A Catholic Moment, by Stephen P. White

Senate Votes in Favor of Certifying Electoral College Votes, 6 Republicans Vote No, by Steven Ertelt
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Discernment: The Third Rule is Prayer, by Dr. Jeff Mirus
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Chester Harding (American, 1792 - 1866 ), Charles Carroll of Carrollton, c. 1828, oil on canvas, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Dallas Thayer

By Stephen P. White, The Catholic Thing, Jan. 7, 2021

Stephen P. White is executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America and a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Stephen P. WhiteFor the first time in American history, no branch of our federal government will be led by a Protestant. The president will be Catholic. The Speaker of the House is Catholic. The Senate Majority Leader will be Jewish. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is Catholic (and the Court as a whole is majority Catholic). These curious facts are, in one sense, just that – curiosities of little political or religious significance. They are coincidental. Trivial. Political accidents, especially given the weak attachments – at times downright opposition – of prominent politicians to the teachings of the faith they claim to follow.

But in another sense, these facts are emblematic of a major shift in American public life, which has been evident for several decades. Mainline Protestantism once acted as the primary ballast in American public life – helping to steady us amidst the choppy waters that attend life in a democratic republic. That ballast is gone, and the long-term effects on American life can be felt all around.  …