Way back in 2010 Patheos spent a summer looking at the Future of Religion and asking people where they thought the churches, and faith itself, was headed. Our collection of Catholic writers and thinkers looked at issues like the rise of the digital faithful, the possibility of married priests, the vocational numbers and what they mean, and much more.
It was only five years ago, but upon re-reading some of those pieces, they seem to be from a wholly different era; no one was then predicting the rise of the “nones”, or gay marriage, or a Pope like Francis.
That being the case, the Patheos Public Square has decided that this summer might be ripe for another look at the question, and a re-evaluation of what the future might hold. From today until next Wednesday, the focus will be on The Future of Catholicism in America, and once again, we’ve lined up some very interesting writers: like Forming Intentional Disciples author, Sherry Weddell, Notre Dame’s Tim O’Malley, author, scholar and radio host Matthew Bunson, our own Michael Novak, monastic Sister Mary Catharine Perry, OP, our friends Sam Rocha, Kerry Weber, Activist Kelley Cutler, and First Things Deputy Editor, Matthew Schmitz. We even made a point of engaging a few repeat-contributors, for the fun of it: Peter Nixon and Tim Muldooon, have both re-engaged the question.
And of course, a sampling of our bloggers have also piped up, including Deacon Greg (another re-engager), Pia de Solenni, Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble, FSP, Eve Tushnet, Stef Ofhfs, and oh yeah, me too — another repeat-offender!
Check out the symposium. Lots of interesting reading, there!
And no, under no circumstances is anyone predicting an empty altar, ever.