Why Stay Catholic?

Buried in the Atlantic's archives is this interview with Garry Wills, author of Why I Am Catholic:

It's our concrete experience of the local church that's especially meaningful to us. There's an interesting contrast between born Catholics and converts. Converts are often much more rule-directed. Catholicism isn't something that they breathed in from their childhood, so they think that if you don't toe the line on abstract doctrine you can't be part of the Church. But to a born Catholic, Catholicism means their parish, their priest, their fellow worshippers. It's all very concrete. Papal directives usually seem kind of abstract and unimportant compared to that lived experience. [...]

Catholics are living the faith of their shared commitment to the mystical body. Bringing the hierarchy into line with that is just a secondary step. And it's bound to occur. I'm unhappy with the hierarchy, which is not the Church. It's part of the Churchan important part, but it's not the Church. People say the Church is out of touch. Well, it's not out of touch! The Church is the people of God. It's the hierarchy that's out of touch with the people of God, and they've got to get back in touch. But that's their problem.