Catholic Influence in North America

I was thinking about a recent comment made on another thread that Charleston, South Carolina is “more catholic” in comparison to metro Atlanta. And understood it to mean that Protestants [Anglican/ Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, etc.] are “more catholic” * in Charleston than in perhaps other areas of the nation. Maybe there’s a higher percentage of Roman Catholics in Charleston than Atlanta and how that may influence other Christian denominations.

In the Northeast [New York, Boston, Philly] there are large numbers of Roman Catholics; and the Episcopal and Lutheran parishes tend to also be Anglo & Evangelical-Catholic [strong emphasis on catholic ritual/ worship, church interiors look similar to Roman Catholic parishes, refer to the Holy Communion as the “Mass” etc.].

Is there a correlation between heavily Roman Catholic populations and how some Protestants appear more catholic-like? Would the same effect occur where, for example Baptists are strong [Texas]? Would Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian churches be “more Protestant” in worship in areas that are dominated by Baptists?

Hope I am making sense. Any thoughts?*

This may not be exactly what you’re asking, but from what I read, areas that were “traditionally Catholic” and where Catholics tended to be “thickest on the ground” - Rhode Island and Massachusetts to name two - are currently seen as the least religious and most hostile to traditional values. I would think that this would also be true of “mainstream Protestant” denominations in such areas.


I have heard this claim before, by a Methodist, that Catholics refer to Communion as “Mass”. But, we don’t, right? The Mass is the overall celebration, what a Protestant might call the service, or something. Catholics refer to Communion specifically as either Communion, the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament, or sometimes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. So, its the Sacrifice of the Mass, but it is not the Mass itself.

Do Lutherans or Methodists refer to Communion as Mass? I’d be intrigued to know why certain Protestants, (the more ritualistically similar to Catholic worship, that you mentioned), seem to think that “Mass” for Catholics refers to Communion, and not you know… the Mass.

Not addressed in the question, but (selected) Anglicans refer to the service as Mass, the Communion as the the Communion or the Eucharist, the consecrated elements as the Blessed Body/Holy Blood.

Others, otherwise.


Are there regions of the U.S. where Anglo-Catholics are more prevalent? It seems that the Episcopal parishes in New York City appear more catholic than perhaps Dallas Texas. An Episcopalian friend once suggested that during the Oxford Movement that Anglo-Catholic priests would be shipped out to the hinterlands like Ohio Valley/ Midwest by low church bishops in the 1800/ early 1900’s. Is that correct?

I can’t speak for Methodists but I have never heard them refer to the Holy Communion service as Mass. Lutherans do use the word, Mass especially in Europe. In America there are parishes that call the main service/ divine service ‘Mass’ and that goes back to my original question. Are “high church” Protestants influenced by the fact that the majority of a region’s population are Roman Catholic?

No idea. But the Midwest was the center of the Biretta Belt, 100+ years ago.

Today I have no idea where one might find a nest of the creatures. But one might be on the lookout for clergy with membership in Societas Sanctae Crucis.

GKC, Anglicanus-Catholicus

Yes; Midwest was where Anglo-Catholic priests were forced to go if they wanted a parish; so I have been told.

Thanks for the link; there is no better truth about the catholicity of the Anglican Communion than Our Lady of Walsingham.

Anglicanus-Catholicus :thumbsup:

Good point. I came across this photo of the bishop [ELCA] of Los Angeles. I think Lutherans, in general have become more catholic over the past century,


I must have missed the link.

OTOH, the Mary Shrine at my parish is OL of Walsingham.


In some ways yes.

In other ways, the larger Lutheran synods have been sprinting in the opposite direction of the historic morality of the church.

Somehow I don’t think our Catholic friends would equate this ELCA bishop that’s proud of his same-sex attraction as being ‘more catholic.’

I came from a ‘biretta belt’ of Missouri Synod parishes and parochial schools. The school I attended celebrated weekly Mass with bells/ incense and lots of involvement of the children. Now that practice is probably the norm in Lutheran schools give or take certain rituals.

See for yourself:

From a Lutheran perspective, “Mass” seems to be used for both. From the Apology of the Augsburg Confession:

At the outset we must again make the preliminary statement that we 1] do not abolish the Mass, but religiously maintain and defend it. For among us masses are celebrated every Lord’s Day and on the other festivals, in which the Sacrament is offered to those who wish to use it, after they have been examined and absolved. And the usual public ceremonies are observed, the series of lessons, of prayers, vestments, and other like things.

Mass seems to be both the worship, and the sacrament.


I don’t think the comment was referring to vestments or laying on of hands as the sine qua none of Catholicity, in the eyes of the RCC.


There is the issue of apostolic succession. Interesting, however that Catholics noted the full communion between Lutheran/ Anglican/ Episcopalian as a favorable signal for further convergence.

There are other issues, too.

Let us know how that further convergence is played out, from the RCC side.


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