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Natalie Bien Poster

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“Deliver us from Evil…” these words are heard by Catholics every time they go to church looking to how they can avoid evils that surround them. During the Civil War, evil erupted across the nation including religious tensions between Catholics and Protestants, bloody battles, and the fight over slavery. Catholics believed thatChrist established their church, unlike the Protestants they were the one true Church. Yet unlike the Protestants, Catholics did not have a large religious following and the theological differences between the two religions led to discrimination and anger. This hatred of each other spilled over to the Civil War, Protestants would not respect Catholic Chaplains and felt that they could not fight beside Catholic Soldiers. To escape this treatment Catholics formed their own regiments where they could practice their faith and receive Catholic mass without feeling ostracized.

Catholic Leaders saw the Civil War as an opportunity to spread their faith; young men of the clergy were encouraged to go and fight in the war by their ministers and priests. When these men went to battle they were representing the Church , the Church ensured that these soliders fought bravely and honored their Catholic faith during battle. Catholic priests were alongside the soldiers making sure they were acting appropriately.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart as you would christ- Ephesians 6:5

Abuse, torture, rape, and exhaustion were just some of the horrors that African Americans endured in slavery. The common misconception would be that Catholics, members of the Church established by Christ the savior, would speak out against these crimes. Yet due to a combination of theological and sociological factors Catholics accepted slavery. Within their faith Catholics were committed to defending the sanctity of private property which included slaves and profits that are derived from them. Yet contrary to their beliefs by being on a mission to protect every human soul.