Tag Archives: church

Anti-Catholic history in US shows Church has survived and will continue, historian says: CNA


.- As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says.

“It’s okay to realize that other people have gone on this same journey, a journey that’s involved persecution, a journey that’s involved a Catholic minority and a non-Catholic majority, and sometimes friction with governments,” said Fr. David Endres, assistant professor of Church history and historical theology at The Athenaeum of Ohio, in an interview with CNA.

“I think it’s important to remember the history, if nothing more than to realize that this is ground that has already been tread by our forefathers,” he added.

“Now is the time to take heart and realize that the compass of the Scriptures and Tradition now need to be emphasized more than ever as our guide; that we cannot look to politicians, we can’t look to the government, we certainly cannot look to pop culture and the media as our guide for morality.”

Fr. Endres spoke with CNA during the Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week campaign by the U.S. bishops to educate Catholics about religious freedom and the current threats to the public practice of religion in the nation.

Among the threats the bishops have warned of in recent years are the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, and Catholic adoption agencies being forced out of business because they will not place children with same-sex couples as mandated by state anti-discrimination laws.

The bishops recently voiced grave concerns over the Supreme Court’s recent marriage decision Obergefell v. Hodges, which established same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Although the majority opinion “makes a nod” toward religious freedom, it does not mention the First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion and this is very troubling, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore told reporters on a conference call after the decision. Archbishop Lori chairs the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.

“The free exercise of religion means that we have a right not only to debate it openly in the public square, but to operate our ministries and to live our lives in accordance to the truth about marriage without violence, or being penalized, or losing our tax exemption, or losing our ability to serve the common good through our social services and through education,” he said in the June 26 conference call.

The omission of “free exercise” in the Court’s majority opinion thus “could give rise to a lot of legal controversies,” Archbishop Lori warned. Without guarantees of the free exercise of religion, religiously-affiliated organizations which oppose same-sex marriage and businesses who cannot serve same-sex weddings could face legal challenges.

The current threats to religious liberty – state and federal laws regulating the free exercise of religion of charitable institutions – are eerily similar to a Supreme Court case from nearly a century ago, and Catholics should take note, Fr. Endres explained.

In 1922, Oregon passed a law forcing all children between the ages of eight and sixteen in parochial and private schools into public schools. The law, the Compulsory Education Act of 1922, was supported by the Ku Klux Klan as a measure to push for standard American education and to prevent what they saw as a foreign influence – the Catholic Church – from educating immigrant children.

The Society of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, along with a military private school, fought the law in court. Three years later, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the Supreme Court resoundingly struck down the law in a unanimous decision, ruling that it violated the freedom of parents to send their children to parochial schools.

In the history of the U.S., this was perhaps the event that bears the closest resemblance to the present-day struggle between Catholic institutions maintaining their religious freedom, and state and federal laws looking to regulate their consciences, Fr. Endres said.

However, the law is also but one incident in a U.S. history that is checkered with anti-Catholic bigotry and violence. In “Sticks, Stones, and Broken Bones: the History of anti-Catholic Violence in the U.S.”, a 2014 article in Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Fr. Endres detailed just how rocky has been Catholicism’s relationship with mainstream American culture.

Colonial-era laws forbade Catholics from becoming lawyers and teachers. In Maryland, Catholic parents could be fined for sending their children to Europe to receive a Catholic education. Distribution of anti-Catholic pamphlets and literature was commonplace.

Once European emigration to the U.S. increased in the 1840s and 50s, this established a largely Catholic minority of Irish and Germans.

Anti-Catholicism was mingled with xenophobia as the mainstream individualist culture was quite suspicious of Catholicism. Consequently, some U.S. residents tried to ensure that immigrants would not gain positions of power. A political party surfaced that at its root was anti-Catholic, the “Know-Nothing Party.”

Convents and churches were victim to mob violence in multiple cases. Two Philadelphia parishes were burned in 1844 after rumors circulated that Catholics were trying to oust Protestant bibles from public schools.

The visit of a papal ambassador from Bl. Pius IX to report on the state of the Church in the U.S. resulted in violent unrest in multiple cities, including the burning of the ambassador’s effigy.

Anti-Catholic violence waxed and waned through the years, but Catholics had never felt they fully “made it” in American society until the election of John F. Kennedy, an Irish Catholic, to the presidency. Afterward, many devout Catholics thought they would be accepted as a permanent part of the American mainstream culture.

“We felt like we had kind of come of age in this country,” Fr Endres told CNA. “And that in general, we were not on the fringes.”

The recent threats to religious liberty are proving more and more that this Catholic peace was a reprieve and not a permanent acceptance of Catholicism in the U.S., he added.

