Running on ‘Stop the Steal,’ the GOP goes all in on presidential sedevacantism


(RNS) — It was after the Second Vatican Council in 1965 that the reactionary Catholic movement known as sedevacantism arose. It took its name from the Latin phrase sede vacante (“while the seat is vacant”), which is employed by Rome to indicate the period between the death or resignation of one pope and the election … Read more

White evangelicals in numerical, political decline


(RNS) — PRRI’s new survey of American religious identification offers the surprising finding that white mainline Protestants now outnumber white evangelicals. To wit: From a low of 12.8% of the U.S. adult population in 2016, mainliners have grown to 16.4%, while evangelicals, who were up to 23% 15 years ago, have shrunk steadily to 14.5%. … Read more

The Baptist insights of the man who wrote ‘Robert’s Rules’


(RNS) —Longtime faculty parliamentarian that I am, I write today in praise of Henry Martyn Robert, unsung hero of American civilization. While you are not likely to have heard of him, you have almost certainly been subjected to the work of which he is the eponymous progenitor: “Robert’s Rules of Order.” For well over a … Read more

Americans are as divided as ever, and religion is the wedge


(RNS) — Take a look at the demographic shifts in the Pew Research Center’s new study of the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections and you’d be forgiven for thinking that America has possibly turned the corner on political polarization. The survey, based on validated voting of thousands of members of Pew’s American Trends Panel, may … Read more

Catholic bishops put Eucharistic politics on a slow burn


(RNS) — Last week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a short Q&A designed to quiet concern about what might be called the real presence of politics in its decision to draft a document on the Eucharist. The reason for developing the document now, the USCCB explained, is “to reignite Eucharistic faith in … Read more

Scotus puts Scalia’s Smith decision on life support


(RNS) — In his keynote address to the Federalist Society last November, Justice Samuel Alito hinted that it was time to overrule Employment Division v. Smith, the landmark 1990 decision that, as he put it, “cut back sharply on the protection provided by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.” Alito’s concurrence in Fulton … Read more

The end of the oracular papacy


As the U.S. Catholic bishops conduct their semi-annual meeting virtually this week, the big question is whether they will approve a proposal to create a teaching document on the Eucharist that would deny the sacrament to politicians who support pro-choice policies. No one doubts that the proposal is directed at regular Mass-goer  Joe Biden, the … Read more