Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why history?

Every so often it is good to stand back and reflect on why I am writing this blog.  I am amazed how many regular viewers we have and which sites are so popular—everyone seems interested in that site on Catholics and the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln; in fact Civil War entries seem to be particularly popular while the European entries seem less so.  Be patient, however, I am going to have to go back to some of those European topics as we have left a number of strands unfinished.  If you have subjects you would like addressed just make a comment on a blog suggesting a topic and I will add it to my list.  I am going to finish up this series on “origins of radical Catholicism” and I think we will need about ten more entries to examine the situation at the end of the nineteenth century that is responsible for the formation of what one might call a “liberal” and a “conservative” camp in the American Church.  Actually the roots go much further back into colonial Catholicism where the American tradition first began and maybe in a month or two we will look at Catholicism in colonial America and see just how different it was from the Catholicism that the immigrants of the nineteenth century brought over.
All this is why I do this blog—not to supply readers with tons of useless information but to illustrate that our Catholic Church today is affected by its history and when we know its history we can understand better who we are and why we do the things we do.  History is not about the past.  In history we talk about the past as a means of understanding better the present and our options for the future.  When we know the history of the Catholic Church in the United States you can see that we were always different than the Church in Europe and that there have been episodes before as there are now when some in the Church are trying to make us follow a very foreign brand of Catholicism.  That is only one example.  We can see that the popes did not always have the power they have now.  At one times bishops were elected, not appointed by the Papal Curia.  We can see that some religious orders of sisters originally wore ordinary clothes and lived in rented apartments not convents.  We can see that there have been times when bishops and popes abused the authority of their office.  We can see that people who spoke up and against popes sometimes became saints and even doctors of the Church.  We can see when some of the heroes of the conservatives—like Cardinal Newman—were actually quite liberal and some of the heroes of the liberals—like Archbishop Ireland—were quite rigid and authoritarian.  We will see that there were saints who rejected the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception or purgatory.  We will be able to see ideas that once were considered heretical are now part of the teaching of the Church.  History is fascinating because it busts open many of the myths that we never question and it shows that beneath all the changes in the Church throughout its history are the real life needs, situations, ideas, prejudices, designs, hopes, fears and who knows what else of real people.  This is not to say that God isn’t involved only that he acts not by epiphany or direct revelation but through real people and in historical situations. Well, next blog will bring us back to the liberal-conservative struggles in the American Church at the end of the nineteenth century.   you may want to check out the blog-entry by the same title on February 6 2011  The image today is the reconstructed seventeenth century Catholic Church i Saint Mary's City, Maryland.   

          

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Origins of Radical Catholicism XVI: The Apostolic Delegation part 4

The Apostolic Delegation was established and Archbishop Satolli named Delegate on January 22, 1893.  This followed the presidential election of 1892 so as not to influence the outcome of the election, Republican incumbent Benjamin Harrison having invited Papal representation at the Columbian exhibition and thus having furnished the Holy See with an excuse for getting Satolli into the country.  Harrison lost his reelection bid, but the Vatican having sent a papal Ablegate to the States probably had little or no effect on his defeat.  There were other reasons having nothing to do with religion that Grover Cleveland and the Democrats retook the White House. 
Satolli, had been lured out onto very thin ice by the liberal faction, most notably Monsignor Denis O’Connel and Archbishop John Ireland.    His lifting the excommunication of McGlynn (see blogs of March 9, 10, 11, and 12) not only had infuriated Corrigan but also Cardinal Mieczyslaw Ledóchowski, the new head of Propaganda Fide in Rome.   Ledóchowski, was a conservative and would have had far more sympathy with Corrigan, but he probably had not yet figured out the game that the liberals in America were playing with Corrigan.  As a “new kid” on the block and self-conscious of his authority, Ledóchowski, would have resented Satolli’s independence in acting without consulting him as Propaganda still had control over the American Church.  Furthermore, Ledóchowski,’s appointment to Propaganda Fide put tension between his congregation—Propaganda Fide—and the Secretariate of State and Cardinal Rampola.   Rampola had set a pro-French policy for the Church which is something we will talk about very soon.  Ledóchowski, was pro-German in his policies. Not a good mix.  Satolli, as a papal representative had been answerable to the Secretariat of State while the territory to which he was accredited, the United States, was under Propaganda Fide.  So in the background of the McGlynn affair was a turf war.  Satolli was going to lose whichever way he handled the McGlynn matter.  Moreover, while Satolli was—at least for the time being—in the paws of the liberals, Ledóchowski managed to secure the appointments of the number two and three members of the Apostolic Delegation for his loyalists which caused deep concern among the liberals.  Of course—and keep this in the mix—the fact that Leo’s esteem for Gibbons, at times it seems almost a blind esteem, gave the liberals some weight that even Ledóchowski had to consider.  And Corrigan, for some short-sighted reason, kept muddying the waters as his diocesan newspaper continued to print articles decrying the Delegation.  While Corrigan denied responsibility for these articles and complained the editor would not divulge the name(s) of the authors, the editor himself turned on Corrigan and sent Rome correspondence showing that Corrigan was indeed behind the anti-Delegation articles.  It was very foolish of Corrigan who never got the Cardinal’s hat either because Rome deemed him not sufficiently loyal or more than sufficiently stupid to trust him any further than they had already committed in naming him Archbishop of New York.  But then, to be fair, Corrigan had no right to expect a red hat as previously only one Archbishop of New York, his immediate predecessor, was so honored.  All his successors have been named Cardinals and it is presumable that the current Archbishop, Timothy Dolan, will be made a Cardinal when his predecessor turns 80 and can no longer vote in a conclave. 
The big mistake that led to a wedge between Satolli and the liberals came in the World Parliament of Religions in September 1893.  Rome had always forbidden Catholic Participation in any such ecumenical or inter-faith gathering, even if it did not involve prayer.  The American Archbishops, at the urging of Ireland, had decided to participate in this gathering, claiming that the opportunity of presenting Catholic Doctrine and Truth outweighed any danger of religious indifferentism (the idea that all religions are equally truthful and valid ways of approaching God).  The liberals—Keane, Gibbons, and Ireland—were all prominent participants.  Gibbons explained that the Church needed to stand with other religious leaders against the common enemies: “materialism, agnosticism, and atheism.” Rampola back in Rome was not impressed at this violation of Church policy though he communicated to Gibbons that Leo XIII recognized the “good intentions” of the Americans in participating.  Satolli, though he understood America and the American mind well, was still first and foremost a Roman and saw this as a breach of the stringent ban on any such pan-religious activities.  Ledóchowski, likewise, was totally appalled when he heard of it and communicated this to Satolli. This moved Satolli somewhat more to Ledóchowski’s camp.  Despite the earlier assurances that the American Church would be free of Propaganda Fide once a Delegation had been established, authority was split and Satolli had to answer to Ledóchowski regarding ecclesiastical matters and Rampola regarding political and diplomatic matters.  Given Ledóchowski’s conservativism, Satolli knew which way the wind was blowing and anxious to kiss and make up with Ledóchowski for the way he had handled the McGlynn absolution.  At the same time Satolii began to disengage himself from Gibbons, Ireland, and the liberals. 
There was one more nail in the coffin of the liberal’s hope for control of the Delegation.  During the World Parliament of Religions the Archbishops held a meeting and could not come to a consensus on the issue of secret societies and whether Catholics could belong to them.  Under consideration were specifically The Oddfellows and the Knights of Pythias.  The prelate’s failure to make an outright condemnation shocked Satolli as the Holy Office (today’s Congregation for the Doctine of the Faith) had been unambiguous in previous cases in condemning Secret Societies.  Satolli finally saw that the Americans were not given to be little ducklings in a tidy line behind the Roman hen.  For the most part, the old generation of bishops, liberals or conservatives, didn’t accommodate themselves to the authority of the new Delegation but Rome would soon begin appointing bishops who knew who the boss was.  Before we get there, however, we have some other issues to look at—notably the Americanist heresy and Rome’s alarm at the American understanding of Catholicism. 
Let me say that though I use a variety of sources in my research for this series, I am particularly indebted to Gerald P. Fogarty SJ and his The Vatican and the American Hierarchy 1870 to 1965.  I am so dependent on Fogarty’s work that I would be a plagiarist (at least) if I didn’t acknowledge it.  Today's image is the plaque on the front of the Basilica of the Portiuncula (Saint Mary of the Angels) in Assisi commemorating the two inter-faith meetings held their under the auspices of John Paul II.  Such meetings were once prohibited. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Origins of Radical Catholicism XV: The Apostolic Delegation part 3

