Teaching, Processions, Preaching, and Polemics
One of the constant and most fundamental concerns Catholic leaders had in the westward migration relates to the opinion that Protestants expressed regarding the public activities of Catholics. Church officials often worried much about appearing too foreign or too cold towards America's notions of republicanism, independence, and democracy between the 1780s and the 1790s. During the nineteenth century's first two decades, Catholic optimism experienced an increase as church officials were able to retain the hierarchical authority system and enlarge the physical presence of the church in the trans-Appalachian West. However, concern arose regarding the distinctiveness of various Catholic activities. As Father Stephen Theodore Badin celebrated the high visibility of the church, this chapter looks into the various teachings, polemics, and other such events and issues that were made public.
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