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A Good Catholic History Critical of Americanism

Elizabeth A. Lozowski

Book Review of United States History from a Traditional Catholic Perspective, Christ the King Books, 1st edition, 372 pp.
I am pleased to introduce our readers to a new traditional Catholic home-school program that is publishing books from a genuinely traditional Catholic perspective. Angelic Doctor Academy offers a variety of textbooks published by Christ the King Books with courses for high-school students.

They also offer a special service for busy parents by personally grading all of the coursework, including the daily homework. One of their books that particularly caught my interest was the United States History – A Traditional Catholic Perspective (here).

Most Catholic home-schooling programs, even the most well-known and generally good ones such as Seton Home Study School and Our Lady of Victory School, are lacking in regards to American History. The history books that these home-schooling programs offer are still better in many ways than secular history books because they attempt to narrate History from a Catholic perspective by discussing the missionaries and Saints in a positive light.

However, when the topic turns toward the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers, the traditional Catholic point of view cedes way to the ideas of Liberalism, the spawn of Americanism. The most prominent of these errors is the appraisal of religious liberty, an error that has been firmly rejected by the traditional teaching of the Church (e.g. condemned by Popes Pius VI, Pius IX, Pius X, Leo XIII and others). Religious liberty is nonetheless shockingly praised in these “Catholic” history books.


The explorers are given due recognition, but the Masonic founders are also clealry shown

americanhistory freemasons founding fathers
United States History by Christ the King Books offers a refreshing change from these biased (and ultimately anti-Catholic) American Histories that promote the foundation of American democracy as the best government the world has ever seen.

Intended for upper high-school students, the layout of the book assumes that the youth has already studied some American History and is familiar with the popular myths of our great nation. The book discusses all of American History up to the presidency of John F. Kennedy from a traditional Catholic perspective.

Beginning with the Irish and Norse who traveled to America long ago, this history gives a full picture of those who first inhabited the Americas and their Catholic connections. Indeed, the first explorers and colonists were Catholic, although this is much ignored by modern day histories, and the good civilization and customs present in America for some time even after the American Revolution were all a remnant of the influence of the Catholic Church on society. It was the decay of morality, inevitable in Protestantism, and the rapid decline of Christian Civilization that has exposed the errors behind the American form of government and its laws.

The Traditional Catholic view of History

The importance of studying History from the correct perspective – for true History cannot be biased – is essential to have a correct understanding of the world. One history book biased against the Church can damage a child’s trust in the truth of the Faith and leave a lasting impression on a young soul. Like a small drop of poison that eventually contaminates a barrel of water making it unfit to drink, a faulty history gradually corrupts innocence and faith. Sadly, there are many such drops of poison ready to infect little minds in contemporary histories of the United States.

As Americans, we have a reason to be proud of our heritage, but not of our founding principles. We can rightly be proud of our brave explorers and resolute pioneers who strove to found the land we now call America, yet we must exercise prudence in separating the acts of certain individuals from the ideals and spirit that shaped our country.

america first

Children & adults have long been taught to put America first - before their Catholic Faith

america first

As the staff of Christ the King Books states, “We must remind ourselves that we are Catholics before anything else, even before our American citizenship. Our Catholic Faith must be our guiding light in all studies and kinds of learning. History is no exception; in fact, the Faith is even more essential here to distinguish between the cockle and the wheat.”

Unfortunately, the History of America is intertwined with bushels of cockle disguised as wheat. Our supposed grand patriots such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were not truly as great as we have been taught. Though we can certainly be proud of Christopher Columbus and the Catholic explorers, it is our Founding Fathers and other prominent figures held dear to American hearts who must be judged.

Christ the King Books’ textbook separates this cockle from the wheat. It fearlessly supports the Catholic position in History, making the reader aware of the false claims he will be confronted with in the modern world. It not only identifies these errors but also instructs how to refute them. Quotes from the Popes and Saints are used to counter anti-Catholic errors that have arisen at various times in our nation’s History, such as the very prominent Freemasonic and Enlightenment ideas.

A true Catholic History of America must be critical, it is true, but the criticism would be exaggerated if it did not acknowledge the positive actions and beliefs. The staff of Christ the King Books understands well the importance of having this balanced perspective of History. For example, when the textbook denounces a popular figure, such as George Washington, it also shows some good traits he possessed: eg, his stellar manners.

The colonists’ revolt against England is likewise examined from many different angles to determine whether or not it was just and in line with Church teaching. The conclusion, namely that it was unjust and against the Catholic Faith, is made after a careful study of the arguments. While firmly rejecting the errors of the American form of government, its good features – such as its system of checks and balances – are also acknowledged.

The Catholic Church in America

john carroll

Catholics patriots like Charles Carroll, John Barry & Bishop John Carroll adopted Liberal ideas

As any Catholic historian should be duly aware of, the action of the Catholic Church is significantly intertwined with the history of any nation. She is the firm column of truth against falsehood, yet her children, infected with new ideas they learn from her enemies, can slowly turn against her doctrine while claiming to be loyal sons and daughters. So it was in the United States.

From the very beginning, the clergy, including the much lauded Bishop John Carroll (1735-1815), were infected with Liberalism and Americanism, encouraging their errors rather than refuting them.

The laity, in their turn, found the liberal teachings of their New World shepherds easier to follow than the strict laws of the Old World. For here in the United States, society was predominantly Protestant and Freemasonic, and in order to fit in without appearing too radical, Catholics readily adopted a watered-down Catholicism.

All the way up to Vatican Council II, true American Catholics were greatly persecuted and generally distrusted by the mainstream Protestant society. Therefore, in order to be welcomed and rise in that society, many Catholics accommodated Protestantism and accepted the idea of American liberty. “Catholics can be American Patriots too” they boldly asserted, and went out of their way to prove themselves true Americans by making one concession after another to liberal ideas.

In United States History – A Traditional Catholic Perspective, liberal Prelates are identified so that the reader can better understand why the Church seemed to accept wrong ideas in America, contrary to the consistent teachings of the Church. By the end of the 19th century, prominent members of the American clergy were becoming so bold in their appraisal of error that Pope Leo XIII wrote an Apostolic Letter Testem Benevolentiae of January 22, 1899, in which he condemned a heresy he aptly called Americanism.

jfk pope

Pope Paul VI welcomes the Liberal Democratic President John Kennedy

This heresy encouraged Catholics to unite with their Protestant “separated brethren” and to leave behind the “old-fashioned” ideas of the Church in order to adapt to the liberal principles of the French Revolution. Little known today are the few faithful priests and Bishops who valiantly fought against Americanism. The staff of Christ the King Books praises the loyalty of these rightful Catholic heroes, rendering them the due honor they have rarely received.

Although such a History that brings to light the lies and hidden faults of the United States is not optimistic, it is absolutely necessary. Thus, as the American government crumbles to the ground, Catholics can understand why it is falling.

Yet, this does not mean that we should abandon all hope for America. On the contrary, we can hope that our homeland will one day be converted to the Catholic Faith, and that, after that long-awaited baptism, it will have her role to play in the Reign of Mary, with a new government built on Catholic principles.

For in spite of the faults of America, in the hearts of Americans she still remains

               “Beautiful for spacious skies,
               For amber waves of grain,
               For purple mountain majesties
               Above the fruited plain!”

May that fruited plain soon bring forth an abundance of good fruits through a Catholic study of American History, which one happily finds in this new textbook.

purple mountain majesty

 America: awaiting a true Catholic History

Posted December 8, 2021


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