National Catholic Reporter

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Why the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision is not like legalizing abortion


In the wake of the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, a favorite talking point among social conservatives was that even if they lost a battle, they could still win the war: The ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges was akin to the 1973 Roe v. Wade verdict legalizing abortion, they argued, and opponents would continue to fight, and steadily work their way back to victory.

Forget the numbers. The big story is that religion has lost social influence

"Religion plays a less important role in American life." Or maybe, "Religion declines as powerful source of American public authority."

I doubt those headlines would have garnered the attention the Pew Research Center recently received with its subtitle "Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population."

Will Pope Francis have a short papacy? Don't bet on it


In a wide-ranging interview he gave Friday for the second anniversary of his election, Pope Francis touched on a variety of topics, from his concern about bad homilies to his upcoming U.S. visit to his one real wish: to go out for a pizza without being recognized.

But leading most of the news coverage were his remarks suggesting that he expects his papacy to be short, perhaps lasting no more than another year or two.

7.5 million Americans lost their religion since 2012


A new survey shows in stark relief that what some are calling the Great Decline of religion in America continues: Since 2012, the U.S. has about 7.5 million more Americans who are no longer active in religion.

Last week, the 2014 General Social Survey was released. The GSS is the gold standard for sociological surveys. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this multimillion-dollar study gives us the most accurate data on American society -- including religion.


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In This Issue

September 25-October 8, 2015


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