American Catholicism

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Rose Hawthorne Lathrop’s Ministry of Mercy

When asked by a puzzled journalist how she ended up running a home for impoverished cancer victims in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop simply noted that she had taken St. Vincent de Paul’s motto as her own: “I am for God and the poor.” The writer was curious because he knew that Rose [...]

Recovering a Catholic Subculture

On the eve of the last Super Bowl, two men were discussing the great American ritual of watching football on television. The older man admitted that he just didn't do that anymore. In times past, he said, he'd seen his share of TV football, but twelve or fifteen years earlier he'd become aware that his [...]

Liberal Protestantism and Liberal Catholicism

Catholic liberals (by which I mean theological liberals, not political liberals) never cease to amaze me. On the one hand, they appear to have a sincere devotion to their religion. On the other, they campaign for moral and theological changes that, if carried into effect, would tend to destroy their Church. Why do I say [...]

Thick and Thin Religions

When thinking about religion it is often helpful to bear in mind a distinction between "thick" religions and "thin" religions. This distinction can help us understand why American Catholicism went into decline about 40 years ago. By a "thick" religion I mean one that requires its adherents to do and to believe many things. And [...]

Curran, Dissent, & Rome: A Symposium

No matter how they judge the merits of the case, thoughtful Catholics should agree that the current controversy surrounding Rev. Charles Curran is the most crucial intellectual issue now facing the Catholic Church in America. To assess this uniquely important controversy, Catholicism in Crisis asked a number of prominent Catholic thinkers to contribute their thoughts [...]

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