CATHOLICISM AND AMERICAN FREEDOM by James M. O'Neill

CATHOLICISM AND AMERICAN FREEDOM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Report repeated from page 600 of the 10/1/51 bulletin- as follows: ""A cogently reasoned and heavily documented answer to Blanshard's American Freedom and Catholic Power, which should provide the balance necessary in approaching this controversial issue objectively. Naturally, Prof. O'Neill, Catholic layman and educator in a non-Catholic university, presents evidence selected to prove his case. Specifically and categorically, he takes section after section of the Blanshard book, to prove him inaccurate, biased, careless in documentation. He feels that Blanshard purposely drives a wedge between Catholics and Jews, Catholics and Protestants; that he confuses Catholic doctrine and Catholic techniques; theological and moral questions; the significance of the doctrine of Papal infallibility; the confessional. Much of this information will clarify issues for most non-Catholics and many Catholics. (There would be more tolerance were there more advocates of the O'Neill stripe.) He examines the heartening contribution made by Catholics to American democracy, the position of the Catholic hierarchy on freedom of worship, freedom of education, separation of Church and State, and discusses some of the legal issues involved in the McCollum case, etc. On matters of censorship, his position is not made very clear, the section on Catholicism and medicine is perhaps the weakest in the book. But for the most part, he marshals his facts and presents his arguments and his refutations in scholarly fashion. The book is not as easy reading as Blanshard, nor as dramatic, so many who should read it will bypass it. But it is important and should be given thoughtful consideration.

Pub Date: March 26th, 1952
Publisher: Harper