The Other Catholics: Remaking America's Largest Religion

The Other Catholics: Remaking America's Largest Religion

by Julie Byrne


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Independent Catholics are not formally connected to the pope in Rome. They practice apostolic succession, seven sacraments, and devotion to the saints. But without a pope, they can change quickly and experiment freely, with some affirming communion for the divorced, women's ordination, clerical marriage, and same-sex marriage. From their early modern origins in the Netherlands to their contemporary proliferation in the United States, these "other Catholics" represent an unusually liberal, mobile, and creative version of America's largest religion.

In The Other Catholics, Julie Byrne shares the remarkable history and current activity of independent Catholics, who number at least two hundred communities and a million members across the United States. She focuses in particular on the Church of Antioch, one of the first Catholic groups to ordain women in modern times. Through archival documents and interviews, Byrne tells the story of the unforgettable leaders and surprising influence of these understudied churches, which, when included in Catholic history, change the narrative arc and total shape of modern Catholicism. As Pope Francis fights to soften Roman doctrines with a pastoral touch and his fellow Roman bishops push back with equal passion, independent Catholics continue to leap ahead of Roman reform, keeping key Catholic traditions but adding a progressive difference.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231166775
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 06/26/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 782,221
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Julie Byrne is professor of religion and the Monsignor Thomas J. Hartman Chair in Catholic Studies at Hofstra University. She is the author of O God of Players: The Story of the Immaculata Mighty Macs (Columbia, 2003).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Other Catholics
Part I. Catholic
1. Weeping and Woo-Woo: Observing Independent Catholicism in America
Part II. Succession
2. Mission and Metamorphosis: Narrating Modern Catholic History
3. Love and Meta-Catholicism: Founding the Church of Antioch
Part III. Sacraments and Saints
4. Dance and Balance: Leading American Independents
5. Mix and Mysticism: Experimenting with US Catholicism
6. Sacraments and Saints: Hearing a New Call
Conclusion: All Catholics
Appendix: Independent Catholicism Survey
Primary Sources

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