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American CatholicThe Politics of Faith During the Cold War$
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D. G. Hart

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700576

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700576.001.0001

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How Americanism Won

(p.1) Introduction
American Catholic

D. G. Hart

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on how Roman Catholics became prominent players in conservative circles and provides an understanding on the affinity and tension between national and Roman Catholic traditions and ideals. It describes John F. Kennedy's kind of Roman Catholicism, which Americans and the press found acceptable. It also mentions John Courtney Murray, who was considered a potential breakthrough for Roman Catholicism that harmonizes church teaching with national ideals, unlike Kennedy whose electoral victory was an example of religious indifference. The chapter talks about Pope Leo XIII's 1899 condemnation of Americanism or adjustment of the church to freedom, democracy, and popular sovereignty as Roman Catholics were still laboring under papal opposition to modernity in the 1950s. It refers to John T. Noonan, Jr., who authored important books about the church's evolving moral theology.

Keywords:   Roman Catholics, John F. Kennedy, Roman Catholicism, church teaching, national ideals, Americanism, papal opposition

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