Selling Catholicism: Bishop Sheen and the Power of by Christopher Owen Lynch

By Christopher Owen Lynch

" while the recognition of Milton Berle's tv express started to slip, Berle quipped, ""At least i am wasting my rankings to God!"" He was once pertaining to the recognition of ""Life Is worthy Living"" and its host, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. The express aired from 1952 to 1957, and Sheen gained an Emmy, beating festival that incorporated Lucille Ball, Jimmy Durante, and Edward R. Murrow. What used to be the key to Sheen's on-air good fortune? Christopher Lynch examines how he reached a various viewers by utilizing tv to synthesize conventional American Protestantism with a reassuring imaginative and prescient of Catholicism as patriotic and standard. Sheen supplied his audience with a feeling of balance via sentimentalizing the medieval international and preserving it out as a version for modern society. delivering simple ethical course so one can cast off the nervousness of cultural switch, he mentioned themes starting from the position of ladies to the perils of Communism. Sheen's rhetoric united either Protestant and Catholic audiences, reflecting -and forming- a imaginative and prescient of mainstream, postwar the United States. Lynch argues that Sheen's persuasive tv shows helped Catholics achieve social attractiveness and lead the way for spiritual ecumenism in the USA. but, Sheen's paintings additionally sowed the seeds for the drawback of competing ideologies within the smooth American Catholic Church.

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Extra resources for Selling Catholicism: Bishop Sheen and the Power of Television

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Sheen goes on to say that he does not want to pass judgment on others and that doing so would only divide the church. Writer John Cooney, however, maintains that Spellman would often dip into Propagation funds to help his own pet charities and those of his friends. This irritated Sheen, who thought that money sent to Propagation should be spent solely by Propagation. " Spellman had entrusted Propogation to distribute surplus milk acquired from the government; Spellman wanted money from Propagation in turn.

Disney succeeded in combining his Cinderella's castle with Main Street USA when his theme park opened in 1955. Many Americans tuned into the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II of England, fascinated by the royal pageantry. The program Queen for a Day offered American housewives a release from the drudgery of everyday routine. " Gothic architecture and learning had been quite popular among sophisticated Protestants in the Victorian era, making the Catholic medieval revival all the more exciting. It gave Catholics, moving into the middle class, a sense of being part of something greater than themselves.

Art and drama forms, in Sheen's case stories, mirrored for the laity the deeper truths of the spiritual realm. Sheen's program becomes a drama that can serve as a visible catechism in much the same way as medieval art and drama in the cathedral provided a visible outline of the truth. Sheen uses the metaphor of a drama to describe the scenes of the salvation story as being replayed in modern society. When he discusses the trial of Christ, he says, "Remember the actors in this drama, as we told you in the beginning, are eternal.

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