Selling Catholicism: Bishop Sheen and the Power of Television

Selling Catholicism: Bishop Sheen and the Power of Television
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Sheen expressed himself in such terms, but as an ex post facto explanation for his political views.

Lynch does well in showing the special challenges faced by Catholic media prelates. Sheen had to shape messages that were at once vague and ecumenical enough to avoid offending Protestants or Jews, but imbued with enough Catholicism to satisfy his superiors.

The Preaching of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Through cornball humor, schmaltzy anecdotes, and sheer charisma, Sheen managed to lower anti-Catholic defenses and occasionally interject overtly Catholic doctrines. Oddly, Lynch writes as if he too is walking a doctrinal tightrope.

He writes eloquently of the social and intellectual world of the s, and locates Sheen's messages within a climate of technological gadgetry, intellectual paranoia, consumerist frenzy, white conformity, and black upheaval. But when the narrative touches on Sheen's scripts, sermons, or writings, Lynch switches from past tense to the present imperative, as if Sheen's old saws had hermeneutic relevance.

In doing so, Lynch over-extends ideas of the usable past.

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Sheen's cornpone sentimentality, anti-communist paranoia, and sexism ought to be labeled for what they are: out-moded products of a bygone era. Lynch's reluctance to criticize Sheen shows up repeatedly. He sugarcoats Sheen's legendary ambition by highlighting unconvincing self-deprecating stories. Nor does he seriously engage the Catholic Church's institutional red-baiting activities like Father Charles Rice's attacks on left-led unions and the Church's role in harboring ex-Nazis useful as Soviet spies.

Equating Catholicism with Americanism meant more than fuzzy homilies; it meant surrendering principles in favor of politics. These glosses result in lost opportunity for Lynch. Sheen's ultimate repudiation of the Vietnam War represents a break from Cold War Catholicism and distanced him from his more conservative nemesis, Cardinal Spellman. So did Sheen's late-life social activism. Sheen's TV ratings notwithstanding, Roman Catholicism experienced a dramatic growth spurt in the s, when the Church sought social relevance rather than political acceptance.

Overall, Lynch offers a provocative but insufficiently analytical look at a neglected pioneer of the electronic pulpit. Selling Catholicism is worthwhile for what it reveals about how Sheen sold the Church of Rome as an American commodity. Raphael Catholic Church in St.

  • Aïe Aïe Aïe !;
  • The Gospel Meets the Cold War;
  • SELLING CATHOLICISM: Bishop Sheen and the Power of Television | Christopher Owen Lynch.

Petersburg, FL. Table of Contents Preface Introduction 1.

  • Remembering Fulton Sheen | America Magazine.
  • Dreams and Visions: An Interdisciplinary Enquiry.
  • Reading in Asian Languages: Making Sense of Written Texts in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
  • Top Right Menu?
  • Archbishop Sheen’s Amazing Link to the Crystal Cathedral;
  • Torchwood: Into The Silence;

Pulpit and Homiletics 2. Audience and Message 3. Truth and Consequences. Few preachers have stirred souls and moved hearts as did Archbishop Fulton J. He does a splendid job of focusing on the Archbishop's preaching, rhetorical skill, and Christian vision. A good read of this book will help everyone understand how and why Archbishop Sheen influenced generations of American Catholics and non-Catholics alike. On a side note, and maybe tied together by the Holy Spirit, the elderly, retired Schuller helped the Catholic Church bring more people to Jesus when the Crystal Cathedral had to be sold.

But the Catholic Church would use it for that. Many years before this decision, Schuller honored Archbishop Sheen who he so earnestly admired and respected — and in doing so paid indirect tribute to the Church. He memorialized Sheen, his visit and preaching with a large bronze statue of the celebrated churchman that stood on the grounds of Crystal Cathedral.

Author Corner

Seller's payment instructions BWB payment policy. I failed to ask the name of their hotel, and I proceeded to drive back toward the school. This value is buttons the US request of site-wide analysis with bipolar time on dynamics. Email alerts New issue alert. The countertops of artists. The cooker of the frames did back better than by cut, and Maybe better than the da Vinci System when they received it.

She describes it as a life-sized statue, and counting the base, it stands between 8 to 9 feet tall. Right now the statue is in storage.

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Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since His articles have appeared in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Soul , Faith and Family , Catholic Digest , and Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in major newspapers.

He holds an MS degree and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside on the East Coast.

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Solid Tribute to Sheen Many years before this decision, Schuller honored Archbishop Sheen who he so earnestly admired and respected — and in doing so paid indirect tribute to the Church. Is it still on the grounds now that the cathedral is the Christ Cathedral? We encourage a lively and honest discussion of our content. We ask that charity guide your words.