Wednesday, 28 January 2009

George Weigel writes an unhelpful article in Newsweek

Here it is:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/181721

This article is very far from good, alas.

It directly undermines the Pope's reconciliation efforts and is disloyal to the Pope, accordingly.

That is doubly shameful given that George attacks Lefebvre precisely for disloyalty!

I'm sorry to see this article from George since he has hereby chosen to undermine the Pope's work of peace-making and let us not forget "blessed are the peace-makers".

Some of the very things that he accuses Bishop Fellay and others of doing, he does himself - distorting the facts, arrogance, impeding the healing process, raising the stakes, attacking the Church's self-understanding, pick-and-choose cafeteria Catholicism.

As I know from the late Cardinal Gagnon, Lefebvre and he DID agree a settlement during the 1987-8 negotiations.

It was the Secretariat of State that rejected the agreement, in the first instance, not Lefebvre.

Gagnon had been given plenipotentiary powers but when he used them to reach agreement the Secretariat simply vetoed the arrangement.

To say that John Paul II "got nowhere" with Lefebvre is thus simply untrue and George should be ashamed for uttering it - especially at a time when the Pope is trying to build bridges.

The truth is that just as Lefebvre was formed through the political and religious disputes of his culture, so has George been formed in the disputes of his culture.

These include the "bitter hatred" that defined American society and culture in its war against the old world and - let us admit it - the Church, from the time of the American revolution through to the revolutions of the 1960s which gave America the likes of Clinton and now the most anti-life President that America has ever seen.

If George could point to a long line of holy, orthodox, Catholic Presidents, political leaders and US governments, just as the Catholic kingdoms of Europe can with their holy kings and governments, or even if he could point to a line of Presidents who adopted mainstream historic Christianity then he might have something to dwell on - but he cannot.

The only Catholic President was chiefly notorious for his marital infidelity. He also secured the vote of Protestant ministers by assuring them that he did not support the Catholic Church's teaching on Church and State.

Neither, it is clear from this article, does George.


The end result of revolution - violence, hatred and death



That, together with his clear undermining of the Pope's pacific and reconciliatory objectives, is perhaps the most serious mistake that George makes in this rather sad, angry and disloyal little article.

Paragraph #55 of Blessed Pius IX's Syllabus condemns the doctrine of universal separation of Church and State.

It is clear that George disagrees with Blessed Pius IX's teaching and, instead, thinks the State should always and everywhere be neutral on matters of the truth-claims of the Church.

He has also clearly never read the letter of St Pius X entitled Our Apostolic Mandate in which that saintly pope condemns the principles of the French Revolution, as did all his predecessors, including the Pope of the time, Pius VI. St Pius X even states:

"all that is needed is to take up again, with the help of the true workers for a social restoration, the organisms which the Revolution shattered, and to adapt them, in the same Christian spirit that inspired them, to the new environment arising from the material development of today’s society".

and this:

"Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists".

George, spuriously calling up the name of Vatican II as if it supported his separation of Church and State error, defies the teaching of Pius VI, Pius VII, Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Bl Pius IX, Leo XIII, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII and Bl John XXIII on the subject and pretends that Paul VI and John Paul II support his error when they never taught it.

Now he is directly undermining the peace efforts of Pope Benedict XVI to reconcile with SSPX.

George is even doing so in the frankly shameful way of trying to lump Bishops Fellay and Williamson together as if Fellay were really supporting Williamson's shameful remarks when Fellay has expressly distanced himself from them.

That directly undermines the Pope's objective of reconciliation by trying to paint Bishop Fellay in the worst possible light, ally him with Williamson's odious comments and so put a wedge between Fellay and the Pope.

That directly undermines the papal peace-making.

Shame on you, George!

Where is your charity? Where is your love of souls? Where is your outreach to your fellow man?

Even the French and German bishops have given a better example on this issue.

No - this article is a shame and a pity.

I had expected better so much more wisdom and charity from George Weigel.

How sad that he has so missed the mark.

13 comments:

Walter said...

I agree with you on Wiegel's areticle. Let's remember, he is a conservative and not a Traditional Catholic.

Stelios Rigopoulos said...

