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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Americanism Part Two

This heresy reveals itself most subtlely. Most people would not recognize the characteristics of Americanism as it is so common and yet so hard to "pin down" in conversation.

A few points which exemplify an attitude of Americanism may help.

  • Priests who do not read the updates from Rome or follow the suggestions of the Popes regarding liturgy determine their own actions from an attitude that Rome does not understand Americans.
  • Misunderstandings among Americans that Rome is somehow "rich" and that the American Church does not need to support the Church there.
  • The ideal that the Church should be based on democracy and the voice of the people rather than on the hierarchical structure of the past.
  • The idea that Church and State should be completely separate, not a teaching of the Catholic Church, which holds that States should not only listen to the true teachings of Christ through the Church, but that the States should protect the Catholic Church.
  • That Latin is unnecessary and divisive, as not "American".
  • Interdenominational relations are most important and should be encouraged even in conferences and congresses.
  • Almost hatred for passive virtues and an over-emphasis on activity.
  • Most, if not all, the bishops involved in the early days of Americanism were Irish, seeking the domination of Irish Catholics over more conservative and ethnic Catholics, such as the Germans, a problem which came to a head over parishes and Catholic European vs. Catholic American identity.
  • The support of Progressive political ideas instead of conservatism, leading to the overwhelming support of the Irish immigrants for the Democratic Party.
  • An affiliation with the ideals of the French Revolution and the American Revolution rather than an affiliation with "Christendom".
  • The great influence of Americanism in the East Coast spread to Minnesota and Iowa through the appointment of bishops holding Americanist ideas created an attitude of rebellion which surfaced in the conflict over Humanae Vitae.
  • The idea that Catholic schools should adopt curriculum of the public schools rather than classical Catholic education.
  • That the "local" church is more important than the universal Church, a false dichotomy. 
  • More later...