The Crisis in the
Catholic Church

Author James Carroll. Image: jamescarroll.net

Please join in the conversation about this important topic; we welcome your comments, thoughts, and feedback.

James Carroll’s newest book, The Truth at the Heart of the Lie is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

View Tom’s previous interviews for Irish America with Emma Donoghue, Timothy Egan, John Feerick, and James Nesbitt.


Tom Deignan is a teacher, author, and columnist for the Irish Voice and Irish America (tdeignan.blogspot.com). He is working on a book about America during the Ellis Island years.

His writing has appeared in newspapers such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Star-Ledger, and National Catholic Reporter, as well as magazines such as America, Commonweal, Brooklyn Rail, and Irish America.

He is the author of Coming to America: Irish Americans, and contributed to books such as Nine Irish Lives: The Fighters, Thinkers, and Artists Who Helped Build America, and The Irish American Chronicle.

8 Responses to “The Crisis in the
Catholic Church”

  1. Bill Gallagher says:

    Excellent. James Carroll captures the concern of so many conscientious Vatican Two Catholics betrayed by a corrupt and non-responsive power structure. But what does it really mean to him to be a Catholic in these times? “Many of us abandon Confession and Communion to join the Foreign Legion of the Church and fight for a city of which we are no longer full citizens.” Graham Greene.

  2. Rita Irons says:

    What a gift. Thank you James Carroll and thank you Irish America for putting the work we all must do to make this planet a better, more humane place right in front of us.

  3. Karen Kelly McEachern says:

    Dear Tom,
    Thank you for that insightful interview with James Carroll. It opened my eyes and ears to the problems within the Catholic Church. It made me rethink my own thoughts of the church. I have much to think about now and will read Mr. Carroll’s new book. On another note I am looking forward to your book about America during the Ellis Island years.

  4. Loretta Gleason says:

    What an enlightening, honest commentary on the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church. It’s misogyny lead me to leave the Catholic Church in the late 70’s. I continue to try to reconcile my faith with the disillusionment of organized religion. Recently, I have come to realize the profound support the Catholic Church offered my parents as first and second generation Irish Catholic immigrants. In fact, I have this Irish American Magazine to thank for that realization. Though the Catholic Church gave me a strong ethical foundation and a love of Jesus Christ, it did not support me, my femaleness, my worthiness, nor my inquisitive mind…I applaud James Carroll’s call for reform within the Catholic Church. This interview gave me some hope for speaking the truth.

  5. Terry Riley says:

    Just another 60’s liberal who promotes the gay agenda while ignoring the fact that homosexuals and progressives infiltrating the Catholic church has been/is the number one problem.

  6. Niall John Kavanagh says:

    This video should be given to a “60 Minutes”
    or the like type show so as to spread the
    wisdom contained with the whole world.
    Even more importantly, it should be sent
    to Rome and Pope Francis

  7. Niall John Kavanagh says:

    James Carroll is one good man!!
    And being the son of a good Irish woman
    makes him all the better.
    Gora mile mait agat “Irish America”

  8. Joseph O'Neill, MD says:

    Irish, cradle Catholic here as well. (Was named one of “The top 100” Irish Americans in your magazine in 2003). Today, I differ with James Carroll mostly (but not only) in his striking and praiseworthy ability fight from the inside the Church.

    I wonder if he would have the same tenacity if he weren’t a straight man. If the Church that he thinks can be reformed had actively poisoned his relationship with the holy and Devine and tore his family apart.

    I am someone who has, what Catholic priests and thinkers increasingly call, “same sex attraction”. The phrase flows off the clerical tongue as easily as if it was cancer being discussed.

    I am not a person with “same sex attraction”. I am a gay man. One who lives as best as he is able the life G!d intended as a happy, fulfilled, sexually active and productive member of society and as one who has shared his life with the same man (now husband) for 35 years.

    Leave it to celibates, most of whom are adolescent in their own sexual development, to compartmentalize and denigrate sexuality to mere physical attraction – something that can be exorcised, suppressed or, worse, as we have seen all too powerfully, disassociated from the moral or ethical control, natural to most people, that limits sexual activity to other consenting adults.

    We are told “The Church doesn’t hate gays. That it loves all G!d’s children”. Well, that may or may not be true.

    “Who”, I ask, “am I to judge?”

    I am someone who knows, however, that the Church does hateful things to LGBTQ people – not the least of which is to condemn us to celibacy in the name of the G!d that created us, libido and all. The hubris of that condemnation and the corollary prescription for a life of loneliness is stunning. In Genesis as G!d creates the universe s/he, at every step, says that “it is good”. The first time in the Bible that G!d says something is not good is when s/he says “It is not good for man to be alone.”

    We have seen all too clearly in Ireland, the US and beyond where that leads.

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