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The shifting focus and nature of Catholic schools, which is part of the genesis of the conflict between the founders of the independent schools and their local diocesan education offices, is discussed in an important article by Baker and Riordan (1998), entitled "The 'Eliting' of the Common American Catholic School and the National Educational Crisis." They discuss how Catholic schools in America were originally founded to protect the religious and ethnic heritage of immigrant Catholics, who did not feel safe in the heavily Protestantized public school system.
Ironically, a "Protestantized conception of religion," Fessenden argues, has controlled the "meanings of both the religious and the secular" because "Christian religious polemic" upholds "America's vaunted history of religious liberty and toleration by being cast in strictly secular terms" (4).
But this caveat aside, the core of Huntington's case is convincing: "Americanization" has always required two shifts, one from an ancestral language to English, and the other from an ancestral religion either to Protestantism itself or to a Protestantized version of the original faith (think of Reform Judaism or "cafeteria Catholicism").
Huntington argues that Catholicism has been "Protestantized" in America.
Where is it to be found--within the reality of a Protestantized ritual that veers between responsive English mumbling, on the one hand, and mindless nursery tunes, on the other?
The reformers did not convert Catholics to Protestantism, but they aided in "recatholicizing" Irish immigrants to a Catholic Church that was being "protestantized" by the American locale.
Leonildo Silveira Compos, for example, points to "Pentecostalized Protestantism" and "Protestantized Pentecostalism." (18) Given their enormous numbers--some 70 to 80 percent of the Protestant community in Latin America is Pentecostal--Pentecostals also have had a significant influence on the Roman Catholic community.