restricted access His Eminence of Los Angeles: James Francis Cardinal McIntyre by Francis J. Weber (review)
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1 26BOOK REVIEWS spiritual and intellectual influence on the contemporary development ofAmerican Catholic pacifism. In the end, this is a volume well worth reading and study for anyone wanting to understand the roots and development of pacifism in the American Catholic community. William A. Au Baltimore, Maryland His Eminence ofLos Angeles:James Francis Cardinal Mclntyre. By Francis J. Weber. (2 vols.; Mission Hills, California: St. Francis Historical Society. 1997. Pp. v, 327; 328-707. $38.75.) Monsignor Weber has written an engaging biography of one of the outstanding bishops in the pre-Vatican Council II Catholic Church in the United States; unfortunately, Mclntyre's tenure lasted into the early postconciliar Church, a period in which he became one of the most publicly vilified prelates in the country . As Charles Morris has suggested, had Mclntyre died prior to 1962, he would be remembered more fondly, and his place in history would be more celebrated . This book is well researched and well written; it charts Mclntyre's life from his early years in New York through his episcopacy in Los Angeles. In 1948, Mclntyre was named archbishop ofLos Angeles and in 1952 he became the first cardinal on the West Coast. Early in his priesthood he became known for his "capacity for business management." As archbishop he successfully managed the expansion ofthe Church during an era ofexplosive growth in southern California . Catholic institutions of every sort were built, staffed, and funded through Mclntyre's efforts. The number of Catholics in his archdiocese tripled during his tenure, as did the number of Catholic schools. Dozens of new parishes were created. Mclntyre diverted funds intended for the construction of a new cathedral to poor, Mexican parishes to enable them to construct parish schools. Mclntyre oversaw the extraordinary growth and building program, all the while keeping the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on a firm financial basis. To this point his achievements were in the mold of the great preconciliar bishops. Weber does an excellent job with this part of the story. His narrative is enhanced by a selection of wonderful photographs that ably depict each era. The main problem with this biography is that it does not explore Mclntyre's complexity. Why did one of the Church's most devoted and loyal prelates have so much difficulty with the postconciliar Church? Weber attempts to explain every action Mclntyre took at the Council and afterward and suggests that Mclntyre did support and implement the Council. Why not simply acknowledge Mclntyre's difficulty with the changes brought by the Council? His difficulty would resonate with the experience ofmany other Catholics from the era who were less than inspired by the Council. BOOK REVIEWS127 Why not acknowledge the difficulties Mclntyre faced in coming to grips with the social turmoil of the 1960's? The Cardinal's celebrated conflicts with Father William DuBay, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters, and various civil rights groups are all recounted, but they are presented in such a way that every Mclntyre decision is justified and defended. Again and again we are reminded of Mclntyre's wisdom. These chapters are most unsatisfying. Mclntyre was unprepared for the ecclesial and social traumas of the 1960's. He had little comprehension of the forces that exploded in Watts. By acknowledging Mclntyre's limitations in confronting these troubling issues, a fuller, more complex portrait of Mclntyre could have been created. Nonetheless, Weber has written a most useful biography, chock-full of interesting facts and stories. These massive tomes will be the standard reference work on Mclntyre for generations to come, and will serve as a starting point for future discussions on the Church on the West Coast during an extraordinary time of growth and turmoil. Jeffrey M. Burns ChanceryArchives, Archdiocese ofSan Francisco Reluctant Dissenter: An Autobiography. By James Patrick Shannon. (New York: The Crossroads Publishing Company. 1998. Pp. ix, 228. $19.95.) James Patrick Shannon is a name forAmerican church history, ifonly as a footnote , because he is one of a rare breed—a bishop who resigned and married. In this autobiography he tells his story, or at least part of it. True to the title, he is reluctant to tell it; in fact, the manuscript...


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