Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

KNOW-NOTHINGISM

A lawless anti-Catholic movement in American politics, 1852-58. All men were admittedly created equal except Catholics, foreigners, and blacks. When questioned about their philosophy, the answered, "I don't know." Their main target was Irish Catholics, whom they wished to deprive of civil and private rights. Their victims suffered from repeated acts of mob violence. In 1852 the bigots organized the "National Council of the United States of North America." They swore an oath of secrecy about their aims and promised to elect to public office only native born Americans who were not Catholic or married to Catholics. In 1855 they carried elections in nine states and had seventy-five adherents in Congress, but their defeat by the Democratic Party in 1856 and the growing feeling of anti-slavery saw their decline as a united power.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Straws in the Wind 3 hours ago
Hans Urs von Balthasar on Renewal that Matters 5 hours ago
Wrongheaded diocesan legal defenses in abuse cases July 24
New HHS Mandate must truly eliminate complicity July 23
Self-Esteem: Beyond Pop Psychology July 23

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Vatican issues working document for Synod of Bishops on the family CWN - June 26
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21