New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1963. Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. Slight wear to jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #1205
"IT IS NOT THE CARDINAL THAT ENNOBLES A MAN; IT IS THE MAN THAT ENNOBLES THE CARDINAL" (CARDINAL GIBBONS)
First edition of Francis Beauchesne Thornton's profiles of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States. A history of the Golden Age of American Catholicism.
Though the American Church was established when Baltimore was designated as the first Catholic archdiocese in 1789, "the history of the Church in the United States is largely the history of her cardinals." A short Introduction illustrates the ethnic feuds and political rivalries among Catholics themselves. Thornton describes "disgraceful quarrels between Catholics of different nationalities." Newly arrived Irish Catholics were the largest group but "its members were strong in faith but often intemperate and arrogant, frequently making trouble for bishops who were not of their own nationality." Beginning in 1875, when John McCloskey of New York was appointed by Pope Pius IX as the first American Cardinal, these 17 prelates—all Irish and German—shepherded the largest archdioceses in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Waves of immigration spurred later new Midwestern archdioceses in Chicago and St. Louis, and finally in Los Angeles (in formerly Spanish California). The biographies are illustrated with a photo insert with 17 black-and-white portraits and supplemented with a brief Bibliography and Index. Dust jacket by Irene Murray. Approbations.