The Catholic University of America

Shane MacCarthy

An inventory of the Shane MacCarthy Humanae Vitae Collection at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


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Mailing Address: The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

Telephone: 202-319-5065

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Shane MacCarthy, August 19, 1938-
Title: The Shane MacCarthy Humanae Vitae Collection
Dates: 1967-1971, 1986-1987
Extent: 2.5 linear feet; 4 boxes
Abstract: The collection consists of correspondence, clippings, meeting notes, publications, photoes, and audio cassettes.
Collection Number: 199
Language: English

Biographical Note

Shane MacCarthy was born in Washington, DC, on August 19, 1938. The eldest of five boys, he attended Catholic schools, graduating from the Catholic University Campus School in 1952, Gonzaga High School in 1956, and from Holy Cross College in Worchester, Massachusetts, in 1960. MacCarthy's seminary studies at Saint Vincent's Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, occurred from 1960-1965, largely overlapping the Second Vatican Council which began in 1962 and ended the same year as his ordination in 1965. He served as a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington at St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, Maryland, for two years before requesting a transfer that would enable him to be involved in urban ministry through his assignment to Assumption Parish in Southeast Washington, DC where he spent the next eight years.

As a young priest, he engaged in diocesan-sponsored seminars taught by some of the leading American Roman Catholic theologians who were then faculty members at the Catholic University of America. These studies, sponsored by the Archdiocese, brought MacCarthy and his fellow priest-students into personal contact with many of the theologians - including the Rev. Charles Curran - who subsequently were themselves engaged in providing a scholarly response to Pope Paul VI's encyclical, Humanae Vitae.

Following the publication of Humanae Vitae in July 1968, as part of a group of 40 men, the vast majority of whom were serving in Archdiocesan parishes, he signed a Statement of Conscience, which expressed disagreement with the Church's assessment surrounding the encyclical's approach to artificial birth control. Some signers objected to the encyclical's upholding of the Catholic Church's condemnation of the practice; others differed on how to deal with the issue pastorally, particularly as it affected confession and reception of the sacraments. As a result of the Statement of Conscience, MacCarthy and the other signers were penalized, to varying degrees, by Patrick O'Boyle, the Cardinal Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington. Many, like MacCarthy, were suspended from preaching, teaching, or hearing confessions. Some few priests, particularly those among the leadership cadre, were expelled from their parish rectories. Others received less severe penalties.

MacCarthy was one of 19 priests who disputed their suspension and sought to bring their case before the Church judicially. With the advocacy of an association of American priests called the National Federation of Priests' Councils, and its Committee of Concerned Canon Lawyers, the group petitioned Pope Paul VI to arbitrate the case after it was determined that the Washington Archdiocesan Tribunal could not bring the matter to an acceptable close. Pope Paul VI set the Congregation for the Clergy the task of hearing the case. The Congregation finally reached the decision that Cardinal O'Boyle had followed the requirements for the Code of Canon Law. Eventually, the priests who still wished to resume their duties were able to do so by signing a statement crafted by Cardinal Wright that seemed to mollify the encyclical's original intent.

MacCarthy left active ministry with the Roman Catholic Church in 1975 and a year later, he accepted a nomination to serve as the Peace Corps Director in Ghana, West Africa. Upon returning to the United States in 1978, he elected to join the Agency for International Development. As a USAID Foreign Services Officer, he and his family undertook five year assignments in Swaziland, Southern Africa, and Cairo, Egypt. In each of his countries of overseas work, MacCarthy assumed weekend pastoral responsibilities as an Anglican priest prior to returning to the United States in 1996. He then served as a USAID personal service contractor, working as the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia's Outreach and Training Coordinator until his retirement on July 3, 2009.

MacCarthy married Karen Neubert in 1975 and has two children, Sean, born in 1977 and Sarah, born in 1981. A fifth-generation Washingtonian, he maintains his local roots and currently lives in McLean, Virginia.

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Scope and Contents

The Shane MacCarthy Humanae Vitae Collection includes 2.5 linear feet of records focused primarily on the Humanae Vitae Controversy in the District of Columbia. The collection is composed of correspondence, clippings, meeting minutes, photos, audio recordings, and publications. The MacCarthy Collection is divided into four Series: Series #1, Correspondence and Related Materials 1967-1987; Series #2, Printed Material 1968-1971; Series #3, Audio/Visual Materials; Series #4, Oversized Materials 1968-1969.

The Correspondence and Related Materials Series includes materials documenting dialogue between the two sides of the Humanae Vitae Controversy, as well as press releases and a dissertation written in 1986-1987 on the event. The Printed Materials Series is comprised of newspaper clippings from 1967-1971 following the Humanae Vitae Controversy as well as a small amount of material focusing on activities protesting racism. The Audio/Visual Series includes two cassette tapes of meetings and a set of color slides. The Oversized Materials Series includes original copies of correspondence and related materials, and newspaper clippings from 1968-1969 related to the Humanae Vitae Controversy.

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Arrangement

The Shane MacCarthy Humanae Vitae Collection consists of four series:





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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Shane MacCarthy donated his collection to the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives in 2005.

