December 15, 2013
Has the Catholic Bubble in Chicago Finally Burst?
When Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law same-sex marriage in Illinois, he did more than redefine marriage in the state. His pen may have bursts the bubble in which many Illinois Catholics live. That bubble had been growing for more than fifty years. Writing in Commonweal, Margaret O'Brien Steinfels describes how many Chicago Catholics lived in their own world where Democratic politics and Catholicism fit like hand and glove. She says of Chicago Catholics in the 1960s, "The important question (growing up) was: Did your tribe accept you?" "Not by vote, (but) by the regular and steady process of instilling the tribal ethos... this process tutored children in deference and respect -- first to your mother and father, and then to... God, then to nuns and priests... then to the Democratic Party..." There were gay men in Steinfels' Catholic bubble, but they were mostly hidden or conflicted. No one imagined Catholics supporting same-sex marriage in those days, let alone Catholic politicians...(Read Full Article)