A ROMAN CATHOLIC IN THE WHITE HOUSE by

A ROMAN CATHOLIC IN THE WHITE HOUSE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In collaboration with Richard Byfield, the Episcopal Bishop of California discusses the questions which arise from the likelihood of the election of a Roman Catholic to the Presidency in an effort to bring the ""real issues"" out into the open. Beginning by deploring an attitude of bigotry and the possibility of submitting candidates to a religious test, the authors examine the following areas: Church-State relations; the historical ""official"" positions of the Roman Catholic Church; the American interpretation of Church-State spheres propounded by the liberal Catholic theologian, Father John Courtney Murray, S.J.; the foreign-aid-Birth Control issue; the problem of Catholic ""allegiance"" to a foreign state; diplomatic representation to the Vatican; Federal aid to parochial schools; and the incidence of informal pressures exerted by a growing religious minority. The authors believe that the latter issues are not real questions, merely matters of practicality, and they dwell mainly on the particular doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church which seem to ""have bearing upon questions of a public nature"". Though he quotes American clerical spokesmen to the contrary, Bishop Pike feels that the ""official"", historical Church espouses doctrines which would constitute a dangerous threat to Constitutional liberties in the event that a Catholic were elected to the highest office in the land. In the last analysis he gives little weight to the liberal Catholic position that the American Catholic experiment is an entirely new phenomenon in the history of the Church and is not to be judged as if the U.S. were thirteenth century, or twentieth century, Spain. In Bishop Pike's view a Catholic candidate seems to be the more acceptable the more he is disassociated from the Catholic ""line"". Because of Bishop Pike's eminence his book will certainly receive attention but it will be challenged both by liberal Catholics and by those Protestants and Catholics who are currently engaged in the promotion of fruitful ""dialogue"".

Pub Date: April 21st, 1960
Publisher: Doubleday-Garden City