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The Church in the United States

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Presentation on theme: "The Church in the United States"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Church in the United States
Chapter 21 The Church in the United States

2 Part I The Colonial Era

3 Catholic From the Very Beginning
The Spanish and French explorers who came to the New World were all Catholics and accompanying them were priests - Dominicans, Jesuits and Franciscans who brought the Good News to native Americans.

4 Catholic From the Very Beginning
The Jesuits worked mainly in Canada and the northeastern United States. Among their converts was Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha and among their martyrs were St. Isaac Jogues and his companions.

5 Catholic From the Very Beginning
The Franciscans and Dominicans worked mainly in California and the Southwest. Starting 1769, Bl.Junipero Serra founded nine of the 21 Franciscan missions in California and converted many native Americans. The early presence of Catholicism in parts of the United States has left its mark on many parts of the country.

6 Catholicism and the Birth of a Nation
Part II Catholicism and the Birth of a Nation

7 The Revolutionary Years (1775-1783)
In the English colonies on the Eastern seaboard, the Protestant colonists brought with them their anti-Catholic laws and, except in Pennsylvania and Maryland, Catholics were most definitely NOT welcome. However when the Revolutionary War began, much to their surprise, the colonists found their Catholic neighbors were only to happy to fight for independence.

8 The Revolutionary Years (1775-1783)
Charles Carroll of Maryland was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence while he and his cousin Fr. John Carroll were sent by the Continental Congress to Canada to secure Canadian neutrality.

9 The Revolutionary Years (1775-1783)
Catholic officers from Europe like the French Lafayette and the Polish Pulaski and Kosciusko, served with Washington.

10 The Revolutionary Years (1775-1783)
John Barry, a Catholic, commanded the first ship commissioned by Congress and is the father of the United States Navy.

11 The Revolutionary Years (1775-1783
After the war, Washington spoke of Catholic patriotism and the important assistance received from Catholic countries like France and Spain. The First Amendment of the Constitution rejected the idea of an established national church and guaranteed the right of free exercise of religion.

12 The Church in the Post-Revolutionary Period
At the close of the Revolution there were about 25,000 Catholics out of a total population of 4,000,000 and 24 priests. In 1789 Baltimore was designated as the first diocese of the United States and Father John Carroll was elected its first bishop.

13 The Church in the Post-Revolutionary Period
A number of Catholic institutions were founded. Georgetown University in 1789. St. Mary’s seminary in Baltimore in 1791.

14 The Church in the Post-Revolutionary Period
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton founded the Sisters of Charity in 1809 and began a system of schools that would be the model for the parochial school system.

15 The Church in the Post-Revolutionary Period
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne founded the American branch of the Society of the Sacred Heart and worked among the Native Americans

16 The Church in the Post-Revolutionary Period
St. John Neumann was the fourth bishop of Philadelphia and was a pioneer in the parochial school system.

17 Part III A Church of Immigrants

18 Waves of Immigrants The majority of immigrants who flooded into the U.S. after 1830 were mainly Catholic, poor, uneducated and Irish. Between 1860 and 1890 German Catholics poured into the country. From 1890 to the 1920's immigrants from Italy and Eastern Europe streamed into the U.S. By the 1860's the Catholic Church was the largest religious body in the country with 15 dioceses served by 500 priests.

19 The Rise of Anti-Catholicism
The English speaking Protestant majority became afraid of the Catholic immigrants. Rumors circulated that the pope was going to invade America from Cuba and Protestants saw Catholics as giving their first allegiance to a European ruler (as they saw the pope) and therefore they could never be real American citizens.

20 The Rise of Anti-Catholicism
Persons calling themselves “nativists” banded together to oppose Catholic immigration and Catholic holding of public office. Riots broke out in Boston, Philadelphia and Louisville in which Catholics were attacked, homes and churches were burned and people were killed.

21 The Rise of Anti-Catholicism
Eventually this anti-Catholic feeling developed into a political party called the Know-Nothing party that became quite powerful until the beginning of the Civil War.

