Social and Religious Life of Italians in America

9780217466615: Social and Religious Life of Italians in America

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1918. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER III. THE RELIGION OF ITALIANS. Italians In the primitive church.--Italian faith in the Middle Ages.--The Waldensian movement.--Three classes of religious Italians.--Italians and the clergy.--The clergy and education.--The clergy and morality.--The "Questione Romana."--Italy and the Bible.--Modernism.--Mazzini and spiritual Italy.--The religious life of Italians in America.--Magic and folklore.--Indifferents.--Free Thinkers.--Opportunities. Erasmus said: "Itali omnes athei." Carducci, the poet, was inclined to think that Italians were all pagan in the classical sense. Romolo Murri, the modernist, wrote lately that with equal truth one might say: "Itali omnes clerici." Ferdinand Martini, in our times, says, repeating the words of Tommaseo, that Italy is divided into unbelievers and lukewarm believers. In reflecting upon the annals of the Church of Rome and of religious life throughout the history of Christianity, especially in the Middle Ages, and in observing the overwhelming part taken by Italians in the growth of both institutions, one is tempted to think that Italians were all priests, or at least a deeply religious people. Undoubtedly the critical spirit of the Latin race gives the impression of its having sceptical tendencies, and allowance must be made for human nature and personal ambition which would explain many of the motives that prompted Italians to work for the church; indisputably there is still imbedded in the depths of the Italian soul a substratum of traditional paganism, of primitive culture and a belief in magic and folklore. Yet the fact remains that both within and without the Roman Catholic Church we have in Italy deep and strong currents of religious life and spiritual experience. The Centurion of the time of Jesus who astoni...

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