Here’s a timely quote I just came across while moving piles on my desk, from John Allen’s 2012 book-length interview with Cardinal Dolan; in A People of Hope, Dolan said: “Catholicism will always have its progressive wing and its more traditional wing, and as long as we stay together on the core principles of the faith, I think that diversity is a very healthy thing. We need people pointing the way forward, just as we need people to remind us of our roots and our past.”
What’s Pope Francis up to? Reminding people of roots and past, urging us forward with a greater awareness of the Trinitarian dimensions of our lives. What’s Archbishop Gomez up to in his Immigration and the Next America? Ditto. Archbishop Chaput in just about every syllable. Something similar. You get the idea. We have a talented and wise bench of American bishops and rising cardinals. They challenge and lead. (Thinking of Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix and so many others.)
If lay Catholics take the lead in the political, really grappling with what Catholic Social Teaching should look like in policy practice in an ecumenical civil context, our pastors will have more time for the pastoral. And we’ll more of a prayer of Catholics who vote and serve with Catholic teaching in mind, discerning their contribution in prayer, infused by the graces of the Sacraments and sanctified living.