legate, to legislate against lay control of church properties and of ecclesiastical affairs. That same year he travelled to Rome to attend the third Lateran council.
Meanwhile, like many other prelates of his time, Cadla had assumed an ambassadorial role on behalf of his political patron, Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair. In 1175 he was involved in the negotiations that led to the treaty of Windsor, apparently playing a more prominent part than Archbishop Lorcán. Presumably he also played a key role in managing the affairs of Ua Conchobair after the latter renounced his kingship in 1183. The influence of Cadla may perhaps be detected in the fact that the former king withdrew to Cong; it was from here that he launched attempts to regain sovereignty in 1185, and again in 1191, before finally retiring to spend his last years with the community of Cong.
Cadla, styled ardescub Connacht (archbishop of Connacht; Ann. Inisf.), died at Cong in 1201. Despite the support he had ostensibly shown for church reform throughout his career, he seemingly determined that his family should continue to enjoy its position in the ecclesiastical sphere. Before his death he (uncanonically) consecrated his nepos – which could mean nephew or grandson – as his successor. This blatant act of nepotism subsequently incurred the disapproval of the papal legate, Cardinal John of Salerno, who communicated this and other abuses to Pope Innocent III. The pope in his reply of 20 February 1203, condemned these ‘enormities’, and authorised the legate to convene the suffragan bishops, who, on his advice, elected the Augustinian prior of Saul, Felix Ua Ruanada (qv), as archbishop.