Monsignor Denis O’Connell and Archbishop Ireland did a masterful job in putting their foe, Archbishop Corrigan of New York—the leader of the Conservatives—in bad light for the arrival of the papal delegate, Archbishop Francesco Satolli.  O’Connell, traveling with Satolli, wrote Corrigan informing him that he and Archbishop Satolli would be arriving in New York on their way to the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago where Satolli would be representing the Holy Father at a Vatican Exhibit.  A letter obviously could travel no faster than the ship that carried it so it gave Corrigan no advance warning.  Nevertheless, Corrigan had heard rumors and tracked them down to learn that Satolli was coming and would be aboard the Majestic when it docked in New York on October 12 1892.  But Ireland had arranged a curve ball to Corrigan in case of just such an event.  As Satolli was coming to the exhibition at the invitation of the United States Government who was sponsoring the Columbian Exhibition, the Delegate was an official guest of the government and would be met by a Coast Guard cutter as the ship entered the harbor and conveyed privately to shore.  Try as he could, Corrigan could not get information regarding the cutter or its landing place.  Thus he was neither aboard the cutter nor at its dock to greet the Delegate.  The liberals leaked it to the press that this was a “snub” to the papal representative and so it was interpreted by all, including Satolli.  This was only the first step in the anti-Corrigan plan. 
Corrigan could not find the cutter or its dock, but he did know the date of arrival and he had arranged a dinner at his residence adjoining Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for the papal representative.  Under the circumstances the dinner was, shall we say, “strained.”  The next morning Satolli and O’Connell boarded a private railway car arranged for by Gibbons and travelled on to Baltimore where Gibbons welcomed the Delegate more appropriately.  He was taken to Washington where again there was a very gracious welcome by the Secretary of State on behalf of President Harrison who was absent tending to his dying wife. Satolli’s remarks, prepared by O’Connell, praised the American form of republican government and its freedom of Worship—this was a bit edgy for the time as we shall see in several future blogs about the situation in France and then later about an American Jesuit who would be removed from teaching these ideas at the Catholic University in Washington.  But for now, back to Satolli.   While in Washington the papal representative was taken to the new Catholic University where he was greeted by university officials and faculty.  Then on to Chicago with various stops along the way, all orchestrated by Archbishop Ireland who made sure that the Delegate was treated with great respect to contrast with Corrigan’s failures in New York.  Meanwhile, Denis O’Connell kept sending messages back to Cardinal Rampolla (the papal Secretary of State) in Rome about the warm welcomes extended to the papal representative and never mentioning Corrigan in his dispatches.   Then, somewhat ill-considered, Corrigan’s New York Catholic Newspaper published a diatribe against government collaboration with the Church in regards to education and Satolli, by now a convert to the liberal cause, cabled Rampolla himself about how injurious such criticism could be to the cause of the Church in the United States.  Corrigan was in deep, up to his ears and the liberals were enjoying every bit of it. 
Ireland next brought Archbishop Satolli to his diocese, Saint Paul Minnesota, to help him prepare for a meeting of the American Archbishops.  Ireland’s real agenda was to convince Satolli of Ireland’s program on “The Schools Issue.” Ireland had a fourteen point program in which he basically supported public school education over the parochial system advocated by most American bishops. Indeed the bishops had incorporated the idea that every parish should have its parochial school and parents should be obligated to send their children to these schools under penalty of being deprived of the sacraments as legislation at the Plenary Councils of Baltimore.  Ireland, on the other hand, had sold a number of Catholic Schools to the State of Minnesota which in turned hired the nuns and priests to teach in these now public schools, reserving religious education for Catholics until after normal school hours.  Ireland did a great sales job and Satolli endorsed the fourteen points at the subsequent meeting of the Archbishops.  The leading opponent to Ireland’s plan was, of course, Archbishop Corrigan of New York who now found himself more isolated than ever from Satolli. 
Satolli also polled the Archbishops on the suitability of establishing a permanent Apostolic Delegation in Washington.  Rome was determined to do so, but wanted it to be at the “request” of the American hierarchy.  Ireland was the only one of the Archbishops to vote in favor of the delegation.  Most of the others demurred claiming they needed to consult the suffragen bishops of their respective provinces. Even Gibbons did not speak in its behalf, but remained silent.  This was an orchestrated plan however.  Gibbons’ had not joined in the chorus against the delegation and his silence was explained as “fear” in face of the opposition and, given that he was the senior American Churchman, a reluctance of compromising himself in case he should be needed as mediator between opposing wings of the hierarchy.    Satolli was furious at the Archbishops for refusing to endorse the Delegation and he blamed Corrigan and the conservatives for the reluctance of the American hierarchy, cabling  Rampolla in Rome that the Holy See should just go ahead and establish the Delegation with or without the approval of the American hierarchy. 
Corrigan realized that he was being made a scapegoat both with Satolli and the Holy See and he begged O’Connell to smooth things out.  O’Connell told Corrigan not to worry, it was just a tempest in a teapot (idiomatic translation of the actual words which were incidente accidentale).  Well, if it were, O’Connell was making sure the winds blew strong in that teapot.  He wrote Rampolla telling the Cardinal that the pope needed to back up Satolli’s endorsement of Ireland’s fourteen points as well as the other liberal agenda to show that Satolli was speaking for the Holy See because the American Archbishops opposition to Satolli and his proposed Delegation was a contest between their authority and Roman authority.  Rome needed to bring the bishops into line.  This is so deliciously ironic that the conservatives found themselves out on a limb and the liberals looked like the loyalists.  Gibbons, Ireland, O’Connell, Keane and their party were having a field day and poor Satolli was being played like a puppet on strings and had no idea.  But such hubris leads to overconfidence and that brings us to a fall.  Stay tuned.  The image today is the Papal Nunciature in Washington DC, originally the Apostolic Delegation until the Holy See and the United States established formal diplomatic relations during the Reagan Administration. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Origins of Radical Catholicism XIV: The Apostolic Delegation, part 2

