In the past thirty years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have made headlines with their statements on nuclear disarmament and economic justice, their struggles to address sexual abuse by clergy, and their defense of refugees and immigrants. Despite many similarities, the nearly two hundred U.S. bishops are a diverse mix of varying backgrounds and opinions. The last research- based book to study the bishops of the United States came out in 1989, since which time the Church has gone from Pope John Paul II to Benedict XVI to Pope Francis and undergone dramatic shifts.
Catholic Bishops in the United States: Church Leadership in the Third Millennium presents the results of a 2016 survey conducted by the Center of Applied Research for the Apostolate (CARA). It reveals the U.S. bishops' individual experiences, their day-to-day activities, their challenges and satisfactions as Church leaders, and their strategies for managing their dioceses and speaking out on public issues. The bishops' leadership has been tested by changes including the movement of Catholics from the Northeast and Midwest to the South and West, the arrival of huge numbers of Catholic immigrants, and the ongoing decline in the number of priests and sisters serving the Catholic community. This book provides a much-needed, up-to-date, and comprehensive view of who the U.S. bishops of today are, where they are from, and how they are leading the Church in the United States in the era of Pope Francis.