Sightings Articles

Protester

Coronavirus | political religion | Roman Catholicism | protests

A Year to Mask and Unmask

What the pandemic has concealed and revealed about the conditions of possibility for our society

June 28, 2021

sexual abuse | same-sex marriage | Kamasutra | Methodism | Roman Catholicism

Raw Religion

This Sightings column is about "religion in the raw," and even the rawest—and most damaging—forms of religion. That is because Sightings is keen to catch a glimpse of religion wherever and whenever it appears in public life, and we can’t ignore "raw ...

February 25, 2019

clergy | Pope Francis | Roman Catholicism | sexual abuse | sin

Really Big Sins

“This sounds like a flip answer,” said Lutheran Pastor Jan Erickson-Pearson, “but why does [clerical sexual abuse] still happen? Sin.” That was in 2002, but headlines still on occasion use the same three-letter theological word to explain the phenome...

October 8, 2018

Catholics | Islamophobia | Muslim ban | Muslims | Roman Catholicism | sexual abuse | terrorism

Catholic versus Muslim "Terrorism" in the U.S.: A Double Standard

I am a practicing, albeit far from exemplary, Roman Catholic. Like so many of my fellow Catholics, it’s impossible to overstate my sense of outrage, shame, and frustration with the leadership of the church over its unconscionable decades-long cons...

September 13, 2018

Catholic Church | Catholicism | Catholics | higher education | Roman Catholicism

Catholic Identity: A Balancing Act?

Early in my writing career I set out to describe a certain posture or pose, and chose—pretentiously, I admit—to speak of an “equilibristic stance.” The article which included this ungainly phrase was then translated into German, where it appeared, au...

June 24, 2018

Canada | Catholic Church | Max Scheler | Pope Francis | Roman Catholicism

Apologies to Native People

One would expect a headline beginning “A Pope Given to Apologies…” to be followed by a journalistic story which is likely to quicken the interest of readers. Pope Francis has made many headlines over stories which focus on the recipients of such apol...

April 30, 2018

Catholic Church | Catholicism | Catholics | Pope Francis | Roman Catholicism | Ross Douthat

Papal Polarities

“Will Pope Francis Cause a Schism in the Catholic Church?” That headline in The New Yorker (April 16) is subheaded: “In his new book, ‘To Change the Church,’ the Times columnist Ross Douthat critiques the Pontiff.” Such an opener requires some backgr...

April 16, 2018

Catholic Church | Catholicism | Catholics | Ireland | Roman Catholicism

Down and Out in Catholic Ireland

I used to teach with or alongside Emmet Larkin, University of Chicago expert on the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, motivated in part to understand Chicago Catholicism, which still numbers a couple hundred thousand people. Larkin wrote much and tut...

March 12, 2018

Bruce Springsteen | music | pop culture | Roman Catholicism

Finding Evidence: Bruce Springsteen's Procession from Religion to Faith

Editor's Note: This is the fifth issue in our continuing series of essays on religion and popular music. For the previous installments, see "The Broken Grace of Leonard Cohen" by Paul DeCamp; "Being Hip-Hop, Being Job, and Being" by Julian "J.Kwest" ...

July 20, 2017

Catholic Church | Catholicism | Catholics | gay rights | Jesuits | LGBT rights | Roman Catholicism

The Necessity of Bridge-Building

David Levithan, author of Boy Meets Boy (2003) and Two Boys Kissing (2013), will be awarded with the 2017 Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literary Prize at next weekend’s Printer’s Row Lit Fest in Chicago. Many of the bestselling author’s books feature g...

June 5, 2017