Rome was  becoming aware that not only was the United States coming to be a world player but that the American Church was going down its own path due to a remarkable degree of freedom from Roman oversight; and Pope Leo XIII was quite determined to have a Nuncio, or at least an Apostolic Delegate, in the United States.  When Denis O’Connell, rector of the North American College presented Leo with the Peter’s Pence collection in 1891, the pope lamented that the bishops did not want a papal representative in the United States.  Leo attributed this to the bishops being jealous lest any of their power be diminished.  O’Connell said that the pope wasn’t angry about this, just more disappointed or saddened.  He wasn’t to be sad for long, however.  He had a plan and Gibbons knew it.  The only challenge was how to make the pope’s plan work for Gibbons and his liberals rather than against them. 
The American bishops were not the only ones who were opposed to having Nuncio or Apostolic Delegate.  Leo’s own curia was a bit of a wasps’ nest—as Roman Curiae inevitably are.  (Curiae is the plural of curia.  It’s Latin for all you Tridentine wanna-bes.)  Cardinal Simeoni of Propaganda Fide was deadly opposed to it as a Vatican Delegation in Washington would remove the American Church from his jurisdiction (with the financial benefits accrued thereto) and place it directly under the Secretariat of State.  (The fiscal benefits were heavily unofficial and consisted of what we may call “gratuities” that bishops, monsignors, and other petitioners would render to have their matters “expedited.”   While we moderns, especially Americans, naively consider such courtesies by the vulgar term “bribes” they were—and are—standard protocol in many bureaucracies.  After all, Gammarelli’s doesn’t give away those purple socks for nothing, you know.)  In any event, Propaganda Fide didn’t want to lose the American trade which is why Cardinal Rampolla of the Secretariat of State  had told Gibbons not to let on to Propaganda that he and two of the American Archbishops were to come to Rome to discuss the planned Delegation with Rampolla’s office.  Rampolla meant to steal Simeoni’s American clients for his own shop.  In the event it didn’t quit work out that way and even though an American Delegation would be established in 1892, and despite Leo’s word to O’Connell that such a Delegation would remove the United States from control by Propaganda Fide, it would be sixteen more years and another pope before the American Church was freed from Propaganda Fide supervision.  By that time the Catholic Church in America would be even more firmly under the Roman thumb due to changes in the American hierarchy and the links between the Papal Secretary of State—Cardinal Merry del Val and his buddy, “Wild Bill” O’Connell, Cardinal Archbishop of Boston.  But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
As I had written earlier, O’Connell and the liberals were determined that if there had to be a delegation, they wanted to be able in some way to exercise some control over it.  They determined that the best way would be a two-step process of getting the Delegate—who was to be Francesco Satolli—into the United States on one pretext and then, once there to announce him as the new Apostolic Delegate.  This would get the Delegate into the States without anti-Catholic protests over the establishment of a papal foothold in Washington (even though it was not an official embassy to the American Government, but simply a delegation to the Catholic Church in the United States) and it would also get the new Delegate into the United States without Corrigan and the conservative wing of the hierarchy knowing what was afoot.  Moreover, by overseeing the process of establishing the Delegation, Gibbons and the liberals would have the Delegate in their debt, and hopefully in their trust.  It would work—until the liberals, as usual, overplayed their hand.  It worked like this.  Gibbons met with Benjamin Harrison’s Secretary of State, John Foster, and had the Vatican invited to exhibit at the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1892.  (Ever read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson? Great book!)   The Vatican sent various maps and mosaics along with Satolli as a personal representative of the Pope to the exhibition.  Denis O’Connell would accompany Satolli to New York where Gibbons was to have a railway carriage ready to bring Satolli to Baltimore from where he would travel to Chicago.  After the exhibition’s opening on October 12, 1892, Satolli would go to Washington.  Satolli was not yet appointed as Apostolic Delegate; that would happen only after he was in the United States and presumably after the 1892 presidential election so as not to become a political issue.  The next task for the liberals was how to throw a cream pie in Corrigan’s face so as to embarrass the conservatives as Satolli passed through New York.  today's image is the window of Gammarelli's (aka "Glamourelli's"), haberdasher to popes and prelates (and prelate wanna be's) for three hundred years--sort of the Popes' Norman Hartnell, though rumor has it that Benedict has shifted tailors to a more discreet firm.   

