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Desegregating DixieThe Catholic Church in the South and Desegregation, 1945-1992$
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Mark Newman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496818867

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496818867.001.0001

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Desegregation of Southern Catholic Institutions, 1945–1970

Desegregation of Southern Catholic Institutions, 1945–1970

(p.139) Chapter Six Desegregation of Southern Catholic Institutions, 1945–1970
Desegregating Dixie

Mark Newman

University Press of Mississippi

Many of the values that led southern Catholic leaders to support secular desegregation also led them to desegregate Catholic institutions. In some cases, particularly in parts of the peripheral South, prelates desegregated Catholic schools, hospitals and churches ahead of secular change. In other instances, especially in the Deep South, ordinaries acted largely in tandem with secular desegregation, although occasionally more extensively, and sometimes partly or substantially in response to federal financial pressure. Some ordinaries eschewed publicity, while others publicly announced desegregation. In deciding policy, all prelates considered the extent or absence of secular desegregation and the nature of public and Catholic lay and clergy opinion in their dioceses, as well as the views of their consultors. Most prelates confined school desegregation to Catholic admissions, thereby restricting its impact because of large African American Protestant enrollment in black Catholic schools and limiting opposition to a change that brought only token desegregation.

Keywords:   Reasons for desegregation, Peripheral South, Deep South, Prelates, Token desegregation

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