These are days of hope for American Catholics, following years of despair for too many. The new winds blowing through Rome thanks to Pope Francis signal an important opening to renewal, yet the Catholic Church in the United States and elsewhere is struggling to recover an effective voice in public affairs and a semblance of moral authority in the lives of the people in the pews. This struggle occurs in the wake—dare we hope that it...
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Richard L. Wood is associate professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico and founding director of the Southwest Institute on Religion, Culture, and Society. Brad Fulton is a PhD candidate in sociology at Duke University and was the lead researcher for Interfaith Funders’ 2011 State of Organizing study. Christine Doby is a program officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and serves on the board of Interfaith Funders.
This article was funded by a gift from Michael Vertin and the late Margaret O’Gara in honor of Jim O’Gara, former editor of Commonweal.