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Origins of Radical Catholicism XIII The Apostolic Delegation, part 1

For the first century of its existence the American hierarchy enjoyed a tremendous amount of autonomy with very little oversight from Rome. According to the website of the Archdiocese of Baltimore:
In its relationship with the Holy See (Archbishop John) Carroll wished a measure of autonomy for the American Church. Although he overcame his initial distrust of the Congregation of the Propaganda, he was not overly generous in the information he supplied the Roman authorities nor overly conscientious in following their directives. At the same time, he instilled in his spiritual children a deep loyalty to the pope as a symbol of unity.”
The bishops and archbishops who followed John Carroll were not much different in jealously guarding their semi-autonomy from Rome. There were a number of reasons for this.   In the first place, the world of the late eighteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries was not a highly communicative world.  Rome was far away—a message to the papal curia would take six to eight weeks to reach Rome and six to eight weeks to return—not to consider the time it would take to shuffle from one curial desk to another.  Six, eight, ten months, a year would not be an unreasonable amount of time for an issue to be dealt with—and then what if there were a need for clarification and the second or even third round of letters.   No, it made much more sense to deal with issues at home and not refer them to the Holy See.  If some question needed to be resolved, a bishop could always consult his metropolitan Archbishop and one Archbishop could confer with two or three others.    Secondly, there were no diplomatic relations between the American Republic and the Holy See that would have stationed a permanent papal representative in the United States.  In the third place, unlike England where the Venerable English College in Rome—often with a “Cardinal Protector of England” in residence—could serve as a conduit of information between the Church in England and the Holy See, the Americans—neither government nor Church—had a permanent presence in Rome until the establishment of the North American College in 1859 and even then neither the Holy See nor the American bishops turned to it for any purposes other than education of clergy.  In 1853 the Nuncio to Brazil, Gaetano Bedini, stopped in Washington on his way to take up his post and he made a report back to Rome suggesting the appointment of a Nuncio to the American Republic, but nothing ever came of it.  I cannot imagine what Bedini was thinking in recommending such a move.  A Nuncio would have required reciprocal diplomatic relations and, as you may remember from the blog on the Know-Nothings, this was a period of rampant anti-Catholicism in which it would have been politically impossible for the United States to consent to diplomatic ties to the Holy See.   In fact, Archbishop Bedini’s visit had stirred anti-Catholic demonstrations protesting his temporary presence.     
In 1879 George Conroy, Bishop of Ardagh in Ireland, visited the States on the occasion of Archbishop (later Cardinal) Gibbon’s of Baltimore receiving the pallium.   Conroy also made a report to the Holy See, suggesting an Apostolic Delegation but only if the Apostolic Delegate were an American.  (A Nuncio is the papal representative to a nation; an Apostolic Delegate is his representative to a Church within a nation with which the Holy See does not have diplomatic relations.)  Conroy picked up on the xenophobia of Americans and realized that a European Archbishop would be seen as a threat to the sovereignty of the American people, Catholic or otherwise.    If an American could not be found who could serve in this role, then Conroy thought only a temporary Delegation—a sort of periodic visitation—should be sent.  In 1886 the Holy See sent Monsignor Paolo Mori to inquire about the possibility of Diplomatic Relations between the Holy See and the American Government.  Such a move would have meant a nunciature; it was not a possibility of course since with the loss of the Papal States there could not have been even a masque of diplomatic relations between governments and it would have meant (at least in popular perception) establishing ties with the Roman Catholic Church, something constitutionally questionable and politically out of the question.   
With Conroy’s visitation it became clear to at least some of the American bishops that the period of benign neglect was at an end and that the Pope’s commissioning an Apostolic Delegate was only a matter of time.  Mori’s mission, though unsuccessful, confirmed it. The liberal party decided to be proactive on this so that the Delegate, once appointed, would be favourable to their point of view.   Gibbons had to go to Rome the same year that Mori visited the States and he sized up the situation.  In 1889 the Holy See sent Francesco Satolli as its representative to the centenary celebrations for the appointment of the first bishop in the United States—John Carroll—in 1789.  Satolli returned to Rome and reported to the Secretary of State, Cardinal Rampolla, that the American bishops (or at least those whom he consulted) were in favour of a Delegation as a means of improving communication with Rome.  Unfortunately it is not known which bishops, other than Gibbons, that Satolli consulted, but it can be surmised from the way things played out, and from the preeminent role of Gibbons in the whole event, that it was the liberal wing.  Cardinal Rampolla wrote Gibbons and asked him to bring perhaps two of the more prudent Archbishops with him to Rome for some consultation. Then Rampolla added a rather curious note advising Gibbons not to tell the Congregation Propaganda Fide about this proposed meeting between the Americans and the Secretariat of State.  Given that Propaganda Fide had oversight of the American Church, Rampolla’s request is most strange.  Hmmm, it seems that they may play politics in Rome as well.  Fancy that.  More to come.    The image today is John Carroll, the first Catholic Bishop in the United States

Friday, March 25, 2011

Origins of Radical Catholicism XII: The German Question, part 2

Well, the Abbelen Memorial had no sooner been dealt with than the German Question was reopened by a devout German merchant, a layman, from Limburg by the name of Peter Paul Cahensly.  Now before we go into the Cahensly affair—which was far more extensive and with far greater consequences than the Abbelen memorial, we need to look at why “the German Question” was so politically sensitive.  It wasn’t simply a matter of providing pastoral care to the immigrant populations as both Father Abbelen and Herr Cahensly might protest.  It undermined both the authority of the bishops and the sovereignty of the American Republic. 
As mentioned in a previous blog, many of the immigrants identified more with their country of origin than with the new republic to which they had emigrated.  As you may remember from some of our blogs on anti-Catholicism, American nativism has always run strong, and the attempts of immigrant communities to preserve their languages, cultures, and even political ties to European homelands put the Church in an awkward position.  Ireland, O’Connell, Gibbons and the other Americanists were anxious to have the immigrants snap their ties to their European homelands as soon as possible precisely so that the Catholic Church in the United States would not be seen as a foreign entity but that its old and deep roots in Colonial and Revolutionary America would be the face that would show to fellow Americans who did not share the Catholic faith.   Abbelen, Cahensly, Archbishops Heiss and Katzer, Cardinal Melchers of Cologne, and others of the German party could not have cared less about those American roots.  As I quoted Father Cyrill Knoll in a previous blog:  A German is a German although he has shaken off the dust of his fatherland, and everywhere a true German longs for a greater Germany.  I am one of those who want to remain a German. 
This ethnocentric sentiment very much suited the foreign policy of the German Foreign Ministry.  World War I was almost twenty years away, but the lines were forming and Germany had allied itself with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy in the Triple Alliance.  ((Italy would shift side before War came.)  Prussian foreign policy wanted to have a strong German community in the United States to prevent America from allying with its traditional friends, England and France.  The Catholic Church could be just the agency for keeping alive the ethnic pride of the German immigrants—and also those of the Austrian Empire and of Italy. 
Cahensly had founded the St. Raphaels-Verein to provide spiritual assistance to German communities in the United States.  Austrian, Belgian, and Italian chapters of this same association soon appeared and in 1883 a branch was founded in the United States.  An 1890 meeting in Lucerne of various national branches (but not including the American) formed a petition that repeated many of the demands of the Abbelen memorial—including provisions already granted Abbelen—including national parishes, guarantees of the rights of immigrant priests serving those parishes, rights to establish parochial schools where the children would be educated in their parents’ language.  It also wisely encouraged the foundation of fraternal and mutual-aid associations to lessen the threat of American secret associations (such as the Freemasons) and it called on the Holy See to establish seminaries to train priests to work among the immigrant populations of the United States.  All this the American Church could probably have worked with.  But it went further.  It called for the establishment of foreign-born hierarchies of bishops to oversee the various ethnic groups in America.  In other words, German (or Italian, or Polish, or whatever) Catholics would be removed from the jurisdiction of the local bishop and placed under a bishop of their own (I wont’ say nationality as these immigrants should have been becoming Americans) ethnic origin.  Needless to say the American bishops would have none of this.  The Gibbons party (the liberals) and the Corrigan party(the conservatives) might agree on very little but neither was willing to have their own Episcopal power in any way diminished. 
Cahensly was not to be dismissed out of hand however.  In putting his petition together, he had consulted with Papal Secretary of State Rampolla as well as Simeoni of Propaganda Fide and Cardinals Mazzella, Melchers, and Ledochowski.  The German and Austrian Foreign Ministers were very much in support of the plan (and why not?).  In the end, it was the Papal Secretary of State who saw how the plan could backfire vis a vis the resentment of the United States towards foreign interference in the appointment of bishops and the plan was rejected.  Rampolla (and most likely Leo XIII) saw how this would play into the hands of the Triple Alliance, an coalition that the papacy did not want to encourage.  Gibbons and the liberals wanted to use Cahensly’s injudicious proposal for their own aims however and were quick to let the Harrison administration in the White House how this attempt on American autonomy by establishing a foreign hierarchy in this country had been turned back.  President Harrison told the Cardinal that “foreign and unauthorized interference in American affairs cannot be looked on with indifference.” So Cahensly ended up strengthening the hand of the very people he saw as being problematic for the survival of the German Catholic heritage in its new setting.  Cahensly could do nothing about it.  But his friend, Cardinal Melchers of Cologne, could and Melchers was only more distrustful of American Catholicism and its Americanist bishops.  the image today is the sepulcher chapel from the Cathedral of Cologne in Germany

