chapter  3
4 Pages

Catholic Identities

ByAndrew M. Greeley

There is considerable discussion in higher-level Catholic circles about Catholic identity. It was easy in the old days. Many different people and groups of people are willing to define Catholic identity on a priori norms. The Curialists have prepared an elaborate litany of Catholic identity. Everyone seems interested these days in defining Catholic identity—movements and Movements, RCIA and Neo-Catechumenate, liturgists and "religious" educators, curial vigilantes and the rear-guard of "social actionists." No one wonders how the Catholic laity defines their Catholic identity. The data sort out into three factors—A Social Justice Factor, which includes concern for the poor as well as emphasis on social justice; a Catholic Imagination factor, which includes all the other variables down to daily prayer, angels, aints; and a Catholic Organization factor, which includes the rest of the variables—infallible pope, and celibate priesthood.