Skip to content

The writing of Caritas in Veritate according to George Weigel

July 7, 2009

Somehow, George Weigel saw something we didn’t:

weigelconspiracy

Advertisements
16 Comments
  1. July 8, 2009 11:32 am

    I love it!

  2. July 8, 2009 9:39 pm

    Great photoshop. 🙂

  3. Christbearer316 permalink
    July 8, 2009 9:58 pm

    I simply love how one person calls into question a document that has some pretty odd sections (given what we know about the author) and all of a sudden he is the punching bag of the whole catholic media. It just shows non-Catholics how charitable we really can be. Anybody down to go T.P. and egg his house?

  4. July 8, 2009 10:09 pm

    Christbearer316,

    Given what we know about the author and his previous political writings, there were no “odd sections” to this encyclical. In fact, it squares very well with the Catholic social tradition.

    A bigger threat to our relations with “non-Catholics” is when a prominent Catholic such as Weigel portrays the Vatican as a place of wheelin’ and dealin’ political compromises that end up as Catholic doctrine. I don’t think it helps the Catholic cause when the Vatican is made to look confused, factioned, and compromising in how it pastors and teaches the flock of Christ.

    The picture is a true illustration of exactly what Weigel wrote. If you are uncomfortable with the picture, then you should be more uncomfortable with what it depicts–Weigel’s rumor mongering.

  5. Brian permalink
    July 8, 2009 10:30 pm

    Here is a good talk given by Cardinal Ratzinger in economics. I don’t think the encyclical is at odds with his balanced approach.

    http://www.acton.org/publications/occasionalpapers/publicat_occasionalpapers_ratzinger.php

  6. Christbearer316 permalink
    July 8, 2009 10:56 pm

    How many of you have actually read any of B.XVI writings? One world government and redistribution of wealth (which is always forced and never voluntary) don’t appear that often. Actually, I’d say just about never. And Katerina, with all due respect, you can’t honestly believe “wheelin’ and dealin’ political compromises” don’t actually occur. In the area of doctrine no, but that is a little beyond naive to believe that the Vatican is devoid of this. Also, the Vatican is the one responsible if “made to look confused, factioned, and compromising in how it pastors and teaches the flock of Christ.” It has looked that way for roughly 44 years now and counting. As common sense dictates, “the Vatican” is not synonymous with the Holy Father, after being human, can do some pretty incredible and sometimes scandalous things sometimes.

    That is all besides the point. I have no problem with the incredibly poorly done photo-shop hack-job up top. I have a problem with what seems to be a hefty portion of the Catholic media (dissenting and otherwise) simply attacking him personally and taking every opportunity to ridicule the man instead of actually argue the points he makes in a reasoned and charitable way.

    • July 9, 2009 10:09 am

      How many of you have actually read any of B.XVI writings?

      Since you asked:

      Truth and Tolerance
      Introduction to Christianity
      Eschatology
      Called to Communion
      Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures
      Jesus of Nazareth
      Deus Caritas Est
      Spe Salvi
      Caritas in Veritate
      Europe
      Turning Point for Europe?
      The Spirit of the Liturgy
      Feast of Faith
      Milestones: Memoirs
      What It Means to be a Christian

      I have also read the following social encyclicals; therefore, this encyclical does NOT surprise me at all. It just brings all the aspects of the former encyclicals together and reflects based on those principles the consequences of the teaching given our new socio-political and economic context:

      Rerum Novarum
      Quadragesimo Anno
      Mater et Magistra
      Pacem et Terris
      Laborem Exercens
      Sollicitudo Rei Socialis
      Centesimus Annus
      Octogesima Adveniens
      Populorum Progressio

      • July 9, 2009 10:20 am

        Katerina is the most well-read on Benedict XVI works of anyone I know.

  7. Christbearer316 permalink
    July 8, 2009 10:59 pm

    Oh, and “rumor mongering?” That may be one of the most pointless and obscure phrases I’ve ever hear. How can one be a rumor monger? Can a person be a donut monger? How about a book monger? Really? I mean…really Katerina?

    • July 8, 2009 11:25 pm

      How many of you have actually read any of B.XVI writings? One world government and redistribution of wealth (which is always forced and never voluntary) don’t appear that often. Actually, I’d say just about never.

      I, for one, have read several of Cardinal Ratzinger’s political works, such as Turning Point for Europe and Europe, in which he commends democratic socialism as being close to Catholic social teaching. Given my familiarity with these works, I found nothing surprising at all in the new encyclical, especially considering its papal precursors.

      And Katerina, with all due respect, you can’t honestly believe “wheelin’ and dealin’ political compromises” don’t actually occur. In the area of doctrine no, but that is a little beyond naive to believe that the Vatican is devoid of this.

      I read Katerina as talking about doctrine (after all, the subject of the discussion is the encyclical). Weigel certainly portrays the encyclical as a political and compromising product. Beyond the encyclical, Katerina said nothing about Vatican politics, so you are actually attacking a straw man.

      I have a problem with what seems to be a hefty portion of the Catholic media (dissenting and otherwise) simply attacking him personally and taking every opportunity to ridicule the man instead of actually argue the points he makes in a reasoned and charitable way.

      I have not seen any personal attacks, myself. I believe his article is deserving, however, of the harshest critiques within the bounds of honesty.

      Oh, and “rumor mongering?” That may be one of the most pointless and obscure phrases I’ve ever hear.

