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American Catholic: The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most… (1997)

af Charles Morris

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1763117,892 (3.94)2
The rise of Catholicism from an insignificant sect in the early nineteenth century to America's largest and most influential Church is a story filled with a cast of immensely colorful characters. Some were great and imposing. Others were comic, a few even shocking and sinister. Charles Morris recounts the rich story of the rise of the Catholic Church in America with an acute eye for the telling detail and the crucial turning points. American Catholic is not only about the saints and sinners who built the Church, but also the story of how it became the country's dominant cultural force. By the 1950s, no other institution could match its impact on unions, movies, or even popular kitsch. Protestant leaders feared the Church would "Catholicize" the entire nation. But Catholicism was always as much a culture as a religion, and the Church visibly floundered when the big-city-based Catholic culture suddenly broke down, just about the time John Kennedy became the country's first Catholic president. The last section of the book explores the Church's continuing struggle to come to terms with secular, pluralist America and the theological, sexual, doctrinal authority, and gender issues that keep tearing it apart. But, surprisingly enough, Morris's grassroots tour - from ultraconservative Lincoln, Nebraska, to more open, experimental dioceses in Saginaw and Seattle - finds Catholicism alive and well, even flourishing, at the parish level.… (mere)
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Excellent history of the Catholic Church in the United States....until THE VATICAN II SECT comes on the scene.... ( )
  Joansknight | May 13, 2019 |
Important for me because this is the book that I read that got me interested in the fascinating field of Catholic political history and doctrine evolution. Good survey of American Catholics. ( )
  Polymath35 | May 25, 2012 |
4325. American Catholic The Saints and Sinners Who Built America's Most Powerful Church, by Charles R. Morris (read 8 June 2007) I found this book unfailingly interesting, telling me things I had not heard before, even though I have done a lot of reading in Catholic history, including reading (on 30 Sept 1961) the classic account of the Americanist 'heresy': The Great Crisis in American Catholic History, 1895-1900 by Thomas T. McAvoy, C.S.C. But while the history part of this book is of high interest, the survey of Catholicism today, including the story of his visits to the very orthodox diocese of Lincoln, Neb., and to the liberal diocese of Saginaw, Mich., under Bishop Untener, make for fascinating reading and are handled not judgmentally in either case. I found this book held my interest all the way thru. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jun 12, 2007 |
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The rise of Catholicism from an insignificant sect in the early nineteenth century to America's largest and most influential Church is a story filled with a cast of immensely colorful characters. Some were great and imposing. Others were comic, a few even shocking and sinister. Charles Morris recounts the rich story of the rise of the Catholic Church in America with an acute eye for the telling detail and the crucial turning points. American Catholic is not only about the saints and sinners who built the Church, but also the story of how it became the country's dominant cultural force. By the 1950s, no other institution could match its impact on unions, movies, or even popular kitsch. Protestant leaders feared the Church would "Catholicize" the entire nation. But Catholicism was always as much a culture as a religion, and the Church visibly floundered when the big-city-based Catholic culture suddenly broke down, just about the time John Kennedy became the country's first Catholic president. The last section of the book explores the Church's continuing struggle to come to terms with secular, pluralist America and the theological, sexual, doctrinal authority, and gender issues that keep tearing it apart. But, surprisingly enough, Morris's grassroots tour - from ultraconservative Lincoln, Nebraska, to more open, experimental dioceses in Saginaw and Seattle - finds Catholicism alive and well, even flourishing, at the parish level.

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