The ‘Black Catholic Movement’ That Reinvigorated American Catholicism

In the Industrial North, African Americans Witnessed a Flourishing of Liturgical Innovation, New Preaching Styles, and Activist Scholarship

The story of how Roman Catholics “became American” is very well-known. Beginning in the 19th century, Catholics were a feared and despised immigrant population that Protestants imagined to be inimical to, even incompatible with, everything America was meant to be. American mobs burned Catholic convents and churches. By the early 20th century, the anti-Catholic Ku Klux Klan was running rampant.

But this changed after the Second World War. Military service, educational achievement, economic advancement, and suburbanization combined to make Catholics virtually (or, at the very least, statistically) indistinguishable from other Americans. …

God Calls My Name, but the Church Won’t Let Me Answer

The Roman Catholic Ban on Female Priests Is Leaving Women—and Thousands of Parishes—Idle and Powerless

“What do you do when God calls you and the church blocks you from answering?” a journalist once asked me.

It was the pithiest articulation I’d ever heard of the …

What the Devil Is Up With People Who Believe in Satan?

When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Professed a Belief In Lucifer, It Caused Gasps and Titters Among the Elite. But His Point Should Be Taken Seriously.

When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently told New York magazine that he believed in the devil, some readers seemed to view this statement as further proof that Scalia …

The Saints of Skid Row

The Stories of Saints and Streets Intersect All Over L.A., and Especially at San Julian Street

A dozen years or so ago, I set out to find connections between the stories of 100 saints and the streets that bear their names here in Los Angeles, a …

How On Earth Did Crystal Cathedral Go Catholic?

An Orange County Evangelical Church’s Flameout Shows Us How Quickly America’s Spiritual Landscape Can Change

This summer, thousands of Catholics from Orange County and beyond, responding to invitations sent out in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, packed a sun-drenched plaza in Garden Grove. They were there …

A POPE LIKE US!

Even Secular Argentinos Who’ve Clashed with the Church are Celebrating (Irrationally)

The intensity of the news might be measured as: “Velocity of Spread” multiplied by “Amount of Contacts Weighing In.” The “Habemus Papum Argentino” story’s intensity can only be described here …