Fostering cross-cultural and cross-racial friendships of listening are essential to creating virtuous and just societies, especially in a fractured political climate that fails to serve the human good.
Last month, speaking to a crowd in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis declared that “to torture persons is a mortal sin. A very grave sin.” Relating his comments to the United Nations’ International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the pope condemned “every form of torture and invite[d] Christians to commit themselves to work together for its abolition and to support victims and their families.” These exhortations paint a very different picture than UN Committee Against Torture findings on the Vatican’s handling of sexual abuse within the church.
The Catholic Church in the United States is in decline because its public theology, on both the left and the right, is primarily focused on gaining influence over the state. As theologian Michael Baxter has argued, the church’s first priority should be on living as a community of faith and serving as a public witness.