A History of Canadian Catholics: Gallicanism, Romanism, and Canadianism
In A History of Canadian Catholics Terence Fay relates the long story of the Catholic Church and its followers, beginning with how the church and its adherents came to Canada, how the church established itself, and how Catholic spirituality played a part in shaping Canadian society. He also describes how recent social forces have influenced the church. Using an abundance of sources, Fay discusses Gallicanism (French spirituality), Romanism (Roman spirituality), and Canadianism – the indigenisation of Catholic spirituality in the Canadian lifestyle.
Fay begins with a detailed look at the struggle of French Catholics to settle a new land, including their encounters with the Amerindians. He analyses the conflict caused by the arrival of the Scottish and Irish Catholics, which threatened Gallican church control. Under Bishops Bourget and Lynch, the church promoted a romantic vision of Catholic unity in Canada. By the end of the century, however, German, Ukrainian, Polish, and Hungarian immigrants had begun to challenge the French and Irish dominance of Catholic life and provide the foundation of a multicultural church.
With the creation of the Canadian Catholic Conference in the postwar period these disparate groups were finally drawn into a more unified Canadian church. A History of Canadian Catholics is especially timely for students of religion and history and will also be of interest to the general reader who would like an understanding the development of Catholic roots in Canadian soil.
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