American Catholicism is a multifaceted phenomenon. Although its hierarchical structure predisposes onlookers and adherents alike to turn to the bishops and the pope for some sense of guidance and direction on culture, economic, and political issues, in practice such advice is as often ignored as it is embraced. American Catholics are of the left and the right; they voted for Donald Trump and for Hilary Clinton. They will turn as quickly against one another on any given social media platform as they will come to each other’s defense.
Regardless of the very apparent divisions that are at play in the American Church, there remains a conviction among these varied participants that they are Catholic. This blog is an effort to tease out the various threads that make the Catholic Church in the United States what it is – in all its unadulterated glory. As such, the articles posted here should not be taken as statements of orthodoxy, as much as the authors sincerely believe that their specific viewpoints are consistent with Church teaching. Its purpose is to gain clarity regarding some of the divisions that are at play in the Church and, in the process, get a better sense of how we can bridge some of the divides that separate Catholics from each other.
This is not the kind of blog for one interested in heresy hunting; casting aspersions at other Catholics so as raise one’s own profile is not its purpose. This does not mean that criticisms will not voiced when necessary, but that such criticisms will come from a variety of directions and sometimes assert contradictory conclusions.