So how much Catholic news was there in 2016.
Apparently quite a bit, and we are not just talking about angry Catholic voters in depressed corners of the Rust Belt, as in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Thus, the journalists in the team at Crux didn't produce one list of Catholic stories, when preparing to mark the end of 2016. They went with four lists, I think. Maybe there are more.
It won't surprise you that the ever quotable Pope Francis got one list all by himself. Of course, there's quite a bit of info linked to Amoris Laetitia and the reaction to it.
Then there's a list of developments at the global level. This includes updates on clergy sexual abuse and the persecution of Catholics in various locations. However, the section that I think will interest most readers is the take on the role of faith in the Brexit debates, battles over the treatment of refugees and the struggle to define what is and isn't "European," in terms of thinking about the future.
Finally, there is an essay with this headline: "Looking back at 2016, the Year of Surprises: Church in the U.S." Yes, the elections get some digital ink. However, the really interesting material is related to the elections on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Here is a long chunk of that:
... The election of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles as president and vice-president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops just ten days after Trump captured the White House was also noteworthy.
Gathered in Baltimore for the yearly fall general assembly, the bishops elected their new leadership on November 15, a week after the national elections. DiNardo was a safe bet, since he’d served as vice-president to incumbent Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky.
Yet the Mexican-born Gomez wasn’t, to the point that it took three ballots for him to win. Coming on the heels of Trump’s victory, the choice of a prelate who’s passionate about immigrant rights was seen as a powerful statement of priorities by the leadership of the American Catholic church.
It would have been wrong then, however, and is still now, to read the choice of Gomez entirely as an anti-Trump statement. Seen as a man of strong, yet non-ideological views, the LA prelate is well liked among his peers, many of whom believed he deserved a red hat from Pope Francis as a new cardinal.
Also decisive is that Hispanics make up a third of the bishops’ flock today (50 percent in the under-18 category), and Gomez, a naturalized U.S. citizen for over 20 years, was a way for the bishops to acknowledge their rising importance.
Finally, Crux offered a list of its own Top 10 stories for the year.
There is much to read. Dig in.