Our Topic - The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture
Today marks the bicentennial of the founding of the Diocese of Boston. It was on this day in 1708 that Pope Pius VII separated Boston out from the Diocese of Baltimore, which at that time covered the entire United States. Phil Lawler now tells the story of the Archdiocese of Boston. He traces the rise and fall of the Catholic Church in Boston, showing how the Massachusetts experience set a pattern that echoed throughout the United States as religious institutions lost influence in the face of rising secularization. The collapse of Catholicism in Boston became apparent with the explosion of the sex-abuse crisis. Lawler shows that the sex-abuse scandal was neither the cause nor the beginning of Catholicism's decline in Boston.