Weigel: Holy See should break links with Civiltà Cattolica over "incompetence"
In a new article in The Boston Pilot, George Weigel (Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.) takes an interesting look at the recent bizarre article in La Civiltà Cattolica I posted about here.
Weigel explains why, despite its' minuscule readership, the publication is important:
...the vast majority of them will read (or at least scan) it, not for scintillating content, but because its articles are vetted by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, and are thus assumed to have some sort of quasi-official status: which means that those articles are taken to reflect the cast of mind of the current pontificate. So if you want to be in the know, you read (or at least scan) Civiltà Cattolica. [emphasis mine]Weigel, like just about everyone else on the planet who has read this article, is scathing on its content and inaccuracy:
...its ill-informed misrepresentation of American religious history; its surreal descriptions of 21st-century American Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism; its obsessions with marginal figures in contemporary American religious life like R.J. Rushdoony and Michael Voris; its misreading of the dynamics of religiously-informed public moral argument in American politics; and its weird description of the premises of current Vatican diplomacy, which will give comfort to the likes of Vladimir Putin, Raul Castro, and Nicolas Maduro. Those who care to sift through this intellectual dumpster can consult Dr. Reno's article, Dr. Royal's, and Fr. De Souza's. The questions I'd like to raise here involve Civilta Cattolicà's relationship to its putative overseers in the Vatican Secretariat of State. [Emphasis added]Weigel goes on to highlight the disastrous inconsistencies which clearly exist in the Vatican for this article to be published:
What kind of vetting did this misbegotten article get? Were any knowledgeable experts on U.S. Catholicism or American evangelical Protestantism consulted on what the overseers must have known would be an incendiary piece? Does the Spadaro/Figueroa article really represent the views of the Secretariat of State about today's debates at the intersection of religion and politics in the United States? If the answer to the last is "Yes," then what does the Secretariat of State make of the American situation as described by the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christoph Pierre, in his addresses to the U.S. bishops -- a description that bears no resemblance to the wasteland of madcap pseudo-theology and hatred described by Spadaro and Figueroa? If the answer is "No," then why was the Spadaro/Figueroa article cleared for publication?What is clear following the publication of this article is that Spadaro/Figueroa are grossly incompetent, contradicting the nuncio and putting a very uncomfortable spotlight on the Secretariat of State of the Holy See.