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The Second Vatican Council enacted the most sweeping changes the Catholic Church had seen in centuries. In readable and compelling prose, Mark S. Massa tells the story of the culture war these changes ignited in the United States—a war that is still being waged today. The first stirrings of upheaval took place in the pews, where changes to the mass were felt immediately and viscerally by the faithful. Suddenly, one Sunday, the mass as they had always known it was very different, and so was the Church they had ...
The Second Vatican Council enacted the most sweeping changes the Catholic Church had seen in centuries. In readable and compelling prose, Mark S. Massa tells the story of the culture war these changes ignited in the United States—a war that is still being waged today. The first stirrings of upheaval took place in the pews, where changes to the mass were felt immediately and viscerally by the faithful. Suddenly, one Sunday, the mass as they had always known it was very different, and so was the Church they had believed was timeless and unchanging. Skirmishes quickly broke out over the proper way to worship, with "liberals" welcoming change, "conservatives" resisting it. Soon, Catholics found themselves bitterly divided over everything from birth control to the authority of the Church itself. As he narrates these turbulent events, Massa takes us beyond the "liberal/conservative" stereotypes, offering new insights into the last fifty years of American Catholicism.
"With his characteristic clarity and verve, Mark Massa provides a balanced and badly needed analysis of 'the Catholic sixties.' He tells a gripping story of that fateful decade by seeing the great issues revealed through the lenses of specific incidents and personages. He is thus able to hold our attention and, most important, dispel the comforting myth that the issues were frivolous, without merit, and not worthy of revisiting today."
—Rev. John O'Malley, S.J., author of What Happened at Vatican II
"Mark Massa brilliantly identifies historical consciousness as the acid that dissolved the old Catholic certainties. He is equally convincing in demonstrating that the story of Catholicism since Vatican II is an example of the law of unintended consequences. There was no conspiracy of left or right; just an unexpected combination of internal Catholic stresses and a volatile situation in the United States of the sixties and seventies."
—Patrick N. Allitt, Cahoon Family Professor of American History, Emory University
"That the history Massa recounts is so recent makes his book even more remarkable. He has produced a credible description of the forest while most of us are still busy scrutinizing individual trees. And that he has done so with such grace and humor will win Massa more admirers, not only among scholars but also among the coveted and elusive 'general readers.'"
"Massa offers a keen, captivating study of the Vatican II era and its influence on American Catholicism... Recommended." — Choice
"This is a good read, beautifully written, for those who want to understand what happened in that decade." — Conscience Magazine
"The American Catholic Revolution is an engaging, accessible, and astute appraisal of twentieth century Catholicism that makes the convincing case for a Catholic tradition defined by change." —Catholic Library World
"This is absolutely essential reading if you want to understand the turmoil and turbulaence that occured in the American Church in the Late 1960's."—Ken Trainor, One Man's Guide to Reading on Vatican II
"Massa makes his argument is very readable prose and with many historical facts...."—James F. Garneau, Mount Olive College
"Well-written, accessible, and consistently interesting." — Worship Magazine
Preface: "Something Irreversible Has Happened,"
1 A Brief History of Catholic Time 1
2 Frederick McManus and Worship in the United States 15
3 Humanae Vitae in the United States 29
4 The Charles Curran Affair 49
5 The Dangers of History 75
6 "Death Shall Have No Dominion!" 103
7 Avery Dulles and the Law of Unintended Consequences 129
8 Things Change 147
Posted May 3, 2012
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