I have never been certain that the American mind-set is capable of understanding the Magisterium which belongs to the Successor of St. Peter. I do not wish to be unjust to the millions of HUMBLE, virtuous and faithful Catholics in the USA who heed the teachings of the Catholic Church in their daily lives, with the evident Blessing of God, but I profoundly regret, to say the least, a neo-Lutheran tendancy, consonant with the secular idea of democratic rights, by which the decisions of the Holy Father are challenged. If certain individuals, impugning the name of "liberal" - or "conservative" for that matter - get up on their hind-legs to express their opposition to the eternal and unchanging Mind of the Church, their instincts reflect not the grace of Truth, which reposes in the Mother Church, but other, subjective extra-ecclesial and non-theological criteria, which they have imbibed from other sources. I take this opportunity also to express my utter disgust at the grossly inappropriate criticisms, from whatever quarter they may come, levelled at the Blessed Pope Pius XII, for his imagined "silent acquiescence" in the Holocaust, which was, sadly, a very real historical fact, and a scar on the history of the human race.

Tribunus said...

Americanism is an error which was condemned in Testem Benevolentiae by Pope Leo XIII.

Fortunately, there are at least some American Catholics who remain unaffected by that error.

If this article is anything to go by, George Weigel does not appear to be one of them.

Tribunus said...

And it is interesting that those who make so much of their loyalty to the Pope should now seem to be dissenting from him and so do the very thing which they so much - and so often - castigated SSPX for allegedly doing.

Pots and kettles...

Ælfheah said...

Weigel's chief claim to fame is his not particularly slim life of John Paul II. The idea that JPII might have been wrong about something - and not quite as saintly as he's been made out to be - is clearly quite troubling for his would-be hagiographer.

But then I'm sure Tribunus understands what it means when the subject of a biography one has written is beatified. :-)

Fred Preuss said...

You don't seem fond of our only Catholic president: why? Over here he's the subject of about half of our local public broadcasting US history shows.

Stelios Rigopoulos said...

Alas, all of us, when approaching the Sacrament of Penance, should begin our confession with, "Bless me Father for I have sinned. I am guilty of the great sins of hypocrisy and presumption".

Tribunus said...

Fred,

JFK was a good President in many ways (Cuban missiles crisis, anti-Communist etc) but he was not a good Catholic.

As the evidence now shows he also threw South Vietnam's Catholic President, Ngo Dinh Diem, to the wolves after promising him military support.

The CIA were ordered to withdraw by JFK and Diem, now unprotected and out on a limb thanks to the US pull-out, was murdered.

That was an evil thing to so.

My take on the JFK assassination, however, is that the Commies arranged it.

They would have hated a President who was both a Democrat and anti-Communist when previous Democrat Presidents had been soft on the Soviets.

So they got someone to bump him off. Their usual trick is to pay a supposed Right-Winger to do the deed so as to deflect attention away from Communists.

crusader88 said...

A great and greatly enjoyable post.

PJMULVEY said...

Although George Weigel is a conservative Catholic, he is of the neo-conservative variety. Therefore his views are tainted by a Troskyite view of the world that believes might makes right; and that black is black and white is white. Hence, his views about traditionalists flow from his defective world view. See the following:

"There is a kind of Henry V quality about all this. 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.' I mean, that really is true. [We are] people who have been together in a great moral cause..."
-- George Weigel, describing Neoconservatives

Many Catholics in the USA are loyal to the Holy Father and teachings of the Church. Cafeteria Catholicism is not confined only to the American Church. While our revolutionary past is a fiat accompli and we all mourn the passing of the old order of Christendom, ethical republicanism based on human rights and natural law is approved and compatible with the teachings of the Church. I for one would never wish to scrape and bow before any earthly prince nor at the same time any earthly, socialist and fascist all powerful state.

King Henry VIII, his heretic daughter and the rest of the northern European princes destroyed the old order of monarchy subject to the Pope and hence severed any obligation of allegiance by the faithful.

Tribunus said...

You started well and I agreed with your comments on Weigel.

Then you went funny.

If you mourn the old order of Christendom then you can hardly dance on its grave with any degree of consistency.

"Ethical" (ghastly word!) republics are certainly acceptable to the Church's teaching and always have been - Florence, Venice and others.

