At the time of the American Revolution there were about 18,000 Roman Catholics in all the colonies. Today, according to the hierarchy’s figures, they number 34 million. In less than 200 years the Roman church has grown from the smallest denomination in the country to the largest. Such a sensational increase in the dimensions of the Roman Catholic community suggests that this faith may, in the foreseeable future, become predominant in the United States and attain political and cultural control.

The process is signally aided by a curious theology which makes intelligent family limitation a sin for Roman Catholics. If the hierarchy should gain the ascendancy here, it would mean that a country once overwhelmingly Protestant in numbers and thoroughly Protestant in its genius had turned in another direction. Such a development would have consequences of the utmost importance to every Protestant, to every non-Catholic, and, for that matter, to the Roman Catholics themselves.

Will the United States ever become a Roman Catholic nation? Twelve years ago Harold E. Fey, now editor of The Christian Century, completed a series of articles for that journal under the title, “Can Catholicism Win America?” He concluded the series by answering “Yes.” Every trend which Dr. Fey noted has become more pronounced during the years since. Father James M. Gillis, then editor of The Catholic World, predicted in 1929 that America will be predominantly a Catholic country “before the present younger generation dies.” Two men, observing from opposite sides of the fence, foresaw the same result. It is practical wisdom to ask the nature of the denouement toward which we may be heading. It is in the area of freedom that this question concerns us, and within ...

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