22 Slavery & the Civil War Although Pope Gregory XVI condemned the slave trade in 1839, Catholic leadership in the U.S., preoccupied with the problems of an immigrant community, had little to say about slavery. Many Catholics, especially in the South, supported the legal institution of slavery. Large numbers of Catholics fought on both sides of the Civil War. Catholic parishes and schools in both the North and South remained largely segregated by race until the middle of the 1900's.

23 Part IV Growth and Conflict

24 American and Catholic? The great question for Catholics after the Civil War was, could a loyal Catholic be a loyal American at the same time. Bishops and influential laymen were on both sides of the issue.

25 American and Catholic? Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore and Archbishop Ireland of St. Paul were “Americanizers” who favored the full and rapid integration of Catholicism and Catholics into the surrounding culture. However, German Catholics in particular favored a slower approach that would allow the immigrants to retain their Old World language and German culture.

26 American and Catholic? Pope Leo XIII had been misinformed about “Americanism” and, as he understood it, condemned it.

27 The Labor Movement As the organized labor movement in the U.S. began, some bishops were very cautious about Catholic membership in them. At this point the union most Catholics belonged to was the Knights of Labor, a secret organization, and unions in general had a reputation for violence.

28 The Labor Movement Cardinal Gibbons went to Rome to try to convince Pope Leo XIII not to forbid Catholic membership in the Knights of Labor and was successful. The Pope was so moved by the Cardinal’s information about the plight of labor in the U.S. and Europe he wrote Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of Workers) which became the basis for all Catholic social teaching.

29 Part V The 20th Century

30 20th Century Beginnings By 1900 there were 12,000,000 Catholics served by 12,000 priests and served by numerous religious who staffed a large and growing network of Catholic schools and other institutions. Catholic immigration remained high.

31 20th Century Mother Frances Cabrini founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart who worked among Italian immigrants in New York and Chicago.

32 World War I & The Great Depression
In 1919 the bishops published their Program of Social Reconstruction which advocated economic and social measures that would eventually become the law of the land. In 1928 the first Catholic, Alfred Smith, ran for the presidency and was soundly defeated when there was a resurgence of anti-Catholicism.

33 World War I & The Great Depression
Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin founded the Catholic Worker movement which helped shape the attitudes of many Catholic intellectuals and activists.

34 The American Church After WWII
With the return of peace fervent anti-Communism soon put Catholics at the forefront of the national mobilization during the Cold War. Catholics also flocked to college especially with the monetary assistance of the G.I. Bill of Rights .

35 The American Church After WWII
Churchmen like Francis Cardinal Spellman, Thomas Merton, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and John Courtney Murray, S.J. became national figures. Catholic personalities and Catholic themes were featured in popular films and other media and the Legion of Decency became very powerful in influencing movie content.

36 The American Church After WWII
And in 1960 John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic president of the United States.

37 D. Vatican II & the American Church
American Catholics were generally enthusiastic about Vatican II, but problems soon arose. New candidates for the priesthood and religious life began to drop sharply and enrollment in Catholic grade and elementary schools plummeted.

38 Vatican II & the American Church
Pope Paul VI’ 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae which reaffirmed the Church’s condemnation of artificial birth control met with organized dissent.

39 Vatican II & the American Church
The most damaging development in the American Church was the disclosure of rampant sexual abuse of minors among some American clergy. Many bishops had hushed the abuse to avoid scandal but this only contributed to the humiliation when these incidents were revealed in the media. And while many dioceses paid settlements totaling hundreds of millions of dollars the most significant outcome was the Church’s overall loss of moral credibility and public esteem.

40 Conclusion As the 21st century began, the American Catholic Church faced a host of challenges. While American Catholics are more numerous today only about one out of three regularly attends Sunday Mass. The number of priests of religious has fallen in the past forty years but vocations to the priesthood and religious life are beginning to show more promise.

41 Conclusion Steps are being taken toward the possible beatification and canonization of a large number of American Catholics such as Bishop Sheen and Dorothy Day. The old religiously based anti-Catholicism seems largely to have been replaced by ecumenical good will. However, secularist hostility to religion and traditional morality is still central to the American culture war.

42 Conclusion The history of the Church has demonstrated throughout the centuries that the witness of holiness will push the Kingdom of God forward in the United States.

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