Vi merker mange steder i dag at katolikker leter etter en tydeligere identitet, vi ser dette både innenfor liturgi og katolsk undervisning, fra ordenslivet til katolikkers deltakelse i politisk arbeid. Dette skriver John Allen i beskrivelsen av den andre av sine mega-trender:
Another major force is the relentless press for a stronger sense of Catholic identity, an impulse felt in virtually every area, from liturgy to education, from religious orders to the church’s engagement with secular politics. In his famous homily 24 hours before his election as pope, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger laid out what he saw as the central challenge facing the church: a “dictatorship of relativism,” meaning the rejection of objective truth. Like John Paul II before him, Benedict is keenly concerned that Catholics do not assimilate to this broader secular mentality. As the practical translation of this imperative, the church has seen a growing emphasis over the last 25 years on what sociologists call the “politics of identity” — efforts to reinforce distinctively Roman Catholic language, practices and belief systems, our markers of difference in a rapidly homogenizing world. The emphasis on identity cuts across debates large and small, from whether theologians should have a mandatum from a bishop certifying their orthodoxy, to whether lay people should be allowed to purify the sacred vessels after Mass.