David Gibson on "The End of Catholic Politics?"

For those in the New York area, David Gibson -- whose respected work as author and journalist many America readers will know -- will be giving a lecture at Fordham this Tuesday the 28th. Titled "The End of Catholic Politics?", Gibson's talk will take place at 5pm at Flom Auditorium in the Walsh Library at the Rose Hill (Bronx) campus. 

The description of the lecture emphasizes the deep questions confronting the Catholic Church in the United States today: "The Catholic Church in the United States is at a crossroads regarding its historic role in the public square. This is due to a number of critical developments in past years that in recent months and weeks have come together to force a reckoning that could reshape -- and perhaps sharply downsize -- the Catholic Church's public profile. Where will the Catholic Church go from here? David Gibson, a longtime Catholic writer and currently national reporter for Religion News Service, argues that there is likely no single way forward, but rather a variety of roads that will be taken by different sectors in the Church. Will these lead to a diminished Catholic voice, or an enhanced Catholic witness?" 

The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Theology, the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, and the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education. If you are interested and close to New York City, we hope you can come. 

Eugene Pagano
5 years 2 months ago
Could you or Mr. Gibson (at either Commonweal or RNS) provide a hyperlink to the talk after it is delivered?
Jason Welle
5 years 2 months ago
Could be an interesting lecture.  I hope he'll respond to an essay published today on The Huffington Post by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Howard Schweber titled, "The Catholicization of the American Right," in which the author claims that conservative political arguements often have "identifiable Thomistic or Jesuitical sources."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-schweber/the-catholicization-of-th_b_1298435.html 
Tom Maher
5 years 2 months ago
Liberals worry that Catholics overall are no longer a reliable part of the Democratic party.  But really, the Roosevelt coalition fell apart at least a half century ago.  Like everyone else in America  Catholics have long since stopped being a refugee group that votes as a block for the Democratic party.  Catholics as a group have long been transformed and are now more critical and selective of what the Democratic party has to offer politically, economiclly and socially.   

The fact that Catholics are no longer a monolithic one-party voting block that automatically votes for Democratic party candidates makes Catholis even more powerful than ever before.  Catholics voters can not be taken for granted and must be earned by having sound policies that make sense and actually work. This change in Catholic voting patterns and party loyalty is good news for Catholics and America allowing Catholics to be more likely be appealed to based on intergrity, soundness and merits of argument rather than crude appeals to group loyalty or fears.  Poterntially Cathocs could be a very consrtuctive yet powerful force in helping decide the course of American politics one  Catholic voter as individuals at a time. 
Jim McCrea
5 years 2 months ago
 "Tom, do you have plans for us to take over the American Republic?"

Maybe Thomas Nast was ahead of his time!
Tom Maher
5 years 2 months ago
Vince Killoran (# 6)
Jim McCrea (#7) 

David Gibson's description of the lecture that he is about to give overlooks where Catholics are in  American society.   Catholics like any of the numerous groups in America do have considerable political power.  America is a democracy so all groups have some potential poltical power as voters often beyond their actual numbers.  A fractional change in voter favoring or disfavoring a candidate(s) can be the thin margin of victory or defeat for any candidate(s) seeking office.  This potential for a shift in support  is real power that Catholics as a fairly large group definately does have.  It is not likely a candidate will be elected to most federal offices without majority Catholic support.  

It should not be assumed that Catholics live in a separate fuedal state in opposition to everyone else or all other groups are oppossed to Catholic in any significant way.  Nor are Catholics by themselves a dominant group that can by themselves control any  other groups in American politics.  But Catholic in coalition with other groups are a very powerful pivitol group that must be rekoned with.   

Realistically then the assertion that " ...  a number of critical developments in past years that in recent months and weeks have come together to force a reckoning that could reshape - and perhaps sharply downsize - the Catholic Church's public profile"  as the lecture describes itself is excessively fatalistic and not likely. 

But it can be said as David Gibson lecture does  "The Catholic Church in the United States is at a crossroads regarding its historic role in the public square."  But this will not be the first or last time that the Church is at a crossraod in America.  
ed gleason
5 years 2 months ago
When the RCC  leaders pull out all stops, letters from every pulpit,  to stop the free distribution of insurance company paid for BC to maybe 2000-10,000 university college employees who ask for it, why even talk about the End RCC Politics.. Is Ross Perot and The Donald still viable? If you spend your sparse political capital on foolishness you become irrelevant fast, fast and faster.  10,000 employees a year at about 100 bucks each is a million and not one dollar of bishop money is involved.. Imagine the cost in legal and union negotiations canceling all the BC now covered.. !0 million easy and RCC will lose that in the end. .  
Vince Killoran
5 years 2 months ago
"[M]akes Catholis even more powerful than ever before. . ."

Tom, do you have plans for us to take over the American Republic?
Vince Killoran
5 years 2 months ago
"Catholic in coalition with other groups are a very powerful pivitol group that must be rekoned with."

Yup, I guess Nast should ready his pen-the Second Ku Klux Kaln can kick-start it's efforts as well.

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