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Militant and Triumphant: William Henry O'Connell and the Catholic Church in Boston, 1859-1944 Hardcover – February, 1992

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Notre Dame Pr; First Edition edition (February 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0268013934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0268013936
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,192,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
"Militant and Triumphant: William Henry O`Connell and the Catholic Church in Boston, 1859-1944" (University of Notre-Dame Press, 1992), by James O`Toole (a professor at my undergraduate alma mater, the University of Massachusetts at Boston) is a no-holds-barred biography of this figure. William O`Connell happens to be the prelate loosely depicted in the novel, and in the film based thereon, both titled "The Cardinal", although the novel and the film, unlike O`Toole`s scholarly biograhy, only hint at the depravity that lurked below the surface, away from public view, of Cardinal Abp. William Henry O`Connell`s life. O`Toole`s own book reveals O`Connell`s many faults, but it does not pillory him.

This biography renders a fair account of O`Connell`s life and career and of the religious milieu of O`Connell`s time, when Roman Catholic faith and worship flourished, as yet unsabotaged by the grinding vulgarity, liturgical downgrade, superficiality, the outright unbelief that have set in so widely after 1965, and lastly and perhaps worst of all (reflecting so much of the rest of these problems), the dreadful "Novus Ordo" liturgies which came into use at the dawn of the 1970s, as well as all too much of the other sheer rot and decline that so have come to bedevil and to mar the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phillipwh on January 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good book, interesting for Catholics to read. O'Connell's naked ambition was apparent to local priests and bishops as he slithered to the top job he sought.
If what this book claims is correct, O'Connell was not fit to be a catholic priest!

I love the tongue in cheek "the closer you get to the centre of the apple, the more likely you are to meet the worm." Worms do well in Church insecurity which has been dragged bleeding into the modern age.

Pius IX excommunicated those left and and centre when he lost the Papal States, a loss which was in fact a liberation for Italy for the Church. (read: Prisoner of the Vatican.

It is in the context of this fear and suspicion that people like O'Connell can wriggle their way to the top. Still to this day, Bishops are appointed by a Rome (rather than by the local church) fearful of modernity, a Roman Bureaucracy which tries to undo Lumen Gentium guidance of Vatican II. It is in the environment of suspicion, where priests must appear to toe the line as O'Connell did, that the pedophiles have masquerading as priests while the decent toiler was sidelined. There is a good book on Cardinal Moran in Sydney. I would love some good heavy historical work to done on Cardinal Spellman!
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