You probably know that I did my graduate studies in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States.
You may also know that a sad fact of that history is that the Catholic community in the USA, from the start, has had to counter a deep and pervasive bigotry.
As Richard Schlesinger commented, “Hatred of the Catholic Church is the oldest bias in the American psyche.”
Yet, certain events in our history have softened that prejudice. Guess what — according to Monsignor John Tracy Ellis, my old professor, himself one of our most acclaimed historians — was one of those…