+ The Rise of Civil War Catholics (full hour)
- Description: In the bloody Civil War that split our nation, American bishops worked for the success of the Union . . . and of the Confederacy! As Catholics slaughtered Catholics, pious priests on both sides prayed God to give success in battle. . . to their own side. Men in blue and men in gray flinched at the Consecration as cannonballs (fired by Catholic opponents) rained down on them during battlefield Masses. We look at the experiences of Catholics in the Civil War with Fr Charles Connor.
- Segment Guests:
Fr. Charles Connor
Fr Charles Connor is Assistant Professor of Church History at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He's the author of Faith and Fury: The Rise of Catholicism During the Civil War as well as Pioneer Priests and Makeshift Altars: A History of Catholicism in the Thirteen Colonies. He has hosted several EWTN series including "The Catholic Priesthood Through the Ages."
- Fr. Charles Connor
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In the bloody Civil War that split our nation, American bishops worked for the success of the Union . . . and of the Confederacy! As Catholics slaughtered Catholics, pious priests on both sides prayed God to give success in battle. . . to their own side. Men in blue and men in gray flinched at the Consecration as cannonballs (fired by Catholic opponents) rained down on them during battlefield Masses. Many are the moving and often surprising stories in these pages of brave Catholics on both sides of the conflict stories told by Fr. Charles Connor, one of our country s foremost experts on Catholic American history. Through searing anecdotes and learned analysis, Fr. Connor here shows how the tumult, tragedy, and bravery of the War forged a new American identity, even as it created a new American Catholic identity, as Catholics often new immigrants found themselves on both sides of the conflict. Fr. Connor s account shows that in the nineteenth century and on both sides of the conflict, the Church in America was a combination of visionary leadership and moral blindness much as is the Church in America today. From consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of both sides, Catholics today will discover ways to bridge the gulf that today divides so many in our Church and in our nation. (learn more)
In this comprehensive history, Fr. Charles Connor details the life of Catholics in the American Colonies. Its a tale that begins with the flight of English Catholics to religious freedom in Maryland in 1634, and continues through the post-Revolutionary period, by which time the constitutions of all but four of the first 13 states contained harsh anti-Catholic provisions. Catholic readers will be proud to learn from these pages that despite almost two centuries of ever-more-intense religious persecutions and even harsher legal prohibitions, American Catholics in the colonies simply refused not to be Catholic. These pages show that from the Jesuit manor houses that planted the seeds of faith in Maryland to the solitary missionary priests who evangelized the New York regions, Catholics kept the faith . . . even unto death. Pioneer Priests and Makeshift Altars is indispensable reading for souls interested in the deep roots of Catholicism in America, and in the holy courage of scores of Catholics who kept remorseless forces from snuffing their faith out. Among other things, youll learn here:
- Why Catholics left the old world for America: their reasons were often not religious
- The tale of The Ark and The Dove that carried the first settlers to Maryland
- The Puritan ascendancy that too soon outlawed Catholicism in Maryland
- The sole Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence: Can you name him?
- The surprisingly powerful anti-Catholic sentiments of most of the Founding Fathers
- The friend of George Washington who became the first Bishop of Baltimore
- The great Catholic post-Revolutionary War migration from Maryland to Kentucky
- The cosmopolitan colony whose robust religious liberty was more favorable that Maryland to Catholicism
- The Quaker/Catholic alliance that promoted both religions
- The role of persecuted Catholics in the Revolutionary War
- Why, in that War, many Catholics favored the anti-Catholic British
- The French Jesuits who evangelized New York and its frontier areas, and the saints who were martyred there
- The Iroquois maiden who converted and became a saint
- The years in which, throughout the colonies, Catholics became an endangered species
- Plus: much more to acquaint you with the proud heritage of Catholics in the earliest years of our nation!
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