AUDIO: Massimo Faggioli on The Church in America – The Fight for Hegemony of and Within US Catholicism – Zoom presentation last evening

Please click on the link for last evening’s ACP Zoom presentation by Massimo Faggioli on the Church in America – The Fight for Hegemony of and Within US Catholicism.

Opening and Closing Prayers below.

Massimo starts at 08’10” (eight minutes, ten seconds):

Opening Prayer

Loving God,

You call us to shine like stars in the world,

To shed light like a lamp set upon a lampstand.

Help us, and all your Church,

to fulfil at least a little of that calling-

through our words, our actions,

our living and our loving,

to share something of what we have received from you.

Where there is darkness,

Let us bring light.

Teach us to speak openly and honestly of our faith,

Not falling into the language of jargon or cliché,

but testifying in our own words

to what Jesus means to us.

Where there is darkness,

Let us bring Light.

Teach us to work with our fellow Christians

of all denominations and none,

recognising the need to learn from one another,

and working together in the cause of the Gospel.

Where there is darkness.

Let us bring Light.

Teach us to love those around us,

not simply other believers, nor merely in words,

but all people, and through actions that speak unmistakably of our sincerity.

Where there is darkness,

Let us bring light.

Loving God,

It is easy to talk of being your people,

much harder to live as though we are.

equip us and enable us to respond to that challenge,

and reach out in love to the world.

Where there is darkness,

Let us bring Light.



Closing Prayer

To Come Home to Yourself.

May all that is unforgiven in you,

Be released.

May your fears yield

Their deepest tranquilities.

May all that is unlived in you,

Blossom into a future,

Graced with love.




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  1. Seamus Ahearne says:

    Massimo Faggioli’s Presentation last evening was stark. The political and ecclesial divisions were frightening. It is beyond me to grasp the the confection of politics and religion. We know many people (in USA) who are sensible, intelligent and full of faith and yet are consumed by Trumpism.

    There is a hint too that the Prosperity Gospel clashes severely with the Christian message that we take as a given. The American Church was an inspiration over many years but now appears to sing out of harmony with mainstream faith culture.

    It is shocking politically that Trump could be hero-worshipped by so many. The lie and fake news have become acceptable. (There are elements of this too in UK political life). Crudity has replaced courtesy. Robust argument has now become ridicule. How anyone could see Trump’s pro-life stance as real, is also beyond understanding. How Church statements could now become so absolute. How the Church Leadership could become dismissive of the Pope is shocking.

    The Synodal method has no place in the life of faith, if respect for differing views is not present. It is surely fundamental that God is revealed through every person and therefore we live and learn from all however much they differ from us. There is no monopoly of truth on any side or in anyone.

    I wanted to ask Massimo about Villanova but that might have been too parochial. (My Augustinian curiosity). However, I am interested and concerned at how vibrant the intellectual conversation is on Campus. I know other colleges have become a reflection of the narrow discussion on faith generally and has taken also to absolutes in political arguments.

    St Augustine’s comments in the Introduction to De Trinitate is a powerful proposal on how onward debate should happen on faith-questions and on political issues too.

    To the ACP Leadership: Thank you. You have kept the Association going with the webinars. These have become a living Forum in our own faith development. The Presenters have been good. The questions and comments have been enlightening. Gerry has chaired those sessions with ease, humour and excellent direction. The Prayer too has set the proper tone.

    Seamus Ahearne osa

  2. Alan McGill says:

    Hello Fr. Ahearne,

    Professor Faggioli’s assessment was very true to life on the chalk-face in Catholic parishes and schools in the US. Originally from inner city Dublin, and having graduated from Mater Dei in 1993, I have been working in Catholic parishes in the US for the last twenty years or so. I spent much for that time as a parish Director of Religious Education and the polarization I experienced was shocking. There exists a strange blend of Catholicism and biblical fundamentalism in some parts of the US. George Wiegel approvingly calls it “Evangelical Catholicism.” There are also movements such as Regnum Christi (the lay arm of the Legionaries of Christ) that will persecute priests and lay ecclesial ministers who promote Catholic Social Teaching and the dialogical trajectory set by Vatican II. I have had many skirmishes with this ilk of Catholic who have tried to have me fired on multiple occasions for failing to embrace their fundamentalist, integralist brand of Catholicism.

    While I do not know much about Villanova in particular, my experience has been that colleges and universities sponsored by the “mainstream” religious orders are, for the most part, bastions of academic freedom while a separate tier of newer Catholic colleges founded by mainly lay traditionalist zealots and sometimes by new, ultra-conservative religious congregations have little or no tolerance for open theological inquiry.

    I would also have to say this, though, and I would never have said it until about a year ago, I am noticing a new kind of fundamentalism on the part of secular, left-wing thinkers who are becoming an inquisition in their own right and demanding uncritical assent to every doctrine of critical race theory, gender theory, and cultural Marxism. Their anti-intellectualism and tendency to vilify their detractors has much in common with religious integralists. As this loose movement gains prominence in higher education, it does not bode well for Catholic thinkers, teachers, and ministers who fall between the two extremes of ultra-traditionalism on the one hand and a new, aggressively secularist, woke militantism, on the other and are despised by both.

    Alan McGill
    (Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School and Georgia Gwinnett College)

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