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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, Oct 28, 2021

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

Some people fret that the polar ice cap is shrinking. Personally, I spend more time worrying about the more dramatic shriveling of the public square.

By the “public square” I mean the ordinary discussion of ideas and institutions, policies and personalities, that takes place in any society among neighbors and casual acquaintances. The conversations that take place in the public square are different from the more intimate exchanges between close friends and family members. But they are also different from political debates, in that they do not necessarily involve controversy. …

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