In the New York Times, Ross Douthat has a fine column discussing the character and behavior of what he calls the "Christian penumbra," those Christians who only report attending services twice a year or so. He raises some very important points, points that seem to require some work on the part of pastoral planners as well as sociologists. Certainly, a good question for the USCCB to ask is this: How do we bring these outliers of Christian practice back into the center? Why are they outliers in the first place? Does drawing lines in the sand about "Catholic identity" help or hinder progress in re-invigorating the lukewarm faith of those who only come twice a year?
March 31, 2014