At Fishwrap there is a frantic tirade from Beans about a new book from Archbishop Charles Chaput, Emeritus of Philadelphia. The title…
You can see why this offering might give them all a case of the collywobbles. What a scary idea for them. There are things worth dying for?
Massimo “Beans” Faggioli is spooked by this book. He complains, in this piece regurgitated from ultra-liberal La Croix International, that there are conservative bishops and others who are engaged in a “culture war”, while on his side, the Vichy catholic, collaborator-with-the-world side (cf Rom 12:2),
“there are no bishops that publish books that offer a vision of the Church and of society that is different and alternative to the one offered by Archbishop Chaput, Cardinal Sarah and Mr. Weigel.”
The reasons for that are obvious.
Faggioli has a list of reasons for this problem on his side of things. They oscillate between “Gosh! Our side, with our ‘Francis bishops’, is so intellectual and sensitive! Fighting a ‘culture war’ is … is… bad!” and “Gee! Their side has EWTN and think tanks and … and… ‘the ecclesiastical-industrial complex’!”
I’m not making up that last part, “the ecclesiastical-industrial complex”. He really did go there. If there is a side in this ecclesial landscape that has had total dominance over Catholic media it is the progressivist left. That said, just as in the secular sphere a conservative alternative finally emerged, which responded to the views of the majority, so too in the Church a more conservative and traditional alternative has evolved, and the libs don’t like it one little bit. Just as in the secular sphere, liberals scream for “fairness” and then start repressing conservative views, so too in the Church. That’s what this piece is from Beans and Fishwrap and La Crock: he names the writers whom he thinks ought to be silenced and shunned.
In this asymmetry, conservatives have a very clear playbook — the culture wars.
Progressives are trying to withdraw from those wars that have caused huge damage to the Church, both intellectually and spiritually.
Raimon Panikkar, a Catholic philosopher and theologian whose Spanish mother was a Catholic and Indian father was Hindu, famously said that “cultural disarmament” is an effective way to peace.
But cultural disarmament must be explained and articulated, otherwise it looks like unconditional surrender.
When we deconstruct what Beans wrote, we see him exposing his esteem for the figures he blasts, Weigel, Arch. Chaput, Card. George, etc.
Bean’s piece is an acknowledgement of effective opposition to exactly what he is trying to do: fight a culture war he claims he doesn’t want.
A concrete way to respond to the attack on Archbp. Chaput’s book is to buy Archbp. Chaput’s book.
Buy it in large quantities and spread them around.
If Fishwrap and La Crock are attacking it, it must be good.
I suggest buying two to start, one for yourself and one for your local priest.
Things Worth Dying For: Thoughts on a Life Worth Living
It is available also on Kindle, of course, as well as Audible. The publisher did not send me an advance copy of this one, so I’ll put a Kindle version on my wishlist.