The Other Catholics: Remaking America’s Largest Religion by Julie Byrne

By Julie Byrne

Self sufficient Catholics will not be officially hooked up to the pope in Rome. They perform apostolic succession, seven sacraments, and devotion to the saints. yet with no pope, they could swap fast and scan freely, with a few declaring communion for the divorced, women's ordination, clerical marriage, and same-sex marriage. From their early glossy origins within the Netherlands to their modern proliferation within the usa, those "other Catholics" signify an strangely liberal, cellular, and inventive model of America's biggest religion.

In the opposite Catholics, Julie Byrne stocks the impressive background and present task of self reliant Catholics, who quantity at the very least 2 hundred groups and 1000000 participants around the usa. She focuses specifically at the Church of Antioch, one of many first Catholic teams to ordain ladies nowa days. via archival files and interviews, Byrne tells the tale of the unforgettable leaders and amazing impact of those understudied church buildings, which, whilst incorporated in Catholic background, swap the narrative arc and overall form of contemporary Catholicism. As Pope Francis fights to melt Roman doctrines with a pastoral contact and his fellow Roman bishops beat back with equivalent ardour, self sufficient Catholics proceed to jump prior to Roman reform, retaining key Catholic traditions yet including a innovative distinction.

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That was in 1992—ten years before the Boston Globe broke the story that led to international awareness. O’Connor remains in the Catholic vanguard. ”24 Independent Catholicism is not numerically stunning. But it is important in other ways. Stories of “other Catholics” have the potential to suddenly shift focus from an assumption of the Roman kind to surprise at Catholic variety. Dissent within the Roman church is interesting—after all, millions of US Roman Catholics dispute, do not know about, or do not care about official teachings.

This model elevates the power of the sacraments over the vagaries of human channels. The sacraments work in and of themselves—ex opere operato—regardless of celebrants’ moral or canonical status. Rome and most independents follow this “indelible spiritual mark” line of thought. 20 Though both Cyprian and Augustine hoped to promote church unity, neither model prevented fragmentation. Institutional splintering started after the First Council of Ephesus in 431, when anathematized Nestorian Christians sought refuge in Persia and established the historic Church of the East.

Pretty much anything? As I hung out with independents, I started to realize that in the twentyfirst-century United States, a lot of people claim the word “Catholic,” starting with Roman Catholics themselves. Since most Americans already associate Catholicism with Rome, Roman Catholics must defend the claim very little. Even within the Roman church, however, naming is thick with history and politics. The term “Roman Catholic” was actually coined by outsiders, in this case sixteenth-century Anglican divines who wanted to distinguish their Catholicism from that of Rome.

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