Last week, in the midst of the Fortnight For Freedom events, University of Dayton History Professor Michael Carter made an excellent presentation at St Charles Borromeo Church in Kettering Ohio. I asked him to share his “History of Religious Freedom and Catholicism” lecture with the Radio Maria listeners on “The Quest for a Culture of Life in America” Tuesday the 8th at Noon ET. He graciously accepted. As we continue our quest for government’s acknowledgement of our right to religious freedom, including the right to act and behave in public according to our beliefs, it is good to take a look back into our history to see if our religious liberty has ever been under such severe attack. I asked Professor Mike what was the situation in the 13 colonies regarding religious freedom? What role did Catholics play in the founding of our country? Compare with the present day attacks on religious freedom by or own government.
This week Steve Koob talks with Peter Breen, the Executive Director of the Thomas More Society defending life, marriage and religious freedom. Peter is involved in all three of these areas and can enlighten us on the federal court cases involving Catholic institutions suing Health and Human Services over government denial of our religious freedom.
The Glorious Revolution of 1688–desposition of the last Catholic King of England, James II: Catholic low point from 1688 to 1829; demonstrate how Catholics were second-class citizens, neither tolerated nor persecuted, obscure and isolated. Describe the efforts of Bishop Richard Challoner and Father Alban Butler to remind Catholics of their heritage; recount the beginnings of toleration for Catholics in the late eighteenth century–and anti-Catholic reaction. Return to Maryland: end of religious freedom for Catholics until after the American Revolution and the Constitution of 1789.
Highlight the religious conflict in England leading to the English Civil War; describe the Puritan Experiment in government, including its attack on Christmas. Describe the great religious crisis of the Popish Plot during the reign of the restored Stuart monarch, Charles II–recount the injustice of the trials of the last great wave of Catholic martyrs from 1679 to 1681. Continue the story of Maryland, describing Calvert’s heirs and their efforts to inculcate religious tolerance and freedom of religion in their colony–the changing fortunes of Catholics in the Maryland colony during the the Civil War and Restoration.
Relevance of the English Reformation for religious freedom issues in the United States (and around the world) today, including the HHS Mandate; context for the Personal Ordinariate established by Pope Benedict XVI for groups of Anglicans wishing to become Catholics; background for the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Distinction of the English Reformation from the Protestant Reformation on the Continent in the 16th century.