Catholic Church in North America

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The Catholic Church in North America refers to the Catholic Church in North America, in full communion with the Holy See in Rome, including its various geographical coverage on the continent. It is prevalent in many different countries, on the mainland and in both island countries and overseas territories, such as the United States, the Dominican Republic, and El Salvador.[1]


Social and cultural issues[edit]

The Catholic Church has begun grouping “North” America with “Latin” and “Central” America as one America. Pope Paul was the first Pope to visit the America on October 4, 1965. He broke the tradition of treating the Americas separately but rather as one with common issues. These issues include extreme wage gaps, immigration, drug trafficking, human rights, consumerism, and secular thinking. The main issue at stake for the Catholic Church, found across the continent such as New York, Do Paulo, and Mexico City, is the loss of Catholic faith. What was once a thriving Catholic region is now endangered by present day culture and religions originating in the United States. Threatening religions to the Catholic Church in America include Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, and Protestant evangelical churches. These religions influence Mexico and then make their way to the latin American countries.[2]

Papal visits to North America[edit]

On October 4, 1965- Pope Paul VI sets foot in New York City for thirteen and a half hours, becoming the first Pontiff in the Western Hemisphere. During his visit he had a thirty five minute address where he spoke on the disarmament in the nuclear age quoting the first American Catholic President, JFK. He visited President Lyndon Johnson for forty six minutes at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. He visited St.Patrick's Cathedral and a Church near the UN. Starting in Queens going through Harlem and eventually down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, he made a 25-mile procession greeting millions. He ended his visit with 90,0000 worshipers celebrating Mass at the Yankee Stadium. He finished his trip viewing Michelangelo's Pietà at the World’s Fair in Queens. It is estimated he was seen in person my one million people and on TV/Screen by 100 million.

On October 1979- Pope John Paul II went to America on his first of seven trips. He started in Boston and went to New York where speaking at the United Nations where he advocated for human rights for all, especially for those of Palestinian Arabs. He spent two days in New York, finishing with 80,000 congregants by celebrating mass at the Yankee Stadium reminding individuals for the”urgent need” to aid the poor. He then met with President Jimmy Carter, becoming the first Pope to enter the White House. He made an address on the South Lawn to 100,000 guests where he spoke on arm’s limitations on nuclear weapons and his stance against abortion. [3]

Present times[edit]

Pope John Paul II, known as the first Pope to truly travel to different nations, took a pilgrimage to the Americas to focus on a “reconquest.” During the Pope's visit to the Americas he wanted to focus on Mexico as the bridge between the different nations as the majority will soon no longer be Catholic. He made seven trips over two decades. He wanted to discourage Catholics from other religions or growing secularization. During the Pope’s fourth trip to Mexico he delivered the conclusions on the November 1997 synod on “America.” The Vatican holds North America as a crucial aspect to the Catholic Church as it is the world's superpower made up of mass international culture and the large quantity of Catholics. Mexico consist of the second largest Catholic nation. In hopes to reverse the cultural issues from the United States but keep the current Catholics the Catholic Church is sending what many call confusing signals. It is using modern mass marketing in an ad campaign that promotes the Pope's visits but condemning much of modern society. The mass communication from the Catholic Church to North America through intense publicity is symptomatic of the hardships the church is going through with secular thinking and the degree their willing to go to spread the word of Christ in a modern form. [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Xavier Donald MacLeod, John Baptist Purcell. History of Roman Catholicism in North America. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  2. ^ "Pope comes to 'reconquer' the Americas". Christian Science Monitor. 1999-01-21. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  3. ^ Rueb, Emily S. "Popes in America". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  4. ^ "Pope comes to 'reconquer' the Americas". Christian Science Monitor. 1999-01-21. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2018-10-25.