In a recent report from Al Jazeera America on his first major interview, Pope Francis raises concerns that the Catholic Church needs to change its political priorities if it doesn’t want to “fall like a house of cards.” He argues that the church is focusing too heavily on “narrow” issues like gay marriage and abortion when it should be fostering a more inclusive message. Is this a new and necessary direction for Catholic politics in the United States, or just a flash in the pan?
Pope Francis may be right about church collapse. Many Americans choose not to affiliate with religion for political reasons.
- Michael Hout and Claude S. Fischer, “Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Politics and Generations,” 2002.
It also isn’t just political. Narrow theological views on issues like gender and sexuality have an effect on who comes to Mass every week.
- Andrew M. Greeley and Mary G. Durkin, Angry Catholic Women: A Sociological Investigation, a Theological Reflection, 1984.