Transatlantic Anti-Catholicism: France and the United States in the Nineteenth Century

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Transatlantic anti-Catholicism : France and the United States in the nineteenth century

The church had a role in shaping the U. The activism of Msgr. According to Albert J. Menedez, research director of "Americans for Religious Liberty," many Americans continue to call themselves Catholic but "do not register at local parishes for a variety of reasons. The northeastern quadrant of the US i. The roughly 7. Between and , there were 11 million additional Catholics.

The growth in the Latino population accounted for 9 million of these. According to a more recent Pew Forum report which examined American religiosity in and compared it to , [50] there were Pew also found that the Catholic population is aging, forming a higher percentage of the elderly population than the young, and retention rates are also worse among the young.


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Overall, Catholicism has by far the worst net conversion balance of any major religious group, with a high conversion rate out of the faith and a low rate into it; by contrast, most other religions have in- and out-conversion rates that roughly balance, whether high or low. This is credited to the more liberal stance of the Church since Vatican II , where conversion to Catholicism is no longer encouraged, and the de-emphasizing of basic Catholic religious beliefs in Catholic education.

Within the United States, it "represents perhaps the most multi-ethnic organization of any kind, and so is a major laboratory for cross-cultural cooperation and cross-cultural communication completely within the nation's borders. There has never been a Catholic religious party in the United States, either local, state or national, similar to Christian Democratic parties in Europe.

Historically, a majority of the Catholics in the United States supported the Democratic Party before Since the election of the Catholic John F. Kennedy as President in , Catholics have split about between the two major parties, but the Democrats have a slight lead due to the growing population of Hispanic Americans. On social issues the Catholic Church takes strong positions against abortion , which was partly legalized in by the Supreme Court , and same-sex marriage , which was fully legalized in June The Church also condemns embryo-destroying research and in vitro fertilization as immoral.


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The Church is allied with conservative evangelicals and other Protestants on these issues. However, the Catholic Church throughout its history has taken special concern for all vulnerable groups. This has led to progressive alliances, as well, with the church championing causes such as a strong welfare state, unionization, [61] immigration for those fleeing economic or political hardship, [62] opposition to capital punishment, [63] environmental stewardship, [64] gun control, [65] opposition and critical evaluation of modern warfare.

The Catholic Church's involvement in social or political movements was not very prominent until bishops in the United States addressed problems on racism in the in a written piece called Discrimination and the Christian Conscious.

10.11 Summary

In the s , the Catholic Church showed support in the Selma to Montgomery marches , which involved the attendance of Dutch priest Henri Nouwen. Apart from Louisiana, they had only a small role in the institutional history of the Church in the United States. Beginning in approximately there was a struggle between lay trustees and bishops over the ownership of church property, with the trustees losing control following the Plenary Councils of Baltimore.

Anti-Catholicism was official government policy for the English who settled the colonies along the Atlantic seaboard. A charter was issued to him in Catholicism was outlawed and Catholic priests were hunted and exiled. By , the Act of Toleration was reinstated and Maryland became the center of Catholicism into the midth century. In Puritans rebelled and again repealed the Maryland Toleration Act.

These rebels cooperated with the colonial assembly "dominated by Anglicans to endow the Church of England with tax support and to bar Catholics and Quakers from holding public office. In , a Maryland Catholic official estimated seven thousand practicing Catholics in Maryland and three thousand in Pennsylvania. The population of these colonies at the time was approximately , and ,, respectively. By the time the American War for Independence started in , Catholics formed 1.

Introduction

After the Revolution, Rome made entirely new arrangements for the creation of an American diocese under American bishops. He formulated the first plans for Georgetown University and became the first American bishop in The number of Catholics surged starting in the s as German , Irish , and other European Catholics came in large numbers. After , Italians and Poles formed the largest numbers of new Catholics, but many countries in Europe contributed, as did Quebec. By , Catholics had become the country's largest single denomination. Some anti-Catholic political movements appeared: the Know Nothings in the s.

Animosity by Protestants waned as Catholics demonstrated their patriotism in World War I , their commitment to charity, and their dedication to democratic values. The bishops began standardizing discipline in the American Church with the convocation of the Plenary Councils of Baltimore in , and These councils resulted in the promulgation of the Baltimore Catechism and the establishment of The Catholic University of America. Jesuit priests who had been expelled from Europe found a new base in the U. They founded numerous secondary schools and 28 colleges and universities, such as Georgetown University , St.

