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"Parish Priest"

The sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and recent financial troubles in the Boston Archdiocese are only the most recent problems facing Catholics in america.

In the late 1800s, Catholics were often viewed with suspicion. Many protestants believes Catholics' allegiance to America was compromised by their spiritual connection to the Vatican.

Against this backdrop, historians Douglas Brinkley and Julie Fenster tell the story of father Michael McGivney, in their new book "Parish Priest."

McGivney was a priest at Saint Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut in the 1870s and 80s.

He founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882. The authors explain how Father McGivney and his newly formed brotherhood came to change the perception of Catholicism in America.

Bob Oakes speaks with Julie Fenster.

This program aired on January 18, 2006. The audio for this program is not available.

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