US Catholic Leaders Gather to Discuss Polarization

Christopher White writes:

More than 80 prominent and emerging Catholic leaders gathered this week in an effort to see how a unified American Catholic Church might offer a better way forward.

“Though Many One: Overcoming Polarization through Catholic Social Thought,” hosted by the Initiative for Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, served as an attempt to break across current divides within the Church and to take advantage of the momentum of the Francis papacy to positively influence public life.

Over the past year, the Initiative’s executive director, John Carr, and co-convener Kim Daniels, a member of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, worked with an outside advisory committee to bring together a diverse list of individuals representing various political, racial, and ecclesial perspectives….

In one roundtable on the costs of polarization within the Church, Elise Italiano, executive director of The Given Institute, talked about the damage of intra-ecclesial wars on her fellow millennials.

“For many in this room who are emerging leaders in the academy, ministry, and apostolates, it’s really hard to ignore the polarizing attitudes and language that many of our mentors and guides have embraced,” she said.

“While the intra-ecclesial debates about Pope Francis, continued culture wars and fights over how exactly we’re supposed to implement Vatican II take place, our peers are being carried out in spiritual body bags in front of our eyes,” she continued.