Synodal Gatherings Highlight Cultural Divides Within Global Catholicism, Says Religious Studies Professor

Mathew Schmalz, professor of religious studies. Photo by John Buckingham

The Conversation

Two synodal gatherings going on now in the Catholic Church — the "Synodal Way" of the German church and the "Synod on Synodality" of the bishops of the Catholic Church — are drawing tensions within Catholicism, which are expected to have important repercussions within the church going forward.

In an article for The Conversation, Mathew Schmalz, professor of religious studies at Holy Cross and a scholar of global Catholicism, analyzes the cultural divides within global Catholicism today. 

“The Catholic Church is often assumed to look and feel the same everywhere, but Catholicism is culturally quite diverse,” said Schmalz. “In my view, whether Synod conversations turn into controversies will ultimately depend on how Catholics see themselves as part of a church that is truly global.”

Schmalz is an experienced voice in the media, providing expert commentary in Newsweek and Salon, along with appearing in documentaries on A&E and Vice.

To read the entire article, go to

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