America; and this, and the readiness with which on the whole it has adapted itself to American conditions, has determined its development. The Catholic Church in Ireland, unlike the Catholic Church in most portions of continental Europe, has been the Church of popular feeling; and American Catholicism also gradually grew to identify itself with all movements in the interests of the masses of the people, while it was likewise affected by the American theories of complete religious toleration, and separation of Church from State. In other words, it tended to become Americanized. It was at first, outside of Baltimore, and the French, Spanish, and Indian missions, a church of poor immigrants, chiefly laborers. Many of the descendants of these immigrants acquired wealth, or rose to distinction in the community, and the different nationalities began to fuse together, and to assimilate themselves in speech and customs to the old American stock. In consequence, the Church gradually tended to grow into one of the regular American churches, even though still all-powerful among the immigrants; and it began to possess its proper share of men of high social and intellectual position.
When, in the twenties, the immigration began to attain formidable dimensions, it excited much uneasiness in the minds of many of the native citizens, who disliked and looked down on the