Catholicism in a Rancorous Age
Periodically America, like all other nations, goes through a convulsion of public rancor. That word, too little heard in our public discourse, means bitterness or resentment (and, interestingly, comes from the Latin for smelly).
There was rancor in the country at the time of George Washington, during the Civil War and Reconstruction, and so on. There has never been a fully quiet period since, though some times are more obviously rancorous than others. The media have always played a role in magnifying this phenomenon, and it has become singularly sharp in our own day.
But the larger problem is that many people, including