I don't know about you, but this kind of thing happens to me all the time when I am reading the news.
Let's say that you are cruising along and you hit an interesting story. Then, as you keep reading, the hard-drive in your mind starts spinning and eventually a thought balloon pops up that says something like this: "Wait a minute. Maybe this story is connected to ...."
Trust me. This happens to journalists all the time. This process is part of the mental tool kit that reporters develop when they work on a beat for a decade or two (or in the case of the members of the GetReligionista team, a combined 150-plus years or more on the religion beat).
Here's a recent example, which is a pretty obvious one. We start with a Crux story I saw the other day with the headline, "Study suggests Catholic marriage will be dead in Italy by 2031." Here's the overture:
Pope Francis has made family life and marriage a keen priority, and if he ever needed proof of the urgency of the cause even in his own backyard, a widely respected Italian research group has provided it: According to its recent projection, by the year 2031 absolutely no one in Italy will be married in church.
Censis (“Center for Social Investment Studies”) has a quasi-official status in Italy, with its analysis often relied upon by the government in forming policy decisions. In a recent study on marriage in Italy, based on trends over the last 20 years, it found that the number of Italians entering into formal marriages has been in freefall.
In 1994, according to its data, there were 291,607 marriages in Italy, a country of 60 million people where Catholics still account, formally speaking, for 95 percent of the population. By 2014, the number of marriages had fallen to 189,765, a drop of 35 percent.
We are, of course, talking about sacramental, Catholic marriages -- as opposed to civil rites.