I saw this at First Things:
Protesting Too Much
Matthew J. Franck
At National Review Online over the weekend, the familiar-to-First Things-readers George Weigel published a talk he gave recently in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the course of which he argued: [For the NRO piece HERE]
The argument today isn’t about assimilation. The argument today is about who “gets” America: who understands the true character of America and the nature of freedom. And that puts Catholics—and those allies in the Evangelical Protestant, Mormon, and traditional Jewish worlds who, with serious Catholics, still hold to Murray’s four foundational truths of American democracy—in a challenging position. For the challenge now is to give America a new birth of freedom rightly understood as built upon those four truths; a new birth of freedom re-cemented to a foundation of transcendent moral truths about the human person, to the principle of government-by-consent, to a recognition of the priority of civil society over the state, and to an existential affirmation of the linkage between personal and civic virtue and liberty lived nobly.
This challenge will not be met by Catholic Lite. Indeed, one of the most powerful indicators that the Catholic Lite project is finished has been the uselessness of “progressive” Catholicism in the battle for religious freedom this past year and a half, a battle the stakes in which most Catholic “progressives” manifestly have not grasped.
The challenge also won’t be met by Catholic traditionalists retreating into auto-constructed catacombs. [?!?]
The challenge can be met only by a robustly evangelical Catholicism . . . [Which just happens to be – and this might shock you – very like a title of one of Weigel’s books!]
I urge our readers to go read the rest of Weigel’s piece, which is as cogently argued as they will have come to expect.
Yesterday evening, however, at NRO’s Corner, Nicholas Frankovich directed all of his attention to the one line above concerning “Catholic traditionalists.” This he understood to be a remark contemning all those “who are attached to the traditional Latin Mass.” On he goes, then, for several hundred words elaborating his grievance, and celebrating these “traditional” Catholics (he objects to the “-ist” suffix).
Read the rest there.
From this comment and from his comments in his book (to which I referred above), I take it that Weigel doesn’t have much respect for those who prefer the older forms of sacred liturgical worship, along with all that goes with it, e.g., clear, faithful preaching and teaching about faith and morals.
Someone I know sent me the following, which I include here for the sake of balance and fairness. I have anonymized it. My emphases:
Weigel has no brief against the Extraordinary Form and says so in his book “Evangelical Catholicism.” What he has often expressed, however, is his regret that the Traditionalist movement (particularly in its SSPX form) rejects Dignitatis Humanae and shows a predilection for the restoration of monarchy and religious establishment — neither of which he considers to be an intellectually serious position today. Please note in his Wisconsin remarks that his reference to Traditionalists being unable to mount a defense of religious liberty in US is connected to their rejection of Father Murray’s analysis of the Church’s position in the United States and to a general approach of separation from rather engagement with the broader culture.
[…], I am certain that this is what he meant. I thought this might be useful for you to consider in the future as you situate Weigel’s continuing effort to strengthen the Church in the US to accomplish her mission.