June 23, 2016
Yes, assimilation has been the preferred strategy of Catholic leadership since the days of John Carroll. But should it always be? There is good reason to think it shouldn’t.
In a certain parish church that I know well, as also, I suppose, in many other Catholic churches in the United States, two flags are prominently displayed. One is the Stars and Stripes. The other, unfamiliar to most Americans, including many Catholics, is the gold and white flag of Vatican City, with the papal coat of arms—the keys of Peter and the papal tiara—imposed upon its vertical white band. In many churches the two flags flank the sanctuary as if to salute the sacred ritual celebrated there. In the one I’m thinking of, they hang from the choir loft in benevolent surveillance of the congregation.