New book examines conservative Catholics, and it isn’t pretty

(National catholic Reporter. Michael Sean Winters).

Francis Maier, longtime aide and amanuensis to former Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, tells the reader of his new book, True Confessions: Voices of Faith from a Life in the Church, that it is “a snapshot of the Catholic Church in the United States in the third decade of the 21st century: Who she is; where she is culturally; how she got there; and her prospects for the future, with a special emphasis on the lay vocation.” What Maier does not tell you, but which becomes evident pretty quickly, is that the lens of his camera only takes in a small — I had almost written narrow — slice of the picture of that church in this moment. The book consists of a series of interviews with bishops, clergy, laity who work in the church, parents, donors and new Americans. Maier starts with the bishops. Oddly, he doesn’t include the questions he posed to the bishops, only their replies, and they are not identified by name. This anonymity soon becomes deeply problematic.

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