Processing Information

 

Processing completed in 2010 by Jackie Tolonese. EAD markup completed in 2010 by Jackie Tolonese. Digital object links added in 2017 by Katherine Santa Ana.

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Related Material

At the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives:

Joseph Byron Humanae Vitae Collection

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Byron, Joseph
Corrigan, John
MacCarthy, Shane
O'Boyle, Patrick Cardinal
Pope Paul VI

Organizations:
Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
The Association of Washington Priests

Places:
Washington, D.C.

Subjects:
Humanae Vitae Controversy


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Bibliography

LaLonde, Kristine. Transformations of Authority: Reform, Rebellion, and Resistance in the Catholic Church of the 1960s. Bell and Howell Information and Learning Company: Ann Arbor, MI, 2000.

MacCarthy, Shane. Interview by Jackie Tolonese. Digital voice recording. McLean, Virginia. 13 Apr. 2010.

MacGregor, Morris. Steadfast in the Faith: The Life of Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle. The Catholic University of America Press: Washington, DC, 2006.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Correspondence and Related Materials, 1967-1971 (2 boxes)
Handwritten and typed correspondence among various people involved in the Humanae Vitae Controversy in Washington, D.C. Also includes press releases and a dissertation written about the event.
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence and Related Materials, 1967
        Documents
  2 Correspondence and Related Materials, July 1968
        Documents
  3 Correspondence and Related Materials, August 1968
        Documents
  4 Correspondence and Related Materials, September 1968
        Documents
  5 Correspondence and Related Materials, October 1968
        Documents
  6 Correspondence and Related Materials, November 1968
        Documents
  7 Correspondence and Related Materials, December 1968
        Documents
  8 Correspondence and Related Materials, 1969
        Documents
  9 Correspondence and Related Materials, 1970
        Documents
  10 Correspondence and Related Materials, 1971
        Documents
  11 Correspondence and Related Materials, Joseph Byron, February 1970
        Documents
  12 Correspondence and Related Materials, Joseph Byron, March - May 1970
        Documents
  13 Correspondence and Related Materials, Joseph Byron, June - October 1970
        Documents
  14 Correspondence and Related Materials, Joseph Bryon, 1971
        Documents
Box Folder
2 1 Dissertation Draft Part I, 1986
  2 Dissertation Draft Part II, 1986
  3 Dissent: The Humanae Vitae Controversy in Washington, D.C., pg. 1-32, 1987
  4 Dissent: The Humanae Vitae Controversy in Washington, D.C., pg. 33-72, 1987
  5 Dissent: The Humanae Vitae Controversy in Washington, D.C., pg. 73-100, 1987
  6 Dissent: The Humanae Vitae Controversy in Washington, D.C., pg. 101-133, 1987
  7 Dissent: The Humanae Vitae Controversy in Washington, D.C., pg. 134-160, 1987
  8 Correspondence and Related Materials, n.d.
        Documents
                       
Series 2: Printed Materials, 1967-1971 (1 box)
Newspaper clippings and other printed materials related to the Humanae Vitae Controversy 1967-1971.
Box Folder
3 1 Printed Material, 1967
        Documents
  2 Printed Material, 1968
        Documents
  3 Printed Material, July - September 15, 1968
        Documents
  4 Printed Material, September 16-30, 1968
        Documents
  5 Printed Material, October 1968
        Documents
  6 Printed Material, November - December 1968
        Documents
  7 Printed Material, January - June 1969
        Documents
  8 Printed Material, July - September 1969
        Documents
  9 Printed Material, 1970
        Documents
  10 Printed Material, 1971
        Documents
  11 Printed Material, n.d.
        Documents
                       
Series 3: Audio/Visual Materials, ca. 1967-1971 (1 box)
Includes two cassette tapes of meetings, a set of color slides, and one photograph.
Box Folder
3 12 Audio/Visual Materials, ca. 1967-1971
        Images
        The photograph appears to be from 1967 and is in good shape.
                       
Series 4: Oversized Materials, 1968-1971 (1 box)
Dismantled scrapbook containing original copies of correspondence and printed materials. Photocopies of correspondence are included with Series 1: Correspondence and Related Materials; photocopies of printed materials are included with Series 2: Printed Materials.
Box Folder
4 1 Scrapbook - Correspondence and Related Materials, July-August 1968
        Scrapbook
  2 Scrapbook - Correspondence and Related Materials, September 1968
        Scrapbook
  3 Scrapbook - Correspondence and Related Materials, October 1968-January 1969
        Scrapbook
  4 Scrapbook - Printed Materials, July-September 15, 1968
        Scrapbook
  5 Scrapbook - Printed Materials, September 16-30, 1968
        Scrapbook
  6 Scrapbook - Printed Materials, October 1968
        Scrapbook
  7 Scrapbook - Printed Materials, November 1968-January 1969
        Scrapbook

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence and Related Materials, 1967-1971

Series 2: Printed Materials, 1967-1971

Series 3: Audio/Visual Materials, ca. 1967-1971

Series 4: Oversized Materials, 1968-1971

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