About Me

Find out more about me here.

18 May 2012

F(l)ailing Catholic Patriarchs

A few disjointed thoughts on religious movements, mostly for my own benefit.

The Catholic Church is all over the news these days. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) won't be able to construct a movement of lay Catholics to forward their "religious liberties" argument. Catholics simply don't care what their bishops or the Vatican tell them. Evangelical Protestantism, however, looks much more like the grassroots movement Catholicism wishes it could be in this way. In fact, the Catholic bureaucracy's attempt to catch some of that lightening in a bottle is likely evidence that their hierarchical model is losing legitimacy and is heading toward the death throes. Immigration and higher birth rates among immigrant populations have been keeping Catholicism afloat in the U.S., but with the successes of the Pentecostal brands of Evangelicalism globally, it looks like American Catholicism is potentially in trouble. (Something similar seems to be going on with the increasingly tenuous ties between the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.) Can increases in individualism (vis-à-vis communalism) alone explain the deinstitutionalization of religion or is something else contributing? Why is it that we don't see other institutions (e.g. government) crumbling in the same way?

No comments:

Post a Comment