Friday, December 02, 2005

Catholics in America or American Catholics?

Here's a reminder (I will post this also on my other blog, but more people read this one, so...): John Meehan will be signing his newest book, "Two Towers: the de-Christianization of America and a Plan for Renewal" on December 6th at 7:00 PM (refreshments are at 6:30, followed by talk and booksigning) in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church parish hall (Louden Road, Concord, NH). If you are in that area, stop by.

I know there continues to be mixed feelings about the 2nd Vatican Council. Both John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI played key roles in the council-both felt (as I gather from their writings) it hasn't been implemented properly. John Meehan shares the view that the council was good-but never implemented.

However, even if you don't share that view on the council, and won't be convinced, John Meehan still has something important to say. He spends the first part of the "Two Towers" discussing how the Catholics in America became "American Catholics"-or how Protestant and secular values infiltrated the hearts of Catholics in America including bishops and clergy.

Think about this: Catholics hold the most seats of any demonination in our legislatures in Washington and in most States around the country (except deep South etc.), are prominent (soon to be majority) on the Supreme Court and run major corporations. Yet these Catholics as a group are indistinguishable from their Protestant counterparts in these institutions. I am not talking exclusively about Catholic politicians who are pro-abortion. Even Catholic Republicans/Democrats who claim to be pro-life are Republicans/Democrats (for the most part) before they are Catholic. And certainly I think, if not in words, then by belief and action, most would consider themselves Americans before they are Catholics. How many Catholics in government (and who write political op-ed for that matter) have an understanding of Catholic social teaching, history, or philosophy?

Just look at the discussion that has been continuing over at Caelum et Terra on the salvation of souls in our Enlightenment-based society. If Catholics have such influence, how can we have arrived at this state of affairs? It is interesting to note that throughout history there have been many bad Catholics who held political power. These 'bad' Catholics may have lived immoral lives, but for the most part did not promulgate an immoral society or secularity. (They are many reasons for this-but it is interesting to note the difference here.)

I am not sure how to end this (but must because we are going to First Friday Mass this morning). I guess I will just say, if you are interested, buy "Two Towers" here [it is also available at, or try a Catholic online bookstore, say for example; or physical bookstore near you-if they don't have it, ask.

Some of you who may have read it out there - chime in as regards to this topic...

From Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...Oremus pro invicem!


TS said...

You are right about the "de-Catholicization" of American Catholics. I suspect Roe v. Wade would no longer be the law of the land if Catholics voted enmasse with the Church's clear teaching. Certainly Clinton and his two supreme court justices wouldn't have been elected & selected.

I read Meehan's book and it is a wonderful, enlightening read. In clear fashion he outlines what went wrong and, more importantly, what can be done to fix it. I've read McInerney's "What Went Wrong with Vatican 2" and Trowler's "Turmoil and the Truth" and Meehan's was the best of the three in diagnosis and cure.

JCurley said...

TS-I didn't read Trowler, but I did read McInerney's. I think Meehan's book should be read by more people. (I guess that is my job to try to get that done...) I really appreciate the feedback.

TS said...

It does deserve a wider readership.

For what it's worth (hint: not much) I blogged about it here:

and here:

JCurley said...

TS-I do appreciate it. In fact, if I recall correctly you also quoted the book in Amy Welborn's comment boxes one day this past summer-which is how I found your blog. Happy Feast...