Why has there been so much anti-Catholic sentiment in the United States? The overall conflict between the Church and American culture has centered on freedom and authority, and the fault line still exists today, Fr. Endres explained.

“I would say part of it is the role of individuals vis a vis community and the Church has always upheld quite a communal emphasis,” he said. Historically, the mainstream American culture promoted individualism, and looked down on Catholics who followed the authority of the Bishop of Rome.

This conflict also extends to the debate of the role of community versus the freedom of the individual, he added.

“We have this strange idea that’s developed in this country that freedom means absolute autonomy of persons. And the Church has never believed that true freedom consisted of absolute autonomy, but instead, basically a relationship with God and with one another. We kind of have this path set before us that yes, we are responsible to other people. We are responsible to God in a special way, and absolute autonomy has no place in that kind of worldview.”

Historically, this played out in the Protestant individualistic culture of the U.S. against the Catholic view of community and authority.

This push for absolute autonomy has played out in the push for acceptance of same-sex marriage and of the transgender movement.

On the other side is a Christian anthropology, he said: “how we view our being made in the image and likeness of God, how we view marriage and family life, gender, sexuality, all those kinds of things.”

The question then becomes, “do I have an obligation to anyone but myself?” Fr. Endres asked rhetorically.

“The modern notion would be ‘it’s just you,’” whereas a Christian recognizes that he has an obligation to obey and love God and the Church, and to love his neighbor.

And Catholics are once again being moved to the margins, with laws prohibiting them from publicly practicing their religion and remaining true to Church teaching on sexuality.

However, “it’s important for us to realize then that to be on the margins of society is not always a bad thing,” he added.

The present hostility to Catholic teaching on sexuality might actually be a “call instead to remain faithful on the margins,” he said, because the Catholic faith is counter-cultural.

“We are speaking a truth that is not always popular, but which we believe very strongly comes from Christ and more broadly from the revelation of God to man. And if you really believe that, you can’t accommodate.”

Throughout U.S. history, some Catholics have remained faithful to the Church, while others accommodated to the culture. For example, some German Catholic immigrants and priests in the 19th century left the Church to become Protestant because they couldn’t endure the anti-Catholic hostility.

“Americanists,” the subjects of the 1899 encyclical Testem benevelentiae nostrae of Leo XIII, were American Catholics who had been so affected by the American culture that they were no longer authentically Catholic. This problem exists today.

“Americanism shows that more or less constant feature of American Catholic history, where Catholics have to make that choice of whether they are going to identify primarily as American, and then Catholic secondarily, or Catholic as a primary identity and American as a second,” Fr. Endres said.

“So what’s going to be the noun, and what’s going to be the adjective?”

Tags: Religious freedom, Fortnight for Freedom, Supreme Court, Religious liberty, SCOTUS, Obergefell v. Hodges, US Catholic history

Advertisements

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, September 30th, 2014: St. Jerome


St. JeromeImage of St. Jerome

St. Jerome, who was born Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius, was the most learned of the Fathers of the Western Church. He was born about the year 342 at Stridonius, a small town at the head of the … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

word: foible


foible

Definition: (noun) A minor weakness or failing of character.
Synonyms: fault, defect, imperfection
Usage: His father’s foibles did not prevent his son from loving and honoring him. Discuss.

Saint of the Day for Sunday, September 21st, 2014: St. Matthew the Apostle


English: Apostle Matthew

English: Apostle Matthew (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  St. Matthew the Apostle

English: the first page of the Gospel of Matthew

English: the first page of the Gospel of Matthew (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Saint for Wednesday, August 13th, 2014: St. Hippolytus


St. Hippolytus

Image of St. Hippolytus

Martyr of Rome, with Concordia and other companions, he is a controversial figure who censured Pope St. Callistus I. Hippolytus was slain in Sardinia where he had been exiled for being elected as an antipope, the first in the history of the Church. He was reconciled to the Church before his martyrdom. His writings were important, including A Refutation of All Heresies, Song of Songs, and The Apostolic Tradition

More Saints of the Day

Saint of the Day – August1, 2014: St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori


Saint of the Day

SAINT OF THE DAY – APRIL 13: ST. MARTIN I


SAINT OF THE DAY
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

April 13
St. Martin I
(d. 655)
When Martin I became pope in 649, Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine empire and the patriarch of Constantinople was the most influential Church leader in the eastern Christian world. The struggles that existed within the Church at that time were magnified by the close cooperation of emperor and patriarch.

A teaching, strongly supported in the East, held that Christ had no human will. Twice emperors had officially favored this position, Heraclius by publishing a formula of faith and Constans II by silencing the issue of one or two wills in Christ.

