The Old Church

The Old Church

John Cooney’s study of the life and times of
Cardinal Spellman inevitably points to the liberat-
ing changes that have taken place within the Amer-
ican Catholic church. The stand taken by the
American bishops in their pastoral letters on pov-
erty and the nuclear arms race would have been
unthinkable during the Spellman era. Cardinal
O’Connor can never aspire to the level of political
power and influence that Spellman once took for
granted. The old reactionary church of Cardinal
Spellman would seem, on the surface, to be as dead
and buried as the Legion of Decency.

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