Latent Culture Patterns of American Catholicism
In our discussion of manifest Catholic culture-patterns (Chapter II, Part 4) we considered, along with the explicit teachings of the Church, explicit Catholic attitudes which might possibly qualify or even distort and subvert the teachings themselves. We found in addition that many times we were dealing with attitudes which might not be entirely explicit but nevertheless produced their effects in the general atmosphere surrounding the more clearly defined attitudes. In the present chapter we shall develop this line of investigation further and consider the latent content of Catholic culture patterns in America in their relation to the intellectual life.
These are more obscure orientations which grow out of the American Catholic situation and which can pervade the general approach we have to the problems of life. Despite their subtle and implicit character, they are of first importance. In fact, precisely because they are less accessible to examination and are often communicated indirectly by cues, by example, and by unconscious implication, they may speak more loudly and more effectively than our words. The subtlety of this area of cultural analysis is such that only careful research could uncover all the problems involved. The best we can do here is to suggest the historical background out of which such latent culture patterns really develop. This we shall attempt to do by asking