This online dialogue lifted up the neglected principle of the common good; explored how it has been undermined in the United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as through political combat and religious divisions; and looked for ways forward to advance the common good and meet our national challenges.
The United States has lost a sense of the common good as our politics have become more polarized and dysfunctional. Our capacity to come together to overcome a pandemic and other challenges has been overwhelmed by bitter political and ideological disputes. Religious faith, which should lift up the common good, has instead often been politicized and misused to advance narrow partisan and ideological agendas.
A senior member of Congress, a political analyst who has worked for Democrats and Republicans, a sociologist who has studied what unites and divides us, and the new president of the College of the Holy Cross assessed how this has happened, its costs, and how can we recover a sense of the common good in these times of division and anger. They also explored how Catholic social thought offers a path to the pursuit of the common good.
John Carr, co-director of the Initiative, moderated the conversation. He served for more than 25 years as director of the justice and peace efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
View a list of articles, books, podcasts, and other resources for this dialogue.
Photo by Fibonacci Blue/Flickr