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Mooney, Margarita A. (2006). The Catholic Bishops Conferences of the United States and France: Engaging Immigration as a Public Issue. American Behavioral Scientist, 49(11), 1455-1470.


The secularization paradigm in the social sciences led many scholars to presume that religious organizations no longer had a public role in society. The author argues that one pressing public issue today, immigration, has become a strategic site on which the Catholic church has reasserted its prophetic voice in society, in particular calling for more humane treatment of undocumented immigrants and greater intercultural dialogue. The author compares evidence from the Catholic Bishops Conferences in the United States and France to show how the Catholic church is defining its role as a public religion in modern democratic states.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Behavioral Scientist


Mooney, Margarita A.