Religion: Docility in Boston

Boston's multitudinous, intensely parochial Roman Catholics wear their faith on their sleeves, reach for brickbats and shillelaghs at the slightest hint of criticism. But last week, after a telling blast against Boston Catholicism, they scarcely knew what head to crack: the blast had been loosed in the Commonweal, a Catholic weekly. It was signed "Katherine Loughlin," a pseudonym protecting a middleaged, devout, Irish Catholic spinster, her family and a relative who is a priest.

The reason Critic "Loughlin" had her Irish up was James Michael Curley, the city's mayor. Boston recently gave a brass-band...

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