But how "ethical" is modern America? And how much do its laws conform to the Natural Law? Not much is the answer!

In fact, America is more like an elective monarchy than most modern republics and so preserves some of the old ways to that extent.

But then you write this:

"I for one would never wish to scrape and bow before any earthly prince nor at the same time any earthly, socialist and fascist all powerful state."

What nonsense! You have no choice in America where you have to bow and scrape not only to the President but, which is far worse, to the FBI, the ATF, SWAT, the CIA and all the myriad law enforcement agencies by which the rich and powerful in America dominate the citizens of America far more stringently, oppressively and violently than ever any Christian king did!

King Henry VIII, his heretic daughter and the rest of the northern European princes destroyed only the the old order of monarchy subject to the Pope in their corner of Europe.

Roman Christendom went on for many centuries thereafter in the rest of Europe.

A usurper may be said to have severed the primary obligation of allegiance by the faithful but only for so long as the real prince can realistically be restored.

There comes a time when even a usurped line is legitimated and then the Faithful once again have the obligation of obedience.

He who will not serve a legitimate government and bow to his superiors is like the Devil who said:

Non serviam - I will not serve.

And those who will not serve are like the heathen and will burn on the fire of their own Pride for eternity.

Take care to avoid their fate!

To serve is the very essence of Christianity.

PJMULVEY said...

I think that you are taking my comments out of context. I didn't equate the USA as a ethical or virtuous Republic.....just the opposite. However, I don't see the monarchy as a prerequisite for moral government.....just look at its history. We may disagree on this issue but I did not say I would not bow or serve.....I would to the Pope who is my Father on earth. I am a Catholic first, and a citizen second. As far as Christendom, I do mourn its passing as a historical ideal but its resurrection will require the second coming of Our Lord. There are many of us in the USA who yearn to return to the ideals and principles set forth in the founding documents....I know, I know most of them were free masons! but as an ideal a moral republic is preferable to most other systems of government. Whether in the USA, UK or EU we are all subject to an every growing, totalitarian and anti-Christian entity called social democratic government. I yearn for an alternative moral order but do not see one existing on earth at this time. My blog outlines my views more clearly....I think we would agree on most issues. Peace.

Tribunus said...

However, I don't see the monarchy as a prerequisite for moral government.....just look at its history.

In case you hadn't noticed this whole blog is about looking at history!

History clearly shows that monarchies compare more than favourably with modern republics.

Just look at the French revolutionary republic, the Latin American republics, the anti-clerical republics, Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Mao's China, Pol Pot's republic and all the rest.

There really is no contest. Monarchies win hands down.

That is why, presciently, Pope Pius VI wrote "monarchy, the best of all governments..." [Pourquoi Notre Voix, 17 June 1793].

I did not say I would not bow or serve.....I would to the Pope who is my Father on earth.

The Pope is a monarch. You are thus bowing to a monarch. All monarchs in the Christian idea of monarchy are fathers to their people.

As far as Christendom, I do mourn its passing as a historical ideal but its resurrection will require the second coming of Our Lord.

That is defeatism and a counsel of despair. It also demolishes the lay vocation which is to shape the temporal order according to the mind of Christ.

Now unless you are going to say that Christ prefers secularism to Christian order, then you cannot pretend that Christendom is no longer our goal.

There are many of us in the USA who yearn to return to the ideals and principles set forth in the founding documents....I know, I know most of them were free masons! but as an ideal a moral republic is preferable to most other systems of government.

A freemasonic republic better than a Catholic monarchy? Kidding, surely? Why do you think the US is not as you would wish it to be? Think about it...

I think we would agree on most issues. Peace.

Peace to you, too, brother.

The US republic is more like an elective monarchy - monarch means one ruler and you have a constitutional elective monarchy.

I have no objection to that form of monarchy.

However, the Founding Fathers were almost all anti-Catholic and sought to set up an anti-Catholic, secular republic. That has saddled America with a lot of problems which are as alive as ever.

However, once Catholic Europe is now worse and that is because it has gone even further down the secular route and now repudiate all religion even more than do American governments.

This does not, however, mean that the ideal of a Christian state is no longer the ideal.

Where there is no vision the people perish.

Keep the vision, therefore!