American Catholic Religious Thought: The Shaping Of A by Patrick W. Carey

By Patrick W. Carey

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41 Although Hughes’ use of the idealized past provided grounds for criticizing contemporary values, it offered no realistic solutions to contemporary religious and economic problems. But to criticize these romantics and their interpretations of history as idealized and unrealistic (which they were) would miss the point they were trying to make in their apologetics. Their semi-apocalyptic interpretation of history which made Protestantism ultimately responsible for the evils in society and church and Catholicism the ultimate and continuous 40 41 “The Dogma of an All-Ruling Providence Confirmed by History,” The Religious Cabinet 1 (May, 1842): 257-68.

7, History of the Church, ed. Hubert Jedin and John Dolan (New York: Crossroad, 1981), 240-57. For other descriptions of romanticism, see Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972), 583-632; Paul Tillich, Perspectives on 19th and 20th Century Protestant Theology (New York: Harper and Row, Publisher, 1967), 71-135; Jacques Barzun, Classic, Romantic and Modern (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1975); Alexander Dru, The Contribution of German Catholicism (New York: Hawthorn Books, 1963), 27-92; James Hastings Nichols, Romanticism in American Theology: Nevin and Schaff at Mercersburg (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961); Harold P.

67 The final vote on July 18, 1870 was five hundred and thirty-three for papal infallibility and two against it. Thus, the pope, as head of the church, was declared to possess the charismatic gift of infallibility when he explicitly defined matters of faith and morals for the entire church to believe. After the definition was promulgated, all the American bishops, even those formerly opposed to the definition, formally accepted it. 69 Apologists like Brownson continued to advance the doctrine and Hecker saw the definition as the culmination of the church’s efforts since the Protestant Reformation and especially since the French Revolution to reassert the authoritative powers of the church.

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