In his long career as a religion writer and editor Tom Roberts has been engaged on a particular search to understand the emerging Catholic community—a search bracketed on one end by Vatican II (1962-1965) and on the other by the yet unknown.
In this work Roberts presents the fruit of his decades of observations. It is a complex picture of a church that is still grappling with the meaning of the Second Vatican Council; responding to dramatic demographic shifts affecting both the church and society; absorbing the implications of the new cosmology, with its impact on traditional belief systems; accounting for the emerging leadership of women in the church and the wider culture, and its impact on an evolving concept of God; and reeling over the sex abuse scandal, and what it has revealed about the growing inadequacy of the hierarchical culture.
With all the signs of strain and stress, however, Roberts gives equal attention to signs of renewal, showing how the faith, hope, and love that have guided the church in the past will continue to shape the American Catholic community’s search for itself in the future.
Tom Roberts is editor-at-large of The National Catholic Reporter, where he has worked for the past sixteen years. Previously he worked for ten years at the Religious News Service. He lives in Rockville, Maryland.