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Anti-Catholicism in America: The Last Acceptable Prejudice Paperback – October 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company; 2nd edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824523628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824523626
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,347,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

One of the most important books in contemporary religious publishing. This book explores the astonishing story of prejudice against Catholics and what it tells us about Catholic identity. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Unfortunately the author leans toward continuing this exacerbation.
Michael Bates
Father Massa is also very informative on the Catholic child abuse scandal that has been the recurrent subject of constant media coverage.
Peter S. Bradley
It is both old and new, but it is not the only prejudice in America.
Brian Van Hove

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bates on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The oft quoted saying that problems can't be solved at the same level that they were created applies here if the study of anti-Catholicism is intended to help alleviate it. `Unlike Catholic and non-Catholic authors of other books on the subject that I have read, the author of this book (in spite of being a Catholic priest) appears to be himself quite hostile toward Catholicism (but not somehow 'being a Catholic').

People who despise Catholicism and appreciate a well written and well referenced book arguing that Catholicism itself is the root of its problems will enjoy this book. The author genuinely seems to want anti-Catholicism to end. However he considers the substance of Catholicism to blame and believes that the solution is Catholicism reinventing itself so that its structure and beliefs enable it to blend better with popular secular culture.

The issue of the sexual abuse scandals is legitimately raised as a catalyst for extreme modern anti-Catholicism. The author rightly points out that "One of the many tragedies of the Boston Clergy sexual abuse case is its handy availability as proof positive for those citizens already uneasy with Catholicism that their fears were well placed after all."

Nevertheless, as has been pointed out in other literature, the scandal was exacerbated by critics of the Church who helped generate the media construct and who fanned the flames hoping to derive support for their ongoing attack on Catholicism.

Unfortunately the author leans toward continuing this exacerbation. Don't expect more than an incidental mention of the low incidence of abuse among the clergy relative to comparable groups and the mitigating reasons for inappropriate management by the Bishops.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Peter S. Bradley on February 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mark S. Massa's "Anti-Catholicism in America: The Last Acceptable Prejudice" provides a broad survey and insightful analysis of a deep and virulent strain of bigotry in America that was imported from Europe, was present at America's founding and popped up throughout American history and has managed to make into the internet era. Anyone who believes that anti-Catholicism is a historical relic need only visit any number of websites occupied by atheists or what one would hope are fringe Protestants. What one finds there is a fairly continuous theme of ululating hatred for Catholicism and the Catholic Church. Father Massa - writing in 2003 - notes the breadth and depth of anti-Catholic hatred in the waning years of the 20th Century and beginning of the 21st, from anti-Catholic plays to anti-Catholic editorials in mainstream papers to the casual implication that Catholic Supreme Court nominees are suspect as having a potentially unhealthy "allegiance" to the Pope to over-the-top accusations by Planned Parenthood that the Catholic Church is at "war with women" (p. 42 - 45), and concludes that somehow Catholicism doesn't "fit in" to American society. Massa writes:

"The very randomness of these examples of what have termed Catholic-bashing - spanning the cultural spectrum from up-scale magazines of cultural comment and mass-market newspapers on the east coast to street theater in the Bay Area on the west coast - form a disturbing web of evidence. Some Catholic observers have argued that it is as though Catholic iconography, leadership, and sensibilities are somehow perceived by large sections of U.S. culture as fair game for attack, in ways that the beliefs and practices of other groups are not.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Valentine on June 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone who grew up Catholic and who has always loved being a Catholic this book is a source of great reassurance. I spent 12 years in schools run by Benedictine nuns and priests and, though they were pretty strict, I believe I got a better education than I would have had I attended a secular school. Being a Catholic is not always easy and I am not always good at it. There are many problems within the Church but I am so tired of feeling like I have to apologize for continuing to believe in the higher purpose of Catholicism.

Father Massa's book is a great reassurance that Catholicism is more than just what one does on Sunday mornings. It is a way of life and, for the most part, it is a good way of life. I particularly appreciated his chapters on the pedophilia scandals of recent years. His precise and exacting explanation of the events leading up to it and the way it was handled is unblinkingly honest but reassuring that, while many mistakes were made, they were human mistakes that had little to do with theology and the essence of what Catholicism is.

This is a beautifully written, touching and informative book. If you are a Catholic who feels you have to apologize for that at times and yet still believe, I urge you to read Father Massa's book.
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