Divided Friends

Divided Friends

WILLIAM L. PORTIER
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 408
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5hgzjd
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  • Book Info
    Divided Friends
    Book Description:

    In two sets of intertwined biographical portraits, spanning two generations, Divided Friends dramatizes the theological issues of the modernist crisis, highlighting their personal dimensions and extensively reinterpreting their long-range effects. The four protagonists are Bishop Denis J. O?Connell, Josephite founder John R. Slattery, together with the Paulists William L. Sullivan and Joseph McSorley. Their lives span the decades from the Americanist crisis of the 1890s right up to the eve of Vatican II. In each set, one leaves the church and one stays. The two who leave come to see their former companions as fundamentally dishonest. Divided Friends entails a reinterpretation of the intellectual fallout from the modernist crisis and a reframing of the 20th century debate about Catholic intellectual life.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2165-6
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xi-xii)
    William L. Portier
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xvii-xxiv)

    The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) begins with a chapter on “The Mystery of the Church.” Its opening line proclaims Christ the “light of all nations.” The Constitution goes on to describe the church as “in Christ as a sacrament or instrumental sign of intimate union with God and of the unity of all humanity.” This theme of the church as a kind of sacrament has characterized most Catholic ecclesiology in the second half of the twentieth century.Lumen Gentium’s opening emphasis on the church as sacrament (chapter 1) and the “People of God” deferred...

  6. PART 1: THE ROMAN CATHOLIC MODERNIST CRISIS IN THE UNITED STATES

    • 1 THE CYCLONE OF THE MODERNIST CRISIS
      (pp. 3-15)

      James F. Driscoll wrote these words to his friend Charles Augustus Briggs on December 8, 1907. The “recent curial document” to which Driscoll referred wasPascendi dominici gregis.Pascendiappeared three months to the day before Driscoll wrote to Briggs. By that time, the ecclesiastical whirlwind had crossed the Atlantic and hit the shores of the United States.

      Driscoll was president and rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, Yonkers, New York. Briggs was a Protestant biblical scholar of international stature who taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York and had invited Driscoll to speak at Union. During Driscoll’s years...

    • 2 WHO ARE THE MODERNISTS?
      (pp. 16-37)

      “Enemies of the cross of Christ,” those who seek to “overthrow utterly Christ’s kingdom”—these enemies now “lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart.” These new enemies are not the rationalists and secularists one might expect, but rather Catholic laity and even priests. “Feigning a love for the Church,” they are instead “thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church.” They present themselves as “reformers of the Church” but they do not spare “even the person of the divine redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce...

    • 3 THE BURDEN OF THE DEAD
      (pp. 38-58)

      “And we believe in the communion of saints.” With this profession from the Apostles’ Creed, Catholics and others give voice to their faith that the living are united in Christ’s body with those who have died in Him. Historical research is another form of communion with the dead. Historians dare to attempt to bring the dead to life. Beyond fidelity to the records the dead have left behind, academic historians would seem to have no further obligations toward them. Nevertheless, I begin this work conscious of a certain communion with John R. Slattery and Denis O’Connell, with George Tyrrell and...

  7. PART 2: SLATTERY AND O’CONNELL:: A COMMON CRISIS?

    • 4 JOHN R. SLATTERY, 1851–1902: From Attorney to Presbyter
      (pp. 61-89)

      On Saturday, June 21, 1902, in Baltimore’s Cathedral of the Assumption, Cardinal James Gibbons ordained twenty-nine-year-old John Henry Dorsey. Dorsey (1873–1926) was the second African American ordained to the priesthood in the United States. Both black priests belonged to St. Joseph’s Society for Colored Missions, commonly known as the Josephites. Both had attended the Church of St. Francis Xavier at the corner of Calvert and Pleasant Streets in the heart of Baltimore. On Sunday, June 22, Dorsey returned to his former parish, “the womb of Black Catholicism in the United States,” to celebrate his first Mass.¹ John R. Slattery...

    • 5 JOHN R. SLATTERY, 1902–1904: Between Presbyter and Attorney
      (pp. 90-120)

      From the Dorsey sermon in June 1902 to his resignation as Superior in 1904, Slattery dangled between presbyter and attorney. He moved between the ecclesiastical world, where he was V. Rev. J. R. Slattery, and the secular world ofWissenschaftand finance, where he was an anonymous “traveller.” Geographically he dallied between Europe and the United States. In mid-1902 he clutched to a dying hope that beneath the historical spectacle of church politics lay a deeper mystical reality. He still wanted to join together the church and modern political and intellectual life. This hope was too weak to support Slattery’s...

    • 6 “THEOLOGICAL PRIVATEER”: Slattery’s Denis O’Connell
      (pp. 121-152)

      “I could not jump, so I stayed inside.”

      “It is a dispensation of Providence,” said a tearful and grateful Denis O’Connell on December 7, 1903. O’Connell was not talking about his rehabilitation from an eight-year Roman exile and emergence earlier in 1903 as Catholic University’s new rector, though he could have been. Rather, he was talking about his escape from a near-fatal trolley accident on Michigan Avenue.

      The evening eastbound trolley car 16 of the Brookland electric car line crashed into the horse-drawn public cab in which O’Connell had been riding on Michigan Avenue in front of the university. A...