Shortly after assuming the office of the papacy (which he did without first being confirmed by the emperor), Martin held a council at the Lateran in which the imperial documents were censured, and in which the patriarch of Constantinople and two of his predecessors were condemned. Constans II, in response, tried first to turn bishops and people against the pope.

Failing in this and in an attempt to kill the pope, the emperor sent troops to Rome to seize Martin and to bring him back to Constantinople. Already in poor health, Martin offered no resistance, returned with the exarch Calliopas and was then submitted to various imprisonments, tortures and hardships. Although condemned to death and with some of the torture imposed already carried out, Martin was saved from execution by the pleas of a repentant Paul, patriarch of Constantinople, who was himself gravely ill.

Martin died shortly thereafter, tortures and cruel treatment having taken their toll. He is the last of the early popes to be venerated as a martyr.

Comment:

The real significance of the word martyr comes not from the dying but from the witnessing, which the word means in its derivation. People who are willing to give up everything, their most precious possessions, their very lives, put a supreme value on the cause or belief for which they sacrifice. Martyrdom, dying for the faith, is an incidental extreme to which some have had to go to manifest their belief in Christ. A living faith, a life that exemplifies Christ’s teaching throughout, and that in spite of difficulties, is required of all Christians. Martin might have cut corners as a way of easing his lot, to  make some accommodations with the civil rulers.

Quote:

The breviary of the Orthodox Church pays tribute to Martin: “Glorious definer of the Orthodox Faith…sacred chief of divine dogmas, unstained by error…true reprover of heresy…foundation of bishops, pillar of the Orthodox faith, teacher of religion…. Thou didst adorn the divine see of Peter, and since from this divine Rock, thou didst immovably defend the Church, so now thou art glorified with him.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

ST. ISIDORE


St. Isidore

In the 4th and 5th centuries, Gothic invaders terrorized the Roman Empire, sacking Rome and establishing a Gothic kingdom in Spain. St. Isidore, archbishop of Seville, set out to convert the various peoples of the Gothic Empire to Christianity, eventually eradicating the Visigoths‘ religion of Arianism. Later hailed by the Church as “the most learned man of the latter ages,” Isidore was the first Christian writer to compose a compendium of universal religious knowledge. What was it called? More… Discuss

The 10 Commandments of Data Sovereignty


The 10 Commandments of Data Sovereignty

The 10 Commandments of Data Sovereignty  (if you wanna find out more…Better click now)

 

 

THE BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST


The Beheading of St. John the Baptist

In the Bible, Judean ruler Herod Antipas imprisoned the prophet John the Baptist for denouncing his decision to divorce his wife and marry—unlawfully, under Jewish law—his brother’s wife, Herodias, while his brother was still alive. On Herod’s birthday, Herodias’s daughter, Salome, danced for Herod. In return, he promised her anything, up to half his kingdom. She demanded John’s head on a platter, and Herod obliged. Where was John the Baptist’s head said to have been found centuries later?More… Discuss

 

Image

Ansel Adams – Church, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico (My Art Collection)


Ansel Adams - Church,  Acoma  Pueblo Pencil Sketch (My Art Collection)

Quotation: Rabindranath Tagore on Idols and God


“Your idol is shattered in the dust to prove that God’s dust is greater than your idol.”

L’eglise Sacré-Cœur, Paris (From Wikipedia)


The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica (FrenchBasilique du Sacré-Cœur, pronounced [sakʁe kœʁ]), is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in ParisFrance. A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. Sacré-Cœur is a double monument, political and cultural, both a national penance for the supposed excesses of the Second Empire and socialist Paris Commune of 1871[1] crowning its most rebellious neighborhood, and an embodiment of conservative moral order, publicly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was an increasingly popular vision of a loving and sympathetic Christ.[2]

The Sacré-Cœur Basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Construction began in 1875 and was finished in 1914. It wasconsecrated after the end of World War I in 1919.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris
Basilique du Sacré-Cœur (French)
The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur, as seen from the base of the butte Montmartre.
Basic information
Location ParisFrance
Geographic coordinates 48°53′12.1″N2°20′34.8″ECoordinates48°53′12.1″N 2°20′34.8″E
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Year consecrated 1919
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Minor basilica
Website Basilica of the Sacré Cœur
Architectural description
Architect(s) Paul Abadie
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Romano-Byzantine
Groundbreaking 1875
Completed 1914
Specifications
Length 35 metres (115 ft)
Width 85 metres (279 ft)
Height (max) 83 metres (272 ft)
Materials Travertine stone