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Origins of Radical Catholicism XI: The "German Question."

I had thought I move on to the subject of the establishment of an Apostolic Delegation but I forgot that we first have to deal with “The German Question,” most notably with the events surrounding the “Abbelen Memorial” to the Roman Congregation of Propaganda Fide. 
Peter Abbelen (1843-1917) was a German born priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who on behalf of the German speaking clergy of the Milwaukee, Cincinatti, and Saint Louis Archdioceses submitted a petition to the Congregation of Propaganda Fide in Rome to establish and protect the rights of German priests and congregations in the United States.  Propagada Fide (literally: for the spread of the faith), known today as the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is the bureau in the Papal Curia that is responsible for work in missionary countries; as such it oversaw the Church in the United States until 1908.  At the same time that Propaganda Fide had jurisdictional oversight of the American Church, other Roman dicasteries, most notably the Secretariat of State, also had authority and this enabled the Bishops and others to play one congregation off against another from time to time as we shall see in blogs over the next week or so. 
The problem began in St. Louis where Archbishop Peter Kenrick established the policy that within the boundaries of any one territorial parish there could be only one canonical parish and any other church or quasi-parish did not carry with it the rights and privileges of a canonical parish.   Now that sounds confusing but let me present an example illustrating what he meant.  A parish is not simply a church, it is a territory served by that church and with a pastor appointed to minister to the Catholics in that territory and administer the property of that parish.  So a parish is a territory.  Now let us say that within that territory a specific group of Catholics wish to establish a second church for their own purposes.   For example: a group of several hundred German immigrant families wish to establish a German church within the boundaries of an already existing English-language parish, or overlapping the boundaries of several English-language parishes, they can—with the bishop’s permission build a church but that church is not a parish.  It is a secondary chapel, or a chapel-of-ease, to the parish in whose territory the church itself stands.  By the letter of the law—the canons of the Council of Trent (1545-1562) that policy is correct; but that policy was not drawn up with the American situation of islands of alien immigrant communities surrounded by a native population who speak a different language and have a different culture.  And while the German quasi-parishes or national churches functioned well-enough in Saint Louis, their rectors did not have the full rights under canon law as the (English speaking) rectors of the established territorial parishes.  Most important, the rector of an established parish could not be removed at will by the bishop.  But the English speaking rector (pastor) of the parish in which the German parish stood was technically the pastor of those German parishioners.  He could block the construction of a school in which the children would be taught in German.  He could set requirements for first communion and confirmation for English and German children alike.   He had rights over the administration of baptism and marriages.  In other words, the German speaking priests would always be second- class citizens unless they were named pastor of a territorial parish—all of which were English speaking—and their parishioners would always be at the whim of the policies of English-speaking pastors.  As I said, in Saint Louis where the Vicar General, Monsignor Muehlsiepen was a German, the day to day pastoral practicalities worked out, but the German pastors were still second-class citizens as they could be moved at whim and also, not being irremovable rectors they lacked rights of being consulted for diocesan policies and for the nomination of bishops.  Cincinatti and Milwaukee also had large German immigrant populations with their own churches and their clergy were also in this ambiguous position.     
Abbelen went to Rome with a petition of the German clergy from those three Archdioceses asking Rome to give ethnic parishes the same rights as territorial parishes. Abbelen’s petition also requested that the Holy See mandate the appointment of a German speaking Vicar General for the German faithful in those dioceses where neither the bishop nor his Vicar General spoke German.  And thirdly, his petition sought that the Holy See require that the adult children of those parishioners in German ethnic parishes have the consent of the pastor of the German parish before they could change their membership to the territorial parish.  This last point would, of course, keep the German faithful in the German parish for two, three, and more generations, guaranteeing the survival of the German parishes.
Beneath Abbelen’s petition—and it should be remembered that while he presented it, there was a large body of German clergy (including Archbishop Heiss and Bishop Katzer) behind it—was a certain ethnocentricism, almost racism.  That is not to say that it didn’t have merit, but rather it saw the world in categories of German/non-German.  It needs to be kept in mind that Germans were the largest non-English speaking immigrant group but they were not the only ones.  Lithuanians, Hungarians, Slovaks, Czechs, Belgians, French, and especially Italians and Poles were facing the same difficulties, but Abbelen’s petition concerned only the German immigrant churches.  Moreover the petition called all English speakers “Irish,” which neglected completely the ethnic complexity of English-speaking American Catholicism.    Several German-born bishops, notably Richter of Grand Rapids and Rademacher of Nashville, did not support it the Abbelen memorial.  Archbishop Ireland and Bishop Keane were in Rome and obtained a copy of the petition, Kean calling it “A more villainous tissue of misstatements I have seldom read.”  Gibbons collected the opinions of the other bishops and sent them on to Rome, none supporting Abbelen.  Belgian-born Bishop Camillus Maes of Covington KY wrote that the petition sent to Rome by “German Prelates” was “nothing less than an insult to the hierarchy of the United States.”  Martin Marty, the Swiss-born Benedictine bishop of the Dakotas likewise saw this as a “secret” of the German bishops and clergy, while Katzer of Green Bay (and later Milwaukee) wrote Propaganda Fide defending and endorsing the petition. 
When the German Catholics of the United States planned a national gathering, a Katholikentag for Cincinnati in 1888, they requested a Papal Blessing from Leo XIII, but while the blessing was yet on its way, Denis O’Connel, Rector of the North American College, and Roman agent for the liberal bishops, managed to have it withdrawn.  This was an egregious insult to the Germans no matter how tense the ethnic divide was.  In the end, Rome decided the various questions more or less in favor of the German petition.  Yes, two parishes could exist in the same territory.  Yes, the pastors of the German parishes could be and have the rights of Irremovable rectors. And the children of German parents should be in the German parish until their legal majority.  Rome did not give the German pastors the right to refuse adult parishioners the right to transfer to an English language parish.   But the battle was not over.  A German layman and a German Cardinal would stir up the pot again.  the image today is the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Milwaukee

