Lectures on Religion and the Founding of the American Republic: [Chapter 9] Could a Catholic Become an American? The Catholic Experience in the Early Years of the Country

Lectures on Religion and the Founding of the American Republic: [Chapter 9] Could a Catholic Become an American? The Catholic Experience in the Early Years of the Country

Author Bishop George Niederauer

Could a Catholic become an American? The short answer is, Yes, with difficulty. This struggle was somewhat ironic because, as historian Sydney Ahlstrom points out, "The Roman Catholic church has a longer history in America—even in the United States—than any other Christian denomination." What follows is a longer, detailed answer to this question, focusing on the colonial period and the early years of the republic until the Civil War.