The Faithful Departed - Encounter Books

The Faithful Departed

The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture

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Publication Details

Hardcover / 280 pages
ISBN: 1594032114

The Faithful Departed
The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture

The Faithful Departed traces the rise and fall of the Catholic Church as a cultural dynamo in Boston, showing how the Massachusetts experience set a pattern that has echoed throughout the United States as religious institutions have lost social influence in the face of rising secularization.

The collapse of Catholicism in Boston became painfully apparent in 2002, with the full explosion of the sex-abuse crisis. But Lawler brings an insider’s knowledge and a journalist’s sense of drama to show that the sex-abuse scandal was neither the cause nor the beginning of Catholicism’s decline in Boston. In fact, the scandal was itself a symptom of corruption that was already well advanced.

Full of colorful anecdote and gripping social history, The Faithful Departed will be of interest not only to Catholics and to those acquainted with Boston’s rich political tradition, but to anyone concerned about the interplay between religious faith and public policy. The demise of Catholic influence in Massachusetts is an especially vivid example of a secularizing trend that is visible throughout the United States.

About the Author

Philip F. Lawler is editor of Catholic World News, the first English ­language Catholic news service operating on the internet, which he founded in 1995. Born and raised in the Boston area, he attended Harvard College, graduating with honors in Government in 1972.

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