      It made sense to me. Mongering is the act of selling something unpleasant and undesirable. I certainly think that is precisely what Weigel is doing with his article–selling unsubstantiated rumors about the origins and writers of the new encyclical. “Rumor mongering” seems a rather appropriate description to me.

    • July 11, 2009 10:41 am

      You can be a fishmonger:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishmonger

  8. July 8, 2009 11:20 pm

    Christbearer316, I fully agree with you.

  9. Christbearer316 permalink
    July 9, 2009 12:57 am

    MJAndrew, christian socialism is a failed fantasy based on the principle that socialism could in fact be merged with Christianity. It has been attempted here in America in the 1930’s and in other parts of the world and it always ends with the government taking more and more rights of the people away “for their own good.”(also crime sky-rocketed with the implementation of such laws as prohibition) It is also based on the weak premise that in a Christian society, man is somehow able to shield himself from sin once in a seat of governance. Socialism by it’s very nature is atheistic and is incompatible with any form of religion…unless the religion is also state (in any form of socialism, a “golden calf” if you will, replaces God as the center of worship whether it be nationality, class, the ethnicity, etc.) as it is with Islam. Since the Church has since abandoned being a temporal power it needs to seriously consider it’s reasoning here. The Pope stated very clearly in his 1995 book length interview Salt of the Earth, that he knew “very little” of economics. Also, it stress’ credibility and rational thought to believe that the Holy Father wrote the encyclical with zero outside influence from any person or group. That he wasn’t influenced by anyone (either progressive or conservative) in the entire curia is far beyond reason. Despite Weigel’s lack of footnotes (for you), his inquiring about the patterns and stark similarities between Paul VI’s documents (and also who was their main influence) does not mean he is “rumor-mongering.” Since when does asking who, and to what extent, influenced an important document “rumor mongering?” The last I heard it was called deduction logic and reasoning. But since his view of the encyclical did not match your own, it’s open game to bash him at least on this blog.

  10. July 9, 2009 8:18 am

    MJAndrew, christian socialism is a failed fantasy based on the principle that socialism could in fact be merged with Christianity.

    Socialism by it’s very nature is atheistic and is incompatible with any form of religion…unless the religion is also state (in any form of socialism, a “golden calf” if you will, replaces God as the center of worship whether it be nationality, class, the ethnicity, etc.) as it is with Islam.

    You definitely need to read Pope Benedict XVI’s political writings in which he makes the distinction between totalitarian (and Marxist socialism), which you are talking about, and democratic socialism. I believe he answers your objections aptly. I recommended two of his works above, which would be good places to start.

    That he wasn’t influenced by anyone (either progressive or conservative) in the entire curia is far beyond reason.

    I’m not sure anyone here suggested that Pope Benedict XVI was not influenced by anyone in the Curia. In my critique of Weigel’s article, I made specific mention of the fact that the Curia often wrote papal encyclicals. You are attacking a straw man.

    Despite Weigel’s lack of footnotes (for you), his inquiring about the patterns and stark similarities between Paul VI’s documents (and also who was their main influence) does not mean he is “rumor-mongering.”

    If this were all he did, then you would be right. But Weigel went well beyond merely noting the patterns and similarities, inventing stories of animosity, revenge, and leftist agendas. Have you read Weigel’s article???

    But since his view of the encyclical did not match your own, it’s open game to bash him at least on this blog.

    It has nothing to with matching my own interpretation. My post simply brought to light inconsistencies in Weigel’s own writings as well as implications of the NR piece. I don’t consider that bashing. Are you suggesting that all interpretations of the encyclical are equal and untouchable by critique? If you have specific objections to any of my points, please leave them in the comment box of my post (so we can give Katerina’s post here a break). Perhaps we can talk out our differences.

  11. July 9, 2009 10:50 am

    Christbearer316

    I would suggest you study up on Benedict when he discusses the authority in relation to war, and you will see within it, he has already suggested we need a unified political order in the world. This unified order is not, for example, the suggestion that each nation should be subsumed into one, monistic, governmental system. On the other hand, he is very much opposed to the dualistic-tinged nationalism which seeks self-serving independence among the nations without any global interplay going on. Rather, it is an interdependence which recognizes a world authority, while realizing it is manifested in subsidiarity. Just like Catholicism.

    Which is why Protestantism brought out nationalism, because it was a rejection of a one-world order/system. The whole “new world order” fear isn’t Catholic, it’s Protestant. Obviously, with any system, there is possibility of abuse; but, the abuse of the present system is clear, with the burden faced by most of the world for only 1% of it to have any sense of Promethean freedom.

  12. Joe Hargrave permalink
    July 9, 2009 7:25 pm

    “But since his view of the encyclical did not match your own, it’s open game to bash him at least on this blog.”

    Who is bashing, exactly?

    Anyone who writes for public consumption invites criticism as well as praise. Weigel’s piece was rather patronizing – some might even say insulting. Given the tone of his essay and his invocation of revenge fantasies and other innuendo, none of which was very professional or respectful to begin with, I think the response here has been appropriate. There was nothing mean-spirited going on here.

    After all, the blogosphere is usually a much more harsh and cruel place. Here we have people who are willing to fully consider the argument being made while criticizing it. That is a great deal more than bloggers on either end of the political spectrum are usually willing to offer.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: