The Future of Catholicism in America
Catholics constitute the largest religious community in the United States. Yet most American Catholics have never known a time when their church was not embroiled in controversies over liturgy, religious authority, cultural change, and gender and sexuality. Today, these arguments are taking place against the backdrop of Pope Francis's progressive agenda and the resurgence of the clergy sexual abuse crisis. What is the future of Catholicism in America? This volume considers the prospects at a pivotal moment. Contributors-scholars from sociology, theology, religious studies, and history-look at the church's evolving institutional structure, its increasing ethnic diversity, and its changing public presence. They explore the tensions among members of the hierarchy, between clergy and laity, and along lines of ethnicity, immigration status, class, generation, political affiliation, and degree of religious commitment. They conclude that American Catholicism's future will be pluriform-reflecting the variety of cultural, political, ideological, and spiritual points of view that typify the multicultural, democratic society of which Catholics constitute so large a part.