Archbishop Francis George of Chicago made a startling statement during
the Synod of Bishops for the Americas in November 1997. Archbishop (now
Cardinal) George said that U.S. citizens "are culturally Calvinist, even
those who profess the Catholic faith." American society, he continued,
"is the civil counterpart of a faith based on private interpretation of
Scripture and private experience of God." He contrasted this kind of
society with one based on the Catholic Church's teaching of community
and a vision of life greater than the individual.