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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 22, 2017

Kenneth L. Grasso
Pages 137-144

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Catholics and the New American Public Order

This article focuses on the conclusion in which the analyses of the previous papers converge, namely, the emergence of a new and radically different public order that is emerging in contemporary America. While Catholics could never feel completely comfortable in the older order that preceded it, the culture that informed this order had many features that were consistent with the Catholic vision of man, society, and the human good; and it secured for the Church a broad freedom to exercise her ministry and for Catholics the freedom they needed to practice the faith. In sharp contrast, the new order installs at the heart of public life an ethic of human autonomy incompatible with the Catholic understanding, and jeopardizes the freedom of the Church and of Catholics to practice the faith. The emergence of this new order will require Catholics to rethink their relationship to American culture and the American state.

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