Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Something to Chew On

John Allen, the very well-respected Vatican beat reporter for the National Catholic Reporter, in an interview with Godspy about his new book on Opus Dei, had this to say (among a few other things) about American Catholics:

It's tragic that American Catholics spent the first part of the 20th century
crawling out of the ghetto imposed on us by a hostile Protestant majority, but
that now we've constructed our own ghettos. They're defined not by
denominational boundaries, but by ideological ones. This isn't just
distasteful on an aesthetic level, but ecclesiologically it's deeply
unsatisfactory. We're supposed to be a community of communities—that's what
communio ecclesiology is, to which John Paul II and Benedict XVI have been so
valiantly trying to call us.

Do read the whole interview, it's quite fascinating and insightful. And I do think this polarization of Catholicism in America is related - indirectly, for sure, but still related - to the polarization of American politics that has
become quite shocking in recent decades.