Catholicism and Nationalism Do Not Really Mix – UPDATED

cross in flag

The neighborhood where I grew up was a block of "mutts", and my own family boasted Irish-Italian-English-Scots-German muttage, but if you asked any of us "what are you?" the answer, our answer would have been "Catholic" and our Catholicism precluded all of our other labels, including "American." Our culture was American, yes, but it was first-and-foremost "Catholic". We didn't have a flag hanging out the door, but we had a Saint Jude on the doorstep, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the kitchen. … [Read more...]

Dark Joy, Inclusion, Mad Men, Conceit, Accommodation and the American Church

American Church

My First Things column this week was more or less (and a little weirdly) inspired by three very disparate things: Pope Francis' thoughts on "the dark joy of gossip" (and his homily from yesterday morning), Harry Crane's outburst on last Sunday's episode of Mad Men and Russell Shaw's new book, American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in AmericaThe pope's words on gossip have been reverberating within me (and, I know, within others) for weeks, … [Read more...]


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