Catholic Progressives in England after Vatican II
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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I wish to thank the sta?s at Boston College?s John J. Burns Library andGeorgetown University?s Lauinger Library for their generous assistancein facilitating my use of their excellent special collections on Catholichistory. Bridget J. Burke, Associate University Librarian for Special Col-lections, John J. Burns Library, was especially helpful in creating an ar -...
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The purpose of this study is to examine the evolution of Catholic socialthinking from the end of World War II up through the 1960s. VaticanCouncil II signaled the victory of what can be identified as the Catholicliberal or progressive tradition, the earlier history of which was the subjectof my book Catholic Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democracy(2002)....
Part I: The English Cultural Setting
Chapter 1: The Church in England
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British Catholicism after World War II can best be described as authori -tarian and paternalistic in structure, leadership, and teaching. The oldaristocratic recusant families that had dominated the Church had beenobliged to give way to Vatican ultramontane power with the restorationof the hierarchy in 1850, and gentry influence was further compromised...
Chapter 2: The Sources of English Catholic Radicalism
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Although English Catholicism in the post? World War II years was clearlypolitically and socially conformist, there had been an earlier episode ofCatholic-inspired radicalism associated with the Distributist ideas ofG.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc that had fundamentally challengedthe English ruling establishment. Chesterton and Belloc were two of the...
Chapter 3: English Catholics and the Establishment
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In contrast to the anti-establishment temperament of radical Distrib-utism, Catholic sentiment after World War II was markedly more sup-portive of the prevailing cultural and political structures of the Englishsocial order. Bishop David Mathew in the third edition of his authorita-tive study of Catholicism in England (1955) recognized a palpably con-...
Part II: The Reformers
Chapter 4: Reinforcing the Citadel
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...will be to work to break the circle in which, by a bitter irony, the ?children of light? have imprisoned the spirit. We are dying for lack of anyone who knows how to die for the truth. . . . So one relevant to religion, and Christians are beginning to find this situation quite normal. Soon we shall ask for nothing better than ...
Chapter 5: The Role of John XXIII
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The last years of Pius XII?s pontificate were marked by increasing con-servatism. Although his earlier commentaries had sometimes called foraudacia, or daring, the 1950 encyclical Humani Generis had slammedshut the doors to that avenue, and those engaging in the New Theologywere accused of ?relativism? and thus dangerously compromising on...
Chapter 6: The Council
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Pope John XXIII?s encyclicals revealed that he had found his own voice.They expressed his hopes and desires for further engaging the modernworld by advancing the pioneering works on social justice inauguratedby Leo XIII and Pius XI. The purpose of Vatican II was to make pastoralchanges within the structures of the Church so that it could more e?ec-...
Chapter 7: Vatican II Comes to Britain
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The refusal of the Hierarchy to embrace radical ideas; their attachmentto old, well-tried ways; their heavy condescension: these are the postures and qualities which frustrate the reformers and often reducethem (laymen and clergy alike) to a condition of helpless exasperation.The reformers . . . look for an awareness among their bishops of the...
Part III: The Revolutionaries
Chapter 8: The Catholic New Left
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Among the ?wild men? to whom Father Patrick Tierney referred in hisinterview with the journalist George Scott and who Cardinal Heenanfeared were highjacking the faith were a number of intellectuals moreradical than those associated with Michael de la Bedoyere?s Search.Thesewere young Catholic intellectuals who identified with the ?New Left.?2...
Chapter 9: The Slant Movement
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The true descendent of the doctrines of Aquinas is the labour theory In 1964 a group of undergraduates at Cambridge University and theirclerical advisors decided to launch a journal whose purpose was a radi-cal examination of traditional Catholic theology so as to promote the so-cial goals of the Gospels. For them, these goals implied a socialist revo-...
Chapter 10: The Quest for New Community and Culture
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A major component of the Catholic Left?s agenda for achieving whatBrian Wicker called a ?socialist humanism?2was the quest for commu-nity, the framework necessary for the realization of Raymond Wil liams?snotions of a ?common culture.? The advancement of what he called the?Long Revolution? required the expansion of democratic participation...
Chapter 11: Jesus and Marx
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The Catholic Left?s recognition of the need to radically transform Brit -ish society drew them naturally to the ideas of Karl Marx. It was theire?ort to merge Catholic social thinking with Marxism that was one ofthe most radical and controversial parts of their socialist project.In the autumn of 1960 the Catholic Student Society at the Nether-...
Chapter 12: Charles Davis and the McCabe Affair
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Given the Vatican?s reluctance to explore the transformative potential of aChristian-Marxist dialogue and its foot-dragging with regard to promot-ing the reformist possibilities of Vatican II, it was only natural that theCatholic New Left came to view the institutional Church along with itsadministrative structures and ecclesiastical hierarchy as major obstacles...
Chapter 13: What Must Be Done?
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The more respectable elements in both parties tended, and still tend, to be dragged at the cart-tail of Big Business. The advent of the The support of theological linkages with Marxists, the embrace of radi-cal economic and social ideas to enrich Catholic teaching, and the pro-motion of liberation theology and its position regarding Charles Davis...
Chapter 14: Legacy and Impact
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...?Isn?t it time,? a no less sophisticated friend remarked to me, It should come as little surprise that the adherents of the Catholic NewLeft found no support among traditionalists of the faith.2Douglas Wood -ru?, a paradigm of pre? World War II conservative Catholicism and edi-tor of The Tabletin its most politically reactionary days, was appalled by...
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Page Count: 536
Publication Year: 2013
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth