So how's that "New Evangelization" goin' for ya?

I am amazed at the degree to which the "New Evangelization," about which Cardinal Dolan preached in Rome, continues on a parallel track to the now-inflamed culture wars--as if the two endeavors are heremetically sealed from one anotherOf course, as we all know now, the two are not heremetically sealed. A key theme of Robert Putnam and David Campbell's American Grace is that the association of relgiion with politics, and particularly with conservative politics, is one reason why young people are leaving the church in such troubling numbers.So with that in mind, watch this (warning: very crude) piece form Jon Stewart, and ask yourselves the questions: 1) Does it matter that this is what so many young people are coming to think encapsulates the concerns of the Catholic faith; and 2) What is to be done about it? Barron is positioning himself as a twenty-first-century apologist. Is what he says likely to counter Stewart's take among young people--and if so, which young people? think that almost anything one says can be "good news" to someone--the question is to whom?

Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.

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