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This book traces the rise and fall of the Catholic Church as a cultural dynamo in Boston, showing how the Massachusetts experience set a pattern that has echoed throughout the US as religious institutions have lost social influence in the face of rising secularization. The collapse of Catholicism in Boston became painfully apparent in 2002, with the explosion of the sex-abuse crisis. The author here shows that the sex-abuse scandal was neither the cause nor the beginning of Catholicism's decline in Boston. In fact, the scandal was itself a symptom of corruption that was already well advanced. The demise of Catholic influence in Massachusetts is an especially vivid example of a secularizing trend that is visible throughout the US.
The Faithful Departed explains how the Catholic Church became the dominant cultural power in Boston, then lost its public influence in the space of a generation.
This story is of interest not only to Catholics and to those acquainted with Boston's rich and colorful political tradition, but to anyone concerned about the interplay between religious faith and public policy. The demise of Catholic influence in Massachusetts is an especially vivid example of a secularizing trend that is visible throughout the United States.
What happened in Boston could happen - is already happening - in other communities. And what happened to the Catholic Church could happen to other religious groups. The Faithful Departed is a cautionary tale.
Buy The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture by Philip F. Lawler from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781594032110 & 1594032114
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