In the s the Americanism controversy roiled senior officials. The Vatican suspected there was too much liberalism in the American Church, and the result was a turn to conservative theology as the Irish bishops increasingly demonstrated their total loyalty to the Pope, and traces of liberal thought in the Catholic colleges were suppressed.

Nun s and sisters played a major role in American religion, education, nursing and social work since the early 19th century. In Catholic Europe, convents were heavily endowed over the centuries, and were sponsored by the aristocracy. But there were very few rich American Catholics, and no aristocrats. Religious orders were founded by entrepreneurial women who saw a need and an opportunity, and were staffed by devout women from poor families.

The numbers grew rapidly, from sisters in 15 communities in , 50, in congregations in , and , in different congregations by Starting in , the sisters always outnumbered the priests and brothers. Many women left their orders, and few new members were added. According to Laurie Goodstein, the investigation, which was viewed by many U. Catholics as a "vexing and unjust inquisition of the sisters who ran the church's schools, hospitals and charities", was ultimately closed in by Pope Francis.

In the era of intense emigration from the s to , bishops often set up separate parishes for major ethnic groups, from Ireland, Germany, Poland, French Canada and Italy. Raphael's Cathedral , to meet the needs of Germans and Irish, is illustrative. By the beginning of the 20th century, approximately one-sixth of the population of the United States was Catholic.

This multiculturalism and diversity has influenced the conduct of Catholicism in the United States. For example, most dioceses offer Mass in a number of languages, and an increasing number of parishes offer Masses in the official language of the Church, Latin, due to its universal nature. Sociologist Andrew Greeley , an ordained Catholic priest at the University of Chicago, undertook a series of national surveys of Catholics in the late 20th century. He published hundreds of books and articles, both technical and popular.

His biographer summarizes his interpretation:. In the later 20th century "[ One initiative is the " National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management " NLRCM , a lay-led group born in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal and dedicated to bringing better administrative practices to dioceses that include 19, parishes nationwide with some 35, lay ecclesial ministers who log 20 hours or more a week in these parishes.

Although the issue of trusteeism was mostly settled in the 19th century, there have been some related issues. In , an interdict was issued to board members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church St. Louis, Missouri in an attempt to get them to turn over the church property to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Related to issues of asset ownership, some parishes have been liquidated and the assets taken by the diocese instead of being distributed to nearby parishes, which in violation of church financial rules.

In John Micklethwait , editor of The Economist and co-author of God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World , said that American Catholicism, which he describes in his book as "arguably the most striking Evangelical success story of the second half of the nineteenth century," has competed quite happily "without losing any of its basic characteristics. In , an estimated 26 million American Catholics were " fallen-away ", that is, not practicing their faith.

Some religious commentators commonly refer to them as "the second largest religious denomination in the United States. In a survey by researchers at Georgetown University , Americans who self identify as Catholic, including those who do not attend Mass regularly, numbered The following are some notable Americans declared as Servants of God, venerables, beatified, and canonized saints:. And how do you want priests to come from a place like that? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article's lead section may be too long for the length of the article.

Timothy Verhoeven – Research Output — Monash University

The author draws attention to little-known Franco-American intellectual connections in the nineteenth century and explores the role of family, manhood, and womanhood in explaining the virulence and content of anti-Catholic opinion. Thereby, Verhoeven makes an enlightening contribution to cultural and transnational history. In the mid-nineteenth century, American and French opponents of the Catholic Church were joined by a swift traffic in ideas, books, and people.

The changing face of Catholicism in America

Trans-Atlantic Anti-Catholicism is the first major account of this vibrant transnational movement. From the great outcry over the fate of a Jewish boy forcibly removed from his parents, the story of a nun held captive in a cell for twenty-one years, and the ever-present fear of the Jesuit, Timothy Verhoeven uncovers the vast areas of exchange and alliance between the enemies of the Church in these two nations.

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Timothy Verhoeven

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Transatlantic Anti-Catholicism: France and the United States in the Nineteenth Century

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