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Origins of Radical Catholicism X: A Catholic University

The next scheme the liberal party came up with was the founding of a Catholic University in Washington DC.  John Lancaster Spalding, Bishop of Peoria, won the endorsement of the majority of bishops at the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884 for this idea.  This should not be surprising as Spalding had already presented the plan to Leo XIII for his approval—which was given—and he also had persuaded a wealthy New York Heiress Mary Gwendolyn Caldwell for a burse of three hundred thousand dollars (worth approx 6.7 million today) to realize the initial phase of the university.  Caldwell Hall, the principal residence for priests professors is named after Ms. Caldwell.   (We might do an adults-only blog on the Spalding/Caldwell ties.)   Not everyone was in favor of this projected university; there was, one should not be surprised, an agenda.  The primary function of the University was to be a  seminarium principale for the American Church—a place where dioceses could send their men to study and earn pontifical degrees without having to go to Europe.  Up until this time, if a priest wished to earn a church-recognized degree (which was required for seminary professors) he had to go to one of the European universities such as Leuven in Belgium or Innsbruck in Austria or one of the Roman Universities.  (There were other options, notably in Spain, but most Americans went to one of the three named; and in fact most went to Rome.) The liberals, in their project to stamp the Church in the United States with a distinctly American identity, wanted to avoid exposing future generations of clergy as much as possible to European thought and customs.  Given the strong monarchial and integrist tenor of late nineteenth century Europe this is understandable.  As the Americanist agenda became more clear, the more conservative bishops—German and American alike—began to back off their support.  Corrigan led the way.  Of course, Corrigan had an agenda too—he wanted Fordham, the Jesuit University in his archdiocese, to be the official Catholic University for the United States.  Milwaukee Archbishop Michael Heiss, the leading German bishop in the United States and an implacable foe of the liberal party, was a member of the committee to choose a rector, and his abrupt resignation alerted Rome that something more than what appeared was going on.  The Jesuits—jealous to protect Georgetown from a second church affiliated university in Washington and anxious to make their university at Fordham the Catholic University, worked with Corrigan.  In the end, it was Gibbons (who ironically was not a supporter of the idea) who used his friendship with Leo XIII to bring the project to fruition.  The University opened in 1889—the centenary year for the establishment of a Catholic hierarchy in the United States—with John Joseph Keane as Rector.  (Keane, you may remember from earlier posts, was a leading liberal).  The university would be the scene of many a battle between liberals and conservatives over the course of the twentieth century, not least of which was the Henry Poels debacle in 1908, the John Courtney Murray archdebacle in the 1950’s, and the case of Father Charles Curran after the Humanae Vitae Encyclical in 1968 with Act II of this tragic farce from 1986-89.   These are blips, however, on a fairly consistent track record of arbitrary authority triumphing over sound scholarship.   At some future time when I do a blog or two on the John Courtney Murray debacle I will justify the words "arbitrary" and "sound," but until then we move on—the next blog will be on the Apostolic Delegation.  Remember that while blogs are posted most days, there will be gaps as i do have a (not terribly demanding) day job.  The image today is McMahon Hall on the campus of The Catholic University of America, Washington DC

