Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

L'Affermazione del Cattolicesimo Nel Nord America: Elite, Emigranti E Chiesa Cattolica Negli Stati Uniti E in Canada, 1750-1920

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

L'Affermazione del Cattolicesimo Nel Nord America: Elite, Emigranti E Chiesa Cattolica Negli Stati Uniti E in Canada, 1750-1920

Article excerpt

American L'Affermazione del Cattolicesimo nel Nord America: Elite, Emigranti e Chiesa Cattolica negli Stati Uniti e in Canada, 1750-1920. By Matteo Sanfilippo. (Viterbo: Sette Città. 2003. Pp. 329. euro22,00 paperback.)

The only drawback to this work is that it is not yet translated into English, thus beyond the grasp of most Americans who could benefit greatly from this accurate view of American ecclesiastical history written from a European point of view.

This is one of the most interesting historical narratives I have seen in the past years treating of the broad topic of the development of Catholicism in North America, including both the United States and Canada, from the middle of the eighteenth century until the opening of the roaring Twenties at the close of the Great War.The author is complete, concise, and nuanced, tying together the many threads of the complex history of Catholicism developing in two relatively antiCatholic cultures, invaded by hordes of Catholic immigrants, touched during much of the nineteenth century by the Holy see's continued battle with the Italian Risorgimento. Sanfilippo has employed extensively and superbly the resources of the Vatican Archives and those of the Propaganda Fide, as well as numerous other sources, both published and archival. His text is very readable, and his style exciting! How often have you read these words describing any recent work in church history?

Of the many fascinating facets of this book, Sanfilippo's treatment of the Church's stance during the American Civil War is splendid. While clearly presenting the Church's official neutrality, Sanfilippo smartly develops the effect of the Risorgimento and the Vatican's preoccupation with defending and preserving the papal Temporal Power on its positions on the contemporary scene. …

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