Thursday, December 01, 2022

A wise priest …

… Fr. Marvin O’Connell: A Historian Who Saw the Past & Future.

O’Connell could be sharp-tongued. He could also be wrong. Several times in the volume he hinted at his own skepticism about the Church’s teaching on contraception. But he also had a bit of the prophet in him. His 1990 address to the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, “An Historical Perspective on Evangelization in the United States: Shifting Concentration of Interest,” looks remarkably prescient three decades later. At a time when Catholics in the United States had achieved a remarkable degree of power and prestige, O’Connell noted the already cratering numbers of priests, baptisms, and weddings. He thought that the American Church had returned to the state of its earliest days—a quest for “survival.”

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