Monday, March 21, 2011

Origins of Radical Catholicism IX: Factions among the Bishops

       Before we go on, let me clarify the situation in the American hierarchy at this point.  There were essentially three factions among the bishops: the American Liberals, the American Conservatives, and the Germans. 
We have talked a lot about the liberals.  The Dean of the Liberal faction was Cardinal James Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore.  The other principle players were John Ireland, Archbishop of Saint Paul Minnesota; Denis O’Connell, Rector of the North American College in Rome (and later Bishop of Richmond); John Lancaster Spalding, Bishop of Peoria; John Joseph Keane, Bishop of Richmond, and John Moore, Bishop of Saint Augustine, FL. 
The American Conservative faction was larger but had less influence.  It was led by Archbishop Corrigan of New York and included Bernard McQuaid, Bishop of Rochester NY; Patrick Feehan, Archbishop of Chicago; Patrick John Ryan, Archbishop of Philadelphia; William Henry Elder, Archbishop of Cincinnati; and William H. Gross, Archbishop of Oregon City, OR.  You might remember Elder—he was the bishop who during the Yankee occupation of Natchez in the American Civil War was imprisoned by the Yankee army for refusing to have prayers said in the churches for the President of the United States.  (See Blog for 2/10/11.)
It is difficult to know where to put Peter Richard Kenrick, Archbishop of Saint Louis.  In some respects he might also be considered in this party but he was pretty much of a non-entity as his stands at Vatican I had alienated Rome.  I suppose actually that Kenrick would have been considered a Liberal and an Americanist at the time of the Council.  He advocated that issues in the American Church not be referred to the Roman Curia but dealt with by the American hierarchy, and this would be a position that men like Gibbons (more subtly than Kenrick) and Ireland (who was never subtle) would espouse. Kenrick also was one of the few bishops at the Council who opposed the definition of Papal Infallibility.  His positions on these issues put him on the enemies list for the Roman Curia and made him a pariah among his fellow American bishops.  In the matter of the Knights of Labor he opposed Gibbons and the defense of Labor Unions.  He probably resented Gibbons for several reasons, not least of which is that Gibbons had succeed his brother, Francis Kenrick, as Archbishop of Baltimore and Gibbons became a Cardinal, an honor never extended to Kenrick’s brother.  The last few years of his episcopacy he had a co-adjutor, John Joseph Kain, to whom he was ardently and publicly opposed.  Finally in 1896 Pope Leo XIII canonically deposed him and he died weeks later. His was a sad story. But back to our main theme.
The third party among the Hierarchy were the German bishops led by Archbishop Katzer of Milwaukee.  (Katzer was actually Austrian born but we are including the German-speaking bishops in this category.) Katzer’s predecessor, Michael Heiss had led the German faction prior to his death in 1890.  Others in this party were Sebastian Messmer (actually Swiss, but German speaking) of Green Bay, Kilian Flasch (d. 1891) and James Schwebach of LaCrosse.  Henry Muehlsiepen, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis was also in this camp—and a leading protagonist of the German cause—and while not a bishop wielded considerable power and influence given the confused state of Kenrick’s episcopacy.  Not all German-born or German-speaking bishops could be counted on to support the more extreme demands of the German party.  Bishops Joseph Rademacher of Nashville and Henry Richter of Grand Rapids distanced themselves from the German agenda.
The German agenda deserves a posting of its own and we will do that soon. 
The Liberal Americanist wing, despite its smaller size, dominated through the 1880’s and into the 1890’s.  Their strength was most likely due to Gibbons personally.  He was the only American Cardinal at the time, but more important (and not unrelated) was the friendship and trust in which Pope Leo XIII held him.  Leo was no liberal—especially in theological and ecclesiological matters—but he was no conservative either and he did make some surprising choices for his Cardinals, John Henry Newman being another liberal whose appointment to the Sacred College astonished (and in the case of Henry Manning , Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, dismayed) his contemporaries.  Even after the fall of the liberals in 1894 Gibbons remained in Leo’s confidence.  Corrigan, on the other hand, as hard as he worked for Roman favor, never got his galero.     
The image today is Cardinal Gibbons, the leader of the Americanist Party

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Origins of Radical Catholicism VIII: The Fight for Catholic Schools, part 3.

I mentioned in the last episode that Cardinal Melchers, the exiled archbishop of Cologne, delated (reported for heresy) Archbishop John Ireland of St. Paul Minnesota to Rome for his endorsement of the Public School system in the United States.  The issue behind Ireland’s speech and Melcher’s denunciation was English-only education and, on a broader scale, the integration of immigrants (in the instance of Melcher’s concern, specifically German immigrants) into American society and culture.  There was more.  Ireland and others in the liberal faction were trying to get John Lancaster Spalding, the bishop of Peoria, appointed to be the Archbishop of Milwaukee.  John Martin Henni, a Swiss had been appointed bishop of the new see in 1844 and promoted to Archbishop when the diocese became the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 1875.  His successor, Michael Heiss was German.  When Heiss died in 1890 there was a concern on the part of the liberals to make sure the new Archbishop was American born lest the Germans become entrenched there and use it as a powerbase.  Spalding was perfect, or rather appeared perfect as a candidate for the See.  He came from an old Maryland Catholic family that had emigrated to Kentucky at the end of the 18th century and his uncle Martin John Spalding had been Archbishop of Baltimore from 1864 until his death in 1872.  Spalding would have blocked the German domination of the Church in Wisconsin and supported the English-only education policies of the Republican gubernatorial administration in Wisconsin.   In the event, it did not happen and Milwaukee would be ruled by an Austrian (Frederick Katzer) and then a Swiss-German (Gerard Messmer) Archbishop for the next forty years.  Despite the efforts of Gibbons and Ireland, Catholicism in Milwaukee would be German Catholicism. 
While Melchers and the German Catholic community were mobilized to resistance by Ireland’s speech, Americans in general (and that means Protestants) cheered it.  A Baptist minister described the Catholic Church as follows:
There are two distinct and hostile parties in the Roman Catholic Church in America.  One is led by Archbishop Ireland.  It stands for Americanism and a large independence.  It is sympathetic with modern thought.  It believes the Roman Catholic Church should take its place in all the great moral reforms.  It is small but progressive, vigorous, and brave.
The other party is led by the overwhelming majority of the hierarchy.  It is conservative, out of touch with American or modern ideas.  It is the old medieval European Church transplanted into The Nineteenth Century and this country of freedom, interesting as an antiquity and curiosity, but fast losing its power and consequently growing in bitterness.
Statements like this did not help Ireland’s cause and they certainly did not endear him to the authorities in Rome.  Ella B. Edes, a Brahmin convert to Catholicism who served as a secretary to Cardinal Simeoni of the Propaganda Fide—the Roman Congregation that oversaw the American Church at the time—and spy-agent provocateur for Archbishop Corrigan of New York, remarked that “Ireland is the stuff of which heretics are made.”  Edes had perhaps the most viperfish tongue to ever grace the halls of the Vatican—no small distinction—and Simeoni to whom she reported the back-alley gossip of the American Church was pathologically anti-American.  This is not to say that Edes’ wasn’t witty nor to say that Simeoni’s fears were unfounded.  But distrust of Ireland in Rome undoubtedly had much to do with Spalding’s never rising above Peoria and Ireland’s never getting a red hat. Both men had the talent to go further in their careers than they did, but neither knew his Achilles’ heel and it marked them each for disappointment.
In the immediate fallout, the Schools Question ended up in Rome for a decision and that will be part of the story of the first Apostolic Delegate.      

