History of the Roman Catholic Church Presentation Topics
“The Holocaust, the Vatican, and Pius XII: Hitler’s Pope?”
During the Second World War Vatican City was considered a neutral country. It was the home of 40 foreign ambassadors including representatives of the United States and Great Britain. Pope Pius XII, who was elected on the eve of the war, was confronted by perhaps the greatest series of crises that the Church faced in the 20th century. This program will highlight how Pius XII and the Vatican struggled to keep the churches open and protect the Jews and other oppressed peoples of Europe from Nazi tyranny. Was Pius XII “Hitler’s Pope” or a valiant defender of human rights? Through newly released research we will relive the dramatic events inside the Vatican that had an impact across Europe and the world. (Hear Ed Gordon discuss many of the controversies included in this presentation. The discussion begins at minute 34 in the podcast.)
“The Church and State in Balance: A History of American Catholicism”
In 1565 America’s first Catholic Church opened in St. Augustine, Florida. Over 400 year later, the U.S. Catholic Church has the largest membership of all the religions in America. This is only a very recent development. The history of Catholicism in the United States is a fascinating story of missionary zeal, growth and change triggered by waves of immigrants, times of religious persecution, and the maintenance of the delicate balance between church and state across American civil society.
“The Papacy Today: Transformation and Renewal”
The voluntary retirement of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Francis, the first Pope to choose the name of the saint from Assisi and the first Latin American to hold this office, are noteworthy events in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Francis has broken precedents and captured world attention with his informal and approachable manner and has begun initiating changes to the Curia, Vatican Bank and other parts of the Church. What can we expect to see in the immediate future and the long term? These and other issues will be presented in this far-reaching update on the contemporary Church.
“Saints and Sinners: A History of the Papacy and the Church”
This three-part series provides an overview of role and influence of the Papacy through the ages:
- Part I: The Early Church
- Part II: The Medieval & Renaissance Church
- Part III: The Contemporary Church