Vatican II baby boomers, trad millennials, zealous converts, Christmas and Easter Catholics—these are some of the humorous stereotypes theologian Charles Camosy uses to explain the points of view that divide today’s Church.
He says that in spite of our differences, unity and healing can be found through the fullness of the Gospel and an authentic understanding of the Catholic faith. In One Church, Camosy offers a hopeful and practical field guide for the here and now by sharing what it takes to listen and love those whose views are different than ours and to understand how we are united in the Body of Christ, the Church.
Throughout the history of the Catholic Church there have always been fundamental differences about how the faith should be expressed—for example, between Peter and Paul, Jerome and Augustine, Franciscans and Dominicans, left and right, “Rad Trads” and Vatican II Catholics.
In today’s climate of polarization, getting to unity-in-diversity has never been more difficult. Where Sts. Jerome and Augustine shared their differences by letter, social media is the place where division is most noticeable—and vitriolic—today.
Camosy, founder and director of The Catholic Conversation Project, offers five principles of dialogue to build on our unity as the Body of Christ:
- maintain a humble attitude;
- avoid binary thinking and dismissive name-calling;
- affirm and build on common ground;
- make Christ the center of everything; and
- lead with what you are for, not what you are against.
|Ave Maria Press
|Barnes & Noble
About the Author
Charles Camosy is a professor at the Creighton University School of Medicine and the Msgr. Curran Fellow in Moral Theology at St. Joseph Seminary in New York. He is a columnist for Religion News Service, the Angelus, and the Pillar.
Camosy is the author of eight books, including the award-winning Too Expensive to Treat?,Peter Singer and Christian Ethics, and Beyond the Abortion Wars. Camosy’s book, For Love of Animals, was featured in the New York Times. He is the founding editor of The Magenta Project series and founding director of the Catholic Conversation Project.
Camosy earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame, where he also received his doctorate.
His writing has been featured in publications including the American Journal of Bioethics, the Journal of the Catholic Health Association, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, the Los Angeles Times, Church Life Journal, Commonweal, America magazine, Crux, the Tablet, and the National Catholic Reporter. Camosy serves as a moral theology consultant for Busted Halo. He is an advisor the faith outreach office of the Humane Society of the United States, the pro-life commission of the Archdiocese of New York, and Holy Name Medical Center. He received the Robert Bryne award from the Fordham Respect Life Club and the 2018 St. Jerome Award for scholarly excellence from the Catholic Library Association.
Camosy and his family live in West Orange, New Jersey.
Table of Contents
Part I Foundations
Introduction: Here Comes Everybody 3
1 Getting to Unity-in-Diversity 13
Part II Generational Divides
2 The Spirit-of-Vatican-II Boomer: I.e., "The In-Their-Bones Catholic" 35
3 The Trad Millennial: I.e., "The Guardian of Tradition Catholic" 51
4 The Gen Z "None": I.e., "The Homeless Seeker" 65
Part III Catholics of Every Stripe
5 The Newbie Convert: I.e., "The Treasure Hunter" 81
6 The Single-Issue Pro-Life Activist: I.e., "The Human Rights Warrior" 95
7 The Progressive Professor: I.e., "The Challenging Mentor" 107
8 The Immigrant Parent: I.e., "The Leaven Catholic" 121
9 The Christmas and Easter Catholic: I.e., "The Can't Quit Catholic" 135
10 The Seemingly Standoffish Parish Priest: I.e., "The Solitary Servant" 147
Part IV Getting "There" from "Here"
Conclusion: That All May Be One 163
What People are Saying About This
“One Church is a very timely and critical work in this sound bite/internet age.” Bishop Kevin Vann, Diocese of Orange“I gobble up anything Charles Camosy writes, but his latest is especially tantalizing.” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York“Building bridges across political, ideological, religious, racial, and ethnic lines is a neglected and urgent imperative to advance the common good. Camosy offers challenging and wise strategies to begin with our own behaviors and attitudes rather than the shortcomings of others.” John Carr, codirector of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, Georgetown University“Anyone who knows Camosy will know that his book is not a manual for compromising Catholic teaching in conversation and dialogue, but rather is about how to engage in conversation and debate in a way that is less likely to reproduce already polarized hostilities, which bear no fruit.” John C. Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director, McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame“What does it mean to live as the Body of Christ? In One Church, Charles Camosy courageously names the full range of the maladies of division that plague our communities: generational, cultural, ethnic, political, social and historical. He opens out in a gentle and practical way how the healing balm of this depth of love might enter into the nooks and crannies of daily interactions within Church life. With conversational ease and light-touch humor, Camosy thoughtfully guides his reader into a deeper appreciation and empathy for the complexity at the root of these challenging tensions. With real life examples, he straddles the divisions to highlight the opportunities to learn, grow, build trust, and witness to the mutual love to which we are called as disciples of Christ.” Amy J. Uelmen, director for Mission and Ministry, Georgetown Law School“Camosy has a remarkable capacity to speak uncomfortable truths and make you laugh at the same time. While this book may be ‘thin’ and ‘flat,’ the content is anything but. Readers will leave with the ability to ‘thicken’ and ‘add dimension’ to common Catholic caricatures, opening the possibility for relationship even in the midst of disagreement.” Ann M. Garrido, author of Let’s Talk about Truth