This intriguing study of the conflict between Roman Catholicism and American democracy begins with four lectures by Roman Catholic priest and Harvard professor of church history George La Piana. A member of the Church himself, La Piana became highly critical of its undemocratic aspects after immigrating to the United States from Italy in 1914. A contributor to Foreign Affairs and The Nation, La Piana was often consulted by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter on church-state issues.
Appended to La Piana's work is an extended afterword by social-ethics activist John M. Swomley. He brings the ongoing controversy concerning Vatican-U.S. relations up to date, especially in regard to such issues as censorship and academic freedom, abortion, population policy, and the Church as a political lobby group.
For Catholics, non-Catholics, and all those concerned about the future course of American democracy, this authoritative, well-argued book presents much to ponder.