Had the opportunity to spend a day in a seminar with John Allen, Vatican correspondant for the National Catholic Reporter and author of the 2009 released book, The Future Church.
I had always wanted to hear him live, as I've read his columns and analyses for years. Here. He seems like a great guy and fine, fine journalist! Here are just a few of the "sound bites," as he calls working on TV for CNN...get the book if you want a good read on his ideas of the 10 global trends that are changing the church right now.
* Only the West has secularism as a threat. In the southern hemisphere, if you ask them what is the greatest threat to religion, it is other religions--not secularism.
*20-30 year old Catholics in the West: 30% are baptized but are totally unchurched. Wouldn't even check Catholic as their religion; 30% would check Catholic as their religion, but not practicing; 20% are into social justice issues and involvement; 20% are evangelical Catholics=searching for signs and symbols and public acclamation of their Catholic identity;
* World Catholics do not understand the splits/in-fighting and divisions within American Catholicism;
*We need to create "a place at the table," become friends with different ideaologies within Catholicism. No one else is going to do it, especially from the top down.
*An important reference book for him is The Big Sort by Bill Bishop.