Catholics were once a despised minority in America. Then, the Irish rebuilt the Church and changed the country. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, a look at American Catholicism. Also, William F. Buckley describes growing up Catholic. And novelist Edna O'Brien on the dark side of religious dogma.
Journalist Charles Morris tells Jim Fleming Catholicism was once just a minor sect in America, until the Irish famine sent hords of emigrants to rebuild the Catholic Church. In his book "American Catholic" Morris recounts this remarkable history, and describes how modern Catholicism is thriving in the hands of the laity. Also, William F. Buckley made a splash in 1951 with his book "God and Man at Yale," in which he complained that his alma mater had abandoned its Christian roots. Now he's back with what he calls a spiritual memoir, "Nearer, My God." He tells Steve Paulson how Catholicism marked him as an outsider when he was growing up.SEGMENT 2:
Irish novelist Edna O'Brien had some run-ins with the Catholic Church. She tells Judith Strasser that her latest novel, "Down by the River," adds fuel to the fire. It's the story of a young girl who is sexually abused by her father and, when she goes to England for an abortion, is forced to return to Ireland.SEGMENT 3:
Poet Kathleen Norris wrote a memoir called "The Cloister Walk" several years ago, about her study to become a Benedictine oblate. She tells Steve Paulson about her sequel to that work, a study of what she calls "scary words" in the Bible - words like sin, idolatry and salvation.
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