    • 7 JOHN R. SLATTERY, 1904–1926: From Presbyter to Attorney
      (pp. 153-196)

      Scholars who wish to consult the only known copy of John R. Slattery’s unpublished autobiography must go to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris—but they must look in the papers of historian Albert Houtin. How Slattery’s autobiography wound up in thePapiers Houtinremains a mystery. In the preface to his 1928 edition of Houtin’s own autobiography, his literary executor, Félix Sartiaux, lists three biographies that Houtin left unpublished at his death in 1926. Most significant is Houtin’s controversial biography of Alfred Loisy, first published by Émile Poulat in 1960. Sartiaux also includes a work entitledUn moderniste catholique américain...

  8. PART 3: MCSORLEY AND SULLIVAN:: A CHANGE OF IMMENSE IMPORT COMING OVER THE FACE OF CATHOLICISM

    • 8 A CATHOLIC THEOLOGICAL CULTURE IN ENGLISH, 1899–1907
      (pp. 199-227)

      As the nineteenth century began, Catholics who spoke English as their native language made up only a small portion of the world’s Catholics. Most Catholics whose native tongue was English lived in Ireland. In all the world, at mid-nineteenth century, there was no Catholic university where Anglophone Catholics could be educated in what John Henry Newman might have called a Catholicethos. When the Catholic University of Ireland opened in Dublin on November 3, 1854, with Newman as its president/rector, it was the first such Catholic university in the world. When Newman resigned in failure and returned to England in...

    • 9 GEORGE TYRRELL AND JOSEPH McSORLEY
      (pp. 228-258)

      During the years of the modernist crisis, from the early 1890s to 1907, Catholic journals in the United States published articles by leading figures in European Catholic thought. American readers were exposed to, among others, Loisy in translation on the synoptics as well as Hügel and Charles A. Briggs on source criticism of the Pentateuch. With the appearance ofThe New York Reviewin 1905, American exposure to advanced Catholic thought in Europe was broadened and deepened. However, the most important transatlantic link during the modernist crisis was George Tyrrell.

      English-speaking Catholics not fluent in French or other European languages...

    • 10 WILLIAM L. SULLIVAN’S FICTIONS
      (pp. 259-289)

      Among the talented young priests attracted by George Tyrrell’s spiritual writing in the early twentieth century was the Paulist William L. Sullivan (1872–1935). “Father Tyrrell we knew best of all,” Sullivan wrote in a memoir of the modernist crisis. So began a two-and-a-half-page tribute to Tyrrell in Sullivan’s posthumously published autobiography,Under Orders(1944), which he had originally titledA Mirror for Modernists. Sullivan went on to describe Tyrrell as “a strange, wild, beautiful soul, Celtic in his personality, in his brilliance, in his profound mystical sense.” He likened the Irish Jesuit to a lark “sent into the world...

    • 11 McSORLEY’S RESPONSE TO PASCENDI
      (pp. 290-324)

      InPascendi’s American aftermath, two books appeared within six months of one another. In November 1909 the Paulists’ Columbus Press published Joseph McSorley’sThe Sacrament of Duty. The following May, Open Court Publishing issued William Sullivan’s anonymousLetters to His Holiness Pius X. With the authorial designation “By a Modernist,” Sullivan’s book had clear connections to the modernist crisis. McSorley’s book, by contrast, and in keeping with his intent, has had no such association. It was received in 1909 and thereafter as an ascetical work. Placing these two books side by side, one would never guess that, prior to publication,...

    • 12 HOLINESS AND HISTORY: From Americanism and Modernism to Vatican II
      (pp. 325-346)

      For historians of the phantom heresy persuasion, the negative effects of the condemnation of Modernism on Catholic intellectual life in the United States can hardly be exaggerated.

      As 1908 proceeded on its course a gradually developing dread of heresy settled over episcopal residences, chanceries, seminaries, and Catholic institutions of higher learning. Security, safety, conservatism became national imperatives. Free intellectual inquiry in ecclesiastical circles came to a virtual standstill. The nascent intellectual movement went underground or died. Contacts with Protestant and secular thinkers were broken off. It was as though someone had pulled a switch and the lights had failed all...

    • 13 McSORLEY’S RESSOURCEMENT: Saving the Hecker Tradition
      (pp. 347-361)

      In 1899 the apostolic letterTestem Benevolentiaeended the Americanist controversies in both France and the United States and left progressive American ecclesiastics in a distinctly uncomfortable position. With the possible exceptions of Archbishop John Ireland and Bishop John Keane, no one was more deeply affected by the letter than the Paulists. At least Pope Leo XIII had refrained from mentioning Ireland and Keane by name, but he did mention Isaac Hecker and by implication Walter Elliott.Testem Benevolentiae’s second paragraph begins with these words addressed to Cardinal James Gibbons as “beloved Son,” a designation Leo used seven times in...

    • 14 FINDING A PLACE TO STAND
      (pp. 362-370)

      Tumultuous times bring massive and unexpected ground shifts. We find ourselves with no place to stand. The modernist crisis was such a time. The four subjects of the intertwined biographical portraits in this book are tragic figures whose lives embody the American reverberations of this crisis. Slattery and O’Connell, McSorley and Sullivan—each began with high-minded and even heroic ideals. All were inspired to some degree, McSorley the most, O’Connell the least, by one of America’s truly home-grown religious geniuses, whose name turned up at the center of the Americanist controversy in France—Paulist founder Isaac Hecker. Their dreams of...

  9. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 371-386)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 387-404)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 405-405)