William Doino Jr. on Rupert Shortt and a church besieged:
As anxious as many Christians are about religious freedom in America, nothing we’ve experienced—and God willing, never will—comes close to the brutal persecution of Christians abroad. The stunning extent of this persecution is documented in Times Literary Supplement religion editor Rupert Shortt’s evenhanded and unsettling new book, Christianophobia: A Faith Under Attack.
Also today, David Mills on faith with benefits:
As far as one can tell from the essay, the conservative Anglican Aitken favors the revision of the Church’s teaching on contraception, celibacy, marriage, and homosexuality. He is not eccentric in thinking this. With some exceptions (I think of some biblically exacting Southern Baptist friends), the more conservative of our conservative Protestant friends reject the first three but accept the last, but even an increasing number of them are beginning to reject the last as well. Aitken thinks the Catholic Church wrong about all four.
And in our third feature, Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap, on holy impatience:
Some years before he was elected pope, Joseph Ratzinger was asked what he thought about the health of the Church. He answered that she was doing very well; she was just a lot smaller than most people thought. He was exactly right. We need to think of the Church in our age as a seed of life embedded in layers of dead tissue. We also need to distinguish the Church in the emerging world from the Church in developed nations.