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Origins of Radical Catholicism VII: The Fight for Catholic Schools part 2

Although the Catholic Bishops of the United States had supported parochial schools since the First Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1840, many parish priests and even a few bishops were entirely content with Catholics attending public schools.  Where bias against Catholics was non-existent or not particularly high, clergy could not see the problem with the public schools that priests and parents were having when anti-Catholics controlled the school boards.  In some places Catholics were excused from bible reading and prayers; in others their attendance was required despite the protests of parents and pastors. 
Probably the most outspoken Churchman in favor of the Public Schools was John Ireland (1838-1918).  Ireland was Irish born but his family had immigrated to the United States—to Saint Paul, Minnesota—when he was still a child.  Entering the seminary, Ireland was sent to France for his education.  This French education exposed him to the liberal strain of French Catholicism which made him suspicious of Rome.  Nevertheless, Ireland was made bishop coadjutor of St. Paul in 1875 and ordinary (bishop of the diocese) in 1884.  In 1888 St. Paul was raised to the status of an Archdiocese with Ireland as its first Archbishop.  Ireland favored public schools and allowed several parochial schools of his archdiocese to be sold to the State of Minnesota with priests and nuns as salaried teachers who taught religion only after regular school hours.  That arrangement would never stand in civil court today but it was a commodious arrangement for both Church and School Boards in several Minnesota towns of that time. 
There were probably several points of agenda beneath Ireland’s stance on Public Schools.  Ireland was a convinced liberal and an ardent Republican.  (Remember that in our last blog I had told you that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the Republican Party was the Liberal Party.)  As part of his liberal and Republican stance, Ireland was opposed to foreign-language schools and wished to require English as the only language of instruction.  Ireland was opposed to Europeanization under any and all circumstances.  Immigrants were to be Americanized as soon as possible.   He saw these German (or other language) parochial schools as one of the forces that were preventing the new generation from becoming truly American. 
Ireland said in one speech:
"The public schools are our pride and glory.  The Republic of the United States has solemnly affirmed its resolve that within its borders no cloud of ignorance shall settle upon the minds of the children of its people. In furnishing the means to accomplish this result its generosity knows no limits.  The free school of America!  Withered be the hand raised in sign of its destruction." 
The Germans, for their part, had an ally in their cause for German language schools in Cardinal Melchers, the Archbishop of Cologne.  Melchers is himself a very complex figure but he had extreme credibility among the conservative forces of the Church in Europe—indeed among European Catholics in General.  He had been arrested by Bismark during the German Kulturkampf for his defense of the Catholic Church against Bismark’s secularist  and anti-Catholic administration and would have been deported to German territory in what is now Poland had he not instead fled to the Netherlands.   Consequently he had the status of a living martyr. 
Melchers, like many Germans both in Germany and the United States, saw the German population of the American Republic first and foremost as Germans, not as Americans.  One priest from Germany who came to America to minister to German immigrants wrote:  A German is a German although he has shaken off the dust of his fatherland and everywhere a true German longs for a greater Germany.  I am one of those who want to remain a German. This attitude was not in accord with Ireland’s integrationist philosophy and up and through World War I German Americans would be held suspect for their allegiance.  Melchers delated (made an official complaint) Ireland to Rome for his statement on Public Schools.   
Melchers had no right, of course, to interfere in matters outside his own diocese, but seeing the German Immigrants as Germans believed that he had jurisdiction over them or at least the responsibility of being a sort of “Cardinal-Protector” for them.  The interference of European bishops in American dioceses regarding matters of immigrants from their home countries and dioceses infuriated American bishops, but it betrayed a lack of clear understanding regarding Church authority.  
The image today is Cardinal Melchers, Archbishop of Cologne

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Origins of Radical Catholicism VI: The Fight for Catholic Schools

Labor was only one issue that set a boundary between the liberal and conservative wings of the Catholic Church in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century.  The First Plenary Council of Baltimore (a meeting of all the American bishops along with the superiors of the major male religious orders) mandated that every Catholic parish have a parochial school and this item was reiterated at the second and third Plenary Councils.  Of course it was not always possible financially or otherwise for a parish to have a school, but more to the point there were some pastors who were not convinced that Catholic Schools were necessary and there were some bishops who agreed with them.
Catholic parents had  legitimate concerns about Catholic children attending public schools.  Bible reading, school prayer, and even (Protestant) religious education were standard practices nineteenth century America.  The bible used, of course, was the King James translation which was all but universal among Protestants of the time but which Catholics found objectionable.  Moreover Catholic children frequently faced religious prejudice from their teachers who were most often themselves Protestant and  who did not hesitate to say negative things about the Catholic faith in their classrooms.  Indeed, there was a strong movement by Catholic leaders in the decades after the civil war up until the Kennedy Presidency to keep Catholics in a cultural ghetto where their faith would be secure from outside influences.  Bernard McQuaid, Bishop of Rochester from 1868 until 1909, is a prime example of a bishop who wanted to protect his flock from “the wolves of this world.”  Speaking of the desirability of separating Catholics from mainstream society McQuaid explicitly used the image of the Ghettos in which the Jews of Europe had traditionally been confined and, speaking of creating Catholic cultural ghettos declared: If the walls are not high enough, they must be raised; if they are not strong enough, they must be strengthened…"
There was another aspect of creating these Catholic enclaves and this had to do with immigration.  While the Irish were, for the most part, already well used to the English Language, most immigrant groups not only were slow to learn English but wanted their children to be educated in their national language.  That is to say they not only wanted their children to learn their national language, but to study all their subjects in that language.  The Germans were particularly strong on this, but Lithuanians, Hungarians, Italians, and others felt equally strong.  They established their own parish churches and they had their own schools in which German was the dominant language.
Inevitably there was a reaction on the part of the Americanized citizens or "yankees"  to the vast numbers of immigrants coming into the United States who were not anxious to assimilate, and in several places English-only Education was mandated by law.  William D. Hoard was a Wisconsin Dairy Farmer who had never held political office.  In a populist movement not unlike the Tea Party today, groups within the Republican party in Wisconsin managed to wrest control of the party away from the state Republican organization and to nominate Hoard for governor.  Hoard’s campaign cry was “the Little Schoolhouse, stand by it” and rallied the “Yankee” population of the State to achieve his election in 1890.  Hoard went on to say: "We must fight alienism and selfish ecclesiasticism.... The parents, the pastors and the church have entered into a conspiracy to darken the understanding of the children, who are denied by cupidity and bigotry the privilege of even the free schools of the state."  In other words, Hoard was declaring that the State was a better guardian of children than their parents.  He also was attacking the religious institutions and leaders in which people had put their trust.  Now let me make a point that we need to keep in mind and most people fail to understand.  In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century the Republicans were the liberal party and this English-only program was a liberal position.   It was ardently opposed by German Catholics and Lutherans alike and while it was rare for Catholic Archbishop of Milwaukee Frederick Katzer and Wisconsin and Missouri Synod Lutherans to agree on anything (the two Lutheran Groups have rarely been able to agree between themselves much less with a Catholic—these two synods holding at the time Luther’s position that the Pope was the anti-Christ), the defense of their parochial schools gave them a common cause.  The Irish—and this will be crucial for future blogs—the Irish supported the Law.  In the event, the opposition of the Churches was the undoing and the law was repealed in 1891.  But the issue of parochial schools would remain—more as an internal battle within the Catholic Church and with the civil law.  Next Blog will look at Catholics—including some very influential ones—who would support Public Education.