Religious Themes Catholics in America Term Paper

Pages: 3 (948 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Religious Themes

CATHOLICS IN AMERICA

According to Robert F. Trisco, Catholics "make up approximately one-fourth of the population of the United States, making this group the largest single community of faith in the nation" (78). Obviously, the history of Catholicism in America is very complex and engaging, yet as a religious theme, Catholics in America, dating back many centuries, have greatly influenced how America thinks and operates, especially when considering the core beliefs and practices that continue to be so pervasive in contemporary American culture.

Ellis, writing in Catholics in Colonial America, points out that "All religions, except those linked to Native American Indians, are immigrant faiths, due to the fact that the only indigenous religions were those of the American Indian who lived in North America long before the arrival of the first European explorers" (178). And because the huge area which became the United States included most of the Spanish territories, the oldest non-native religion in today's America is Catholicism. Thus, it is "especially true of Catholics that their history has been, and in many ways continues to be, influenced by an immigrant church," namely, the Roman Catholic Church of the Vatican in Rome (Ellis, 181). This indicates that Catholics have been in what is now the United States since at least the early 16th century when Spanish missionaries arrived from Europe with the intention to civilize what they saw as heathens living in sin and corruption.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Religious Themes Catholics in America According to Assignment

It is very likely that the first Catholic mass, an act central to Catholic worship, was brought about by an early Spanish missionary priest in the middle years of the 16th century. Later on, French missionaries traveled through much of the northeastern and northern regions of America and even progressed as far as the Mississippi delta in what is now Louisiana. These missionaries, along with many explorers, "came to the New World with two goals -- territorial conquest for their respective kings and queens and to convert Native American indigenous populations to Catholicism" (Trisco, 185). Following the French, the English Catholics arrived, yet their reason for coming to America was to settle and create new homes for their families, not to mention to escape from persecution in England, first begun by King Henry VIII who forced Catholics to flee for their very lives. Unfortunately, these English Catholics also brought along with them some major hostilities related to the French and the Spanish which only complicated the lives of all involved in the New World.

During the Colonial Era, the number of Catholics in America remained relatively small; most were of English or Irish descent, yet this was to change radically when land was acquired in the South and Southwest which increased the number of Spanish Catholics. By the 1840's, a huge influx of immigrants from famine-plagued Ireland arrived in America and later became an important… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Religious Themes Catholics in America.  (2006, November 13).  Retrieved July 11, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/religious-themes-catholics-america/9566

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"Religious Themes Catholics in America."  Essaytown.com.  November 13, 2006.  Accessed July 11, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/religious-themes-catholics-america/9566.