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The American Experiment in Ordered Liberty

The American Experiment in Ordered Liberty
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The question of whether Catholicism is compatible with the American project in liberal democracy remains contentious. Many contemporary Catholic writers and intellectuals answer in the negative. In this volume, Professor John Pinheiro brings historical expertise to the topic, assessing the merits of the American project by focusing on the founding period. He examines the views of the founders and the realities of early American culture in light of the principles of Catholic social teaching and finds no simple answer to the question of Catholic and American compatibility. For the American experiment was not the realization of an ideological agenda; instead, it was the practical outworking of a commitment to protect traditional liberties. These liberties were largely consistent with Catholic doctrine. If the American project is not perfect, neither is it beyond redemption. Pinheiro points out that the task given to Catholics is not to raze the institutions of religious and political liberty but instead to “redeem the time” by embracing good and opposing evil in our own day.

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Acton Institute
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John Pinheiro