Download American Catholicism: And Now Where? by John G. Deedy PDF

By John G. Deedy

ISBN-10: 0306427060

ISBN-13: 9780306427060

THE AMERICAN CATHOLIC church is a amazing institu­ tion. Its humans worship in numbers that dwarf figures from in different places. It has the most vivid of Cath­ olic college structures, maybe the main bright. it really is traditionally an obedient church, a few could say docile­ controversies of contemporary years although. it's a church characterised via nice loyalty to the pope and via unstinting monetary generosity to Rome. nonetheless, the Ameri­ can church is a church in transition. there was ero­ sion in parts of church existence. but extra is probably going. The vii viii PREFACE American Catholic church, in sum, is a ready-made sub­ ject for research and research. whilst this publication undertaking on American Catholicism was once first broached, no specific time urgency concerned. in recent times, nuns and monks had ex­ ited the non secular lifestyles through the hundreds of thousands, and their ranks weren't being refilled. Many seminaries and convents were closed for loss of want, then bought off to satisfy the monetary imperatives of the respective spiritual com­ munities. The management of Catholic hospitals in numerous towns have been became over to put forums, and some Catholic schools had close their gates. a few Catholic courses had disappeared from view, and in lots of Catholic parishes, focuses shifted, frequently to ac­ tivities of apostolic inconsequence, as emphases tired clear of diocesan faculties, very lots of which had closed for good.

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I recently asked three Catholic pastors to estimate what percentage of their parishioners were regulars at weekly worship. Two said 25 percent; one said 40 percent. In contrast to the Catholic statistics, Protestant church attendance eased between 1958 and 1985 from 44 percent to 39 percent, and weekly synagogue attendance remained more-or-less steady, standing at 22 percent in 1985, with 58 percent of American Jews claiming membership in a synagogue. 21 Excusing oneself from attendance at Sunday mass may not be a remarkable expression of religious freedom on the part of Catholics; indeed, it is a far less consequential exercise of conscience and personal decision making than others current in the Catholic community, notably in areas of sexual morality.

When elevations to the cardinalate were last announced in 1985, Jadot's name was nowhere to be found. Arinze' s was. 2 THE KNOWN AMERICAN QUANTITY The Bishops recent years-and, indeed, the present-one may find surprising how independent the American church once was and how forthright and selfpossessed its leaders were when it came to dealing with Rome. )-the priests of the American church asked that they, not Rome, choose the setting of the diocese and the man to head it. Neither was a pro forma request, given Rome's historic and zealously guarded prerogatives.

26 The story could have ended there, but of course it didn't. The admonishing of Hunthausen was made public 29 November 1985 by the papal pronuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pio Laghi. Six days later, on 3 December 1985, the Vatican announced the assignment of an auxiliary bishop to Hunthausen, the Reverend Donald W. Wuerl, a priest of the diocese of Pittsburgh. Wuerl was a stranger to Seattle, but not to the pope making the appointment, John Paul II. They were acquaintances from Wuerl' s days in Rome as secretary to the late Cardinal John Wright, a one-time bishop of Pittsburgh who became head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy.

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