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A History of the Catholic Church in the American South,
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James M. Woods

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035321

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035321.001.0001

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A Regional Religion

A Regional Religion

Catholic Prelates in the Postbellum South, 1865–1900

(p.296) Nine A Regional Religion
A History of the Catholic Church in the American South, 1513–1900

James M. Woods

University Press of Florida

In a paper titled “The Vatican Council: Ten Years Later,” Bishop Eduardus Fitzgerald defends the doctrine of the infallibility of the pope as not an invention of the council but an elaboration of divinely revealed doctrines in sacred scripture and tradition, that the Holy Spirit, operating through the papacy, would preserve the church from teaching erroneous doctrines or morals. As a bishop in Arkansas, a southern state overwhelmingly poor and Protestant, Fitzgerald did not believe this new dogma would win many converts to Catholicism. This was the circumstance the prelate already knew, and it was quite common across the South. Just as the South was a peculiar region within the United States, the Catholic bishops ministering there had to live within the confines of this religious culture.

Keywords:   Vatican Council, Eduardus Fitzgerald, infallibility, pope, papacy, Arkansas, Catholicism, South, prelate, United States

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