Future of Catholicism
Headlined throughout the world, the Catholic Church's standing within society has been both challenged and fortified in recent decades. As a part of its Future of Religion series, Patheos considers Catholicism's future –- its internal vitality and its public position in society and the world.
Contributors include: Kevin Appleby, Fr. Robert Barron, Kathy Coffey, Kate Dugan and Jennifer Owens, Michele Dillon, Hugh Hewitt, James Hitchcock, Ted G. Jelen, Deacon Greg Kandra, Rev. James Martin, S.J., Tim Muldoon, Barbara R. Nicolosi, J. Peter Nixon, Thomas Peters, Shu-Fy H. Pongnon, Elizabeth Scalia, Paul Snatchko, Sister Mary Ann Walsh, John Kenneth White, and J. Matthew Wilson
Church involvement in immigration reflects both policy and pastoral concerns.
Now is a great time to be a priest. Some of the holiest saints have emerged during periods much like our own, fraught with difficulties and rich in opportunities.
Christians can't waste time judging, carping, and condemning. Let's get on with the task of being Christ to a hungry, hurting world.
If young Catholics more honestly grapple with how and why we are Catholic, we might emerge with a very different version of what Catholicism is and how we do it. We need to begin to tell the story of our own Catholic identity, and it won't be the story of our parents or grandparents.
In continuity with its past, the future of Catholicism will undoubtedly incorporate new strands into its theology, organizational structure, and everyday practices.
"We are witnessing the opening of a great evangelical era in American Catholicism."
The growth of lay movements, the rise of Christian ecumenism, and the expansion of Catholic faith in the global south are all signs of health.
Four major trends in contemporary Roman Catholicism will pervade a global church and pose both challenges and opportunities.
The Church will eventually have married priests, for reasons that are as much pastoral as pragmatic. And the Church will not have a good reason to keep saying no.
The Catholic Church needs to listen to the voices of all sorts of people who have much to offer from the experience of their lives as faith-filled members of the Body of Christ.
Tomorrow's Catholic Church will be a communion of mystics who see their task as rooted in the incredible command of Jesus to love the neighbor.
The Boomers' exit from cultural influence creates a two-sided pastoral challenge for the 21st-century Church.
Our children and grandchildren are abandoning the faith because they perceive -- rightly -- that its demands are at fundamental variance with the lives we have prepared them to lead.
The universality and deeply rooted tradition of the Church will both benefit from 21st century technology.
The Church is a beautiful mess of people, places, and things that will alternately horrify and inspire you.
Like the Magi, the Church has been traveling resolutely West, and it has nearly come full-circle; it is bringing new treasure from the East and up from Africa. There is almost a sense of completion to this.
I worry that this slow march-away of sleeping-in millions may portend the future of our beloved Catholic Church in the United States and the world.
Today the challenge for church leaders is twofold: to speak out and to make their voices heard. The former takes courage, but the latter is no easy task because it demands that leaders take to the Web and other forms of social media to spread the Gospel.
There is more light than darkness, more hope than pessimism, that the U.S. Catholic Church will adapt to a new century and, once again, attract new congregants.
The American Church can and must do a better job of communicating, both to its own members and to those beyond itself, the range and force of its position on other morally consequential political questions.