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Orestes Brownson

Instead of regarding the Church as having advantages here which she has nowhere else, I think she has here a more subtle and powerful enemy to combat than in any of the old monarchical nations of the world….Catholics as well as others imbibe the spirit of the country, imbibe from infancy the spirit of independence, freedom from all restraint, unbounded license….I think the Church has never encountered a social & political order so hostile to her, & that the conversion of our republic will be a far greater victory than the conversion of the Roman Empire.
Orestes Brownson in a letter to Isaac Hecker, 1870.