26 September 2018, The Tablet

The disunited states

The American Church divided

The disunited states

The San Miguel Mission in Santa Fe, New Mexico, believed to be the oldest church in the US


The story of the Catholic Church in the United States of America is a success story. A small community of poor migrants and missionaries, barely tolerated and often unable to worship freely in a new nation founded by religious dissenters fleeing from European Christendom, grew to become its single largest religious denomination. This is the Church in which my wife was received as a convert to Catholicism just two years before we got married, and in which our children were born and are being raised. It is the Church that welcomed me ten years ago, when I moved from Europe to take up an academic job in its impressive network of Catholic schools and universities – the largest in the world.

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User Comments (1)

Comment by: Danny Boy
Posted: 01/10/2018 14:08:29
Excellent and perceptive article. Would welcome clarifications eg. how a 2 party political set up is responsible for a 2 party Church? Substantiate the roots of existing faultlines were always there. How does the author see this perception impacting on the US and in the Global Church in the future. Maybe needs a book to fill in the gaps and provide more detail. A fascinating article about developments observed that perhaps like Brexit will shape the future for some time to come.