...But isn't that exactly why a nation's bishops must have a heart for the national culture and tradition and values and respect for the workings of the society itself in which we are attempting to evangelize?
The American tradition comes out of a commitment to freedom of speech, freedom of thought and democratic participation in the political process, which, admittedly, the Vatican has always suspected; indeed, has never liked. To ask Americans to take on not simply a European or Eastern European or Asian or African approach to "obedience" or governance or women, but a medieval one at that, is asking for what no law can provide. It is easy, of course, to force obedience; but, never doubt, it is impossible to force belief.
The effects here are beginning to show, as they did in Pacelli's Europe. The second-largest religious denomination in the United States, after Catholic, is now ex-Catholic....